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Soon after settling in that city Dr. Gaston opened a surgical infirmary in connection with his surgical practice, and in 1884 was elected professor of the principles and practice of surgery in the Southern Medical College. Both as an operator and a writer on medical and surgical subjects he is prominent throughout the country.

Off To Brazil

Dr. Gaston joined a group of  colony scouters in august of 1865 who were also in the process of locating lands for their prospective colonizers.  Dr. Gaston, an aristocratic surgeon from Columbia, South Carolina, who in 1866 wrote a book on the subject, entitled "Hunting a Home in Brazil".  was repre-sentinga South Carolina organization promoting emigration, but the Brazilian government also appointed him laison among all the other scouts, as well.  He coordinated all the groups so that they would not stumble over one another.

So numerous were the searching parties that they found themselves encountering each other out on the hunt, and sometimes negotiating for the same tract of potential cotton growing land.  But the memory of shared hard times in the South brought out the best in them, and they worked coopera-tively in most cases.  Over a dozen groups were exploring along the coast and into some potions of the interior of the state of Sao Paulo.  The Brazil scouts included Warren Hastings, General  A, T. Haw-thorne, Frank McMullan, William Bowen, Colonel M. S. McSwain, Charles Gunter, the Reverend Bal-lard Dunn, Gaston and Wood, Dr. John H. Blue, Meriwether, Shaw, and others.  Dozens of others scouted the land on their own, sending back reports through the exchanges press in the South.

Welcoming crowds, extending for three blocks, shouted "Long live the Confederados, " at dockside receptions of these scouting groups.  Brazilians vied for the privilege of entertaining them.  As one of the group remarked, "Balls and parties  and serenades were nightly accompaniment and whether in town or in the country it was one grand unvarying scene of life, love and seductive friendship."  Em-peror Dom Pedro met them personally, and bands played "Dixie."  In cities, large and small, parades and cheering crowds greeted this advance legion representing Brazil's future citizens.  Some predicted as many as a hundred thousand ex-Confederates would soon migrate to the land of the Southern Cross.  Brazil was at war with Paraguay, and put on a show for some of the scouters, showing them around the war front and honoring them with grand receptions.

Dr. Gaston was kept busy scouting for his own group and coordinating the other scouts.  The former Con-federate army surgeon disagreed with General Robert E. Lee's opinion that southerners should not emigrate, and he lost no time before heading south to investigate.  Within two months of the sur-render of the Army of Northern Virginia, and seeing the utter devastation of his adopted home town of Columbia, he was on a ship bound for Brazil.  There he hoped to get a good accounting of the "soil, climate, production, people and the government."  On his forty-first birthday, December 27, 1865, he wrote in his diary that he had reached a crossroads in his life.  He had decided to start over in a dif-ferent world with his wife and six children.  He noted the shock of cutting his ties with the United States, but, his confidence rising, he believed that success lay ahead if he settled in Brazil.

Gaston covered the land by train,, canoe, mule and on foot.  He studied the port of Santos, noting approvingly that it was deep enough to handle even the largest ships of the time​.  It was just the place to export the cotton that Confederates would someday grow on plantations with access to this port.

He agreed with General Wood, one of his fellow scouters, that the best area for raising cotton seemed to be at Arrarquara, Jau, and Limeira, and he was concerned that Wood had already reserved the same lands by contract with the Brazilian government, to be held for immigrants from the seven states that Wood represented.  Gaston described the soil of the Jau region lovingly, remarking that it stuck to his shoes when it was wet like the black dirt of southern Mississippi.  He found the people there to be healthy, with no cases of malaria reported.  As it turned out, the Jau area proved unsuitable for cotton cultivation but fine for coffee.  Grandfather Harris's coffee plantation lay right in the middle of these old cotton lands.

Gaston visited coastal areas including Bertoga and Perique, near Santos.  Perique had ensured its place in history when it was captured in 1850 by elements of the British navy who were trying to stop the importation of slaves from Africa.  Gaston had an abiding interest in the economics of slavery and noted that a slave could be bought at half the price formerly charged in the United States.

On one occasion he tried to interest the Brazilian government in a plan to use the cotton-growing expertise of the freed U.S. slaves.  He advised the Brazilian government to encourage the former slaves to emigrate to Brazil and then to employ the freedmen as supervisors on the cotton plantations.  After some study, the government  rejected the plan as unwise, fearing that the freed slaves would incite the Brazilian abolitonists to demand a faster end to the peculiar institution in their country.

Dr. Gaston's colony, at the headwaters of the Ribeira River, eight days journey from the mouth at Iguape, upstream from McMullan's and Dunn's colonies consisted of about a hundred persons, mainly from the Carolinas.  They faced the same trials as the other Confederados endured, and some made their choice to move to other areas of Brazil.  Gaston, himself moved several time, finally setting up his medical practice in the city of Campinas, not far from Americana.  In 1883, Dr. Gaston made the final decision and moved back to the United States to the city of Atlanta where he started an infirmary.


By 1871 the colony had spread itself so thin through dispersal of its residents that they were hard to trace.  Most settled in other parts of Brazil.  One of the exceptions was William, the Redhead, who married one of the neighboring Brazilian girls, absorbing the native culture entirely.  His descendants who populate the area, sometimes can be spotted by their red hair and blue eyes.

His professional Biography

JAMES MCFADDEN GASTON was born in Chester District, S. C., December 27, 1824.  He comes of the Gaston family of South Carolina, who were famous in the Revolutionary war.  His great-grandfather was the first to organize armed resistance to the British in Chester District.  






















After the battle of Manassas, where Dr. Gaston served as medical director, at his own request he was assigned by Gen. Beauregard to duty with the Third brigade South Carolina volunteers, under the command of Gen. D. R. Jones.  He remained with the Third brigade when under the command of Brigadier-General R. H. Anderson, and when the latter was made Major-General he manifested the estimate placed upon Surgeon Gaston by making application to have him assigned as chief surgeon to his division.  Thus he became identified with Anderson's division and passed through the stirring campaigns in which it bore so active a part in Virginia and Pennsylvania. 


