Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963855 | Print ISBN: 9781412941860 | Online ISBN: 9781412963855| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Blackwell, Elizabeth (1821–1910)
Heather K. Michon
Elizabeth Blackwell was a pioneer in the field of preventative medicine and the first woman in America to receive a medical degree. She was born into a large and privileged family in Bristol, England, on February 3, 1821. Her father, Samuel, was a sugar refiner. In 1832, after his business failed, the family emigrated to the United States, where they became active in the abolition movement and other unpopular causes. Blackwell's father died shortly after the family moved to Cincinnati in 1837, and she became a teacher to help keep the family financially afloat. In 1845, she visited a friend named Mary Donaldson, who was dying of cancer. During their conversation, Donaldson ...