Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 4
This book is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries .
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Many of these New Brunswick families had at least a vague
memory of better times. During my childhood there was a strong
consciousness of difference between families of Tory origin and
the French-Canadians who had been in possession of the New
Brunswick forest when the refugees arrived. A tradition of a
formerly superior status was not cultivated. The unremitting
struggle to live permitted no such sentimental nonsense. Yet I
think the feeling of having to regain something that had been
lost was in the air, and I must have been unconsciously spurred
on to improve my lot.
Nothing remains of the farmhouse where I was born but an
overgrown cellar lot with a balsam fir, or what we called a balm
of Gilead tree, beside it. The farm was located near a hamlet
called Little Shemogue. This settlement is so small that it appears
only on county maps. The only towns of any size nearby are
Moncton, some thirty miles or so to the west, and Sackville, more
or less the same distance to the south. Little Shemogue has
grown until it now has a church, a schoolhouse, a dozen houses,
and a general store where gas is sold and mail distributed. But
the town is of small account and has never figured in Acadian
While I lived in New Brunswick, I had three brothers: Wood-
ford, Joseph, and Fred. A fourth, John, was born later in
Holden, Massachusetts, after I had left the family circle. My
father was Joseph Silliker Atkinson, my mother Elizabeth Grant,
he of English, she of Scottish, descent.
It is interesting to recall some of the events in American his-
tory taking place in the year I was born. I say American rather
than Canadian, since I was to become a thread in its history as I
grew up. It was a rather hazy period around 1874, a time when
the country was emerging from the shadow of the Civil War,
with the industrial North explosively expanding and the South
slowly beginning to take heart again.
In 1874 Grant was in the second year of his second adminis-
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/16/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.