Obituary of Dr. John Minson Galt

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Obituary of Dr. John Minson Galt


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The obituary of Dr. John Minson Galt, II (1819-1862), as printed in the Richmond Medical Journal. The obituary describes Galt's career as Superintendent and Physician of the Eastern State Lunatic Asylum and praises him for his life of good character and philanthropy.





Richmond Medical Journal, 1862.

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[From the Richmond Medical Journal]
In Memoriam.

Died, in Williamsburg, Va., May 18th, 1862, after an illness of four days, of an affection of the stomach, to which he had been subject for many years, John M. Galt, M.D.; son of the late Dr. Alexander D. Galt

Dr. Galt was Superintendent and Physician of the Eastern Lunatic Asylum, at Williamsburg, Va., and he nobly and conscientiously performed the duties devolving upon him. Of him it may be said, as was remarked of his philanthropic father, "that his duty was performed with as scrupulous fidelity as though the Recording Angel of Heaven's chancery had been ever at his side."

His zeal, in contributing to the comfort and welfare of those committed to his care, knew no wearying; and knowledge gained by diligent investigation to this continent, and in many languages in Europe, was used by him with perfect success, to re-illume the darkened mind.

This good and great man was wekk known in this country and in Europe for his philanthropic life and classical and literary attainments. His was an intellect of the highest order - and literature is enriched by his learned and elegant writings; science mourns an irreparable loss, for a bright and shining light has left her world forever.

To those to whom he was the dearest on earth, from childhood to manhood, he never caused a sigh or tear, and in his own home his presence was a perpetual sunshine; and like the vanishing of sunlight is the loss of a spirit so stainless and so bright.

He was much loved on earth, and surely loved by our Heavenly Father, for He "loveth a cheerful giver," and his name was a synonyme for disinterested kindness and benevolence; truly was it said of him that Virginia had lost one of her brightest jewels, and the poor and needy their kindest benefactor. As evidence of his disregard of gain, he twice refused an augmentation of salary.

His was a name rich with the generous deeds of generations - a name on which Heavenly philanthropy sheds its imperishable lustre. His life was pure and bright as the flowers he loved, and as the holy influences of nature in which he took delight; for all nature was to him an open book, in which he read truths, wonderful and beautiful.

A life of devotion to the good of others has closed on earth and that soul, that knew no guile, has gone to receive the great reward promised to all who believe, as he did, in the Saviour for salvation, and faithfully endeavor to follow in His footsteps.



“Obituary of Dr. John Minson Galt,” Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, accessed November 28, 2022,

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