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Canadian History
James A. Grant


M.D., Ottawa, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, London; Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh; Corresponding member of the Boston Gynecological Society, the distinguished gentleman who form the subject of this sketch was born at Inverness-shire, Scotland, on the 8th August, 1830. Our subject comes of a distinguished and able family. His father was Dr. James Grant, of Edinburgh, and for many years a prominent surgeon in Glengarry, Ontario; and his paternal grandfather was the learned James Grant, author of "Essays on the Origin of Society", and "Thoughts on the Origin and Descent of the Gael". A little while after the publication of the latter work, the author was presented with a large silver vase bearing the following inscription: "Presented by the Highland Society of Scotland to James Grant Esq., of Corrimony, advocate, as a testimony of his treatise on the 'Origin and Descent of the Gael, 1819'. This was a prize essay, in which many of the most noted scholars in Scotland competed. The vase is in the possession of Dr. Grant in Ottawa. It may be interesting to note, as we pass, that Dr. Grant's correct appellation is Chief Grant, as he is the present chief of The Grants of Corrimony. This statement will be found amplified in a new work recently published by Dr. Fraser, of Edinburgh, and entitled "The Chiefs of Grant". Our subject's mother was Jane, nee Ord, and she brought her son to this country in her arms. Young Grant received his education in arts at Queen's College, Kingston, and took his medical degree, 1854, at McGill, Montreal. Having obtained his diploma, he settled at Ottawa. His great skill and noteworthy success in his profession soon attracted attention, and very speedily began the first of what afterwards became a magnificent practice. He has been physician to Lord Monck, Lord Lisgar, Lord Dufferin, Lord Lorne and the Princess Louise, and is now physician to their Excellencies of Lansdowne. Honours have fallen fast upon Dr. Grant, but well have they been always earned. he has been president of the Mechancia' Institute and the St. Andrew's Society of Ottawa; he has been president of the College of Surgeons of Ontario; was a member of the International Medical Congress held at Philadelphia, in 1876, and was created one of its two vice-presidents in the department of surgery. he is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and of the Royal College of Surgeons, London; a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh; and of the Geological Society of England. He is also consulting surgeon to the general Protestant Hospital, and to the general Catholic Hospital, Ottawa. Dr. Grant is likewise a member of the Royal Society of Canada; and is ex-president of the Dominion Medical Association and representative of the University of Ottawa in the Medical Council of Ontario. In the literature of his profession, Dr. Grant is a gentleman of distinguished repute. He has published, in British and Canadian periodicals, a large number of able, lucid, and comprehensive essays on medical and scientific subjects. In addition to his contributions to his own professed science, he is a geologist of high standing, and has made most valuable contributions to the literature of that important science. His style is clear, forcible and cultured, and his work has attracted wide attention. Dr. Grant has likewise taken a share of public life. He is one of the sturdiest conservatives in the Dominion, and an iron-handed veteran in the day of battle; and sat for eight years in the Dominion Parliament for the County of Russell. Always a man of wide views, and one who, in a great measure, looked into the future far as human eye could see, he was found advocating strongly measures of legislation, whereof most legislators in those days knew nothing, but which, time has since crowned with its approbation. Dr. Grant was one of the first who saw the need of a transcontinental railway, and was the gentleman who introduced the original Pacific Railway Bill. He likewise advocated the admission of the North-west Territories into the Dominion of Canada, at a time when some men regarded the proposal with hostility, and others deemed the territories to be an illimitable and dismal stretch of frosty plain, whereon little grew but lichens. Dr. Grant married on the 22nd Jan., 1856, Maria, daughter of Edward Malloch, who sat for Carleton in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada. The fruit of this union was twelve children, four of whom are dead; and the parents and family members of the Presbyterian faith. What surprises those most who have studied Dr. Grant's career is his vast capacity for work, and his almost unparalleled industry.


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