Dr. Anderson Ruffin Abbott (1837-1913)
Born in Toronto in 1837 he came from a family whose prosperity allowed him to receive an excellent education. In 1857, he studied under Dr. Alexander Augusta for four years at the Toronto Medical School, a propriety school that preceded the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Abbott received a licence to practise from the Medical Board of Upper Canada in 1861, and became the first Canadian-born black doctor. In 1863 he applied to be a surgeon in the Civil war but was rejected. He was later accepted as a "medical cadet" in the United States Colored Troops. On the night of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, Abbott accompanied Elizabeth Keckley to the Peterson House and returned to his lodgings that evening. After Lincoln's death, Mary Todd Lincoln presented Abbott with the plaid shawl that Lincoln had worn to his 1861 inauguration.
Returning to Canada in 1866, he established a medical practice and was admitted to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario in 1871. In 1894, Abbott was appointed surgeon-in-chief at Provident Hospital in Chicago, the first training hospital for black nurses in the United States.