BOND, JOSEPH NORMAN, doctor, militia officer, office holder, JP, and judge; b. 28 May 1758 in Neston, Cheshire, England, eighth son of James Bond and his wife Mary; m. 5 May 1785 Elizabeth Bell in Shelburne, N.S., and they had 17 children; d. 15 March 1830 in Yarmouth, N.S.
Joseph Norman Bond was descended from a family of great antiquity in Cornwall. Like his father and grandfather, he was educated in medicine. After receiving his training in London, Bond left England about 1779 as surgeon and captain’s clerk on a merchant ship bound for Jamaica. Soon after his arrival he sailed aboard a privateer to New York, where he joined the British army and was made a surgeon’s mate. Bond was at the surrender at Yorktown, Va, on 19 Oct. 1781. For some time he administered medicine to troops made prisoner with John Burgoyne* and Lord Cornwallis. In the fall of 1783 he came to Shelburne, N.S., from New York in the loyalist exodus, and in 1786 was granted a water lot there.
In 1787 Bond moved from Shelburne to Yarmouth, where he embarked upon a long career of public service. For about 20 years he was the only regular physician in what is now Yarmouth County. In the spring of 1802 Bond received a small packet of cowpox vaccine from his brother Norman, a doctor in Bath, England, and proceeded to vaccinate an infant child against smallpox. This treatment is reputed to be the first use of cowpox vaccine in Canada, but it is difficult to corroborate the claim. There is evidence of its use at an earlier date by John Clinch* in Newfoundland and George Thomas Landmann* in Quebec. Nor was this likely the first application of the vaccine in Nova Scotia, for Simeon Perkins* makes apparent reference to its use at the end of 1800 in Liverpool.
Bond was an active member of the Yarmouth community and held a number of offices, both civil and military. In July 1796 he was commissioned captain of the Yarmouth Volunteer Artillery Company. The following year he became captain of the artillery company attached to tile 2nd Battalion of the Shelburne County Militia Regiment, and about 1812 he was made lieutenant-colonel of the 4th (Yarmouth) Battalion of Militia. In 1787 he was appointed deputy collector of customs, assuming the position of collector in 1805 upon the death of Ranald McKinnon*. A devout Anglican, Bond was elected a churchwarden when the Church of England parish was organized in Yarmouth on 29 Sept. 1806. In addition, he was made justice of the peace for Yarmouth Township in December 1803, justice of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas for Yarmouth Township in May 1810, and commissioner of courts for the trial of summary actions for the district of Yarmouth in 1817. In 1819 he was appointed justice of the peace for Shelburne County.
During his career Bond was also engaged in a number of civic improvement projects. In May 1802 the Nova Scotia government appointed him the commissioner for building the Tusket River bridge, east of Yarmouth, which was completed the next year, and in April 1805 he became commissioner of sewers for Yarmouth. Early in 1811 he and some others formed an association known as the Yarmouth Lock and Canal Proprietors in order to construct locks which would connect Yarmouth Harbour with lakes in the interior of the township. Although a subscription of £500 was got up, the Council refused a grant of £200, and soon thereafter the proprietors were claiming that the expenses had already been double their expectations. The enterprise was ultimately unsuccessful. In July of the same year Bond, together with the Reverend Ranna Cossit* and Samuel Sheldon Poole, became a trustee responsible for the construction of the Yarmouth Grammar School.
Upon his death Bond left all his possessions to his wife. The estate was a sizeable one, and included a homestead of 67 acres, various properties in Yarmouth including a house and wharf, and some 35 lots with an estimated extent of 3,000 acres. The will makes no reference to a medical library or laboratory (although Bond did own a microscope) but does mention a pianoforte, perhaps the spinet Bond is said to have introduced to Yarmouth in 1799. Bond was in addition an important creditor, holding various mortgages, bonds, and promissory notes. His largest debtor was his son-in-law George Bingay, a Yarmouth merchant, who held a mortgage of almost £600. Three of Bond’s sons followed him in his profession, two practising as doctors in Yarmouth. His son James P. was appointed to the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia in 1837. A daughter married judge Thomas Ritchie*.
PANS, MG 4, 166, vol.1; RG 1, 172: 40, 57, 69, 131–32, 152; 173: 34, 41–42, 48, 92, 394, 413, 417, 449; 174: 210, 294, 338. Yarmouth County Court of Probate (Yarmouth, N.S.), Wills, 2: 34–35 (mfm. at PANS). Perkins, Diary, 1804–12 (Fergusson). D. A. Campbell, Pioneers of medicine in Nova Scotia (Halifax, 1905). “Joseph Norman Bond,” Herald (Yarmouth), 29 Dec. 1896: 2. K. A. MacKenzie, “Nineteenth century physicians in Nova Scotia,” N.S. Hist. Soc., Coll., 31 (1957): 119–29. T. H. Raddall, “Early medical practice in Nova Scotia,” Nova Scotia Medical Bull. (Halifax), 23 (1944): 187–94.
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