While on sick leave with his family in South Carolina upon the occurrence of the battle of Chickamauga he telegraphed the surgeon-general of his readiness to repair to the relief of the wounded, and was so ordered.  Here he labored assiduously for several days with lamented Dugas.  He then went to Marietta and assisted in the secondary operations required, impressing the medical director of the hospitals, Dr. S. H. Stout, in such a manner that he subsequently applied for a transfer of Surgeon Gaston to his department as inspector of hospitals.  With such an understanding an application was sent up requesting to be relieved from field service and to be assigned to hospital service, but instead of receiving orders to report to Surgeon Stout, the general order relieving him from the duties of chief surgeon of Anderson's division, in compliance with his request, was accompanied with an order to report to the medical director of hospitals in Gen. Beauregard's department at Charleston, S. C.  He was ordered then to Fort Gaines to establish a general hospital; remaining here only a short time, he was ordered to Fort Valley, Ga., where he established a hospital and remained until the close of the war.
Soon after the close of the war Dr. Gaston determined to seek a foreign land, and accordingly made his way to New York in his Confederate gray and took passage for Brazil.  After arriving at Rio de Janiero the imperial government of Brazil tendered the position of consulting surgeon of the medical staff to Dr. Gaston, with the rank and pay of the highest medical officer in the army.  Dr. Gaston had seen and done enough in this line for the past four years, and declined the appointment, as he wanted to explore the country with a view of removing his family there.  For six years after the family of Dr. Gaston moved to Brazil he practiced his profession in the interior towns.  At the end of this time he went to Rio de Janiero to undergo the requisite examination and present a thesis for recognition by the faculty of the imperial government.  After remaining there four months this was accomplished, and early in 1874 he removed to the thriving and populous city of Campinas, in the province of S. Paulo, where he remained until his removal to the United States at the close of 1883.  

Atlanta had been selected as Dr. Gaston's future home before leaving Brazil.  Soon after his arrival here he inaugurated a surgical infirmary upon a basis he had adopted for a similar institution in Brazil.  In his broad field of experience as a general practitioner has been included more than ordinary attention to obstetrics, gynecology and surgery, so that his literary productions cover a variety of subjects such as are rarely treated so thoroughly by one observer.  He has likewise claimed a prominent place among neurologists of the present day by his lucid exposition of the excito-dynamic element of the nervous system.  He has published articles in the medical and surgical journals of this and other countries, which commanded universal attention. 


While the various contributions of Dr. Gaston to current literature indicate a large scope of professional skill and experience, it is as "professor of the principles and practice of surgery," he discharged the duties of both professorships most acceptably to the class of medical students in this institution.  In addition to his didactic lectures, he gives a private course of instruction in surgery during each winter to those who desire to avail themselves of his practical observation in this department.  The performance of many of the most important surgical operations in his clinics for the regular course is supplemented by his practical demonstration on the cadaver of the rarer operations at the close of each session.
The faculty of imparting knowledge in a way to be appropriated by the student is a notable feature of his teaching, and he presents in his course of instruction a rich harvest from the fields of investigation throughout the world, with the fruits of his own original observations, so that little escapes his zealous search for improvements in surgery.  His views in regard to the germ theory of disease and of antiseptic treatment in surgery are based upon the observation of facts, and his practice is pre-eminently conservative.  While he adopts all aseptic measures to secure a normal condition of the vital structure, he protests against the use of germicides which may by absorption lead to disintegration of the tissues with which they come into contact, or result in constitutional derangement.  He insists upon the utmost cleanliness in the dressing of wounds, believing that ptomaines may be generated by filth, which would ignore all preventives against contamination from without during important surgical operations.
Dr. Gaston is well know throughout the country and abroad as an original thinker and experimental investigator, and those who have kept pace with his later productions cannot fail to note the evidences of much research and close observation in his publications.  While actively engaged as a general practitioner and surgeon he finds time for profound thought, careful reading and elaborate writing in connection with surgical work, and keeps abreast of the progressive spirit of the age.  
Dr. Gaston is well and favorably known at home and abroad for his experimental investigations connected with abdominal surgery; and his original explorations of the troubles growing out of the obstruction of the gall-ducts and the disorders of the ileocaecal region have given him prominence among American and European scientists.  He, undoubtedly, includes among his correspondents more distinguished members of the medical profession than any other medical man of private life in this country.
He is strongly impressed with the great advantages of co-operation among all classes of medical men who belong to the regular profession, and hence considers the county or city societies, the State organizations, and the American Medical Association as highly conducive to progress.  According to his view every one may contribute something towards the building up of the medical profession by presenting the details of his practical observations.  He has manifested his faith by his works in the papers laid before these different bodies at their meetings, and is a constant attendant upon the regular meetings of the Atlanta Society of Medicine.
At a recent banquet of this society he remarked that he was on the last quarter stretch of a race in which he had borne aloft the standard of scientific advancement that must soon be entrusted to younger members of the profession, in whose keeping he was willing to leave it.
The bearing of Dr. Gaston toward his colleagues always commands the respect and confidence of those with whom he co-operates whether in medical or surgical cases.  In his associations with other physicians there is no dogmatic assertion of his opinions, such as might be expected from his fixed convictions in regard to most practical questions.  But a reasonable view of the case under consideration, with a fair presentation of the arguments warranting his conclusion, and the facts supporting his position, are the only influences employed to accomplish his object in a consultation.  It is very rare, if ever, that his own treatment of a special class of cased is urged for the adoption of his views by a colleague, but the history of a given case, with details of its treatment and the result, are presented, with pertinent remarks upon its correspondence to the case under consideration.  This course is observed more especially with the younger members of the profession who call him in consultation, or upon a statement of symptoms, seek his advice for their guidance.  Whatever can be approved in the management of the attending physician is sanctioned and continued, with such modification only as may seem requisite; and he makes it a point never to intimate to the family any unfavorable criticism on his past course.
The frequent occasions for testifying before courts of justice as an expert witness, which have been afforded to Dr. Gaston by those who placed confidence in his professional attainments, is the most flattering tribute to his status in the medical profession which any medical man could receive.  In presenting his testimony it has been remarked that the view taken of a case is divested of any partisan feeling, however much he may be interested in the result, and his impartiality gives great weight to his statements of fact and his opinions.  It has sometimes been found that his evidence did not fill the measure of expectation on the part of those by whom he was subpoenaed, as he never fails t state frankly his conviction upon points drawn out by cross-examination.  When undertaking to render an opinion in conference with an attorney preparatory to serving as an expert witness in a case, he does not swerve from his sense of propriety, as to the bearing of his testimony, for the sake of supporting the cause in which he is sought.  He has not disguised the effect likely to be produced under such circumstances by his testimony, and has thus been excused from going upon the stand on several occasions in which he was consulted.
A considerable number of subjects injured by accidents or the various railroads have been placed under Dr. Gaston's treatment by the advice of their attorneys, with a view to secure the benefit of his testimony in suits for damages, under the impressions that his opinions would carry great weight in the case.
A striking instance of this procedure occurred in the superior court of Fulton County recently, by the fact being brought out that the lawyer had no previous personal acquaintance with Dr. Gaston when his card was sent with this client, for which professional attention was desired.  Being thus placed in charge of the treatment of the patient and becoming acquainted with all the points in his case, he was prepared to testify as his attending physician, as well as to offer expert testimony.  The difference between these kinds of evidence consists of the report of facts observed by the informer, whereas an opinion based on such observations pertains to the latter, and when the two are combined in the same person an important advantage is gained for the client.
Expert testimony is sometimes based upon the statement of a suppositions case, but when it can be founded upon personal knowledge of all the circumstances of the actual case, much more importance is attached to the evidence.  It is apparent, therefore, that an interesting field of professional service is being opened up to Dr. Gaston in being place in charge of patients for whom his expert testimony is wanted; and, after a faithful resort to measures of treatment without relief, he is in many instances able to express an unqualified opinion as to the permanent character of the injury received.  In this respect he occupies a position of prominence among his colleagues, awarded by the confidence of distinguished members of the bar of Atlanta.

