William Canniff.

The medical profession in Upper Canada, 1783-1850. An historical narrative, with original documents relating to the profession, including some brief biographies online

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Online LibraryWilliam CanniffThe medical profession in Upper Canada, 1783-1850. An historical narrative, with original documents relating to the profession, including some brief biographies → online text (page 41 of 60)
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of 9 and 10 o'clock, at his house, No. 17 Newgate Street, to
give advice gratis to such persons as may require his profes-
sional services.

" Poor persons, who bring a certificate from any respectable
citizen of their inability to pay, shall receive medicine

"Toronto, November 24, 1834."

He seems to have settled afterwards in Hamilton as the
following shows :

" Melancholy Death. — It is with the most poignant feelings
we announce the death of David Lithgow, Esq., M.D., at his
lodgings in this town, which took place this morning very
suddenly. An inquest held by D. C. Beard, Esq., Coroner, has

Biographical Sketches. 473

just closed its sitting, and who returned the following verdict :
' That the deceased came to his death from having taken a
quantity of laudanum, or some such other deleterious substance,
while labouring under a state of mental derangement and not
otherwise.' Dr. Lithgow was highly esteemed in this town
and neighbourhood, and his decease is greatly lamented." —
Hamilton Gazette, 1836.

Dr. George Humphrey Low,

Of Trinity College, Dublin, son of Captain Low, of Ireland, who
served under General Wolfe at the taking of Quebec, emigrated
to Canada in 1833, and settled at Whitby, where he first com-
menced practice in L^pper Canada. During the rebellion of
1837 he was Surgeon to the East York Militia. Subsequently
removing to Port Hope, he remained there several years and
then settled in Darlington. Being eminent in his profession,
especially as a surgeon, he had in Bowmanville and surround-
ing country an extensive and lucrative practice. He died in
September, I860, aged 75 years, at his residence, Rathscamoy,

Dr. James McCague,

Of York, passed Medical Board, January 2, 1828. He seems
to have practised at York for a number of years before settling
aliout ten miles up Yonge Street. His practice extended on
every hand, a contemporary says perhaps sixty miles, which he
attended to on horseback. A fine-looking, portly Irishman,
with a frank countenance and genial manners, with a tendency
to be " wild," he was a great favourite everywhere. Dr. Scad-
ding says he practised first at Thornhill, and was an impulsive

Dr. McCague addressed a letter to the Patriot, Axug. 26, 1834,
urging the efficacy of a remedy he had discovered for cholera in
its worst stages. A. C. Robinson, M.R.C.S. Lond., at that time
practising in Toronto, testifies as to its value in one case he had
seen. The medium was " plumbi supernacit," two grains in an

474 The Medical Profession in Upper Canada.

ounce of water. An advertisement appeared, August, 1834, by
Dr. James McCague, of the sale of a farm on Yonge Street, ten
miles from Toronto. When Colonel Moodie was shot by the
rebels at Montgomery's Tavern, 1837, Dr. McCague was called
to attend him. He was Surgeon to the 4th North York Militia.
This notice appeared, March, 1839 : " Died, at his residence on
Yonge Street, Dr. James McCague, native of Monaghan, Ireland,
and particularly distinguished during the late outbreak for his
unswerving attachment to the Constitution, and for his bravery
and exertion on all occasions." He left a large family.

Dr. William McCargow,

The youngest child of Adam McCargow, who had retired from
business, was born, May, 1819, in the Abbey Parish, Paisley,
Scotland. When about fourteen, he commenced his medical
studies with James Paton, M.D., with whom he applied himself
diligently for three years and a half. In 1836, he commenced
his collegiate course at Glasgow College, attending the lectures
of Dr. Jaffery on anatomy and Dr. Thos. Thompson on chem-
istry. The well-known Norman McLeod was at this time a
student, and he took a great interest in the election of Sir
Robert Peel as Lord Proctor. Dr. McCargow was present at a
meeting and heard Sir Robert's eloquent speech. His subse-
quent studies were carried on with a view of entering the
Royal Navy. He therefore attended the best of the lectures at
the College and medical schools, and put in the usual attend-
ance at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Having passed the
Faculty of Glasgow, and a vacancy having occurred, in the
Paisley House of Recovery, of house-surgeon, he was appointed
to that office in 1841, after a competitive examination.

In the spring of 1842, he was induced to accept an offer from
his brother-in-law, William McPherson, M.D., to join him in
practice at York, on the Grand River, then in Niagara District.
Accordingly he shipped at Glasgow in May, and arrived at
Hamilton in July. He passed the Upper Canada Medical Board,
July, 1843. After three years the partnership with Dr. Mc-
Pherson was dissolved.


