He was born in Chester, Pennsylvania in 1730. His parents, James and Isabella Cochran, were "respectable farmers" who had emigrated from Northern Ireland earlier in the century. He was trained as a surgeon in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
John Cochran first came to Albany during the Seven Years War to provide medical services for the British army under John Bradstreet. He married the widow Geertruy Schuyler at the Albany Dutch church in December 1760. By 1773, that marriage produced five children who were christened in New Brunswick, New Jersey. These Cochrans raised their combined family in New Jersey and New York City where he enjoyed distinguished medical practices. Cochran's son, James, later married Philip Schuyler's daughter.
At the outbreak of the war, he lent his medical skills to the American cause. He served in leadership roles in the medical department of the Continental army at a number of locations including the Albany Hospital. In 1778, he owned a house on the upper Hudson at Fort Edward.
In 1782, he was named in the will of Madame Schuyler.
After the war, he lived in New York and was appointed commissioner of loans in 1790.
Dr. John Cochran suffered a paralytic stroke. He retired to land he owned in Palatine, New York - to a house built for him by his son in 1790. Cochran is said to have died in Palatine, New York in April 1807.
Sources: The life of John Cochran has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived somewhat from family and community-based resources but is based more substantively on Internet-based resources. See: Three Rivers; Valley Forge; Army website; Famous Americans; and especially "Biographical Memoir of the late Dr. John Cochran." The definitive biography by Morris Saffron is Surgeon to Washington, Dr. John Cochran, 1730-1807 (1977).
Portrait of Cochran copied and enhanced from an engraving reproduced in a number of the sources listed above.
first posted: 8/25/07