 In the course of his investigations the wide field of hygiene has received a full share of his attention, but having no aspirations for recognition outside of the proper service of the medical profession, his contributions have been made anonymously to our current literature.  Among the notable articles which have appeared from his pen in this way, it is known that he is the author of a series of essays on domestic hygiene and an elaborate paper on municipal hygiene, published in the Atlanta Evening Journal four years ago, without any intimation of their source.
Dr. Gaston, being aware of the investigations of Dr. Domingos Freire in regard to inoculation as a prophylactic against yellow fever, took and active interest in having the subject investigated by the United States government, and urged its claims soon after his return from Brazil, with a tender of his serviced to aid in the investigation.  But action was so long deferred that his duties and responsibilities precluded his going abroad for this purpose, and his proposition was withdrawn.  Upon learning that is was contemplated by the President to send but one commissioner, Dr. Gaston influenced the American Medical Association to recommend that two additional commissioners be appointed; but this was rescinded by parliamentary tactics at the closing session.
The recent unfavorable report of Dr. George M. Sternberg in regard to the processes adopted by Freire in Brazil and Cremona in Mexico are not considered as final by Dr. Gaston.

 In view of the circumstances surrounding the commissioner of the United States government upon visiting these sections, it was not a matter of surprise that he should have failed to recognize the efficacy of inoculation as a prophylactic against yellow fever, and however well qualified as a scientist he may be, there are sundry omissions of the plainest dictates of common sense which vitiate his conclusions.  Dr. Gaston claims that there are so many conditions involved in the verification of experiments among different classes of people, as to necessitate the varied processes of investigation contemplated by making additional appointments on the commission.  The great desideratum in all experimental developments is to get at the facts, and if it is made to appear that yellow fever may be prevented entirely, or so far modified as to rid it of its terrors by inoculation with cultivated virus, there can be no longer doubt of it efficacy.  With a strong conviction of the trustworthiness of Freire's statistics, it is held that actual trial is the proper test of inoculation.

 In concluding this sketch of the professional career of Dr. Gaston as he appears before the public, it may be admissible to note that his private relations to his patients and friends are not the least interesting features of his life.  He has throughout the course ofhis practice extended many courtesies to his colleagues and their families; and no son or daughter of a physician, whether under the family roof or far away from home, has ever called upon him without receiving cheerfully his gratuitous attendance.  It has also been his privilege to relieve the sufferings in the families of the clergy of different denominations in our land, as a free-will offering on many occasions, without accepting that compensation which has been often tendered for his services.  In his generous attention to the worthy poor who have come under his care, it is said that his visits are more frequent and continued longer than to those who pay for his services.  He never forgets to visit an humble, honest and poor patient, thought he may forget to call upon one who is amply able to foot his bill.  In dealing with his debtor he is very indulgent, but when he had reason to know that one is trying to shirk his just claims he becomes punctiliously exacting, and insists pertinaciously upon full payment.  When a proposition is made by anyone to fix the remuneration in advance of the service he invariably puts a higher estimate upon it than would be charged without such stipulation; but adheres generally to the recognized rated in the profession, never underbidding those of the most reputable standing.
Having secured a competency from his practice in Columbia, S. C., before the war, all was swept away in that disastrous result which befell the South.  Again his labors in Brazil were rewarded with an income which enabled him to make investments which promised well, but by an unfavorable turn in financial affairs of the country proved ruinous.  His readiness to serve a friend under all circumstances led him also to assume obligations for others which had to be canceled at great sacrifice to his pecuniary interests.  Upon his return to the United States the depreciation of currency was so great that little was left of the proceeds of his successful professional work abroad, and he was compelled to live in the simplest and plainest style in Atlanta during the first years of his residence; yet he has always been able to meet promptly his liabilities of any kind, with a reserved fund on hand for emergencies.  His pecuniary prospects, with a growing practice, relieve him of all concern for the future.
His self-reliance is illustrated by the reply made to his brother, Dr. J. B. Gaston, of Montgomery, who asked him what he proposed to do in the event he did not succeed in Atlanta: that he had made no calculation for failure, as he intended to succeed; and he has verified his determination in the manifestation of great energy in overcoming the difficulties of new associations in life.  His capacity for mental and physical labor has not been in the least impaired by the lapse of years; and he holds to the doctrine that it is better to wear out than rust out.  So that he eclipses most of the younger men in the profession in his daily work.  The plea of not having time to attend to anything which may devolve upon him is rarely if ever urged, as an excuse for doing any service, and it is remarkable what he has been able to achieve by a methodic distribution of various duties.  A diversity of mental and physical avocations affords him recreation, so that he is never found at places of amusement, so called, but attends such literary and scientific lectures as may furnish intellectual entertainment.  He claims that with great diligence in the past for the attainment of knowledge, he must be industrious still to keep pace with the age, holding that "whatever man has done, man may do."

