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Woman as physician.

Rev. H. B. Elliot.
The care of the sick has from earliest ages devolved on woman. A group by one of our sculptors, representing Eve with the body of Abel stretched upon her lap, bending over it in bewildered grief, and striving to cherish or restore the vital spirit which she can hardly believe to have departed, is a type of the province of the sex ever since pain and death entered the world. To be first the vehicle for human life, and then its devoted guardian, to remove or alleviate the physical evils which afflict the race, or to patiently watch their wasting course, and tenderly care for all that remains when they have wrought their result,--this is her divinely appointed and universally conceded mission. Were she to refuse it, to forsake her station beside the suffering, the office of medicine and the efforts of the physician would be more than half baffled. And yet, where her post is avowedly so important, she has generally been denied the liberty of understanding much that is involved in its intelligent occupancy. With the human body so largely in her charge from birth to death, she has not been allowed to inquire into its marvellous mechanism. With the administering of remedies .entrusted to her vigilance and faithfulness, she has not been allowed to investigate the qualities, or to know even the names of the substances committed to her use, or to ascertain the methods [514] of their operation. With the mind to guide at the stages where its tutelage is of incomparable importance, she has not been allowed to learn the delicate lines of its dependence upon the body, or the subtle but invincible influences which they mutually exert. To be a student of these things, with scientific thoroughness, and then to practise independently with what she has thus acquired, has been regarded as unseemly, or as beyond her capacity, or as an invasion of prerogatives claimed exclusively for men. Indeed, the whole domain of medicine has been “pre-empted” by men, and in their “squatter sovereignty” (for no law divine or human has yet deeded it to them) they have sturdily warned off the gentler sex. But they will not be kept off. By quiet approaches they have long been gaining foothold upon the outskirts of the territory. Of late years they have ventured into its very centre, claiming equal rights, or erecting their own edifices and laying foundations for enduring institutions. Under manifold disadvantages and with imperfect appliances, it has yet come to be a fixed fact that, in this realm, as in those of literature and art, there shall be no factitious distinctions from such cause.

To our own country belongs the credit of being foremost in this change, first to admit, and most liberal in fostering it. In England a “female medical society” has existed several years, and offers facilities for instruction by means of lectures upon some branches, sufficient to qualify for a diploma from “Apothecaries' Hall.” In connection with it there is now a “Ladies' Medical College,” which recently announced fifty students. But the aim of the whole movement is at present only to furnish well trained midwives. In Paris the “Maternity” Hospital affords opportunity for observation in the department which its name indicates, with whatever forms of disease may be collateral or incidental, and receives women nominally as students, but they are not [515] allowed to prescribe in the wards, nor instructed in regard to the remedies used. Indeed, they can hardly rise above the position of proficient nurses. In both countries, the way to the entrance of women upon general practice among their own sex has scarcely yet begun to open.

In the United States, there are three regularly organized institutions for their education, with all the ordinary appliances of Medical Colleges,--at New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. There are hospitals and dispensaries connected with them, and their students and graduates have now, also, the usual privileges in many of the long-established hospitals. Boston, with characteristic forwardness in accepting whatever tends to the promotion of science or philanthropy, was in advance of the other cities in this movement, though outstripped by them in results. As early as 1845 and 1846 Dr. Samuel Gregory, in connection with his brother, Mr. George Gregory, published pamphlets advocating the education and employment of female physicians. In 1847 he delivered a series of public lectures upon the subject, and proposed the opening of a school for the purpose. In 1848 a class of twelve ladies was formed, under the instruction of Dr. Enoch C. Rolfe and Dr. William M. Cornell. An association styled the “American female Medical education Society” was organized the same year, and afterward merged in the New England Female Medical College, chartered in 1856, which has been liberally sustained by legislative grants, as well as individual donations. It owns a valuable property, and has many facilities for its work. It has graduated seventy-two women, many of whom are occupying positions of great influence among their sex, both as practitioners of medicine, and as teachers of physiology and hygiene in schools, and has also furnished valuable information upon the laws of health to a large number who have attended partial courses of lectures by its professors. At [516] Philadelphia the college has quietly pursued its work, through the past eighteen years, with steadily increasing success, notwithstanding the unfriendly attitude of the ordinary professional organizations, and has sent forth a goodly number of skilful physicians. Its corporators assert that “its curriculum of study and requirements for graduation are in all respects as high as those of the best medical schools in this country” and present a catalogue of thirty-eight regular students for the year 1867. At the college in New York, chartered in 1863, one hundred intelligent ladies have already received instruction from a competent corps of professors. Many of these have not designed to practise as physicians; but have availed themselves of this method for obtaining knowledge invaluable to them in their own homes. Twenty-nine have completed the course, and received the legal diploma; and there are now thirty students in regular attendance. The New York Infirmary also, now in its fourteenth year, originated and still chiefly managed by Drs. Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell, has well earned an honorable position and done noble service. It has furnished advice and medicine gratuitously to more than seven thousand women and children during the past year. These ladies have in view the organization of a college, for which a considerable fund has already been collected and a preparatory class formed. In various other directions preliminary steps have been taken toward the same end; and there are estimated to be as many as three hundred women, in full practice, scattered through the land. These institutions are yet in their infancy, and the opposition to their object has been such, on the part of male members of the profession, that they have found difficulty in securing instructors of the highest grade and facilities for thorough clinical or anatomical study. This, however, they are gradually overcoming, and, we doubt not, will soon occupy a position, fully equal at least to that of [517] the average of similar schools. We have deemed it appropriate to make these introductory statements, in view of the fact that this field for female action is one so little trodden, as yet, that its claims are but vaguely apprehended; and to many of our readers the subject is perhaps entirely new. The few individuals, the outline of whose history we are to give, have been leaders in the whole movement, and are still recognized by their associates as its most prominent advocates. They are also among the ripest and most honorable examples of what it is fitted to accomplish.

Mrs. Clemence S. Lozier, M. D.