Biographical Sketches. 475

April 24, 1846, he married Mary, second daughter of John
Jackson, Civil Engineer, of Seneca. Among the first medical
societies organized in this part of the Province was one by Dr.
McPherson and Dr. McCargow, known as the " County of Haldi-
mand Medical Association." He was also for a year or two a
member of the first medical society in Hamilton. He was
appointed to the position of medical attendant of the Six
Nation Indians, 1865. This position he held until failing
healtli compelled him to resign in 1882, when his adopted son,
Dr. R. J. McKinnon, received the appointment. He held the
position of a magistrate of Haldimand from 1856 until he left
the country. In 1858, the office of Assistant-Surgeon of the 3rd
Battalion, Haldimand, was giv^en to him. In 1872, he held the
position of corresponding member for the Gynaecological Society
of Boston. He was an active member of the Canada Medical
Association, and was also one of the Medical Council of the
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, 1880-85. After
an active practice of forty years on the Grand River, failing
health compelled him to remove to Hamilton, where for some
years he has been on the consulting staff of the City Hospital.

Dr. McCargow writes : " Reverting back to my forty years
of practice on the Grand River, for the first fifteen or twenty
years, but more particularly for the first ten years, remittents
prevailed to a large extent from about the middle of July to the
middle of December of each year. Then, during the remaining
months, in every house there were persons suffering fom inter-
mittents. There were occasionally severe epidemics of dysentery,
which proved very fatal to the aged and children. When the
potato-rot appeared in Canada, I had many cases of scurvy.
Children were the greatest sufferers from it. The woodman's
axe, the foundr}', threshing machines and the implements of
hu.sbandry were fruitful sources of accidents to ail parts of the
body, particularly to the hands and limbs, so much so that
amputations were frequent."

Dr. McCargow has no children, except by adoption, one of
whom, the late Dr. Ranald J. McKinnon, died at Oshweken,
Brant County, on March 11, 1887. An adopted daughter is the
youngest daughter of the late Colonel Wallace, of Norwich.

476 The Medical Profession in Upper Canada.

Dr. Roderick McDonald

Was son of John McDonald, who came from Scotland before
the beginning of the present century, and settled in Cornwall.
Roderick was born in Glengarry, and educated at the Cornwall
Grammar School, and at Montreal. Studied medicine at McGill
College, and took his M.D., 1834. He passed the Upper Canada
Medical Board, October, 1835. He settled at Cornwall, and
engaged in active practice until 1846, when he was elected
Treasurer of the United Counties of Dundas and Glengarry.
Dr. McDonald was twice elected member of parliament, serving
eight years. He held commissions in the militia force, and
attained to the rank of Lieut.-Colonel. He was Surgeon to the
forces during the Mackenzie rebellion, and at the time of the
Trent affair he was in command of the 1st Battalion of Stor-
mont Militia. In 1862, he became Deputy Clerk of the Crown
and Pleas. Dr. McDonald died, April 7, 1885.

Dr. William McGill

Was born at Glasgow about 1814, being the son of George Mc-
Gill. The family emigrated to Canada while William was yet
young, and settled on a farm in the township of Whitby.
William was educated at the Grammar School at Oshawa. He
commenced the study of medicine with Dr. H. Low, 1835.
Then attended two courses of lectures at Willoughby Medical
College, Ohio, 1837-39. He commenced practice at Oshawa in
1841. In 1847, he attended McGill College, where he took the
degree of M.D., 1848. By this time Dr. McGill was unusually
well equipped to practise his profession ; but he subsequently
attended lectures at the New York University. He stood very
high as a practitioner, and enjoyed the reputation of being a
capital surgeon. Dr. McGill was elected a member of Ontario
Medical Council for King's and Queen's Division, 1866. He
was also elected a member of the first Legislature of the Pro-
vince of Ontario, 1867-71. Dr. McGill was always a student,
not only in medicine, but in literature, and of the Bible. As a
member of the Disciples' Church, he uot only acted as an elder.

Biographical Sketches. 477

but frequently occupied the pulpit. He died, November 9,

He married Julia Ann, daughter of James Bates, of Dar-


Dr. James McIlmurray,

M.RC.S. Eng., 1833; Provincial Licentiate, 1834, under 8th
George IV., chap. 3, was born in Tyrone County, Ireland, 1800,
and came to Toronto, 1834. He practised in Toronto until his
death, 1880. Dr. McIlmurray never married. He was very
popular as a physician, to the duties of which he gave all his time.
The Doctor, it is related, had a quantity of gold coins at the time
of the Mackenzie rebellion. Fearing the rebels would take and
pillage the city, he put the gold in a hiding-place in the stable.
His servant-man happened to find it, and, being a faithful ser-
vant, he informed the Doctor of the treasure-trove, and said he
would share it with the Doctor. The result is not recorded.
Although Dr. McIlmurray left no relations in Toronto to mourn
his loss, his removal by death was keenly felt by many friends,
and those to whom he had been a faithful physician.