 Among the important contributions to medical literature, the following articles of Dr. Gaston are worthy of special notice: use of Bozeman's button suture in recto-vaginal fistula; cure of traumatic tetanus with lobelia inflate; the abdominal spring pessary in the treatment of uterine displacements; the correlation of the nerves and capillaries with the internal organs; report of successful restoration of the small intestines after excision of two and one-half feet of the canal; clinical lecture on perforating fracture of the cranium followed by epilepsy and operation by trepanning; dynamoscopy; use of ecraseur for curing deep-seated fistula in ano; ablation of the womb with fibrous tumor; successful treatment of psoas abscess; report of ligations of femoral and subclavian arteries; ligation of femoral artery for sanguineous effusion in poplitelal region; distinguishing features of malignant pustule and anthrax; obstruction of gallduct and its bad consequences, with remedial operation; explanation of the pathology and therapeutics of the diseases of the nerve-centres, especially epilepsy; hypodermic use of carbolic acid in the cure of erysipelas; silver wire suture in wounds of the intestines; laparotomy with suture of intestinal canal; extreme anesthesia for obstetric operations; division of stricture without subsequent sounding; experimental cholicystotomy; report of antipartum hour-glass contraction of the uterus; allopathy and homeopathy in practice; electro-therapia; laparotomy for gun-shot wounds of the abdomen; report of two cases of perforation of the vermiform appendix; double ovariotomy and division of the pedicles with thermocautery; surgery of the ileo-caecal connections with new process for intestinal communication; ligation of femoral artery for political aneurism and subsequent ligation of the external iliac for femoral aneurism in the same subject; a caution against septic germicides; cure of carbuncle with lunar caustic and adhesive plaster; hour-glass contraction of the womb with retention of placenta, followed by internal hemorrhage; excision of anal circumference with hemorrhoids; laparotomy for volvulus and stitching of the intestines into incision of the line alba; report of two cases of papilloma with carcinomatous degeneration in the rectum; report of the fracture of the neck of the scapula; status of yellow fever inoculation and various other papers, with a memorial to congress on this subject; hypodermic use of spirits of turpentine in malignant tumors and other structural degenerations; employment of large doses of olive oil in obstruction of gall-ducts; medicated applications to the os nteri in vomiting in pregnancy; case of nephrotomy; fistula in ano with stricture of rectum; stone in the bladder; the practicability of establishing an artificial fistulous opening in the human subject between the gall-bladder and the duodenum; snake bites treated by hypodermic injections of permanganate of potash; gangrene from lymphatitis; surgical relations of the iliecaecal region; perforation of the vermiform appendix; the vermiform appendix-its functions, pathological changes and treatment; cerebro-spinal meningitis, recognizing incipient congestion as the basis of treatment; fractures in bones of the arm and forearm, treated with angular splint of special construction; cholicystotomy cholicystectomy; duodeno-cholicystotomy; biliary engorgement from obstruction of common bile duct verified by autopsy; the etiology, pathology and treatment of tetanus; address at the opening of the session, 1888, of the southern medical college, on aseptic, antiseptic and septic surgery.
Dr. Gaston, being appointed secretary of the section of military and naval surgery in the International Medical Congress at Washington city declined invitations to prepare any special-paper; but accepted propositions from the presidents of different sections to lead in the discussions upon tetanus; upon what conditions on the field justify amputation in gun-shot wounds; and upon prophylactic inoculation with the attenuated culture of the microbe of yellow fever.  His remarks on these topics appear in the proceedings of section 3 and section 15 of the transactions of the Ninth International Medical Congress.


[Biographical Souvenir of Georgia and Florida by FA Battey & Co., 1889-Transcribed by LA Bauer]

James McFadden Gaston, M. D., Atlanta, Ga., was born in Chester district, South Carolina, December 27, 1824. After obtaining a common school and academic education, he entered the South Carolina College, Columbia, and graduated therefrom, with the degree of . B., in December, 1843. He at once commenced the study of med-icine with his father, Dr. John B. Gaston, of Chester district, South Car-olina, and finally graduated from the Medical College of the State of South Carolina in March, 1846. Until the fall of 1852 he was associated with his father, practicing his profession in his native county; but at the time mentioned he removed to Columbia.

During the Civil war Dr. Gaston served as chief surgeon of the South Carolina troops and afterward as medical director of the department, under Gen-eral G. T. Beauregard, and as chief division sur-geon. Subsequently he est-ablished a general hospital at Fort Gaines, Ga., and was in charge of a general hospital at Fort Valley. After the war Dr. Gaston went to Brazil, and in 1873 received the Ad Eundem degree from the Imperial Academy of Medicine. This entitled him to practice in that country and he thus spent the succeeding ten years, locating in several of the interior towns. In 1883 he returned to the United States, settling in Atlanta, which has since been his permanent residence.

Dr. Gaston's early life was spent in the eastern part of Chester District, where he attended the ordinary schools until he was sixteen years old, when he entered the South Carolina College, from which institution he graduated in 1843.  He began the study of medicine soon after leaving college, under the preceptorship of his father, Dr. J. B. Gaston, and attended his first course of lectures in 1844-45 at the University of Pennsylvania, and graduated in medicine the following spring in Charleston.  Soon after his graduation in medicine Dr. Gaston entered into partnership with his father and practiced in Chester for six years.  At the expiration of this time he was married to Miss Sue G. Brumby, daughter of Prof. Brumby, who then occupied the chair of chemistry in the South Carolina College at Columbia, which led to his adoption of that city as his future home. 

In 1861 Dr. Gaston enlisted in the Columbia Greys.  Soon after this com-pany entered the service he was appointed chief surgeon of the South Carolina forces under the command of Gen. M. L. Bonham, and ordered to duty upon his staff as medical director of the department.  Surgeon Gaston accompanied Gen. Bonham to Richmond, Va., where he remained until the removal of troops to Manassas; there he was announced in orders as med-ical director of the department under Gen. G. T. Beauregard. 

