Pioneering Families
... with Roots in Madison County

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   James Caleb Jackson was born in the village of Manlius, March 28, 1811. His father, Dr. James Jackson, was a native of Tyringham, Mass., and his grandfather, Col. Giles Jackson, was a distinguished field officer under Gen. Gates at the battle of Saratoga. When James was twelve years of age his father renounced the practice of medicine and adopted the calling of a farmer, hence the first years of young Jackson's life were mainly devoted, when out of school, to agricultural pursuits, and in all the vicissitudes of his life he has never lost his love for that noble occupation. When seventeen years of age he commenced preparing for college at Manlius Academy, but before completing his academic course his father died, leaving his mother and four children younger than himself, comparatively under his protection. This threw a great responsibility upon him, but he discharged it with that ability and unceasing energy which have characterized him in all his relations in life. On attaining his twentieth year he was married to Lucretia E., daughter of Judge Elias Brewster of Mexico, Oswego Co., N.Y. This caused him to relinquish his plan of obtaining a collegiate education, but it did not deter him from following, with rigid determination, the noblest of all exertions, that of self-education. Under the instruction of a learned and accomplished clergyman, Jackson became a fine Latin scholar, and a finished, graceful master of the English language. Early desiring to adopt the profession of his father, he devoted much time to the study of medicine and surgery, and in time prepared himself for admission to the practice of his chosen profession. When merely a youth he entered ardently into the field of politics, giving his allegiance to the Democratic party. But not being able to understand why slavery was allowed to exist in this, a free nation, he soon became an admirer and associate of the great historic champions of Anti-Slavery. In the year 1838, at the suggestion of one of his early and devoted friends, Gerrit Smith, he removed to Peterboro, N.Y., and soon became so distinguished in the Anti-Slavery movement that he was appointed agent of that society of Mass., and continued in that employment till the spring of 1840 when he was made Secretary of the American Anti-Slavery society. In the autumn of 1842 he became a political abolitionist and soon gained high rank among those illustrious reformers whose noble acts gave the name of Lincoln to immortality and struck the shackles from the limbs of four millions of human beings. In the same year he assumed the editorship of the Madison County Abolitionist, which he edited one year and then it was sold out by the publishers and removed to Utica where it was republished under the name of the Liberty Press. Two years subsequent to this Dr. Jackson resigned his position as editor of that paper and purchased the Albany Patriot, then the leading Anti-Slavery journal, and in editing this fully exhibited his remarkable talents as a writer and editor. From his earliest days the Dr. has been distinguished as a political orator as well as writer, having a peculiar manner of enforcing his views and crystallizing his ideas so as to put his hearers in full possession of them. With him, words are truly the " vehicle of thought." Dr. Jackson edited the Albany Patriot until 1847, when his health gave way and he sold the paper and its goodwill to Wm. L. Chaplin--a distinguished early abolition lecturer and writer. He became a confirmed invalid and a patient of Dr. S. O. Gleason, then of Cuba, now of Elmira. This was in 1847 and he remained under the care of the Dr. four months and then entered into a co-partnership with Dr. Gleason and Miss Theodosia Gilbert, with whom he left Cuba and established a Hygienic Institute at the head of Skaneateles lake, which is widely known as the "Glen Haven Water Cure," and remained with them till the winter of 1849-50, when Dr. Gleason sold his interest to the two remaining parties, who continued to conduct the cure till the fall of 1858, when Dr. Jackson left Glen Haven and removed to Dansville, where he opened the institution which has since become renowned as "Our Home Hygienic Institute." The elegant and commodious building--the cure proper, with its tasteful and classic chapel, its beautiful and artistic cottages, its cool and refreshing fountains and streams of water, looks down upon the beautiful village of Dansville and the rich and splendid valley of the Canaseraga, like a little city on a hill.
   Dr. Jackson was the father of two sons and one daughter. His eldest, Giles E. Jackson, and the daughter died many years ago, leaving only Dr. James H. Jackson who is now house physician at the Institute at Dausville.
   From boyhood, Dr. Jackson has exhibited a reverence for sacred things, and believes that religion is rational, tending to our best interests as a source of happiness, and widening our range of thought, feeling and sensibility. In the inner circle of his life are inexhaustible and exceptionally happy family relations, rendering him a steadfast friend, kind and indulgent parent, and an affectionate husband. He is more than a successful physician, and stands in the front rank of medical reformers, and has opened new fields in the great art of healing.

Source: Smith, James H. History of Livingston County, New York. Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Syracuse, N.Y.: D. Mason & Co., 1881, pp. 192-193.



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