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June 2019

Can Bull Med Hist. 1995 ; 12(2): 289-311.

Thomsonian medical books and the culture of dissent in Upper Canada.

Connor JJ.

Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto, Ontario.

Adherents to American lay healer Samuel Thomson's system of medicine have been viewed in Canada primarily as antagonists of mainstream medicine. Their publishing activities, however, reveal a wide reform impulse. As this discussion illustrates by considering publishers, printers, editors, and compilers of Thomsonian books in Upper Canada, most had links--real and temperamental--to Reform politics and to dissenting Protestant beliefs, especially Methodism. Their publications may thus be viewed as vehicles for social change in a British colony having a strong Tory alliance between church and state.


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