Among the people Gaston encountered in his travels were the Whitakers of Rio Claro, who had emigrated many years earlier from England.  They gave Gaston friendly assistance offering mules to transport the advance party.  Theses transplanted Britishers were to have as their neighbors Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Whitaker, late of the Confederate Army.  Known as Ol' Joe Whitaker, the former officer became a wealthy grower of Georgia rattlesnake watermelons in Americana.  He married Isabel, the daughter of William Norris, one of the founding members of the Americana colony.The Confederados introduced the sweet fruit to Brazil and before long were selling many freight car loads of the big thumping melons throughout the country.

Ol' Joe whose name became Brazilianized as Jose, was sometimes confused with Jose Maria Whitaker, a descendant of the British Whitakers, who later became the Averell Harriman of Brazil.  Throughout his long life, he moved in and out of cabinet level government positions including Secretary of the Treasury.  The British family intermarried with the Confederados in the area, and the grandson of the old political  figure, Christiano Whitaker became consul at the Brazilian consulate in New York City.

Joseph and Isabel Whitaker

Dr James McFadden Gaston, Sr

BIRTH27 Dec 1824

Chester County, South Carolina, USA

DEATH15 Nov 1903 (aged 78)

Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA


Westview Cemetery

Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA

Susannah Greening “Sue” BrumbyGaston

BIRTH30 Jul 1830

Lincoln County, North Carolina, USA

DEATH12 Feb 1904 (aged 73)

Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA


Westview Cemetery

Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA

Page 1.jpg


Taken from the Atlanta Newspaper, November 17, 1903

A Native of South Carolina

Dr. Gaston was a son of Dr. John Brown and Pollly (Buford) Gaston, grandson of Joseph Gaston, and was born December 27 1824, near Chester, S. C. He attended the common schools of his native county and obtained an academic education at Russell Place, in Kershaw district.  At the age of 16 he entered the South Carolina college, Columbia and was graduated A. B. in December 1843; commenced the study of medicine in 1843 at his home in Chester, under the direction of his father, Dr. John B. Gaston; attended on course of lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, medical department, and one course at the medical college of the state of South Carolina, receiving from this institution the degree of M.D., March 6, 1864.  He immediately entered upon the practice of medicine in the Chester District, S.C., in partnership with his father, which relation was continued until the fall of 1852, when he removed to Columbia, S.C., where he practiced his profession in partnership with Dr. A. N. Talley.


He was an elder in the First Presbyterian church there.  At the opening of the civil war, Dr. Gaston enlisted in the Columbia Grays and entered service at Morris Island where he was appointed chief surgeon of the South Carolina forces under the command of Brigadier General M. L. Bonham.  Surgeon Gaston accompanied General Bonham to Richmond, VA., and when the troops were removed to Manassas, he was assigned a medical director of the department under Brigadier General G. T. Beauregard.  After the first battle of manassas, Dr. Gaston at his own request, was transferred by General Beuregard to the Third brigade South Carolina volunteers under Brigadier General R. H. Anderson until this officer was appointed major general.  Dr. Gaston was then promoted to chief surgeon of his division and participated in Virginia and Pennsylvania campaigns.  By special order of the surgeon general, Dr. Gaston went to the relief of the wounded after the battle of Chckamauga, and assisted Dr. S. H. Stout, medical director of hospitals in the secondary operations at Marietta.  An application was made by Surgeon Stout for the transfer of Surgeon Gaston to his department, but he was ordered, instead, to report to the medical director of hospitals in General Beuauregard's division, and was sent to establish a general hospital at Fort Gaines, Ga.  He was subsequently in charge of a general hospital at Vort Valley, where he remained on duty unil the close of the war.


After the cessation of hostillities in 1865, Dr. Gaston went to Brazil, where he attended the lectures of the imperial Academy of Medicine, and in 1873 received the ad eundem degree, entitling him to practice medicine in that country.  He was offered the position of consulting surgeon of the military medical staff of Brazil, but declined.  After removing with his family to the province of St. Paulo, in 1867, Dr. Gaston practiced his profession six years in the interior towns.  In 1874 he removed to the city of Campinas, Brazil, and practiced medicine there until his return to the United States in 1883, since which time Atlanta has been his permenant residence.  Soon after settling in Atlanta, he opened a surgical infirmary in connection with his surgical practice, and in 1884 was elected professor of the Southern Medical College, Atlanta, to which he devoted his best energies until his resignation on account of advanced age and declining health.

Artist's rendition of the burning of Columbia, South Carolina
1.    Keziah Brevard Gaston
2.    Trapier Brumby Gaston
3.    Mary Buford Gaston
4.    Robert Brevard Gaston
5.    John Brown Gaston
6.    Nannie Thornwell Gaston
7.    Kate "Katie" Gaston
8.    Dr. James M Gaston Jr.
9.    Susan Eloise Gaston
10.  Hariette Gaston

1.   Keziah Brevard Gaston

Keziah Brevard Gaston was born on July 1, 1851 in Columbia, Richland county, South Carolina.  She died after 1937 in  São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.  She worked as a Presbyterian  missionary along with her husband.  In 1884 in Bahia, Brazil she married John Benjamin Kolb.  He was born on December 6, 1850 in Tamaqua, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania and died on January 13, 1921 in Ponta grosso, Parana, Brazil of Bronchio-Pneumonia.  He had been a missionary since 1884  and served for 34 years.


2.   Trapier Brumby Gaston

Trapier Brmby Gaston was born on February 21, 1854 in Colulmbia, Richland county, South Carolina.  In 1867 he traveled with his family to settle in Brazil.  He would return to the United States and earn his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania on March 13, 1878.  It is believed that he never did marry.  He died at the young age of 32 on September 9, 1886 in Brazil.  No further information.


