James Low


James Low was born about 1782. We seek information on his origins and path to Albany.

His wife was Ann Marie, the daughter of James Caldwell. She died in 1820 at the age of 36. The marriage produced one child who was named for his maternal grandfather.

James Low was trained as a physician and is said to have graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1807. He seems to have emigrated to America and to have taken up residence if not also practice in Albany with Dr. William Mc Clelland another immigrant Scot who died in 1812.

In 1808, he was among those invited to the funeral of Henry J. Bleecker.

He was a member, officer, and often-times the named physician of a number of Albany-based civic organizations. He was vice-president of the Albany County Medical Society beginning in 1817 and its president in 1820. He also served as one of the city-appointed physicians to the poor.

In 1810, his first ward household first was configured on the Albany census. City directories identified him as a physician with a residence at 73 State and then 93 North Pearl Street.

In 1819, he advertized instruction in pharmacy, medical botany, and chemistry in an Albany newspaper. A former student characterized him as a "man of talent, classical scholar, [and] lover of books."

Ann Caldwell Low died in 1820. Dr. James Low only lived for forty years. He died in February 1822 and was buried in Saratoga. In July, Letters of Administration were issued on his estate in Albany County. In tribute, the Medical Society resolved to wear crepe armbands for thirty days. By the end of the year, his library and medical equipment were offered for sale.

This individual was an Albany resident and a native of Scotland. The existence of prominent and same-named regional contemporaries complicates our enquiry.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of James Low has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 4/20/11