Litchfield, Doctor J. P.
b. 1808
d. 1868-12-18
Litchfield appears in the despatches in his letter to Stanley inquiring about a position on Vancouver Island or in the Red River Territory. Although he lists an impressive medical and reformatory career, as the minutes note, there were no openings in those areas at the time. Even if Vancouver Island, which was held by the Hudson's Bay Company at the time, was handed over to Canada, they had no desire yet to form a Civil Establishment there.1
Litchfield began his sensational colonial career in Australia, where he had attempted to establish an asylum but, unable to acquire the funds amid revelations of his fake credentials, he overextended his credit and was imprisoned for debt.2 He returned to England in 1843 and spent two years working as a journalist for various London newspapers, and after emigrating to Boston in 1853 he wrote for the International Journal of New York, Boston, and Portland, Maine.3 He began his career in Canada as editor of the Montreal Pilot and Journal of Commerce, and in 1855 he was appointed superintendent of the Rockwood asylum near Kingston, Ontario.4 Litchfield held the professorship of forensic and state medicine at Queen's College in Kingston and had been recommended in a memorial to Sir Edmund Head, Lieutenant Governor of Canada, as a secretary and member of the penal and reformatory institutions of Canada.5 During this time, Litchfield's fake credentials were again made known; however, due to his progressive approach to treatment for the insane and his popular lectures on such subjects this embarrassment went largely unnoticed.6 Litchfield also enjoyed various civic positions, including member of the Botanical Society of Kingston, until he became sick with heart disease in 1865. He remained head of Rockwood Asylum until his death at age 60 in 1868.7
Mentions of this person in the documents
People in this document

Head, Edmund Walker

Places in this document

Boston

Red River

Vancouver Island

The Colonial Despatches Team. Litchfield, Doctor J. P.. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/litchfield_jp.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)