Thomas Andrew McParlin (1825-1897)

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As to General Ulysses Simpson Grant's drinking, I wrote a short note in 2015 about what his Doctor remembered about his symptoms and how he treated him, not for alcoholism, but severe migraines:

LtColMcParlin sm2.jpg

One of Grant's favorite doctors was Dr. Thomas McParlin when it came to treating his severe migraines which were more of a problem than his drinking. In fact, the symptoms of some of the treatments for his severe migraines resembled being inebriated.

The Maryland State Archives has McParlin's papers (he was born and died in Annapolis).

In his memoirs, p. 6, he writes:

p. 6: General Grant alluded, in conversation with me in 1883, to his suffering with headache, often so intense as to make him unequal to mental or physical effort: and to an occasion during the Wilderness campaign when I had given him very prompt relief, - stating that on a subsequent occasion he had attempted to give a practitioner an idea of my treatment of his case. The physician used chloroform to the head, to General Grant's very great discomfort. I probably used ether, in addition to other procedures and distinctly remember the incident and the sense I had at the time of the importance of the General being relieved as speedily as possible, to enable him to resume direction of affairs at a critical time. MSA SC 595-1-526 [00/09/06/27, probably re-catalogued as: http://speccol.msa.maryland.gov/pages/speccol/unit.aspx?speccol=595&serno=6&item=1&subitem=-1]

As far as I can determine, none of the scholars that have written about Grant's drinking and medical problems seem to have used the McParlin papers at the Maryland State Archives.

From McParlin Partners: source: http://www.mcparlinpartners.com/aboutname.html

Thomas Andrew McParlin (1825-1897) was born in Annapolis, Maryland. He spent four adventurous decades as an army surgeon, from the Mexican War to campaigns against the Seminoles in Florida, to an uprising by the Walla Walla Indians in Washington Territory. During the first years of the Civil War he served as medical director of the Army of Virginia, commanded by Gen. John Pope, and in 1864-65 as medical director of the Army of the Potomac under Gen. George McClellan and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Immediately after the war, he was stationed in New Orleans, where he was cited for meritorious service and made Brevet Brigadier General for his bravery in fighting epidemics of cholera and yellow fever. Later, Thomas served at West Point, where, under his direction, the new cadet hospital was planned and partially built. In the 1870s, while he was posted in Santa Fe, he wrote a geographical and geological survey of New Mexico and Arizona for the Smithsonian. He retired to Annapolis in 1889 and, after a peripatetic life, died in the same house—indeed, in the very same bedroom—where he was born.

Managing Editor Hugo Moreno, had a great-grandmother named Alida McParlin (left). Alida wrote a memoir—back in the days when memoirs were usually about other people—about her father, Brigadier General Thomas A. McParlin. This memoir later helped fuel Hugo's abiding fascination with family history and genealogy. Given our interest in personal tributes and family histories, it seemed appropriate to name the firm in honor of Alida and Thomas. Thomas Andrew McParlin (1825-1897) was born in Annapolis, Maryland. He spent four adventurous decades as an army surgeon, from the Mexican War to campaigns against the Seminoles in Florida, to an uprising by the Walla Walla Indians in Washington Territory. During the first years of the Civil War he served as medical director of the Army of Virginia, commanded by Gen. John Pope, and in 1864-65 as medical director of the Army of the Potomac under Gen. George McClellan and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Immediately after the war, he was stationed in New Orleans, where he was cited for meritorious service and made Brevet Brigadier General for his bravery in fighting epidemics of cholera and yellow fever. Later, Thomas served at West Point, where, under his direction, the new cadet hospital was planned and partially built. In the 1870s, while he was posted in Santa Fe, he wrote a geographical and geological survey of New Mexico and Arizona for the Smithsonian. He retired to Annapolis in 1889 and, after a peripatetic life, died in the same house—indeed, in the very same bedroom—where he was born. The surname McParlin is an unusual variant of MacFarlane, and may in fact be closer to the original, since the clan claims descent from a certain Parlan. The clan's ancestral lands are in the Scottish Highlands, in the vicinity of Loch Long and Loch Lomond, but Thomas's ancestors spent a few generations in Ireland before coming to America.

Alida.jpg

Alida McParlin, one of four sisters, was born in 1867 in New Orleans. Her mother, Alida Roca of Brownsville, Texas, died in Santa Fe in 1875, leaving the girls to be brought up by their father.(Alida Roca was named after her godmother, Alida Yates Leavenworth, daughter of Gen. Henry Leavenworth, for whom Fort Leavenworth is named.) Alida fell in love with a Peruvian mining engineer, Manuel Elguera, who was in Washington for an international conference. In 1894, they married in the family's ancestral house in Annapolis, then settled in Lima, Peru, where they both lived to a ripe old age.

General Grant at City Point in 1864 (from publicity re: Chernow's biography, https://www.newsday.com/entertainment/books/grant-review-hamilton-biographer-ron-chernow-writes-definitive-biography-of-ulysses-s-grant-1.14309219):

Grant 1864.jpeg