3.     Mary Buford Gaston

BIRTH 28 JAN 1855 • Columbia, Richland, South Carolina, United States

DEATH SEP 1924 • Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Georgia

Trapier Brumby Gaston

Albert Young Wingard Gresham

BIRTH APRIL 1844 • Greshamville, Greene County, Georgia, United States of America

DEATH 2 APRIL 1905 • Greene County, Georgia

4.    Robert Brevard Gaston

BIRTH 17 APR 1856

DEATH 9 DEC 1856 • South Carolina, USA

5.    John Brown Gaston

BIRTH 21 DEC 1858 • Columbia, Richland, South Carolina, United States

DEATH 13 OCT 1874 • Brazil

6.    Nannie Thornwell Gaston

BIRTH 6 NOV 1860 • Columbia, Richland, South Carolina, United States

DEATH JAN 1900 • Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia

Rev. Alexander Latimer Blackford

BIRTH 6 JANUARY 1829 • Jefferson County, Ohio, United States of America

DEATH 14 MAY 1890 • Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia

7.    Kate "Katie" Gaston

BIRTH 28 OCT 1863 • Columbia, Richland, South Carolina, United States


Edward Nesbit Shaw

BIRTH 9 DECEMBER 1860 • Georgia, United States of America

DEATH 31 AUGUST 1909 • Cameron, Milam County, Texas

8.    Dr. James M Gaston Jr.

BIRTH 30 MAR 1868 • Apialey, Brazil

DEATH UNKNOWN • De Land Highlands, Volusia County, Florida

Annie Bunn Gay

BIRTH 25 FEB 1869 • Mill Farm, Fluvanna, Virginia

DEATH 8 DEC 1953 • Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia

9.    Susan Eloise Gaston

BIRTH 18 AUG 1869 • Faxima, Brazil

DEATH 15 AUG 1950 • Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia

Thomas Bolling Gay Sr

BIRTH 29 SEP 1866 • Mill Farm, Fluvanna, Virginia

DEATH 16 MAY 1929 • Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia

10.    Hariette Gaston


BIRTH 29 NOV 1871 • Patrocinia, Brazil

DEATH 30 MAY 1872 • Brazil




John Brown Gaston


BIRTH 22 JANUARY 1791 • Chester County, South Carolina, United States of America

DEATH 24 JANUARY 1864 • South Carolina

Married: Mary Buford McFadden on 4 Mar 1824 in Chester County, South Carolina.

Father: Joseph Gaston b: 22 FEB 1763 in Cedar Shoals, Chester County, South Carolina
Mother: Jane Brown b: 10 APR 1767 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

Married: Mary Buford McFadden b: 15 OCT 1805 in Chester County, South Carolina

James McFadden Gaston b: 27 DEC 1824 in Chester County, South Carolina
Susan Cornelia Gaston b: 22 JAN 1827 in Chester County, South Carolina
Joseph Lucius Gaston b: 28 APR 1829 in South Carolina
Jane Catherine Gaston b: 20 AUG 1831 in South Carolina
John Brown Gaston b: 4 JAN 1834 in Chester County, South Carolina
William Gaston b: 1837 in Chester County, South Carolina
Thomas Chalmers Gaston b: 4 OCT 1847 in Chester County, South Carolina




From: Find A Grave:

Joseph Gaston, youngest son of Justice John Gaston and the former Esther Waugh, was born at the family home "Cedar Shoals" on the 22nd day of February 1763. He was the last and ninth son born into the family. His parents were from Ireland; who emigrated in the early 1740's, first to Pennsylvania and then to the back-country of South Carolina. John Gaston was appointed "Justice of the Peace" for the Chester District by King George, III; but later rebelled against the crown and became a well-known patriot during the revolution. Joseph Gaston received his early education at a school started by his mother.

Like his older brothers, Joesph served in the Revolution, as a Private under Capt. John McClure in New Acquisition District Regiment of the South Carolina Militia. At the Battle of Hanging Rock, August 6th 1780, Joseph was fighting along side his brothers, Robert, David and Ebenezer, when they were killed; but he continued to see the British defeated and independence come to the new country.

On April 22, 1790, Joseph married Jane Brown, daughter of Walter and Margaret Brown. Jane was a well-known heroin of the revolution with her daring stance against the Tories. Together, Joseph and Jane had eight children that they raised on the old Gaston homestead, Joseph had inherited from his parents.

Joseph had studied law and served at the Chester District Magistrate when very young, continuing to exercise its duties till his death on October 10th 1836. His widow, Jane, continued to live at Cedar Shoals on his revolution pension until 1858.


November 11, 1836
"Departed this life on the 10th day of October 1836 at his residence

near the Cedar Shoals, in Chester District, Joseph Gaston, Esq. was

a soldier of the  Revolution  and ruling  elder in  the  Fishing  Creek

Presbyterian Church. He attained the age of 73."

Marriage and Death Notices from the Southern Christian Herald

  John Brown Gaston (1791 - 1864)*
  Narcissa Gaston Lewis (1792 - 1871)*
  Eliza Gaston Neely (1794 - 1845)*
  Margaret Jane Gaston (1797 - 1802)*
  Jane Gaston Crawford (1800 - 1880)*
  Robert Gaston (1808 - 1810)*

joseph gaston.jpg



Justice John Gaston was born on July 4, 1703 in Cloughwater, County Antrim, Ireland and died at his plantation, Cedar Shoals, Chester county, South Carolina.  In 1730 in Chester District, South Carolina John Married Esther Waugh.  She was the daughter of John William Waugh and Martha Mothershead.  Esther was born in 1715 in County Antrim, Ireland, and died at the family plantation in Chester county in 1789.

Yorkville Inquirer August 1 1922 Tuesday page 1

Chester County

Your neighbor to the south.

It was established in 1785


General Edward Lacey said to have been responsible for location of the courthouse. By Dr. G. B. White

Chester county, South Carolina was surveyed and it's present boundaries established as Chester District in 1785. Previous to that time it was part of Craven County with the county seat at Camden. A District Court was established and held for 10 years at a place called Walker's, near what is now Lewis turnout.

About 1795 commissioners were appointed to locate and erect a courthouse. The commissioners were at first disposed to locate the courthouse at Old Purity church, 3 miles south east of Chester, which is about the geographical center of the county. At that time general Edward Lacey owned and was living on the land, or at least part of the land, on which city of Chester is built. Do you know Lacey was one of the heroes of the revolutionary war. His biographer state that he was engaged in more battles then perhaps any other officer in the state. He was a member of the legislature at that time and had a great influence in the county. Tradition says he brought undue influence to bear on the commissioners and and induced them to locate the new courthouse where the city now stands.