It is deeply interesting to trace the causes which have led any one to depart from the ordinary paths of life. In those causes there is often much that is palpably providential,the impelling of divine influences through extraordinary arrangements,--and there is much of natural operations in accordance with the recognized fitness of things. Both these facts will be apparent in the instance we are now to consider. Why should Mrs. Lozier, a gentle, modest, unambitious, home-loving woman, have chosen the calling of a physician? We shall see as we sketch her biography. She was born Dec. 11, 1813, at Plainfield, New Jersey, the youngest of thirteen children. Her father was a farmer, David Harned,--a name well known at that period in the Methodist Church, of which he was a faithful member, and in which his brothers were successful preachers. Her mother was Hannah Walker. Previous to their residence in New Jersey, they spent some years in Virginia, where Indian tribes, noted for their sagacity, were then numerous. Mrs. Harned, a devout Quakeress, and with much missionary spirit, mingled freely with them. From them she gained valuable information, which, [518] added to reading and close observation, with strong natural predilection, qualified her to act efficiently in the neighborhood as an attendant upon the sick. Subsequently she spent seven years in New York city, engaged in general practice, with the advice and co-operation of her cousins, Drs. Dunham and Kissam, by whom she was highly esteemed. William Harned, an elder brother of Clemence, was also a physician of good reputation in New York, and for some time partner of Dr. Doane, formerly quarantine physician, in an extensive chemical laboratory. Clemence was early left an orphan, and was educated at the Plainfield Academy. In 1830 she was married at New York to Mr. A. W. Lozier. Her husband's health soon failing, she opened a select school at their house in West Tenth Street, which she continued eleven years, averaging sixty pupils from families whose social position indicates the character of the teacher whom they would sustain. Many of those pupils and their children are now her patients. Mrs. Lozier was one of the first teachers II the city to introduce the study of Physiology, Anatomy, and Hygiene as branches of female education. During this period, she read medical works, under the direction of her brother. When her scholars were ill, she would generally be called before the physician, and her advice would be the sole reliance in ordinary diseases. She also at that time, for seven years, was associated with Mrs. Margaret Pryor in visiting the poor and abandoned, in connection with the Moral Reform Society, and often prescribed for them in sickness. Subsequently, while residing in Albany, she visited in the same connection in that city. Her opportunities for observing diseases in their worst forms among women and children were thus unusually extensive. In 1837 Mr. Lozior died; but she continued for some time the occupation to which his invalid condition had led her, though constantly looking forward to the medical profession as that to which she desired [519] to devote herself. In 1849 she attended her first course of lectures at the Central New York College, in Rochester, and graduated at the Syracuse Eclectic College in 1853, having previously applied for admission to several other institutions, and been refused on the ground that no female student could be received. Returning to New York, she entered at once upon regular practice, which she has continued with remarkable success to the present time. Resorting to no means for attracting attention, generous to excess, giving her services gratuitously in numerous instances where fees would usually be exacted, yet her professional income is equalled by only a few of the most prominent practitioners in the city. She never hesitates to treat the most critical cases, and in the surgery required by the diseases of her sex has shown peculiar skill, having performed more than a hundred and twenty “capital operations” in the removal of vital tumors, besides nearly a thousand of a minor character. Many leading physicians now readily meet her in consultation, and she is frequently called out of town for the purpose. In 1867 she visited Europe, where every facility was afforded her for the inspection of hospitals, and eminent men received her, and introduced her to their associates with most gratifying courtesy.

In 1860 Mrs. Lozier commenced a course of familiar lectures in her own parlors, given gratuitously to her patients and their female friends, and attended by many of them with much interest and profit. These continued three years, during which a “Medical Library Association” was formed, for the purpose of promoting reading upon such subjects on the part of ladies. Her own mind, however, was, from the beginning, fixed upon the organization of a Medical College. In her parlor listeners, to whom she was giving only the simplest instruction upon sanitary principles, she foresaw the nucleus of college classes.. In her patients and the men of [520] wealth or benevolence to whose families she thus gained access, she anticipated contributors to its funds. All her professional and social intercourse was made to bend to this result with untiring zeal and unwavering confidence. Her own experience, and that of the few others who had met the ordeal, convinced her that by no other means could a thorough training be given to those who desired it, without such sacrifice of personal feeling as no woman should be required to endure. She denied both the expediency and practicability of mingling the sexes in such education, and therefore refrained from co-operating in the measures proposed by others to that end. Many meetings of ladies, for conference, were held at her house; but the disturbed condition of the country prevented the maturing of their plans. Some were wearied or discouraged in the effort, and forsook her; but she never for a moment doubted the success of the movement. At length, in 1863, it was determined to organize. The Library Association was merged in a College Association, a Board of Trustees chosen, a charter obtained, professors engaged, rooms secured, and the enterprise fairly inaugurated. Mrs. Lozier pledged herself, beyond her own subscription, to meet all pecuniary deficiencies for the first year. Her satisfaction and gratitude for the fulfilment of her hopes were complete. Since then she has devoted as much as possible of her time, and a considerable portion of her property, to its advancement. In all her efforts, from their inception to their present results, she has been ably seconded by her son, Dr. A. W. Lozier, whose indefatigable labors were invaluable to the cause. Of him it is fitting to say here that he is an esteemed physician, married to a highly educated lady (who is also a graduate of the Medical College), and is well-established as a practitioner in New York.

Mrs. Lozier's marked characteristic, both personally and professionally, is gentleness,--carried in demeanor, perhaps, [521] to an extreme of quietness, which sometimes detracts from a just impression of her ability, decision, and confidence. Her influence upon her patients is always-soothing; and she thus places them in the best mood for the action of remedies, while by her tenderness she wins many hearts, which will affectionately cherish her when time and space shall widely separate them. Not naturally systematic,--not so strict and regular as many might wish in her arrangements and modes of practice,--never making impression by technical phraseology,--much of her success arises from her sympathetic penetration of a case, ready access to the entire state of those seeking her advice, and the use of mild forms of treatment adapted to the susceptible female organism. In her aims she is singularly unselfish. Her simple remark to a friend, in view of one of the most difficult operations, which she had not before performed, but had then decided to undertake, in the presence of one of our first surgeons, instead of entrusting it to his hands, was indicative of her habitual spirit: “I desire to do this for the sake of the cause, for the credit of woman.” It is her absorbing idea, and in it her own personal aspirations are merged. At the basis of her whole character, however, and the source from which spring all its movements, is a spiritual faith. Years ago, amid trials known only to a limited circle, she grasped the unseen hand of the Great Physician, upon which she has never ceased to lean, and which has never failed to lead her. In a private letter (which we must be pardoned for quoting) she says, “I am so much indebted to my religious teachings, to an unwavering faith in a present Saviour, and his constant inspiring love, that I want to tell all the world about that, and how I feel the gift of healing to be the talent committed to me by him, and then how I feel indebted to Mr. L. N. Fowler and his excellent wife, Dr. Lydia F. Fowler, to Mrs. C. F. Wells, and many other helps which God has raised up for me.” We mention this, not for [522] the purpose of eulogy, but because our sketch would be incomplete without the distinct acknowledgment of that which is most radical, and upon which Mrs. Lozier herself places her utmost dependence.

Miss Elizabeth Blackwell, M. D.

In the subject of the previous sketch, our attention was directed to one whom native tendencies and favoring circumstances so combined to lead to the chosen pursuit, that her engagement in it was, from childhood, almost a foregone conclusion; and it would have required a strong compulsion to divert her from it. In the lady whose name we now present, we observe very different elements of character, and different influences prompting to a similar course. Miss Blackwell is of English parentage, and was born at Bristol, England, in the year 1821. Her father moved to the United States in 1831, and first established himself in business at New York. In accordance with his circumstances and views, his children had at that time every advantage for a liberal education. Proving unsuccessful in his enterprises, he removed to Cincinnati, hoping there to retrieve his fortunes, but died in 1837, leaving his family among strangers, to depend entirely upon their own efforts for support. Elizabeth, with well-matured mind, and already developing the energy which has since so thoroughly characterized her, though but seventeen years of age, opened a school, which she sustained satisfactorily several years.

