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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Culture and Life

An Extraordinary Man (1856) James McDonald

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -

An Extraordinary Man

An Extraordinary Man (1856) James McDonaldJames McDonald was brought before the Mayor on the charge of introducing himself in the house of Dr. Porcher, and refusing to go out when requested. He stated that he was sick and there to see the doctor to get some medicine; and it was supposed that he was under the influence of liquor at the time. When asked what he had to say in explanation of his conduct he replied that he had much to say, and proceeded to give a brief account of his life and travels from which we gathered the following particulars.

He has been a musician, but is now a pensioner. Was born in the city of Glasgow in September, 1749, and served in the wars of Napoleon – He joined the army in 1804, and served under Joseph Bonaparte in Spain. He was at the battle of Corunna, Salamanco, and Tallfario. Was at the Battle of Brandywine, where he was wounded in the hip, and had his leg broke. He was also at the battle at Guildford Courthouse, and lost his left eye at the battle of Cowpens, and killed the man that wounded him. He was also at the battle of Long Island, White Plains, Stony Point, King’s Bridge, Trenton, Princeton, and Camden. Was also at Lexington, where he was wounded. Concord, and Bunker Hill, where he saw General Warren die in the arms of old Putnam. He knew Gen. Jackson, and was intimate with him; and has a son now living neat Nashville, who is eighty years of age. He gets $20 a month as pension, being a pensioner for both the revolutionary war and the war of 1812. He has been residing in Boston since 1826, and is now on his way to Mobile, for the purpose of bringing away a great granddaughter, who is 34 years old, to live with him and take care of him in his old age. Her name is Elizabeth Murray, and is a widow with two children. He is still stout and robust for his age, and can walk twenty-five miles a day. He still limps, from the effects of a wound received at Lundy’s Lane. He is now 107 years old, and still retains his sight in his right eye, the only one he has, and never wore spectacles. He was married in Pennsylvania in 1769, and had two sons and five daughters, two of whom are still living, a son and a daughter. The surviving daughter is residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has been married three times, and has a large family. He says he has taken an occasional soldier’s drink all his life, but never to excess. He enjoys good health, and looks as if he might live to be many years older. His body and limbs have been mutilated with one or more severe wounds, the one in the left leg causing him to limp yet, it being some three inches shorter than his right one. Such is the story of an old injury, and a most extraordinary man, as we hear it from his own mouth.

An Extraordinary Man (1856) James McDonald

October 31st 1856.