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Green, Asa (11 February 1789–1837), physician and author, was born in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, the son of Oliver Green and Dorothy Hildreth. Green (sometimes spelled “Greene”) entered Williams College at the sophomore level and there earned a “good reputation as a scholar.” It is also at college where he is said to have been “distinguished for wit and vigor of thought,” aspects of which are reflected in his later literary efforts. He received an A.B. from Williams in 1813 and an M.D. from Brown University in 1822 and from the Berkshire Medical Institution in 1827....

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Lewis, Henry Clay (26 June 1825–05 August 1850), physician and humorist, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of David Lewis, a merchant, and Rachel Salomon. The family relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, around 1829. After his mother’s death in 1831, Lewis went to live with an older brother, Alexander, whose wife, Lewis felt, treated him poorly. In 1835, he stowed away on a steamboat bound for New Orleans. Quickly finding work as a scullery boy, Lewis remained on the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers for about a year. In 1836, he went to live with Joseph, another brother who was established as a prosperous merchant in Manchester, Mississippi (renamed Yazoo City in 1839). The financial panic of 1837 ruined Joseph, however, and young Henry was sent to work picking cotton for several years....