John Cochran (physician)

John Cochran (September 1, 1730 – April 6, 1807) was the 4th Surgeon General of the United States Army during the American Revolution.[1] He was president of the Medical Society of New Jersey from 1769 to 1770, and was re-elected in 1770 and served until 1771.

John Cochran
John Cochran (1730–1807).jpg
4th Surgeon General of the United States Army
In office
Preceded byWilliam Shippen, Jr.
Succeeded byRichard Allison
3rd President of the Medical Society of New Jersey
In office
Preceded byWilliam Burnet
Succeeded byIsaac Smith
Personal details
Born(1730-09-01)September 1, 1730
Sadsbury, Pennsylvania
DiedApril 6, 1807(1807-04-06) (aged 76)
Palatine, New York
Spouse(s)Gertrude Schuyler
ChildrenJames Cochran


Cochran was born in Sadsbury, Pennsylvania on September 1, 1730, the son of Irish immigrants. He served as physician under Lieutenant-Colonel John Bradstreet during his march on Fort Frontenac in 1758. He was president of the Medical Society of New Jersey from 1769 to 1770, and was re-elected in 1770 and served until 1771.[2]

On April 10, 1777, Cochran was made Physician & Surgeon General of the Middle Department of the Medical Department of the Continental Army. Subsequently, he became Physician and Surgeon General of the Continental Army and Director General of the Hospitals of the United States (January 17, 1781 to 1783). Because of the infighting and other troubles of his three predecessors as Surgeon General, he is considered by some military medical historians as the "best of the Revolutionary period chief physicians".

Personal lifeEdit

Cochran was married to Geertruy "Gertrude" Schuyler (1724–1813), a widow who was the eldest daughter of Cornelia (née Van Cortlandt) Schuyler and Johannes Schuyler Jr., the mayor of Albany from 1740 to 1741. Gertrude was the sister of Gen. Philip Schuyler and the widow Pieter P. Schuyler (1723–1753), her cousin and the grandson of Pieter Schuyler, with whom she had two children (Cornelia, the wife of Walter Livingston and Pieter Jr., the wife of Gertrude Lansing). Together, Gertrude and John were the parents of:[3]

He died on April 6, 1807 in Palatine, New York.[4]


Cochran's descendants added a final e to the family name. His grandson was Congressman, general, and New York State Attorney General John Cochrane.


  1. ^ Benjamin F. Shearer (September 1, 2006). Home Front Heroes: A Biographical Dictionary of Americans during Wartime. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-313-04705-3. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  2. ^ Boatner, Mark Mayo, III. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. 1966; revised 1974. ISBN 0-8117-0578-1.
  3. ^ Christoph, Florence A. (1992). Schuyler Genealogy: A Compendium of Sources Pertaining to the Schuyler Families in America Prior to 1800. Friends of Schuyler Mansion. The name Schuyler is from the maternal line. [Pieter Tjercks (son of Tjerck)], like most Dutchmen of the time, had no family name. It was unusual but not unique for sons to adopt their mother's name. In the colonial records of the seventeenth century, the name of Schuyler is used irregularly; references to Philip Pieterse [Pieter's son] being as common as those to Philip Schuyler.
  4. ^ "John Cochran". Potter's American Monthly. 1874.

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