|| Abt 1800 - 1869|
||Tolland, Tolland, Connecticut, United States
||Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario
|Eby ID Number
||15 Mar 2017 |
- Dr. Elam Stimson was born in Tolland Connecticut, and severd in the United States Army during the War of 1812. Although from humble circumstances, he was able to study medicine at Yale College. When Stimson arrived in Upper Canada, he first settled in St. Catharines, moved to Galt in 1824 and then to London in 1831. In London he acted as coroner and physician to the jail, but in 1833, after his wife Ann Bolles and his youngest child had died from cholera, Stimson relocated to St. George. He responded to the cholera epidemic that claimed two hundred people in Galt over a ten-day period in 1834, with his medical publication, The Cholera Beacon. In St. George, where he lived with his second wife, Ann's younger sister Susan he continued to practice medicine until his death in 1869. Stimson's daughter, Rebecca, married Dr. Nathaniel Mainwaring, who was also originally from Connecticut and also established a large medical practice in South Dumfries. See CM. Godfrey, "Elam Stimson" in DCR, Vol. 9 (1861-1870), 748-49; Jean Waldie, Brant County, Vol 1, 132-133. and The History of Brant Ontario (1883), 205.1a
1aWilliam Wye Smith, Recollections of a Nineteenth Century Scottish Canadian. edited by Scott A. McLean & Michael E. Vance
The most striking and melancholy example within our knowledge of the generations and effects of the local infection occurred in this vicinity in the summer of 1834.
On the 28th of July, 1834, Galt, a village on the Grand River, U. C. was visited by Showmen with a Menagerie. It was exhibited under an awning of canvass, nearly enclosed at the sides, and drawn together in a conical form almost to the top. The day was excessively warm, and the crown suffocating. The exhibition lasted about 3 hours. It is estimated that about 1000 persons were present, and that not less than 200 of them died of Cholera within ten days. The population from which the assembly at the exhibition was composed, in the Township in the vicinity of Galt, it supposed to be about seven thousand.
The first case was in one of the Showmen, who sickened on that day, which was Monday. No other case occurred until the following Wednesday morning - on that day not less than thirty were attacked all of whom had been at the show - The greatest number of cases were on the Thursday and Friday following - but new cases occurred for several days. In speaking of an attack, we here allude to the time the patient supposed the attack commenced - the time he was "taken down" . The average length of time the disease lasted after this event was about sixteen hours.
Four days previous to the exhibition of animals at Galt, two children of Mr. J. G., on the Governor's Road, 12 miles south east of Galt, were attacked with Cholera, one of which died. On the same day (24th July,) two cases of what we shall call second grade Cholera came under our care, being the first that occurred of that form of the disease within our knowledge that season - About this time also, many were affected with first grand symptoms, - but with the exception of the children alluded to we have not been able to learn that any case of fully developed Cholera occurred in this part of the province previous to the exhibition of animals at Galt, and for several days subsequent to that event, and in which more than two hundred were attacked with Cholera, all had been at that exhibition with only two or three exceptions. From the 6th of August the disease became more general and not confined to such as were at the Menagerie; but this time it appeared at Hamilton and Dundas - situations more low and marshy than Galt, and adjacent to Burlington Bay of the Head of Lake Ontario. From these facts it is evident that a deteriorated state of the atmosphere existed previous to the 28th July, yet the fatal catastrophe following the exhibition at Galt was mainly attributable to the highly vitiated, or imperfectly oxygenated air, produced by the numerous and sweltering crowd under the canvas - the ventilation being altogether inadequate for so numerous and crowded assemblage. It also appears that at Hamilton, Dundas and several other situations the Epidemic influence was the product of the more common causes of general infection, united with a local infection, which last is caused by the action of heat upon putrescent vegetable matter....2a
2aElam Stimson, MD, The Cholera Beacon, being a treatise on the Epidemic Cholera: as it appeared in Upper Canada in 1832-4:
"Between the prairie and Galt, I think there were only two houses in sight of the road. I arrived at Galt about the 18th August, 1832. The appearance of the village was very discouraging. So far as I remember, there were only about twenty-six buildings in all, including the flour-mill, saw-mill, distillery, two stores, hotel, schoolhouse, and two blacksmith shops. With regard to the number of houses, I am writing from recollection, and may not, therefore, be altogether correct. But I think I am pretty near the mark."
The Doctor came, saw, and remained. In settling in Galt, he found he had a wide field all to himself. Dr. Stimson had practised in the village for a short time, but had gone to London, whence he afterwards removed to St. George. Except Dr. Cattermole, who settled in Guelph about the same time that Dr. Miller came to Galt, there was no medical man nearer than Dundas, Brantford, or Woodstock...3a
3aReminiscences of the Early History of Galt and the Settlement of Dumfries in the Province of Ontario, by James Young