The first courthouse stood in the public square about opposite the National Exchange Bank. This building stood until 1855, when it was removed and the present courthouse erected.

The District Court were held here from 1785 to 1795 when the Circuit Court was established. Mr. John Rosborough was elected clerk of the Court in 1800 for 50 years.

As early as 1732 a few adventuresome Scotchman settled near the mouth of Rocky Creek and began to traffic with the Indians. Most of the early settlers of the county were Scotch-Irish.  A good many of them came from the counties of York, Lancaster and Chester in Pennsylvania, which accounts for three counties have the same name in South Carolina.

Many came direct from Ireland by way of Charleston. This side of immigration set in about 1755 and continued up to the revolution. By that time a large portion of the county has been settled.

These early settlers endured a great many trials and hardships before, during and sometime after the Revolution.  We have it by tradition from one who lived during that time that many brave, good man lived at times for months on bread and water, with what meat they could procure from the wild game of the country.

Some of the early settlers suffered greatly from the savage Cherokee Indians who inhabited the western part of the state. In order to protect themselves against the Indians, they built forts as places of refuge. One of the forts was built on Fishing Creek and was known as Steel's Fort and another at Land's  Ford known as Taylor's Fort.

In 1761 a party of Indians appeared very unexpectedly at the Fishing Creek neighborhood near the residents of William and James McKinney, who were absent at the time on a trip to Camden. Several of the neighbors assembled at the house of William McKinney for defense against the Indians. The next morning there being no Indians in sight, Mrs. McKinney ventured out to milk the cows. While milking several Indians crawled on their hands and knees to where she was. She made no effort to escape, but agreed to go quietly to the house with them. As they came near the house Michael Melberry shot at and wounded the Indian that held Mrs. McKinney by the arm. She broke loose from him, but another Indian pursued her to the door. At the moment John Ferguson open the door to let her in. He was instantly killed and his mother Mortally wounded by shots fired by the Indians. The door was then closed. After several of the Indians were wounded by shots from those in the house they retreated, taking with them Mrs. McKinney, who did not succeed in getting into the house. When she was dragged about half mile from her home she was tomahawked in the back and head, scalped and left for dead. After she lay unconscious for sometime she regained consciousness and crawled back home. When the Indians came in the neighborhood at Rocky Creek they killed John McDaniel and wife and carried off his seven children, the oldest being a girl is 15 years old.

These brutal acts arouse the people and a party headed by Thomas Steel were soon in pursuit. They followed them almost to the borders of the Cherokee nation. They came upon them in the dead of night, killed most of them and rescued the children. Thomas Garrett of Rocky Creek killed the one who had tomahawked Mrs. McKenney and actually found her scalp in his shot bag.

The wound in the head of Mrs.  McKinney never healed entirely, but she lived for many years and had born to her several children. One born three months after she was tomahawked was plainly marked with a tomahawk and drops of blood as if running down the side of her face.  This child were living as late as 1827 in Tennessee, the wife of John Steadman. Mr. John C. McFadden, our most efficient clerk of court, who had just been elected the fifth time to that position, is a great grandson of Mrs. McKinney. When the Revolutionary War began the Scotch-Irish of Chester were almost to a man on the side of liberty. This was quite natural, as many of them before coming to this country and their ancestors before them had been persecuted on account of their views on civil and religious liberty.

The first resistance made in this part of the state against the British was made at Beckhamville, situated in the south eastern part of Chester county. Early in 1780 a British officer was sent to Beckhamville, supported by 100 soldiers. Circulars were sent through the surrounding county commanding The people to come in and take British protection and swear allegiance to the British government. Every inducement possible was offered. Justice John Gaston, a man of great influence, who lived in that com-munity was ordered to come in and take protection. Instead of excepting British protection he went to work to run the officers and his supporters out of the country. Justice Gaston was 80 years old and not able to bear arms himself, but he had a nine brave sons who were always ready to do they're duty, Runners were sent through the country to notify the friends of liberty to assemble that night at the home of Justice Gaston for the purpose of making an attack on the British the next morning. That night 24 men joined the Gaston brothers. This party of 33 men, led by Captain John McClure, attacked the British early the next morning and completely routed them, killing several of them. Eight of his party were from the immediate neighborhood of what is the city of Chester. Two of them were Walker!s and have numerous descendants living in the intermediate vicinity of the city of Chester..

A short time after this Capt. McClure led a company of men against a force of British stationed at Mobley's who had carried off his seven children, from the the old Fairfield County, who had been sent there for the same purpose as those at Beckhamville. They were also routed and several killed.

The battles of Sumter's defeat and Fish Dam were fought in Chester county. We have a gun in our possession now, the gun used by our grandfather in both ways and other battles of the Revolution. We have a real daughter of the Revolution living now in Chester county. She has passed her 97th birthday, but still enjoys good health and has a vivid recollection of things that occurred in her younger days.

Her father was captain Hugh Knox, who, with four brothers served through the Revolution and were engaged in several battles. Mrs. Wallace had told us that she had often heard her father relate the experience in the battle of Hanging Rock,. He said as he stood beside one of the Gaston brothers, mentioned above, his cousins, fighting hand to hand with the enemy, Gaston fell dead in front of him. The powder from The gun that killed him burnt Capt. Knox's face, leaving a scar which he carried to his grave 40 years after. When this battle ended three of the Gastons lay dead, the body of one lying across another. The fourth brother, Joseph Gastonia, a boy or 16, lay severely wounded in the face. Captain McClure, their cousin, Lay mortally wounded and died at Charlotte, North Carolina several days after. Joseph Gaston was the ancestor of the Gastons now living in the city of Chester.

General Adair, a native of Chester county, and who served in several battles of the Revolution, said the battle of Hanging Rock was the hardest fought battle of any in which he engaged. General Adair was born 9 miles north of Chester on the plantation now owned by the family of John O. Derby. He moved to Kentucky sometime after the Revolution. He commanded the Kentucky troops and was second in command at the battle of New Orleans. After he returned to Kentucky he was elected governor of the state. General Adair was a grand uncle of the late Hon. James Hemphill, of Chester.

