Dr. James Hall was the first known physician to practice in Duval County, Florida, and the first physician to practice in Florida following its annexation from Spain by the United States. Prior to this period, there were a number of physicians, mainly associated with the military, during the Spanish and British occupations of Florida.
James Hall was born October 8, 1760, in Keene, New Hampshire. After enlisting as a teenager with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, he fought to the end in Yorktown in 1781. The next known record reveals he received a Spanish land grant in East Florida in 1790 and settled near Cow Ford, (now Jacksonville) Florida. His medical education is not known, but he played an active role in both medical and community affairs in the region and accumulated large parcels of land via grants and through his marriage to Eleanor Pritchard.In 1810, for his participation in the Florida-Georgia Rebellion, he was "banished" from East Florida by the Spanish and retreated to St. Marys, Georgia. He returned to Florida in 1813, and continued to practice medicine until his death at LaGrange, East Florida (now Mandarin, Florida), on December 25, 1837.His grave, located on Scott Mill Road in Mandarin, Florida, is the only one in Duval County positively identified as that of a Revolutionary Soldier. It was discovered in 1924, but the marker was later lost. Through the efforts of Dr. Webster Merritt and the Jacksonville Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the grave site was located again in 1944. On October 15, 1972, the Duval County Medical Society dedicated a restored tombstone in his memory. The Dr. James Hall Memorial site was relocated by the Society in 1978.
Documents pertaining to biographical research on Dr. James Hall, and the concerted efforts of several Jacksonville residents to recognize Dr. Hall as an American patriot and to publicize the historical importance of his burial site. The collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, newspaper clippings, research notes, minutes of meetings, maps, periodicals, presentations and speeches by Dr. G. Dekle Taylor, and photographs.
This collection was donated by Dr. Taylor, a second generation Jacksonville physician and a leading participant in the effort to memorialize Dr. Hall. The majority of the correspondence, presentations, and documents pertain to Dr. Taylor's role and activities from 1972 to 1984, principal among them a 1974 co-authored article on Hall in the Journal of the Florida Medical Association.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection:
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