James Makittrick Adair

James Makittrick Adair M.D. (1728–1802), a native of Inverness, and youngest son of James Makittrick, held several occupations but is best remembered for his medical ethics and treatment of slaves and the poor. He was educated at the grammar school and University of Edinburgh. Early in life he was an officer in the army. Having wasted his own fortune and that of his wife, a descendant of the Adair family, he became an officer in the revenue department at Edinburgh and was later appointed surgeon's mate of the ''Porcupine'' sloop of war, bound to the Leeward Islands.

Shortly thereafter, he returned to England and soon decided to proceed to Antigua, where he became assistant to a relative, and began to study the medical profession. He also undertook the management of an estate on Antigua, becoming familiar with the condition of the slaves. Although he was anxious for the improvement of the conditions of the slaves, he was opposed to emancipation. He published a tract in 1789 on the subject of the abolition of slavery, in which he tried to depict the real state of slavery in the West Indies, the probable consequences of the abolition of the slave trade; to point out some grievances of the slave, the means by which they might be relieved, and, he added, the necessary regulations of the hospital for the management of the sick. He held that humanity to slaves and religious instruction were the only securities upon which the West India planter could safely rely. His own conduct towards slaves was very kind. He protected and nurtured them as his own children, and they were friendly in return.

In a few years he left the West Indies, took a voyage to America, and made the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin. After a tour in the United States, he returned to Edinburgh, took his degree of M.D., and then settled as a physician at Andover, in Hampshire.

After the war with America had commenced, he returned to the West Indies on short notice, at the request of a friend. Upon his arrival he was appointed physician to Monk's Hill and to the commander-in-chief of the troops, and also as one of the assistant judges of the Courts of King's Bench and Common Pleas. At this time he adopted the name of Adair, having become the next male heir to the estate of his mother's family.

In 1783 he left the West Indies, returned to England, and settled at Bath, where he became in volved in many disputes with his professional colleagues and others. These arose partly from his determined opposition to quacks and quackery—his attempts to expose and suppress quackery may be seen as quixotic, but they were no less laudable. His temper was, however, altogether unfit for the warfare which he brought about. He was naturally querulous, hot, and irascible, and his disposition had been soured by disappointments in domestic life. He was, however, a man of an affectionate nature, and endowed with lively sensibility. He was generous to the poor, and the profits of the work he published were all given to support the Bath hospital. His professional acquirements were of no mean description, and he appears to have been a close and rational observer.

He became hypochondriacal, and died at Harrogate in 1802. Provided by Wikipedia

2
by Adair, James Makittrick
Published 1786
printed by R. Cruttwell; and sold by J. Dodsley, and C. Dilly, London; and by all the booksellers in Bath

3
by Adair, James Makittrick
Published 1787
printed by R. Cruttwell; and sold by C. Dilly, Poultry, London; and all the booksellers in Bath, &c

4
by Adair, James Makittrick
Published 1772
printed for T. Becket and Co. in the Strand; and J. Balfour, at Edinburgh

7
by Adair, James Makittrick
Published 1790
sold by T.P. Bateman, No. 21, Devonshire-Street, Queen's-Square

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by Adair, James Makittrick
Published 1799
printed by J. & P. Wilson , for the author. Sold by James Ridgeway, York-Street, Piccadilly, London: and J. Wilson, Kilmarnock

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by Adair, James Makittrick
Published 1767
Printed for C. Moran, in the Great Piazza, Coent Garden

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by Adair, James Makittrick
Published 1787
printed by R. Cruttwell; and sold by C. Dilly, Poultry, London; and by all the booksellers in Bath

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by Adair, James Makittrick
Published 1766
printed for C. Moran, in the Great Piazza, Covent Garden