John Minson Galt (1819-1862)

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From: Galt Family of Williamsburg Source: The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Apr., 1900), pp. 259-262..

"Dr. John M. Galt, the second, was the son of Dr. Alexander D. Galt and succeeded his father as "superintendent" of the Asy- lum for the Insane. The Board of Directors waited a number of months until he had graduated to offer him the position, so well was his ability recognized and appreciated. He was edu- cated at William and Mary College and at the Medical Schools of Philadelphia. He too, like his father and grandfather, was a philanthropist. He refused many times to allow his salary to be raised; fed many of the patients from his table, etc. He was a great scholar-spoke and understood more than twenty lan- guages. He searched literature for anything bearing on the in- sane, and was the first to recognize the value of employment in their treatment. He loved and pitied the insane, and when in May, 1862, the Union troops took possession of the town and hos- pital and he was not allowed to enter the hospital, his anxiety about the patients was so great that he could neither eat nor sleep for several days and nights, and it is thought that this caused his death. The Hospital for the Insane was in the care of the Galts for nearly a hundred years. At the annual meeting of the American Medico-Psychological Association, which met in Baltimore in 1897, the President, Dr. T. 0. Powell, said of Dr. John Mf. Galt, in his address, 'Such a calamity was his death that we yet feel his loss. In the record of the Galts lasting nearly a hundred years we find the only parallel in America to the justly-famous Tukes of England.'"