Anderson Ruffin Abbott
Abbott was born in Toronto in 1837. He graduated from the University of Toronto, at the age of 23, around 1860 - the first Canadian-born black surgeon. From 1861 to 1865, he was one of only eight black surgeons serving in the Union Army during the America Civil War, and was in charge of two hospitals in Washington. In 1866, he returned to Canada and practised in Chatham were he became county coroner, and was active in the local literary and debating society. He later practised in Dundas, Oakville and Toronto while maintaining links with the US army, which appointed him aide-de-camp on the staff of the commanding officers department in New York State. When he resigned, Abraham Lincoln’s widow presented him with a shawl Lincoln had worn on route to his first inauguration. Abbot later became the medical superintendent at the Provident Hospital in Chicago before retiring to Toronto, where he wrote article for the Chatham Planet, the Dundas Banner, and the New York Age. His daughter Grace married Fred Hubbard, one of Toronto’s first transit commissioners and the son of long-time municipal politician, William Peyton Hubbard. Abbot died on December 29, 1913 in Toronto at the age of 77.