Emily Stowe

Canadian stamp Stowe

Date of issue: March 4, 1981
Printer: Canadian Bank Note Company
Series: Feminists
Design: Dennis Goddard

Emily Stowe

Emily Stowe was born in 1831 in Norwich Township, Ontario. At the age of 15, she began work as a teacher and eventually became the first female public school Principal in Canada. Despite this success, she developed an interest in medicine and applied to the Toronto School of Medicine. Although refused here because of her female sex, she was eventually accepted at the New York Medical College for Women, where she received a degree in homeopathic medicine in 1867.

She was required to take additional courses for accreditation by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario before being allowed to practise in that province. However, when she was again denied the opportunity to undertake the appropriate study, she decided to practice without a license. (The license was granted eventually in 1880). Stowe was an important feminist figure and was instrumental in the founding and development of the Toronto Women’s Literary Guild, the Woman’s Medical College, and the Canadian Women’s Suffrage Association. She died in Toronto in 1903.

The Stamp

The stamp shows Stowe as she appeared in a portrait by Muriel Wood. She is also depicted as a smaller subject holding a young child next to her mother and two other children. Her hospital bag is next to the feet of the older child. The Toronto General Hospital is seen in the background. The first-day cover shows an image suggesting her involvement in the suffragette movement. The postmark shows a symbol of gender equality.

First-day cover Stowe

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