Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 5
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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tration, and the Whisky Ring scandal was about to break. The
age of iron, thanks to the Bessemer process, was well under way,
and the West was opening up by leaps and bounds. True, there
was a growing depression, ushered in the year before by the
collapse of Jay Cooke and Company. But that, thoughtful people
sensed, was bound to pass.
Meanwhile, despite the bread lines and the workmen's riots,
many wonderful things were happening. The year of my birth,
Bell was about to perfect his telephone and Edison was wiring
a square mile of downtown Manhattan for illumination with the
new Brush arc lights. That same year General Custer discovered
gold in the Black Hills, the Women's Christian Temperance
Union was organized in Cleveland, minstrel shows were the
rage, and a new type of coal stove equipped with a hot-water
reservoir had just come on the market.
Chinese coolies were still building railroads out west, although
the Union Pacific was running and no longer had need of their
services. In eastern cities high-wheeled bicycles called "bone-
breakers" were becoming popular. In Brooklyn, Mr. Theodore
Tilton was suing Henry Ward Beecher of the Plymouth Church
for $Ioo,ooo in damages, to compensate him for the loss of Mrs.
Tilton's affections. The kinks had been ironed out of Hallidie's
new cable cars in San Francisco, and Minnesota, that summer,
suffered from an invasion of grasshoppers.
But these stirring events caused little or no reverberation in the
rural Canadian society into which I was born. My father, Joseph,
was a farmer. During the short growing season he toiled in his
fields from dawn to dusk and during the long winter months,
which sometimes saw nine feet of snow fall in Upper New Bruns-
wick, he cut wood and cobbled boots to piece out a living. His lot
was harsh. Yields of oats, buckwheat, potatoes, and the like from
the New Brunswick soil were not generous, and cobbling boots
brought in little.
In 1883, when I was nine years old, my family decided, after
Here’s what’s next.
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/17/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.