Dr. Daniel Eugene McIntyre,

Now Sheriff of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and
Glengarry (18:33), was born in the town of Oban, Argyleshire,
Scotland, 1812. He was the only son of James McIntyre,
Captain in the Merchant Marine Service, who was drowned at
sea while Daniel was yet a child. The mother, Mary Mc-
Laughlin McIntyre, died in 1819. Young McIntyre was
educated at Oban, the pari.sh school of Appin, and at McFar-
laiti's Academy, Glasgow, then a noted school. He took a
position in a business house, but after a short time relinquished
it, having no taste for a business life. In 1829, he entered the
Glasgow University as a medical student. His medical course
was continued here until 1834, except one year passed at Edin-
burgh University. Dr. McIntyre came to Canada in the spring
of 1835, and after sojourning a short time at Quebec, caine to
Upper Canada, and established himself at Williamstown, county

478 The Medical Profession in Upper Canada.

of Glengarry. Being a Highlander, he was cordially received by
the inhabitants of this Highland settlement, and welcomed with
Gaelic words by Gaelic hearts. Dr. Mclntyre not only found
here congenial friends, but a few years later, 1837, a Canadian
Highland wife, in the person of Ann, daughter of Colonel Alex.
Fraser, M.L.A.

During the Mackenzie rebellion, Dr. Mclntyre was on the
staff of the 1st Glengarry Regiment of Militia, as Surgeon. He
was on the steamboat Henry Brougham when captured at
Beauharnois by the rebels, and was for several weeks a prisoner,
confined at the house of the parish priest, where he was rescued
by the Glengarry Regiment, which took possession of the town.
He continued in the militia service as Staff-Surgeon until 1842.
Having a taste for military life, he became (1854) Major of the
Stormont Battalion. He subsequently retired with the rank of
Lieut.-Colonel. He represented the township of Charlotten-
burg, in the old Eastern District Council for thirteen years, and
was the first warden elected for the three united counties, 1849,
and again the following year.

A staunch supporter of Baldwin and Lafontaine, he was a
warm friend of that distinguished patriotic Canadian, the Hon.
John Sandfield Macdonald, and took an energetic part in all the
political contests in Glengarry at that period.

In May, 1850, Dr. Mclntyre was made sheriff of the united
counties, a position he has filled to the great satisfaction of the
public. He has had seven children, of whom only two remain
alive, a son and a daughter.

Dr. Andrew McKenzie.

" The subject of this sketch is a native of Lower Canada, a
son of Daniel and Margaret (Gray) McKenzie, and was born at
Terrebonne, September 15, 1810. His father was from the
Highlands of Scotland, and was engaged for years with the
North- West Fur Company.

" Andrew finished his education at the Grammar School of
Perth, county of Lanark. At seventeen, commenced the study
of medicine with Dr. Robert Gilmour, of Brockville ; attended

Biographical Sketches. 479

lectures at McGill College, 1829-30, and Glasgow University,
1831-32, and took M.D. at Glasgow University ; practised a
short time at St. Thomas, Ontario ; served in the rebellion
(1837-38) as surgeon to the volunteers, and in 1839 settled in
London, which has since been his home. In a few years he
built up a good practice. Though nearing his seventieth year,
he keeps his office open, and waits upon a few families whose
physician, in some cases, he has been for twenty or thirty years.
Among the older class of citizens of London, few are more
warmly esteemed than Dr. McKenzie.

"September 5, 1836, Dr. McKenzie married Isabella Maria,
daughter of John Shore." — Can. Bio. Diet., 1880.

We may add that Dr. McKenzie was gaol physician for fif-
teen years. Dr. Beemer, of the London Asylum, writes, January
8, 1894, respecting Dr. McKenzie, that "though at present over
eighty years old, the Doctor is bright and active, and exhibits
the same enthusiasm in all things pertaining to the medical
science, which has characterized his long and useful professional

Dr. Robert McLean,

Sixth son of John McLean, was born at Martinique, West
Indies, 1811, where his father was then serving in the Royal
Artillery. The father served in the British army fourteen
years, and retired with the rank of Sergeant- Major of the
Artillery. The Doctor's mother was Isabella Graham. Both
parents were born in Ireland. Two uncles also served in the
army. One, Samuel, retired as Captain, after serving forty
years ; and William retired as Major, after serving sixty years.
Both of these had risen from the ranks. Another uncle
settled in Kinjjston. The Doctor's father held a commission as
Lieutenant during the Canadian rebellion of 1837, and was pres-
ent at the attack on the Windmill at Prescott.

