Edward Hartshorne, the second son of Dr. Joseph Hartshorne, and was born in Philadelphia, PA on May 14, 1818. He received a BA in 1837 from, what would become, Princeton University, in MA in 1840 and he received the degree of Doctor in Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, in 1840.
After graduating, he was the first Assistant Physician under Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride in the Insane Department of the Pennsylvania Hospital, later known as the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital. He next served for two years, (1841-43), as resident physician of the general department of the Pennsylvania Hospital; he was also for a short period at Friends Hospital in Frankford, near Philadelphia. In 1843, he was elected the first resident physician of Eastern State Penitentiary, in Philadelphia.
In 1844, Dr. Hartshorne went to Europe and spent two years in studies and observations at the large hospitals of the continent, and on his return home, he commenced the practice of his profession. He was elected to the Surgical Staff of the Pennsylvania Hospital in 1859, resigned 1865. He was editor for one year of the Journal of Prison Discipline, Philadelphia. Articles and reviews were contributed by him to the Medical Examiner, Philadelphia ; American Journal of the Medical Sciences (1850-1870); and to the North American Medico-Chirurgical Review. He also wrote an extended notice of Wharton and Stille's Treatise on Medical Jurisprudence. He delivered a course of lectures on Medical Jurisprudence, in connection with an Association of medical gentlemen, all of whom obtained subsequent distinction as public instructors. In 1853, he edited, with notes and additions, the American Edition of Taylor's Medical Jurisprudence.
During the civil war he was on duty as Acting Assistant Surgeon, in the field, after the battle of Antietam, and for one or two years, as attending or consulting surgeon, to the McClellan, Nicetown and other Army Hospitals in or near Philadelphia.
He was actively engaged in the organization of the Philadelphia branch of the United States Sanitary Commission, during the war, being Secretary of its Executive Committee. He was Secretary of the First National Quarantine and Sanitary Convention, which met in Philadelphia a few years before the war. He was a Fellow uf the College of Physicians, a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences, of the American Medical Association, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia County Medical Society, Historical Society of Pennsylvania and others.
He died on June 22, 1885, aged sixty-seven years.