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WARD, SAMUEL RINGGOLD – Volume IX (1861-1870)

b. 17 Oct. 1817 in Maryland

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CAMPBELL, ANDREW (also known as Dr Lovingheart), alleged abortionist; b. 1853 in England; m. Bertie —; fl. 1892–95.

Although he sometimes pretended to the titles of professor and of physician, there is no evidence that Andrew Campbell possessed any professional qualifications. A resident of Calgary since at least 1891, he was first arrested by the North-West Mounted Police in 1892 for failing to provide for the welfare of a young employee. Campbell had sent the lad to buy coal from the mine at Kneehill (Alta), 50 miles away, and he had died from starvation and exposure in bad weather. The judge acquitted Campbell on the grounds that the employee had acted irresponsibly.

In 1893 the Calgary town police put Campbell under surveillance, suspecting that he was performing abortions under the alias Dr Lovingheart. On 15 April he was arrested on a charge of causing an abortion by administering a noxious substance to Maggie Stevenson. He was apparently emotionally overwhelmed by his situation, weeping for hours in his cell. Even visits from his wife brought him no consolation. Claiming that conditions at the town jail were unsanitary, Campbell’s able attorney, James Alexander Lougheed*, had him moved to the more comfortable NWMP guardroom. On 19 April Campbell was released on $1,000 bail. Meanwhile, the police ran into difficulty building a case against him. Maggie Stevenson left town to avoid involvement but was arrested by the NWMP at Langdon on 2 May. Returned to Calgary, she refused to testify against Campbell, and charges were dropped.

Campbell came to considerably more public attention in 1894. On 28 May the NWMP in Lethbridge arrested Fred Gibbs for attempting to procure an abortion on 16-year-old Ida Morton. Investigation revealed that Gibbs was the common-law husband of Ida’s mother, Alice, and that he had secretly seduced the daughter and then forced her into a continuing sexual relationship. When the girl became pregnant he made her drink an abortifacient drug obtained from the self-styled doctor, explaining that if the drug did not work Dr Lovingheart would perform an operation for $50. The story of Lovingheart’s involvement came out in the trial but apparently there was insufficient direct evidence to charge him. Gibbs was convicted and sentenced to nine years of imprisonment.

The police did put some pressure on Campbell in 1894. He was arrested in May for practising medicine without a licence, a charge often laid when direct evidence in an abortion case was lacking. He was convicted and fined $25. In October he was charged with attempting to procure an abortion, but the judge dismissed the charge.

Perhaps influenced by the unwelcome attention, Andrew and Bertie Campbell left Calgary for Washington, D.C., in 1895, taking with them a 14-year-old girl. The girl’s parents had consented to what they thought was a holiday but when she failed to return on time the authorities were notified. The party was located by American police in the back room of a tenement in Washington, and the girl was returned to Calgary. Once back she revealed that Campbell had alternately threatened her and promised her presents while trying to kiss her. On 15 March 1895 the Calgary Herald commented obliquely that “the doings of the ‘Professor’ while a resident here are well-known to the citizens of Calgary.” No further record of Campbell has been found. Criminal charges for performing abortions were rarely laid in the pioneer west. Campbell was unusual in his notoriety.

William Beahen

NA, RG 18, A1, 75, no.127. Can., Parl., Sessional papers, 1892–95 (annual reports of the commissioner of the NWMP). Calgary Herald, 1892–95. William Beahen, “Abortion and infanticide in western Canada, 1874 to 1916: a criminal case study,” CCHA Study Sessions, 53 (1986): 53–70.

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Permalink: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/campbell_andrew_12E.html
Author of Article:   William Beahen
Title of Article:   CAMPBELL, ANDREW
Publication Name:   EN:UNDEF:public_citation_publication, vol. 12
Publication Details:   EN:UNDEF:public_citation_publisher, 1990
Year of publication:   1990
Year of revision:   1990
Access Date:   October 17, 2021