Robert acquired his preliminary education at the Bath
Academy, which had a high reputation, under the superintend-
ence of the elder Bidwell. The following certificate indicates
that he was a pupil of Dr. Sampson : " Kingston, September 16,
1836. I certify that I have known Mr. Robert McLean,

480 The Medical Profession in Upper Canada.

student in medicine, for the last four years, and that he is a
young gentleman of exemplary moral character, of good literary
acquirement, and that he has, during my acquaintance with
him, ever evinced a laudable desire to acquire professional
knowledge. (Signed) James Sampson, Surgeon."

He also studied at Fairfield, and took a course of lectures at
Jefferson College, Philadelphia, and graduated there. Return-
ing to Canada, he passed the Upper Canada Medical Board,
July, 1837, and received his license.

Dr. McLean practised at Belleville for a long time. He
spent several years in Europe perfecting himself in his profes-
sion, and then returned to Kingston. His father had "left him
well off in worldly goods ; but the Doctor being of a generous
nature, the money did not stay with him." The popularity of
Dr. McLean is shown in the following extract from a communi-
cation from M. Flanagan, Esq., the much-respected City Clerk
of Kingston. He says : " At a meeting of the common Council
of the town of Kingston, April 7, 1846, Dr. Robert McLean was
unanimously elected Mayor of Kingston, for the year ending
first Monday in April, 1847 ; but his term of office expired with
the old town on the 13th June, 1846, Kingston being then in-
corporated as a city. The Doctor, at this time, was one of the
most popular men in Kingston, and it was considered at the
time, he would, and could, contest this constituency with every
prospect of success." It seems, however, that he did not seek
parliamentary honours.

Dr. McLean was commissioned Surgeon of the 2nd Lennox
Regiment of Militia, June, 1838. About the year 1850, he
retired from practice, and passed his last days with his only
surviving brother, Henry, who lived at the homestead, lot 19,
concession 6, Ernesttown.

There is only one descendant of the family now living, Robt.
McLean, of Harrowsmith.

Dr. James Macaulay.

Dr. Macaulay 's association with Upper Canada began with
that of Colonel Simcoe, the first Governor of the Province, in

Biographical Sketches. 481

1792, As Simcoe was the first Chief Magistrate of the Province,
so Dr. Macaulay held the chief position with respect to medical
affairs, first as a raember of Governor Simcoe's staff, then as
Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals, and finally as the senior
member of the Upper Canada Medical Board, organized in 1819,
until July, 1821, six months before his death. From the first
meeting of the Board until the time mentioned. Dr. Macaulay
was always present.

Dr. Macaulay was not only a prominent person in matters
appertaining to medicine, but as one of the worthies who con-
tributed to the welfare of early York, and as the founder of a
distinguished family in Upper Canada, his name is conspicuous
in the early history of the country.

Dr. Macaulay was a native of Scotland, born, 1759. Of his
medical education and what degrees he possessed, there is no
record, but we find in different notices of him both M.D. and
M.R.C.S.E., attached to his name.

On November 20, 1790, he married Elizabeth Tuck Hayter,
a connection of Admiral Hayter, About this time the Imperial
Act of Parliament creating the Province of Upper Canada was
passed, and Col. Simcoe was appointed the first Lieut.-Governor.
It appears most probable that Dr. Macaulay was an intimate
friend of Col. Simcoe, who induced the Doctor to join him as
physician to his staff. There is evidence of this friendship in
the fact that Dr. Macaulay named his eldest son, who was
born, in England, October, 1791, after Col, Simcoe,

Dr. Macaulay 's first connection with the military service was
as Surgeon to the 33rd Regiment. After his arrival at Fort
Niagara, he became Surgeon to the Queen's Rangers, of which
Simcoe was colonel.

