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Stowe, Emily Howard Jennings, M.D., 1831-1903: Home

Portrait of Emily Howard Jennings Stowe, M.D., 1831-1903

Stowe Postage Stamp


canadian postage stamp commemorating stowe

Date of issue of stamp: March 4, 1981
Designed by: Dennis Goddard, based on a painting by Muriel Wood.

The stamp shows the portrait of Dr. Stowe along with a vignette which

is symbolic of her work as a feminist as well as that of a medical doctor.

The background image is the Toronto General Hospital.

6,162,000 copies of the stamp were printed by Canadian Bank Note Co. Ltd.

Source: Famous Canadian Women on Postage Stamps

Historical Plaque in Norwich, Ontario, Canada

ontario plaque commemorating stowe

 Plaque Text:

The first female physician to practice medicine in Canada, Emily Jennings was born in Norwich Township to Quaker parents. For some years she taught school, then, in the early 1860's, she decided to pursue a career in medicine. Refused admission to an exclusively male institution in Toronto, Stowe enrolled in the New York Medical College for Women. She received her degree in 1867 and, returning to Canada, established a successful practice in Toronto. A passionate advocate for social reform, Stowe campaigned vigorously for increased educational opportunities for women, effectively challenging the right of Canadian universities and medical schools to exclude female students. As first president of the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Association (1889-1903), she also contributed significantly for the advancement of women's voting rights.

Source: Alan L. Brown

Brief Biographical Sketch

Birth: 1831
Death: 1903


Emily Howard Jennings Stowe, a Canadian, was denied admission to the  exclusively male, Toronto School of Medicine. Accepted into the New York Medical College for Women, Stowe graduated as an M.D. in 1867.  Returning to Canada, she established the first private practice in Canada run by a female physician. Recognizing the necessity of medical education for women, Stowe challenged the right of Canadian medical schools to exclude female students and cofounded the Women's Medical College in Toronto in1883. ¹‾² As a suffragist and founder of both the Toronto Women's Suffrage Association in 1877 and the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Association in 1889, she also significantly contributed to the advancement of women's voting rights.³ Dr. Stowe died in 1903, 14 years before her home province of Ontario granted full voting rights to women in 1917.

  • Cofounder and President, Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Association,1889
  • Co-founder, Women's Medical College, Toronto, 1883
  • Founder, Toronto Women's Literary Club, later named Toronto Women's Suffrage Association, 1877
  • Canada's first (unlicensed) practicing female physician, 1867
  • Graduated, New York Medical College for Women, 1867
  • Denied admission, Toronto School of Medicine, 1865



  1. Homepathe Internationale. Dr Emily Howard Jennings Stowe (1831-1903). Accessed July 17, 2013. 
  2. Library and Archives Canada. Dr. Emily Howard Stowe. Accessed July 17, 2013. 
  3. Marianopolis College. History of Women's Suffrage in Canada. Accessed July 17, 2013. 

Historical Plaque in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

toronto plaque commemorating stowe

Plaque Text:

Emily Stowe's crusade for female suffrage and higher education for women placed her in the vanguard of the women's rights movement in Canada. Denied access to university in this country because of her gender, she studied medicine in New York City, then moved to Toronto where, in 1867, she opened the first private practice in Canada run by a woman doctor. In 1883 Dr. Stowe spearheaded the drive to found Woman's Medical College in Toronto. Her leadership of the Dominion Women's Enfranchisement Association kept the issue of suffrage in the public eye during the closing years of the 19th century.

Source: Alan L. Brown