Porcher, Francis Peyre
- Debra Lindsay
Porcher, Francis Peyre (14 December 1825–19 November 1895), physician and botanist, was born in St. John’s District, Berkeley County, South Carolina, the son of William Porcher, a Huguenot planter and trained physician, and Isabella Peyre. Porcher first acquired an interest in intellectual pursuits from his mother, who had a reputation as an “accomplished botanist.” According to family recollections, she gave Porcher “an accurate knowledge of the medicinal properties of the common plants which grew on her plantations” (Wickham, p. 456). After Porcher’s father died in 1833, Isabella assumed responsibility for running the plantation and carried out her husband’s wishes that their six children receive formal schooling. Porcher’s elementary education was provided by a governess, but more advanced studies were undertaken at Mount Zion Academy in Winnsboro, South Carolina. Porcher later went on to South Carolina College, where he obtained an A.B. in 1844, and to the Medical College of the State of South Carolina, where he obtained an M.D. in 1847. He had briefly considered a career in law but abandoned that idea when a position permitting further study did not materialize....