When the Rangers were disbanded, it seems that Dr. Macaulay
received the appointment of Deputy In.spector-General of Hos-
pitals. Dr. Macaulay's family was living at Newark at the
close of 1794, as in the register of St. Mark's Church, Niagara,
is the record of the baptism of his .second son, dated November
29, 1794. The third .son, George, was born at York, 1796, con-
sequently the family moved to York between these two periods.
Thus Dr. Macaulay became one of the pioneers in the first
settlement of York, and helped to lay the foundation of the

482 The Medical Profession in Upper Canada.

capital. The records show that he took an active part in pro-
moting the interests of the place. The Upper Canada Gazette
records that a meeting was held March 9, 1801, at the Govern-
ment Buildings, of the subscribers for the opening of Yonge
Street. The name of James Macaulay, Esq., M.D., appears first
on the list of a Commission appointed to oversee the work.
Again, in 1803, the newspapers record that a meeting was held
to consider steps to buiid a church in York, and Dr. Macaulay
was one of a " Committee appointed to proceed with the work
of building."

Dr. Macaulay received the patent for a park lot, where now
is the heart of the city. It extended from Yonge Street west-
ward to University Street, and from Queen Street to College
Street. Near the south-east corner of this plot, some years
later, a number of small lots were laid out, and upon them
buildings were erected. The principal street here received the
Doctor's Christian name, and the present James Street marks
the spot. This village was separated by woods and fields from
the young capital, the western boundary of which reached no
farther westward than the present George Street. This village
was known for many years as Macaulay Town. Elizabeth
Street was named after Mrs. Macaulay. The Macaulay home-
stead was situated where is now Trinity Square, and was known
as " Teraulay Cottage." This name was formed from the last
syllable of the names, Hayfer and Msicaulay (Teraulay). Terau-
lay Street commemorates this historic and romantic name. -

But the requirements of the military service in Canada made
it necessary for Dr. Macaulay to leave the capital of Upper
Canada for a considerable time. It is learned by a communica-
tion from the War Office to Gen. Hunter, dated Jan. 6, 1803,
signed by Surgeon- General Keat, which is designated, " Returns
of the Hospital Staff proposed to be employed in Upper and
Lower Canada, as a peace establishment," that the army
surgeons in Canada were duly graded. This document gives
James Macaulay as senior hospital officer and Surgeon to the

It was necessary that the chief medical officer should reside
at Quebec, where were the headquarters of the medical staff in
Canada. Mr. Longmore, who had been Apothecary to the

Biographical Sketches. 483

Forces, and lived at Quebec, it appears from certain letters,
expected to be the principal medical officer. The following
letter, however, dispelled such hopes and anticipations :

" Arlington Street, January 5th, 1803.
" Sir, — I am to acquaint you that Mr. Macaulay, Surgeon to
the Forces, being senior in the service to yourself, is recom-
mended by me to His Royal Highness, the Commander-in-Chief,
to remain in full pay in Nova Scotia, as senior hospital officer,
and when the arrangement is approved of, you will be informed
thereof and placed on half pay.

" (Signed) T. Keat,

" Surg.-Gen. to the Army.
" Mr. Longmore,

" Apothecary to the Forces, Quebec."

But Dr. Longmore was unwilling to submit to this arrange-
ment, and sought through the Lieut.-Governor of Upper Canada,
Gen. Hunter, who was Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces
in North America, to effect something different. And we find,
in a letter from him to Major Green, Gen. Hunter's military
secretary, dated March 22, 1803, certain suggestions made on
the matter : " That Mr. Macaulay 's appointment took place
during the peace of 1783, and it was thought necessary, on the
division of Canada into the Provinces of Upper and Lower
Canada, that at the headquarters of each Province there ought
to be a Hospital Staff Officer of some standing and responsi-
bility in his profession, to give the principal officers and servants
of Government a fair chance and every necessary assistance in
cases of sickness and accident. From what I have learned in
conversation with the Chief Justice, it would be a great loss to
Mr. Macaulay, who has a good farm and well .stocked with cattle,
etc., in the neighbourhood of York, to be removed from that
station, for the avenues to practice in Quebec are at present
well secured. It would, therefore, be some years before he could
expect to derive much advantage from this source. He would,
therefore, find it difficult, with an increasing family, to support
the great expense of living in tiiis garrison on his pay and allow-
ances. If, upon the above principles. Gen. Hunter could be

484 The Medical Profession in Upper Canada.

induced to think it necessary for the present to continue Mr.
Macaulay's residence at York, he might, for similar reasons, per-
haps, be inclined to recommend a continuation of my services on
the staff at Quebec."

Dr. Longmore's efforts were not without effect, as is seen in a
letter from him to Major Green, Gen. Hunter's military secretary,
Sept. 13th following, inclosing one from Surgeon Keat, which
informs us that he had been reinstated as Apothecary to the
Forces. He expresses gratitude to Gen. Hunter, to whom he

Online LibraryWilliam CanniffThe medical profession in Upper Canada, 1783-1850. An historical narrative, with original documents relating to the profession, including some brief biographies → online text (page 41 of 60)