Dorothea Lynde Dix

An Amazing woman Ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed an honor and a privilege for me to have the opportunity to honor one of the most amazing women of the 19th century: Throated Lynda Dixie. From her humble beginnings in a pine shack in Maine where she suffered emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her father, Throated worked to educate herself in the sciences, literature and divinity. After leaving home at age 12, she began teaching while still a teenager.She began her life’s work of reform and social change by convincing her grandmother to establish a charity school for poor children on he grounds Of the Dixie family home in Boston. Throated also had several books published during this period – one of which has had 60 different editions in the United States. Dry.

William E. Changing, a Lacertian minister, taught a faith of love and social conscience. Through her friendship with Dry.

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Changing, Dixie was inspired to develop her own personal mission of “faith through works” which ultimately led to her self-financed career in social reform.Throated suffered a complete mental and physical breakdown in 1836. While recovering at the English country estate of Mr..

& Mrs.. William Rotenone, Throated became acquainted with Dry. Samuel Take whose Quaker father had established York Retreat, England’s most progressive asylum for the insane. The Takes believed that mental illness could be subdued, even cured, if the patients were treated with kindness and respect. York Retreats philosophy and values formed the basis of Die’s crusade for the mentally ill.With an inheritance from her grandmother, savings from teaching and royalties from her books, Throated was financially secure.

She traveled extensively searching for a career. While teaching a Sunday School class at the East Cambridge House of Corrections, she was shocked to find that the mentally ill were housed in the same facilities as criminals. And, she was appalled at the conditions in which both groups were kept. She had found her career and her cause. Traveling over 60,000 miles surveying thousands of institutions and meeting over 9,000 mentally ill or physically handicapped people, Throated kept detailed notes.These notes served as the basis for her “Memorials” – carefully written, lengthy reports telling of the horrific conditions she had found in her travels: mentally ill patients caged, beaten, chained, deprived of fresh air and sunlight, poorly fed, given no medical care, lithely and lying in their own excrement. These “Memorials” were presented to legislatures beginning in Massachusetts.

Through her tireless efforts, many new hospitals for the mentally ill were established or existing institutions were expanded and reformed.Throated didn’t stop with state governments. Her Memorial to the Congress of the United States sought to have millions of acres of land set aside for a perpetual fund for the care of the indigent insane. After years of effort, a bill was passed by both houses of Congress but vetoed by President Pierce. Going to Europe, Throated continued her campaign for mental health form. In 1861 , with the outbreak of the Civil War, Throated went to Washington, DC and campaigned for the establishment of a nurses corps to serve on the battlefield.Named the Superintendent of the United States Army Nurses Corps (one of the first women to receive such a high government appointment), Throated brought her inexhaustible zeal and sense of mission to this Herculean task.

She held this post until the end of the war in 1866. Returning to her campaign for mental health reform, Throated finally retired to an apartment at the New Jersey State Hospital in Trenton, an institution he had long called her “first-born child” in 1881. Throated, you are one off kind.

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