Augusta Stowe-Gullen

Fonds number:
Title: Augusta Stowe-Gullen
Dates of Material:
82 cm of textual records
147 photographs: b&w
1 photograph: col.
7 photographs: 35 mm b&w negatives
1 photograph: 4x5 inch b&w negative
2 reels of 35 mm microfilm
Biographical sketch

Ann Augusta Stowe-Gullen (1857–1943) was a medical doctor, a lecturer and a suffragette. She was born in Mt. Pleasant, Ontario, the daughter of John Stowe and Emily Howard Jennings. She married John Benjamin Gullen in 1883. She died in Toronto.

Stowe-Gullen was educated at the Toronto School of Medicine, then at the Faculty of Medicine at Victoria University, Toronto, where she became an M.D. in 1883, the first woman to graduate from a Canadian medical school. Immediately after graduating she was appointed Demonstrator in Anatomy at the Woman’s Medical College in Toronto (from 1894 onwards known as the Ontario Medical College for Women). In 1890 she was appointed Lecturer on Diseases of Children, subsequently Professor of Diseases of Children. She also served among the original staff members of Toronto Western Hospital (founded in 1896). Her husband, Dr. John B. Gullen, was one of the twelve physicians who founded the Toronto Western Hospital in December 1895, and Stowe-Gullen was the first woman appointed to the TWH medical staff. She helped to organize the TWH Women's board (later the (Women's) Auxiliary), and later served as President.

Stowe-Gullen was a member of the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Ontario Social Service Council, the University Women’s Club, the Women’s Art Association, and the Women’s Canadian Club. She was also active in the suffrage, temperance and other social movements. From 1893 to 1907 she was a member of the Toronto Women's Suffrage Club, founded by her mother Emily Stowe, and when the Club evolved into the Canadian Suffrage Association in 1907, Stowe-Gullen was elected honourary President. She served as the first woman member of the Toronto Public School Board (1892-1896) and in 1910 was appointed to the Senate of the University of Toronto where she represented women in the medical profession until 1924. She was among the founders of the National Council of Women in 1893, (Vice-President) of the National Council of Women, and she succeeded her mother as President of the Dominion Women’s Enfranchisement Association in 1903. In 1935 she was awarded the Order of the British Empire.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of Augusta Stowe-Gullen’s records pertaining to her activities as a medical doctor and a suffragette, and to her personal life; of Frederick Cecil Gullen’s records pertaining to his family’s history; and of Agnes Gullen's records pertaining to her personal life and family activities. It consists of three series.

Source of supplied title

Title based on contents of the fonds.


The fonds is stored in 6 boxes.

Immediate source of acquisition

Material that has not been given an accession numnber was acquired from Frederick Cecil Gullen between 1945 and 1960, and from Hudson J. Stowe in 1983 and 1985. Both were nephews of Augusta Stowe Gullen. Frederick Cecil Gullen was the Executor of her Estate. Material with accession number 2011.11 was acquired from Patricia (Gullen) Fedak in 2011.

Language of material


Access restrictions

No restrictions on access.

Terms governing use and reproduction

Part of the fonds is available on microfilm which researchers are requested to use unless an enquiry can be satisfied only by consulting original documents. For further information contact the Chief Librarian.


No further accruals are expected.

Related material

Additional biographical material related to Augusta Stowe-Gullen (including printed addresses and clippings) can be consulted at Victoria University Archives.

University Health Network Archives house the Toronto Western Hospital fonds, which includes series TW 14. Dr. Augusta Stowe-Gullen papers. 

Wilfrid Laurier University Archives (Waterloo, Ontario) hold the Emily Stowe and Augusta Stowe-Gullen Collection (Collection S729).

Access points

Provenance access point: Stowe-Gullen, Augusta, 1857–1943
Gullen, Frederick Cecil, 1882–1961

Related special collections at Victoria University Library
Related exhibitions at Victoria University Library

Canadian Heritage at Victoria University Library exhibit provides a sampling from the impressive Canadian manuscript collections held within the library. From the early nineteenth century missionary, James Evans, to the seminal geologist, A.P. Coleman, to the medical doctor and suffrage worker, Augusta Stowe-Gullen, this selection of the library’s treasures is an informative display.

Related resources

Bacchi, Carol Lee. Liberation Deferred? The Ideas of the English-Canadian Suffragists, 1877–1918. University of Toronto Press, 1983. 

Bird, Kym. Redressing the Past: The Politics of Early English-Canadian Women’s Drama, 1880–1920. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2004.

Cleverdon, Catherine Lyle. The Woman Suffrage Movement in Canada. University of Toronto Press, 1950.

“Dr. Augusta Stowe-Gullen, Toronto, Ont.” Women of Canada. Women of Canada Publ. Co, 1930.

Feldberg, Gina. “Jennings, Emily Howard (Stowe).” Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 13. University of Toronto, 1994. 

Fryer, Mary Beacock. Emily Stowe: Doctor and Suffragist. Hannah Institute, 1990. 

Gilman, Charlotte P. Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution. Small, Maynard & Co, 1900.
The back endpapers of the book are inscribed with notes by Augusta Stowe-Gullen.

Hacker, Carlotta. The Indomitable Lady Doctors. Goodread Biographies, 1984.

Ray, Janet. Emily Stowe. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2002.

Ridley, Hilda M. A Synopsis of Woman Suffrage in Canada. 1900. 

Sanders, Byrne H. Famous Women: Carr, Hind, Gullen, Murphy. Clarke, Irwin, 1958.

Sangster, Joan. One Hundred Years of Struggle: The History of Women and the Vote in Canada. UBC Press, 2018.

Smith, Kathleen. “Dr. Augusta Stowe-Gullen: A Pioneer of Social Conscience.” Canadian Medical Association Journal, vol. 126, no. 12, 1982, pp. 1465–1467. 

Stowe-Gullen, Augusta. A Brief History of the Ontario Medical College for Women. 1906.

Stowe-Gullen, Augusta. History of the Formation of National Council of Women of Canada. 1931.

Stowe-Gullen, Augusta. “Woman as a Physician.” Woman, Maiden, Wife and Mother: A Study of Woman's Worth and Work in All Departments of Her Manifold Life, Education, Business, Society, Housekeeping, Health, Physical Culture, Marriage and Kindred Matters, edited by B.F. Austin. The Linscott Publishing Company, 1898.

Strong-Boag, Veronica “Women’s Suffrage in Canada.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, edited by Davida Aronovitch et al. Historica Canada, 2016. 

Women’s Suffrage in Canada Collection contains a wide range of both textual and visual primary and secondary sources on the history of the Canadian suffrage movement. 

The Gerritsen Collection: Women’s History Online includes additional material by or about Augusta Stowe-Gullen appearing in journals and other publications.