Smith-Shortt, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Smith-Shortt, née Smith, physician, feminist (b at Winona, Canada W 18 Jan 1859; d at Ottawa 14 Jan 1949). She belonged to the prosperous LOYALIST family that founded the E.D. Smith preserves company. After teaching for a short time she almost single-handedly stimulated Queen's to introduce medical coeducation. After Elizabeth and others were forced out of medical school by jealous male students, the Canadian Women's Medical Coll was opened in fall 1883. Next year 3 women graduated and Dr Elizabeth Smith entered general practice in Hamilton, Ont. In 1886 she married Queen's professor Adam Shortt and returned to Kingston as a lecturer and later professor in medical jurisprudence in the Women's Medical Coll. Thereafter she became an enthusiastic champion of women's rights. When her husband became Canada's first civil service commissioner in Ottawa, Elizabeth battled unsuccessfully for numerous women's causes which led to her election as VP of the National Council of Women.