Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Dr. James Craik

I am honored to provide the first blog of 2008. I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. I, for one, am glad it's all over! Hopefully, this year will find the team back at Port Tobacco and uncovering the many mysteries of this lost town.

James Craik was George Washington's personal physician and was one of three doctors to attend him on his deathbed.

Born in Scotland in 1730, Craik immigrated to the colonies in 1751 and began his medical practice first in Norfolk and then in Winchester, Virginia. He accepted a commission as a surgeon and saw a lot of action during the French and Indian War and became a good friend to Washington at that time. At the end of the war, he moved to Port Tobacco and began a new medical practice there.

When the American Revolution began, he again was commissioned and was granted the second highest medical post in the American military. He treated the wounds of General Hugh Mercer and Marquis de La Fayette as well as other distinguished figures.

Craik died in 1814 and was buried at the cemetery of the old Presbyterian meeting house on South Fairfax Street in Alexandria.

His home was not in the town proper, but less than 3 miles out. Known as La Grange, it stands today and can be seen from Route 6 on the way to Port Tobacco.

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