One of the historic places of Chester county is Mount Dearborn, situated on the banks of Catawba Falls. It was named in honor of Gen. Dearborn, who was secretary of war during President Jefferson's administration. This place was first owned by General Sumter, and was sold by him to the United States government during the admin-istration of President Jefferson. A United States military post was established and maintained here for sometime. The ruins of several brick building surrounded by a rock fortification can still be seen there. General Senf, a celebrated civil engineer, who surveyed the old Santee and Catawba canals, is  buried on Mount Dearborn. Tradition says the United States military Academy at West Point came within one vote in Congress of being established on Mount Dearborn.

About 1825 the state constructed a canal around Catawba Falls at a cost of about $3 million. Only those who have seen this canal can have any conception of the immense work it required to construct it. The locks on the canal and the rock house in which which the superintendent of the canal lived, are splendid specimens of rock work, and are said to have been done by skilled workmen from Scotland.

Justice Gaston Home.jpg
Back & side view of remains of Justice John's home built about 1760, "Cedar Shoals Plantation" taken 1929 as written on back of picture. Large chimney is missing. His plantation consisted of about 1000 acres.
JJustice John Gaston Marker.jpg
John and Esther Gaston.jpg

Cemetery:Burnt Meeting House Church Cemetery

Burial or Cremation Place:

Chester County, South Carolina,


 Member:  -- Name Restricted --    Nat'l #: 750520     Ancestor #: A043360


-- Generation Restricted --


-- Generation Restricted --


-- Generation Restricted --


The Said -- Name Restricted -- was the child of


Richard Calvin McCalla born on 15 - Mar - 1826 at Chester Dist SC   


died at Tuscaloosa AL on 18 - Feb - 1899 and his ( 1st ) wife


Margaret Eliza Lewis born on 21 - Jan - 1830 at Chester Dist SC


died at Tuscaloosa AL on 4 - Jul - 1914 married on 9 - Mar - 1853  


The Said Margaret Eliza Lewis was the child of


Samuel Lewis born on 11 - Nov - 1782 at _______________  


died at Chester Co SC on 6 - Jul - 1832 and his ( 1st ) wife


Narcissa Gaston born on 17 - Nov - 1792 at Chester SC


died at Morristown Hamblen Co TN on 22 - Aug - 1871 married on 30 - Nov - 1819  


The Said Narcissa Gaston was the child of


Joseph Gaston born on 22 - Feb - 1763 at _______________  


died at Chester Dist SC on 10 - Oct - 1836 and his ( 1st ) wife


Jane Brown born on 10 - Apr - 1767 at Mecklenburgh NC


died at Morristown Hemblen Co TN on 27 - - 1858 married on c - - 1790  


The Said Joseph Gaston was the child of


John Gaston Srborn on 4 - Apr - 1703 at Ireland   


died at Chester Dist SC on p 18 - Apr - 1782 and his ( 1st ) wife


Esther Waugh born on - - 1715 at _______________


died at Chester SC on - - 1789 married on - -   




Ancestor #: A043360





Birth: 4-4-1703    IRELAND


Service Source: HENDRIX & LINDSAY, JURY LISTS OF SC 1778-1779, P 52

Service Description: 1) JUROR

Margaret Gaston
Martha Gaston
Capt. William Audley Gaston
John Gaston Jr.
Capt. James Gaston
Capt. Robert Gaston, KIA  Revolutionary War
Rev. Hugh Gaston
Alexander Gaston, KIA  Revolutionary War
David Gaston, KIA  Revolutionary War
Ebenezer Gaston, KIA  Revolutionary War
Thomas Gaston
Esther Gaston 
Joseph Gaston


William Gaston

William Gaston (b. 1685, d. 1770)

William Gaston (son of John "Jean" Gaston) was born 1685 in Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland333334, and died 1770 in In Ireland334335.He married Mary Olivet Lemon.

 Notes for William Gaston:

Lived at Clough Water, County Antrim, Ireland, near Ballymena. Articles mentioning him are on pages 195 and 200 of "Heritage History of Chester County, South Carolina," 1985.Grandson of Jean Gaston, a French Huguenot who fled from France to Scotland during the middle of the seventeenth century.Several of his sons moved from Scotland to County Antrim, Ireland in the 1660's. One of them was John Gaston, who appears on the hearth money rate list for Ireland in 1669 as a resident of Magheragall, County Antrim.One family tale of Jean Gaston that survives is the worst language his children ever heard him use was when he hurt his mouth with a table fork, an implement just coming into use, he exclaimed, "Devil take the fork!"
Page 235 of "Heritage History of Chester County, South Carolina, Volume II" 1995, states that William Gaston (1685-1770), born and died in Ireland, was the son of Jean Gaston, born in 1645, one of three brothers who settled in Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland.The other two brothers were William Gaston, born in 1642 and Alexander Gaston, born about 1648. Page 72 of "The Revolutionary Soldiers of Catholic Presbyterian Church, Chester, South Carolina, 1978, by Mary Wylie Strange, calls him "of Clough Water, Ireland"


+1. John GASTON,   b. 4 Apr 1703, Ireland ,   d. 1782, South Carolina   (Age 78 years)

+2. Mary GASTON,   b. 1712, Ireland ,   d. 1802  (Age 90 years)

+3. Janet GASTON,   b. 1714, Ireland 

+4. Martha GASTON,   b. 1718, Ireland 

+5. Robert GASTON,   b. 1720, County Antrim, Ireland ,   d. Bef 9 May 1787, Lynch's Creek,                             Lancaster       Co, SC   (Age 67 years)

+6. Hugh GASTON,   b. 1722, Ireland ,   d. 20 Oct 1766, South Carolina   (Age 44 years)

+7. Alexander GASTON,   b. 1727, Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland ,   d. 20 Aug 1781, New Bern,             Craven Co, NC   (Age 54 years)

+8. Elizabeth GASTON,   b. 1727/30, Ireland 

+9. William GASTON,   b. 1735, Ireland ,   d. 1790, Kell's Ford, Chester Co, SC   (Age 55 years)


Justice Gaston Home.jpg
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