Biography of James A. Grant, M. D.

James Alexander Grant, one of the most eminent physicians and surgeons in the Dominion, was born in Inverness-shire Scotland, August 8th, 1830. He is son of Dr. James Grant, of Edinburgh, many years a prominent surgeon in Glengarry, Ontario, and a grandson of James Grant, Esq., author of “Essays on the Origin of Society” and Thoughts on the Origin and Descent of the Gael.” Soon after the publication of the latter work, the author was presented with a large silver vase, with the following inscription: “Voted 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 work was a prize essay, with all Scotland to compete with, and the vase, which is in the possession of the grandson, is no doubt very highly prized. When the grandfather died in 1835, he was called “the father of the Scottish Bar.”

The mother of our subject was Jane Ord, a Highlander, who brought him to this country in her arms, when he was about a year old, the family settling at Martintown, in the county of Glengarry, Ont.

Dr. Grant was educated in the arts at Queen’s College, Kingston, and in medicine at McGill College, Montreal, there also receiving his degree of M. D. in 1854. He settled in Ottawa, and in a short time built up a liberal practice, rising in a few years to eminence in his profession. He has been physician to Lord Monck, Lord Lisgar and Lord Dufferin, and is now physician to the Marquis of Lorne and his Royal bride, the Princess Louise.

Few men in his profession in the Dominion have been so honored as Dr. Grant. He has been President of the Mechanics’ Institute of Ottawa, a Literary and Scientific Society, and of the St. Andrew’s Society, same city; has held the position of President of the College of Surgeons of Ontario; was a member of the International Medical Congress, held at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1876, and made one of its two Vice-Presidents in the department of surgery; is a corresponding member of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and of the Botanical Society of Canada; is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, and of the Geological Society of England; also Consulting Surgeon to the General Protestant Hospital, Ottawa, and to General Catholic Hospital, as well.

Dr. Grant has published in Canadian and British periodicals, a large number of essays on medical and scientific subjects; some of which have attracted much attention, and been liberally quoted from by distinguished writers in Germany and other countries.
Politically, Dr. Grant is a well known Conservative, and for eight years he was a member of the Dominion Parliament for the County of Russell. He early saw the need of a railway across the entire continent, through British territory, and took an active part in the grand enterprise, by introducing into Parliament the original Pacific Railway Bill. He also favored, warmly, the question of the admission of the North West Territory and British Columbia into the Confederation, and advocated that movement by his speeches in Parliament.

The wife of Dr. Grant was Maria, daughter of Edward Malloch, Esq., who sat for Carleton, in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada, and in the Legislative Assembly of Canada, after the Union. They were married, January 22, 1856, and have lost four children, and have seven living. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.

Since entering upon the active duties of his profession twenty-five years ago, the doctor has led an unusually busy life; and considering how onerous have been his medical and surgical labors, it is surprising that he should have accomplished so much and so praiseworthy work with his pen. Some of his papers on the geology of Canada, exhibit thorough research, and patient digging in that line of study, and are valuable contributions to the “Stony Science.”



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