An apparently slight occurrence directed her attention to the study of medicine. A female friend, afflicted with a distressing disease, expressed her keen regret that there was no one of her own sex to whom she and other like sufferers could resort for treatment. There were women who had [523] assumed the medical title, but without authority, and with little claim to confidence. Most of them, also, were of disreputable character, and their practice not only unreliable, but largely criminal. Her friend, appreciating Miss Blackwell's abilities, and knowing that she had yet no settled aim in life, urged upon her the duty of devoting herself to this object, rescuing the title as applied to women from reproach, and meeting a want which multitudes painfully felt. The suggestion was immediately repelled, as utterly repugnant to her tastes and habits. She had a peculiar and extreme aversion to anything connected with the sick-room, or with the human body in its infirmities. Even the ordinary physical sciences were uncongenial to her. Metaphysics and moral philosophy, the abstract sciences, accorded far more with her inclinations. Pressed upon her, however, as a question for conscientious consideration, and, with characteristic firmness, setting aside personal preferences, she soon decided that the call upon her was providential, and her duty plain. The opprobrium to be encountered and the difficulties to be surmounted only deepened her determination. Writing for advice to six different physicians in different parts of the country, their invariable reply was, that the object, though desirable, was impracticable; “utterly impossible for a woman to obtain a medical education. The idea eccentric and utopian.” Her reasoning from such counsel was brief, and her conclusion peculiar. “A desirable object, a good thing to be done, said to be impossible. I will do it.” She at once commenced medical reading, under the direction of Dr. John Dixon, of Ashville, N. C., in whose family she was residing as governess. Removing the next year to Charleston, S. C., she supported herself by giving lessons in music, but continued to study, with regular instruction from Dr. S. H. Dixon, afterwards professor in the medical department of the New York University, and pursued it further under Drs. Allen [524] and Warrington, of Philadelphia. She found the study deeply interesting, and followed it with ardor and thoroughness, while benevolence and singleness of purpose speedily overcame her aversion to the associations of disease. Upon applying for admission to the medical schools of New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, she was uniformly refused. From ten others the same answer was returned, until at Geneva the faculty submitted the question to the students, who unanimously voted for her reception, at the same time assuring her that nothing on their part should ever occur to wound her feelings while in attendance,--a pledge which they nobly kept. Entering in 1846, she graduated in 1848,--the first woman who received the medical degree in the United States. So violent, and so ignorant, too, was the opposition of her own sex, that during those two years no lady in Geneva would make her acquaintance; common civilities, even at the table, were denied her, and in the street she was deemed unworthy of recognition. Within the college walls she found nothing but friendliness and decorum; and on the evening of public graduation the cordiality of the students in making way for her to receive her diploma, and pleasantly indicating their congratulations, was marked and respectful. The next morning (she was to leave town in the afternoon) her parlor was filled with ladies. Success had turned the tide. Doubtless, also, many, moved by the evident approval of her associates in study, were satisfied at last that her motives were honorable, and her abilities adequate to her work.

The same year, Miss Blackwell went to Europe, and entered as a student “La Maternite,” at Paris, with special reference to obstetrics. She also studied in 1850 and 1851 at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, in London. In the autumn of 1851 she returned, and commenced practice in New York city. Here again she experienced difficulties which only an indomitable will and the consciousness of a lofty aim enabled [525] her to meet. With no such facilities from extended acquaintance and gradual entrance upon the work as subsequently favored Mrs. Lozier, she found a “blank wall of social and professional antagonism facing the woman physician which formed a situation of singular loneliness, leaving her without support, respect, or counsel.” The title had been appropriated by such a class, that the sign was too generally supposed to indicate either a charlatan or an agent of infamy, and it was almost impossible to find a respectable boarding-house upon which her name would be allowed to appear. Notwithstanding all the hindrances, however, her testimonials and soon-proved qualifications gradually gained for her the confidence of all classes, the co-operation of physicians, and an extent of practice entirely satisfactory. The Quakers were first to receive her; and among them she has ever since maintained a most desirable position. Contrary to her own expectation, and to the usual impression also, her services have not been limited to, nor even chiefly required for, diseases peculiar to her own sex, but she is called and relied upon generally as the regular family physician; and in that capacity her relation to a wide circle of families is permanent.

In 1859 she again visited Europe, gave a course of lectures in London on the connection of women with medicine, and was registered as a member of the British Medical profession.

At about the time when Miss Blackwell established herself in New York, her sister Emily commenced the study, under Dr. John Davis, demonstrator at the Medical College of Cincinnati. In 1852 she entered the Rush Medical College, at Chicago, reading also with Dr. Daniel Brainerd, of that city, and spending the summer vacations in such attendance as was permitted her at Bellevue Hospital, New York, and graduated at the Cleveland College in February, 1854. That year and the two following she spent abroad,--one [526] year in Edinburgh, one in Paris, one in London; and returning in December, 1856, located in New York. We regret that our limits forbid a more extended reference to this lady, whose abilities, attainments, and personal excellences cause her to share the respect of the public and the calls of private practice equally with her sister. It has seemed necessary to make Elizabeth Blackwell, as the elder physician, and for some reasons the more prominent, the special subject of our notice. In our further statements, however, we shall find them so thoroughly identified in their professional sphere, that they must necessarily be named together.

The “New York Infirmary for women and children,” was the product of their united thought and effort. It was incorporated in the winter of 1853, and opened in the spring of 1854 as a dispensary, regulated and attended by Dr. Elizabeth. In 1856, on the return of Dr. Emily from Europe, they associated with them temporarily, Dr. M. E. Zakrzewska, a Polish lady, enlarged their plans, took a house, and opened it as a hospital, as well as a dispensary. The object was threefold,--a charity for the poor, a resort for respectable patients desiring special treatment, and particularly a centre to female students for practical clinical study. The Boston and Philadelphia colleges had already been chartered, and sent forth a number of graduates; but there was then no hospital which their students could freely visit, nor was there any designed exclusively for female patients. The New York Infirmary was therefore, for some years, the only woman's hospital in both these senses, and supplied an essential element in any full scheme of instruction. About thirty students have availed themselves of its advantages, by spending a year in daily attendance at its bedsides, and accompanying its visiting assistants into the homes of the poor. With an honorable list of consulting physicians, the treatment is yet entirely conducted by the Drs. Blackwell and their [527] female associates. Up to the present time over fifty thousand patients have received prescriptions and personal care by this means; and nearly a thousand have been inmates of its wards. Every variety of operation connected with midwifery (except the Caesarean), has there been successfully performed by Dr. Emily Blackwell, as attending surgeon. Both the sisters took an active part in the organization and work of the “Ladies Central relief Association,” during the war; and their parlor lectures to nurses about to enter the service of the army were highly valued.

In the personal qualities as well as professional methods of the Drs. Blackwell, the intellectual element decidedly predominates. Clear judgment, close analysis, and steady purpose mark their treatment of cases which come under their charge. They are strenuous advocates of thorough scientific attainments on the part of women who would engage in the profession; and enter continual protests against short courses of study, and low standards of acquirement in institutions for that purpose. On this account, they have refused to co-operate with any which have been organized, perhaps exacting too much from those which are confessedly imperfect at the beginning, and laboring under unavoidable disadvantages. Their influence, however, has thus been stimulating to all who are engaged in such efforts, “provoking them to good works.” A paragraph in one of their lectures expresses their spirit. “It is observation and comprehension, not sympathy, which will discover the kind of disease. It is knowledge, not sympathy, which can administer the right medicine; and though warm sympathetic natures, with knowledge, would make the best of all physicians, without sound scientific knowledge, they would be most unreliable and dangerous guides.” They are also firm in their conviction of the expediency of mingling the sexes in all scholastic training, and have very reluctantly relinquished [528] for the present, the hope of opening the ordinary colleges to female applicants. In their mode of practice they adopt the main features of the “regular” system, while refusing to be absolutely bound by any such limitations in their examination and use of remedies. On the whole, they furnish each as complete an instance as has come under our observation among women, of cool, dignified, self-poised character, scorning shams and artifices, resolutely, with disinterested motive, set on the attainment of worthy ends. In religious connection, they are Episcopalians, though, in theology as well as medicine, they seem to be independent searchers for truth.

Miss Harriot K. Hunt, M. D.

Perhaps no American woman of our time has made herself heard and felt in so many directions and amid such diverse circumstances as Harriot K. Hunt. Many have achieved more eminence in some one department, and the world of fashion or literature or art recognize them where she is unknown. But the parlor and the platform, the sick-room and the court-room, asylums and churches, wretched hovels and mansions of elegance, East and West, have been the scenes of her animated speech and determined work. By the lovers of truth and goodness, the radical philanthropists of various orders, she is widely known. Many causes have been promoted by her public advocacy. In private relations many a crushed, despairing woman has risen to new life under her stirring appeals, many a bold, profligate man has shrunk abashed before her pungent rebukes. It is difficult, therefore, to eliminate the professional part of her history from the social and reformatory, as our design obliges us to do, and to condense it into our brief limits.

She is a genuine Bostonian (a title which has significance, [529] both favorable and unfavorable), pedigreed, born, bred, and habituated as such. Her father, Joab Hunt, lived many years in the street in which his parents and grandparents had lived and died. He was of a strong stock, full of vitality physical and mental. Her mother, Kezia Wentworth, was of an equally vigorous ancestry, and possessed a mind of remarkable qualities, argumentative, practical, independent, and withal abounding in tenderness and genial brightness, as did also her father, in whom humor and earnestness seem to have been happily combined. He was a shipping merchant, and through energy and prudence came into easy circumstances, amid which, Harriot and her sister Sarah, the only children, were reared. Harriot was born in 1805, the first child, fourteen years after her parents' marriage, and was joyfully welcomed and carefully trained. Her home was a happy one, and everything which affection could devise to foster her constitutional buoyancy of character was lavished upon her. Nothing occurred to shade the steady brightness of her life until 1827, when the sudden death of her father changed all her prospects. His estate was found to be encumbered and the settlement difficult. A few months previous, with some intimations of his embarrassed affairs, the sisters had opened a school, which became now the chief dependence of the family, beyond the small income from the property. It was also a means of discipline to themselves, qualifying them for their future work, brought them more into contact with the domestic lives of others, and acquainted them with those private underlying facts in regard to the condition of young girls and their home management, upon which so largely depends their health in maturer years. Harriot says of it, “My school was flourishing and I loved it. Yet I never felt it my true vocation. It seemed to be preparing me for something higher and more permanent. It was but transitional.” In 1830 her sister was prostrated by severe illness. This, with [530] the experience of medical treatment in connection with it, formed the turning-point in the history of both. It was a distressing, complicated disease, and the prescriptions were after the severest forms of the old school of practice. After ten months sickness without improvement, the sisters were roused to consider and study. They procured medical books and read, and arrived at the conclusion that the case had been misunderstood. Then came a change of physicians, with some advantage; but the interest awakened in the study of medicine and the conviction that much of the ordinary practice was blind and merely experimental, led them to pursue the investigation further for themselves and for the benefit of similar sufferers. In 1833, Mrs. Mott, an English woman, established herself in Boston. Her husband was a physician, but the care of female patients devolved chiefly upon her. She made extravagant claims to medical skill in the treatment of cases regarded as hopeless; yet her general success was too evident to be denied. She attracted their attention, and, in spite of friendly protests and the displeasure of former attendants, the invalid was placed under her care. The result was favorable. After more than three years confinement, she was soon able to walk the streets and to attend church. Relations of intimacy and affection were created between the physician and her patient's family. After a time they changed their residence, leasing their own house, and taking rooms in Mrs. Mott's. Then the school was given up, and Harriot accepted the position of secretary to Mrs. Mott, conducting an extensive correspondence with patients. She entered upon it with her usual ardor. It enlarged the sphere of her observation, intensified her sympathy especially for those afflicted with hidden ailments, and “deepened the instinct which pointed her to the medical profession.” Meanwhile she read with avidity everything which bore upon it. She was fascinated by it, eager for knowledge in each department [531] and delighted with the results of research. Her mind, however, biased by her experience in her sister's case, turned most readily in the direction of inquiry after the laws of health. She “endeavored to trace diseases to violated laws, and learn the science of prevention. That word, prevention, seemed a great word to me,” she says; “curative was small beside it.” The death of Dr. Mott caused Mrs. Mott to return to England and broke up the household. Still the studies were pursued, with an increasingly clear persuasion of what the purpose of her life was to be, and a very distinct recognition of providential guidance in it. The period spent thus, nearly three years (including her attendance in Mrs. Mott's office), in addition to the more private reading in the sick-room during the intervals of relief from school duties, was one of extreme application. Few students after the regular modes, with all the facilities of tuition afforded them, have ranged over a wider field of knowledge or searched it more thoroughly, so far as it can be exhibited in books. The opportunities for more practical examination by the bedside, or in contact otherwise with the subjects of maladies, came subsequently, and were pursued with an eagerness sharpened by the consciousness of deficiency resulting from the previous lack. i In 1835 an office was opened, the two names, Harriot and Sarah, associated. They studied and practised together. Often in the late night hours they recited to each other lessons from medical works, or compared views upon cases presented during the day. Each new case was a fresh revelation to them, or gave them a deeper insight into What they had already learned. There is a singular charm about this part of their biography, as we have obtained glimpses of it. Harriot evidently took the lead in everything. She was thirty years of age,--the very acme of human life,--in vigorous health, every faculty fully developed and toned to its highest point, of indomitable will and overflowing [532] with enthusiasm. With no professional support, no conferred title as guaranty of capacity or attainment, no advertising resorts for attraction, she launched from the safe harbor of domestic privacy and social protection upon an untried sea of responsibility and public scrutiny, with suitable discretion, and yet with unflinching confidence that she was on the track to which the Divine Hand had brought her. Her practice was not after any established formulas. She was bound by the regulations of no school, as none had endorsed her. She valued the ordinary medicines, so far as she perceived their restorative effects, but received and used freely any remedial agency whether moral or physical. She writes, “I was particularly attracted to mental diseases and often found physical maladies growing out of concealed sorrows. We were frequently surprised by the successful termination of many of our cases through prescription for mental states; and the causes of diseases, with the quality of remedies for them, became a deeper study. Love for our calling gave life to the calling. Every fact we gathered had its use, and while the perceptive faculties were stimulated, the reflective were educated for guidance.” And again, “Medication alone is not to be relied on. In one-half the cases medicine is not needed and is worse than useless. Obedience to spiritual and physical laws — hygiene of the body and hygiene of the spirit — is the surest warrant for health and happiness. It is only the quacks of the profession, emulous of the quacks ostracized by the faculty, who put their trust in dosing. The true physician knows better.”

Patients gathered slowly at first, but with steady increase. Many were declined conscientiously, because beyond her present knowledge or ability, and without any false pride of reputation. Obstetrics and other surgery she never practised. We pass over a few years, during which she was gaining experience, position, influence, and property. Her [533] sister married and removed, and she was left alone in her professional work, which began to grow rapidly in its demands upon her. In 1843 a “Ladies' Physiological Society” was organized in Charlestown, at her suggestion. The members met twice a month, to read and converse upon topics which the name indicates, while industriously occupied for some benevolent object. Within the year it increased in numbers from a dozen to fifty, and was long sustained with spirit and benefit, and, for aught we know, is still in active existence. Its formation was eventful to Miss Hunt, as giving her the first hint of the possibility of lecturing to her own sex. At many of their meetings she addressed them, and acquired thus the freedom and facility of speech which she has since exercised abundantly, before larger and more general audiences, upon a variety of subjects. In 1847, at the suggestion of friends, as well as the prompting of an earnest wish for information through every avenue, she applied to the faculty of Harvard College for permission to attend a course of lectures in the medical department, stating that, at the age of forty-two, after twelve years practice, which had become extensive, and ranking among her friends many of the most intelligent citizens, it would be evident to them that the request must proceed from no want of patronage, but simply from a desire for such scientific light as could be imparted by their professors, and as would make her more worthy of the trusts committed to her. The application was refused, simply upon the ground of expediency, without assigning reasons. Three years afterward she repeated it, accompanying it with an able letter, hoping that the favor with which Miss Blackwell had been received elsewhere, and the full discussion of the matter on several occasions, might induce a different decision. It proved so; and permission was granted by the proper officers. The students, however, waxed indignant at the prospect of such an associate in their [534] studies (or, perhaps, such a witness of their manners), and vehemently protested. Unwilling to create disturbance, where her object had been entirely disinterested, she generously declined to avail herself of the long-coveted opportunity. The medical class of 1851, at Harvard, so unlike that of 1846, at Geneva, in the case of Miss Blackwell, gained for themselves an unenviable notoriety. In 1853 the Female Medical College, at Philadelphia, conferred upon Miss Hunt the honorary degree of M. D. She had well earned it, and, whatever may be her technical irregularities, has conferred as much honor upon the title as it has upon her.

In 1850 Miss Hunt began to attend conventions held with reference to the interests and rights of woman. Every aspect of that movement profoundly affected her, and she gave her influence earnestly to it. Her special part in it, however, and her public speech, when opportunity offered, was concerning the sanitary reforms needed among women, and their right and duty to take care of themselves and each other and their offspring in that respect. “Woman as physician to her sex” was her theme. The conventions furnished her fitting occasions for urging it. They brought her also more prominently before the public, and prepared the way for numerous meetings, called for the purpose exclusively of listening to her appeals upon the subject. At intervals, through several summers, as convenience served, and she could be spared from professional charge at home, she made tours through New England, New York State, and Ohio, delivering addresses, organizing associations, visiting colleges and schools. That she spoke well and effectively may be inferred from the character of her audiences, composed of the most intelligent classes, and the practical results in societies formed, and new impulse given to measures for the education of women in every department. During the last few years her life has not been marked by any events which could appropriately be noticed [535] in our sketch. She has continued her residence in Boston, and pursued her practice in a steadily increasing circle. Her example has encouraged others to enter the field; and she has now some able co-laborers in the city, whom she thankfully welcomes and assists, declaring, “All women-worker; have my benediction.” At the end of twenty-five years she celebrated her silver wedding to her profession. Her house was crowded with cordial friends, who decorated it with flowers, and testified their esteem by abundant tokens. Advanced in years, her spirit is still buoyant as ever. She writes, “Knowing that all life is from the Lord, mine, professionally, has been radiant, and I have enjoyed so much in it!” “My hair is white, but my life is precious to me.” “As year after year has glided away, I have gathered flowers and fruits, which have cheered and beautified the approach of age. Signal blessings, providential interpositions, interior guidance in emergencies, religious thankfulness for strength in times of need, distrust, and sin, mark the periods of my life, rather than days and months.” Sorrowing much over suffering, with burning indignation against vices and oppressions, her habitual mood is yet joyful; and few who come into her presence can resist its magnetic power, or fail to go from it stirred to higher and purer endeavors. She has cured many, enlightened, cheered, and elevated multitudes.

In religious faith Miss Hunt is Swedenborgian,--attracted to it, perhaps, by her imaginative and soulful temperament, by her affinity with its subtile metaphysics, with which it penetrates and illuminates the physical sciences; by its ethereal spirituality, and by the magic words, “truth, good, and love,” with which it plays upon the fervent mind, yearning for harmony and peace, like evening bell-chimes upon the ear weary of the world's clamor. Whatever may be its doctrinal soundness, its influence has been to invest her character and [536] experience with a peculiar glow deeply satisfactory to herself, and impressive to those who know her.

We have endeavored, thus, to represent impartially, three of the most advanced, most trusted, and most successful female physicians of our country. They were pioneers in a movement which has already resulted in the introduction of hundreds to the same position. They prepared themselves or it with fewer facilities than any who have followed them; bending circumstances to their will, rather than shaped in their course by the suggestion of circumstances; compelling advantages, commanding helps, forcing open (but never rudely) avenues long closed to the sex. It would be difficult to find more complete contrasts than they present, both physically and mentally; and yet, like the geometric problem of the triangle described within the circle, they are, from their distinct points of departure, perfectly included within the same circle of aim and influence. The world owes a debt of gratitude and honor beyond computation to those who, at the sacrifice of much that was dear to them, in the face of opprobrium or misjudgment, aware of the immense responsibilities involved, in the spirit of a true Christian ministry, neither anticipating nor seeking the large emoluments which have come to them, have led the way into such a sphere. As we have more fully pondered the subject, the persuasion deepens that no more flagrant wrong to humanity could be committed, than that of hindering the entrance into it of any who, with so pure intention and intelligent fitness, seek admission.

We could readily now extend much further our record of worthy compeers in this work. Diplomas are multiplying year by year, and among the recipients are “honorable women not a few.” Every large city, and many of the smaller towns, would furnish names to add to our roll of honor; and a multitude of voices would unite in urging the claims of one [537] and another for a place upon it. Our desire to express the cordial appreciation which we have of all such must, however, be restrained. We limit ourselves to the notice of two, one as illustrating the possibilities of large success in general practice, the other the influences to be quietly exerted in the department of professional instruction. We draw both instances from Philadelphia, partly because they well represent the college established there, and partly because that city is probably the best field in which this branch of woman:a labors can fairly exhibit its fruits.

Mrs. Hannah E. Longshore, M. D.

Mrs. Longshore is the daughter of Samuel and Paulian Myers, born May 30th, 1819, in Montgomery County, Maryland. Her parents were natives of Buiks County, Pennsylvania, and members of the “Society of friends.” When she was two years old, they moved into the District of Columbia, where she received her early education, attending a private school in Washington City. In the year 1832, unwilling to remain longer under the demoralizing influence of a slave-holding community, they again changed their residence, and settled on a farm in Columbiana County, Ohio. Here the whole household co-operated in industry and the most rigid economy, to secure for themselves a quiet and happy home. Samuel Myers was evidently a man of practical religious character, and strong individuality,--one whom unwearying diligence, careful reading, and meditation had developed into a good reasoner and a sound philosopher. Having had experience in teaching, and taking a deep interest in his children, it was his daily practice to aid them in their studies as well as to use every opportunity for familiarizing their minds with the principles of science. His aim was to [538] make study a pleasure, to quicken their perceptions and strengthen their reflective powers. The “divinity of labor” was also with him a cherished sentiment, part of his religious creed. In his family and elsewhere he dwelt on it with emphasis. He maintained that every child had a right to the best possible advantages for intellectual culture, and, equally, that it was the interest and duty of society to train them in habits of intelligent industry; that every one should contribute in some way to the common product; no sinecure posts, no drones, no consumers who should not be either directly producers, or so actively helpful to the producers that they could claim a share of the benefit, on the apostolic principle that “if any would not work neither should he eat.” His children grew up deeply imbued with this principle, and with it a feeling of individual responsibility and self-reliance. There were six children, one brother and five sisters. The older sisters passed much time in the open air, in the society of their father on the farm, aiding him in the various branches of labor adapted to their capacity. During the busiest seasons in the field, however, a portion of the day was devoted to reading and to conversations between parents and children. All the branches of natural science were more or less considered during these periods, while at labor as well as in the intervals of rest. It was beautiful and instructive to witness the family group in these discussions, and note the thoughtfulness and enthusiasm exhibited,--frequently the utmost eagerness and exhilaration of spirit. In the same connection religion, morality, social reforms, politics, and whatever interested or agitated society, received such share of their attention as other duties permitted, and the mental development of each child seemed to demand. In these respects they were different from most of their acquaintances. Independent, united, satisfied with their domestic resources for enjoyment, they became somewhat isolated. They were respected in the [539] neighborhood, yet feared and shunned by many as eccentric. Summer after summer, in rural simplicity, was thus occupied. When not working in the field, Hannah was assisting a delicate, feeble mother in household duties, and caring for the younger children. These physical toils, combined with mental activity, imparted discipline and courage to accomplish whatever task was undertaken. The comparative leisure of winter was more fully devoted to study, occupied as pupil or teacher in the district school. She attended one term at the New Lisbon Academy, about two miles from her home. This distance she walked at morning and evening, regularly braving the storms, the bitter cold, and drifting snow. Neither the long walk, nor domestic duties, nor other trifling reasons, were ever offered of needed as an excuse for imperfectly prepared lessons. Beside the milking-pail, the churn, the wash-tub, the ironing-table, somewhere would the book be placed, that study might progress while the hands were busy. She joined the literary society connected with the academy, prepared essays, and gave lectures on scientific subjects.

At a very early period an interest in anatomy was developed. When ten years of age she was often occupied in the examination of insects, and the dissection of small animals, pursuing it with the same nicety and accuracy with which she would also analyze flowers, to gratify a craving for knowledge in these departments. Very soon her attention was turned to the study of medicine, with a view to practise, by the family physician, whose prescriptions it had been her part to administer in the family. Arrangements were made to commence regular reading; but untoward events frustrated the plan, and it was postponed. At the age of twenty-two she married, and the subsequent six years were chiefly devoted to domestic duties, partly on a farm, and partly in a quiet village. This, though apparently a blank portion of her [540] history, was not blank in useful experience. It was here that her well-developed, but comparatively unregulated forces of mind and heart, and indomitable energy, were concentrated and directed into a practical channel. She was put upon her own resources, and her innate executive qualities were brought into requisition. Never entirely satisfied that she was occupying her whole sphere, she nevertheless resolved that she would fill that portion of it well. The proficiency she acquired in the performance of every service connected with house-keeping, and the charge of a family in sickness and health, she often refers to with thankfulness. Without this skill and experience she would not feel qualified. to meet the emergencies often occurring in her relations to other families, nor to practise her profession with thoroughness. At the end of these six years events favored a change in her circumstances, and the busy cares of a farmer's wife were exchanged for the quiet village home, with only her own family, consisting of husband and two children, to occupy her. It was then, when her youngest child was four years old, and some leisure offered, that she resumed her favorite study. The books and maps, skeletons, and preparations of her brother-in-law, Prof. J. S. Longshore, who was also her preceptor, were at her service. She proceeded with the usual course, and at the end of two years entered as a student the “Female Medical College of Pennsylvania,” located in Philadelphia. It was the first session of that institution. At the close of the second session, in 1850, she was one of the ten members who composed the first graduating class. As an indication of regard for her qualifications, the faculty immediately elected her “Demonstrator of anatomy,” and she acceptably served the college in that capacity. Her “sign” was the first one exhibited in Philadelphia by any female graduate in medicine. The calls of patients were at first few, and principally of the poorer lasses. It was found no easy matter for an entire [541] stranger, unheralded, to obtain practice. Ignorance, prejudice, and petty persecution were to be encountered. Sneers and ridicule were the staple arguments against her. Some gentlemen of the profession took special pains to array public sentiment against the movement. “A woman's intellectual incapacity and her physical weaknesses will ever disqualify her for the duties.” “She will either kill her patients or let them die.” “It would be evidence of insanity or idiocy to employ her.” “If you call in a woman you will have to call a man afterward, and no man will meet a woman in consultation.” These expressions were heard on every side. With unwavering purpose and confidence in ultimate success, she was not discouraged, but availed herself of this enforced leisure, to prepare and deliver a course of “Lectures to ladies on Medical subjects.” She also delivered a carefully written lecture, on the “Medical education of women,” to a large and appreciative audience, in one of the largest halls of the city, and repeated it, as well as the course to ladies, in other halls and churches. These lectures, besides inducing consideration and right views upon the general subject, introduced her more fully to the public, and enabled her hearers to form some judgment of her qualifications for the duties she had assumed. The result was, that, one by one, many of those who heard her called on her for advice and aid. By the third year her practice had increased so that she was obliged to abandon all idea of further lectures, and also to resign her position as demonstrator in the college. Since then it has steadily extended, until few physicians of either sex, and among women perhaps none, except Mrs. Lozier, can equal it. As many as three hundred families in the city rely upon her exclusively for medical care, and it is no uncommon thing for her to prescribe for forty patients in a day. Her practice is legitimate and general, that is, it includes all forms of disease, acute and chronic, in respectable family treatment, with surgery [542] among women and children. Of the latter, she has had occasion to perform many extremely delicate and dangerous operations,--with what success, the best testimony that can be desired, is the growing confidence with which she is called upon by the most intelligent class of citizens. The objection often urged against the introduction of female physicians,that they cannot endure the inevitable fatigues and exposures, --has met a practical answer in the instance of Mrs. Longshore. Inheriting from her mother a delicate constitution, her early childhood was one of sensitiveness and suffering, notwithstanding the benefit derived from the mode of life which we have described, judiciously regulated. At the age of fifteen she very narrowly escaped from a prostrating and protracted attack, requiring many months for recovery. At the time of graduation, the faculty predicted an early death from consumption. Since then her weight has greatly increased, and she gives every token of vigor. It is her conviction that her continued life and present degree of health are due to the active habits of the profession.

Mrs. Longshore is constitutionally extremely diffident. For many years she was so easily embarrassed that she dreaded and shunned society, beyond the limited circle of a few friends. To appear in public as a lecturer, and to visit strangers professionally, always required a struggle against this timidity and the habit of reserve; yet she has so far subdued it, by absorption in her objects, that it would hardly be detected in her deportment. In appearance she is characterized by entire simplicity, equally removed from coarseness and from affectation; not adopting the Quaker costume and language, but plain in her mode of speech and dress, with an openness of countenance expressive of a truthful spirit. Direct, unhesitating, and informal in her approach to a case; unpretending, and yet evidently assured in the exercise of her judgment; with a peculiar mingling of personal modesty [543] and professional positiveness, she inspires patients with immediate trust, which is rarely forfeited. Cool, cheerful, rapid in her manner as physician, almost seeming to make light of their ailments, she leaves them refreshed by her visit, scarcely conscious of their need of condolence, and yet often before leaving the houses of those endeared to her by long acquaintance or dependence upon her care, she sheds the tears of a true woman and a sympathizing mother. Her mind acts with the quickness of intuition or of keen perceptions, and a brief interview, with a few questions, usually suffices to guide her in the choice of remedies. In her selection of these, she is not governed by any routine, nor limited to one school of medicine, but considers that she is at liberty to avail herself of any means which her experience has proved useful or the peculiarities of the case suggest. For some time past, the prejudices which she at first encountered from the “fraternity,” especially under the pressure of resolutions early adopted by the county society and some other organizations, have yielded to the evidences of her ability; and now some of the leading physicians of the city freely meet her in consultation, while others, too much trammelled by regulations, or personal fears, to act openly, have recommended her to their female patients, and, in several instances, while publicly uniting in measures of opposition to women as practitioners, have privately sent to her for treatment their own wives and daughters.

In the midst of these exacting and exhausting claims upon her time, Mrs. Longshore is, in her domestic relations, affectionate and faithful. Her husband and children are preferred above all other objects of interest. Without them, she often declares that life would lose its chief charm to her,--a declaration the sincerity of which they and her intimate friends fully credit and abundantly testify, and which is confirmed by the order of her household, and by her readiness at any [544] time to consult their comfort at the sacrifice of her own. Her warm and active sympathy, also, with every movement promising benefit for the wronged, the oppressed, and suffering, especially to those of her own sex, is well known among her friends. Her gratuitous labors among the poor she has always felt to be a duty, and congenial to her disposition. She never knowingly accepts a fee from the needy, while she is constantly distributing food, clothing, and other comforts, gathered from every source within her reach. Not so much marked by the devotional element, or uplifting spirituality, as some whom we have already noticed, she is certainly abundant in those fruits of pure and undefiled religion, which consist in visiting the widow and the fatherless in their affliction, and keeping unspotted from the world, and we trust is actuated in it by the divine precept “to do good and to communicate; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

A younger sister, Miss Jane V. Myers, M. D., resides in her family, and has a large and lucrative independent practice.

An older half-sister, Mrs. Mary F. Thomas, M. D., now living at Camden, Indiana, has been actively engaged in that State several years. For two years she was editor, and for a longer time contributor to a semi-monthly journal devoted mainly to the cause of women, published in Richmond, Indiana. During the rebellion she was occupied much in collecting and distributing supplies, and a portion of the time her husband, 0. Thomas, M. D., and herself had charge of a hospital in Tennessee.

Miss. Ann Preston, M. D.

If we were seeking a subject for an attractive biography merely, there are many women whom we might have chosen in preference to Miss Preston, for the striking characteristics [545] or stirring incidents which their lives would have furnished; yet there are few whose lives are more worthy of record, or their qualities of imitation, or whose work has been more effective for the cause we are advocating. Indeed, the few facts which we are allowed to use are given us for their bearings upon the cause, rather than for personal representation. Identified with the college and the hospital, she prefers to be known chiefly through them, and to have her reputation merged in whatever good they may accomplish. Yet the public, who witness and honor these results of unobtrusive labor, have right to know more of the personality of one who is so clearly a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.

She was born December, 1830, at West Grove, Pennsylvania, in the old homestead of her grandfather, where her father was born and died, and where she lived until constrained to leave it for a wider sphere of action. Her father was Amos Preston, a devoted Quaker. An obituary notice of him, by one who had known him from childhood, speaks of him as a man of unusual intellectual gifts, “enthusiastic in the pursuit of truth, particularly on those subjects which most nearly affect the present and everlasting welfare of the race, and inflexibly faithful to his convictions of duty; possessed of a warm social nature and a rare faculty for entering into sympathy with the wants and interests of others, which, together with his acknowledged disinterestedness, inspired confidence, so that he was trusted and loved by his personal friends as few men have been. In the domestic relations the beauty of his character shone conspicuous. The family government was that of perfect love, while frankness and mutual confidence marked his intercourse with his children.” Her mother also is mentioned as “fond of literature and having an intense love of nature, with a sensitive nervous organization.” Miss Preston evidently combines in herself the constitutional traits of both parents. Her only sister dying in infancy, the delicate health [546] of her mother brought the chief care of a large family upon her, making her early life one of close occupation and grave responsibilities. Her opportunities for education were therefore limited to the country school (which, however, was of high order), and a period spent at boarding-school in West Chester, the county town. But the neighborhood of their residence was one of remarkable intellectual activity and culture, and of moral excellence. A valuable public library, with a Lyceum and Literary Association, gave tone to society, diffused intelligence and promoted discussion upon all current questions. She regards her connection with these as one of the richest blessings of her youth, and as having important bearing upon her subsequent life. During that period, also, she shared largely with true-hearted men and women in earnest efforts of general philanthropy. Her influence in these directions was distinctly marked, while in the genial domestic circle, amid all her practical duties, she was cultivating a refined taste, often evinced in poetic effusions, whose pure sentiments have been appreciated by many readers.

To a mind like hers, uniting keen sensibilities with energy of purpose and breadth of aim, the charms of such a home must have been great, while the impulse to pass beyond its limitations was equally strong.

The years, however, passed on profitably and happily, until she reached maturity. She would long before have entered some wider and less secluded path, had not her mother's continued need of assistance, while six brothers were reaching manhood, seemed an imperative claim. But the aspiration to more fully “labor for God's suffering ones” was pressing. The time had come when she felt the necessity for a broader field of satisfying work, and a fuller independence than was possible with her surroundings. She loved study, and medical subjects were peculiarly interesting to her, yet she had not shaped for herself the course which [547] she should permanently take. At this midway point, when the ties which had so long bound her to the ordinary routine of woman's cares were loosened, and the remaining half of probable life required definite direction, in 1850 the “Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania” was opened at Philadelphia. Information of proposals preliminary to it had reached her and engaged her thoughtful attention, and when they developed into practical form it commended itself to her as meeting a vital want in society. It satisfied the desires of her own mind. Without hesitation she turned toward it as settling the question of what her future should be, and became one of the first applicants for admission as a student. The college opened favorably, with a faculty of six professors, regular practitioners, and graduates of regular schools; though encountering, as was anticipated, the opposition of a large portion of the profession. It was the first in the world chartered for the purpose, with the usual appliances for the instruction of women in all the departments of medical learning. Imperfections were unavoidable at the outset of such an enterprise, pecuniary means inadequate, a self-sacrificing disposition needed on the part of all engaged in it. But, “sustained by the profound conviction that the cause was right and must succeed, that the study and practice of medicine are adapted to woman's nature, that the profession and the world need her, and that her entrance into this enlarged sphere of virtuous activity is the harbinger of increased happiness and health for her and the race,” --they patiently continued their work. Miss Preston, with thorough enthusiasm, and yet with the calm steadiness of a ripened mind, entered into the whole movement, while on her own part pursuing faithfully every branch of allotted study. It was a great change from the rural scenes in which her unruffled life had been spent, uncongenial to her temperament and habits; but no personal considerations could turn [548] her from her course. Firm-willed and deeply conscientious, she devoted every energy to preparation for the new responsiblities which she was to assume. Her attainments were as complete as her opportunities rendered possible. She commenced practice in the city without ostentation or undue eagerness for occupation, true to the principles which she has often since urged upon students: “None can sustain others who are not themselves self-sustained;” “Nothing but strict inward rectitude can give that repose and strength to the spirit which will enable it to bear up safely through every difficulty;” “Those who are admitted into the very sanctuaries of society, and entrusted with the most sacred confidences, should indeed be strong and wise, and pure and good;” “If you prove yourselves capable and worthy, society is ready to receive you, but solid superstructures are the work of time, and slowly, carefully, woman must work her way.” Conforming to the general rule expressed in this last sentence (to which instances like Mrs. Longshore are exceptional), she deliberately felt her way into her true position. Friends who perceived her abilities aided her advancement. Arrangements were made for her to lecture to classes in Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and other places. Meanwhile changes occurred in the college faculty, and in 1854 Miss Preston was elected to the chair of “Physiology and Hygiene,” which, as well as the position of “Dean,” she still occupies. It is well adapted to her taste, and gives full scope to her capabilities. She fills it with dignity and acceptance. The annual announcements of the college prepared by her, are models of clear, sound, and forcible statement, while her introductory lectures and valedictory addresses, delivered by appointment of the faculty, are replete with striking thoughts. In 1861 “The woman's hospital of Philadelphia” was incorporated, an essential auxiliary to the college and an invaluable charity. It has attained already a position which commands for it the [549] highest respect of the community, has received liberal contributions for its endowment, and possesses a handsome property in buildings and grounds. Nearly three thousand patients were treated through its means, and at the dispensary connected with it, during the past year. Miss Preston was at the outset appointed one of its board of managers, corresponding secretary, and consulting physician, and still acts in those capacities. During this period her private practice has become sufficiently established and remunerative to meet all her wishes, though her frail health, requiring constant vigilance against over-exertion, has obliged her to limit it,--refusing night calls and obstetrical cases. In 1867 the Philadelphia County Medical Society adopted a preamble and resolutions setting forth in plain terms their objections to the practice of medicine by women, and declining to meet them in consultation,--a conclusion, however, by which many of their most reliable members refused to be bound. Miss Preston immediately published a reply, so admirable in temper and argument as to turn the tide of opinion, both in the profession and outside of it, among intelligent observers, very much in favor of those in whose behalf she wrote. No rejoinder, so far as we are informed, was attempted; but the restraints upon consultation have been relaxed instead of confirmed, and a better understanding of the whole subject now prevails. Of course we do not ascribe the Improvement entirely to this cause, yet we cannot doubt that the adjustment of these difficulties, as well as the advanced ground occupied by the medical work for women in that vicinity, is owing as much to her well-regulated, judicious, but intelligent, firm and persistent efforts as to any other that can be named. Personally her position in the esteem of the public, and more intimately of a large circle of friends, is beyond dispute or possible change, and tranquilly though busily she occupies it. With the care which she has learned to exercise over hereditary susceptibilities, many years more of usefulness [550] appear probable for her, within which she can hardly fail to see her utmost aims accomplished for the institutions and objects to which she has dedicated herself with a true consecration, while many who go out from her instructions will bear the permanent impress of her serene, unwavering character.

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