He also represented Elgin East in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1871 to 1879. He was born near Ottawa in 1834, the grandson of a United Empire Loyalist. He studied medicine at the Toronto School of Medicine (later the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto) and New York University.
He received his Doctor of Medicine in 1859 and was appointed professor of anatomy at Victoria College.
In 1860, he opened a medical practice in Saint Thomas, Ontario. He was elected to the provincial legislature in 1871 and 1875.
He was elected to the federal parliament in the Canadian federal election of 1882 and was re-elected in 1887. On 8 March 1904 he was appointed to the Canadian Senate upon the recommendation of Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
He represented the senatorial division of Saint Thomas, Ontario until his death in 1912.