Jacob Bigelow was born in Sudbury, Massachusetts, and died in Boston. He was a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and is known for founding Mount Auburn Cemetery. He was also a botanist and the author of the American Medical Botany, a three-volume set published between 1817 and 1820. For its time, it was very complete and contained the first color prints to be found in an American book. Although Bigelow created most of the illustrations, he also included some by Orra White Hitchcock. He was a member of the Boston Society of Natural History.