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Nurses Settlement, Richmond, VA – