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Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D. 1821 ~ 1910


Elizabeth Blackwell MD

The first woman physician in the United States was born in England, February 3, 1821, but her father brought his family to New York when she was eleven years old.

After five or six years in that city, his business failed and he moved to Cincinnati. He had been there but a few weeks when he died, leaving a widow and nine children in very embarrassed circumstances.

Elizabeth, who was his third daughter, together with her two oldest sisters opened a Young Ladies' Seminary and supported the family. Finding a better opportunity for private teaching in South Carolina, she went there in 1845, teaching music and French in a few wealthy families, while she read medicine with Doctor Samuel H. Dickson, of Charleston.

After two or three years of hard labor in South Carolina, and about two years more devoted to the study of medicine in Philadelphia and Geneva, New York, she received her medical diploma.

In receiving it from the head director, she replied, "I thank you sir. With the help of the Most High it shall be the effort of my life to shed honor upon this diploma." Nor was this resolution in vain. Elizabeth Blackwell may be said to be the dean of the corps of splendid women physicians in the United States, and few if any have exceeded her in conscientious skill.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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