LeGear, Clara."The Hotchkiss Collection of Confederate Maps." Reproduced from Library of Congress Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions 6 (November 1948): 16-20
Jedediah Hotchkiss was born at Windsor, Broome County, N. Y., November 30, 1828. He was graduated from the Windsor Academy and early showed great interest in botany and in geology. In the winter of 1846-47, he taught school in Lykens Valley near Harrisburg, Pa., in a community where coal mines were being opened. In his spare time, he studied the geology of the anthracite region. The following summer, in company with another teacher, he made a walking tour of the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania, the Piedmont region of Maryland, and the Valley of Virginia, as well as the Blue Ridge, little realizing how well he was preparing himself for his life's work. About this time he made the acquaintance of Henry Forrer, owner and operator of one of the large iron smelters near Luray, whose interest in mining and mineral resources awakened the enthusiasm that later absorbed so much of Hotchkiss's energy. That fall he tutored in the family of Daniel Forrer at Mossy Creek, Va., and for the next ten years was principal of the Mossy Creek Academy. In 1858 he resigned to organize the Loch Willow School for Boys at Churchville, Augusta County, which flourished until the outbreak of the war. For two years after the war, Major Hotchkiss kept a school at Staunton and thereafter opened an office as topographical and mining engineer, which he continued until his death in 1899.