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Other Key Figures
Dr. Grasett was not the only caregiver who paid the ultimate sacrifice during 1847.
The following individuals contracted typhus in the course of their work caring for patients at the Emigrant Hospital and fever sheds in 1847, and subsequently died of the disease. (Listed in order of the date of their death).
Anne Slocumb, a nurse born in England who died on July 29, 1847, at the age of 26.
Susan Bailey, a nurse who died of the ‘fever’ in August 1847, age 32.
William Harrison, an orderly from England who died on August 14, 1847, at the age of 21.
Sarah Jane Sherwood, a nurse born in Ireland, died on August 22, 1847, at the age of 23.
Richard Jones, a young orderly who died of the fever on August 24, 1847, and was buried the same day.
John McNabb, another young orderly at the hospital. John died of the fever on August 25, 1847, and was buried the following day.
Sarah Duggan, a nurse from Ireland who died on September 8, 1847, at the age of 18.
Catherine Doherty, also a nurse from Ireland who died on September 22, 1847, at the age of 55.
Bishop Michael Power
, who was appointed as the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Toronto in 1842, and witnessed the Famine in Ireland during a visit in early 1847, contracted typhus amid his twice-daily visits to the fever sheds to tend to the sick and dying Irish migrants. Bishop Power died October 1, 1847, at the age of 42. His funeral, attended by both Catholics and Protestants alike, was the largest in the city's history to that point.
Edward McElderry, an Emigrant Agent who was responsible for coordinating the initial reception of the destitute and often gravely ill Irish migrants who arrived by the hundreds each day on Dr. Rees’ Wharf in Toronto. McElderry succumbed to ‘fever’ on the 29th of October 1847.
Dr. Joseph Hamilton, another physician in attendance at the fever sheds. He is believed to have been living as a landowner, and resumed practicing medicine in response to the dire public health crisis. He died of typhus fever on November 15, 1847, and was buried at St. James’ cemetery on November 17. In The Medical Profession in Upper Canada 1783 -1850, Dr. F.C. Mewburn is quoted as saying: The Doctor was a man of high attainments, most gentlemanly in manner and appearance; he had practiced in London, England as a physician; but came to Canada in 1835 and commenced farming at Queenston. His only connection to the profession was in consultation, and his opinion was highly valued. He moved to Toronto; died in the discharge of his duty there, having contracted typhus at the Emigrant Hospital.”
Their sacrifices will be forever remembered, as their names have been engraved on the granite benches within Grasett Park.