PETER WHITEFORD REDPATH
Robert Harris, Rare Books and Special Collections Division, McGill University Library, This portrait of Peter Whitemore Redpath, like those of other family members, was painted by society artist Robert Harris
Born 14 months after Amy, on 17 July 1869, Peter was the eldest son of Ada Mills and John James Redpath. Upon his father’s death in 1884, Peter’s uncle reminded him of his responsibilities as the first-born son: he was now the family representative and expected to achieve his utmost. Although he studied sciences at McGill University, Peter appeared to have been too ill to work for any length of time. In a letter, his uncle Peter Redpath offered his nephew a suitable position at the sugar mill which Peter declined. Peter spent long periods away from home pursuing medical treatment in Europe for sciatica and taking the rest cure for tuberculosis in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec, upper New York State, Colorado, and California.
Following the tragedy in June 1901, Peter’s health rapidly deteriorated, prompting Amy to travel with him to Ste-Agathe-des-Monts and later to Redlands, California, where he died of tuberculosis on May 18, 1902. Amy accompanied her brother’s body back to Montreal by train; he was buried in the family plot at the Mount Royal Cemetery. Having died intestate and childless, his share of the Redpath estate reverted to his surviving siblings.
In 1911, Amy established the Peter Whiteford and Jocelyn Clifford Redpath Library Fund and commissioned a painting by Robert Harris of Peter wearing graduation robes. To this day, the painting hangs in Rare Books division of the McLennan Library at McGill University. Amy wrote the poem “Because he Lived” and “On the Tablets of Memory P.W.R.” to commemorate Peter’s life.
- Peter Redpath, Letter from Peter Redpath to Peter Whiteford Redpath, 22 June 1884, June 22, 1884
- Peter Redpath, Letter from Peter Redpath to Peter Whiteford Redpath, 22 January 1892, January 22, 1892
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