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The British Colonist

20 July 1847

After the greater portion of our issue had been wrought on Friday morning last, we were made acquainted with the decease of Dr. Grasett, hospital superintendent of this city, whose exertions in life were unceasingly devoted to the amelioration of the sufferings of his fellow men, irrespective of hire or reward. Whenever his aid was required, however trying —we had almost said however frightful— the circumstances, there was the lamented gentleman found giving his professional knowledge and physical exertions, that the affliction which had fallen on any around him might be some wise softened, and they reconciled to the dispensations of an all wise Providence. Since his appointment as hospital superintendent, he knew no other duty than that of staying disease and alleviating the sufferings of those who, driven from their own land by famine and pestilence, sought a refuge among us, their brethren in Canada.

To this duty faithfully – too faithfully – performed he has fallen a victim, and it remains only for us to record how well his amenities in life were appreciated – his medical services and exertions acknowledged, adding our fervent prayer that, as he “died the death of the righteous,” so may our “last end be like his.”

Our mournful task is not confined, however, to medical gentlemen; there are, among those who have “ministered at the altar,” some who have fallen victims to their vigilant, attendance on the poor emigrants. Among others, the Rev. Mr. Willoughby, of Montreal, who has been constantly in attendance on the suffering immigrants, is numbered among those who have sacrificed themselves in this “labor of love.”

Side by side with those who have gone from us, and others who are still laboring in their several vocations, have been the Clergymen of the Roman Catholic Church, and those Sisters who have devoted themselves to deeds of Charity and Mercy. Amid privation and misery that would make the stoutest heart quail, they have fulfilled the most menial offices, and have submitted themselves to the greatest fatigue, while rendering spiritual consolation to such sufferers as belonged to the Roman Catholic Church in Canada.

Those who have visited the sheds here in Kingston, and in Montreal, have shrunk from the bare contemplation of the state of the wretched beings who lay there “stricken and afflicted,” and have retired with painful recollections of the misery they witnessed; but each one has had a pleasing recollection of the devotedness of those of both Churches, both male and female, whose singleness of heart was manifested so untiringly by the sick bed.

This has been a visitation, which, while it has tried men’s souls, may withal have been the means of profit to many, in teaching them to rely on Him “whose ways are not as our ways, nor His thoughts as our thoughts.”