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Response to Number23 (Original post)

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 12:45 PM

22. I discovered an amazing historical connection between a black Canadian doctor and Lincoln's...

assassination! There is a new show on our CBC channel called Canadian Connections and in it's first show it covered the amazing story of Dr. Anderson Ruffin Abbott, the first black doctor in Canada in 1861. He went back to the US in 1863 to serve the Union Army. What happened after was extraordinary for the times, imo!

"In February 1863, during the American Civil War, he applied for a commission as an assistant surgeon in the Union army. His offer was evidently not accepted. In April Abbott, who was conscious of the risks faced by blacks in the military, reapplied, this time to be a “medical cadet” in a coloured regiment. He was finally taken on as a civilian surgeon under contract. Between June 1863 and August 1865 he served in Washington, D.C., first at the Contraband Hospital (Camp Baker) and then at the Freedman’s Hospital; subsequently he had charge of a hospital in Arlington, across the Potomac from Washington. Abbott received numerous commendations and became popular in Washington society. Among the select group who stood vigil over the dying President Abraham Lincoln in April 1865, he was later presented by Mary Todd Lincoln with a shawl her husband had worn to his first inauguration."

http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/abbott_anderson_ruffin_14E.html

What I find appalling is this has been a hidden history because Dr. Abbott was a black man. Had he been a white man with the same amazing connections this would have been in our history books in a large way.
I am very glad this amazing man has finally gotten some recognition, not enough by any means but hopefully the beginning of a more accurate historical telling of the rich history of the black community in Canada.

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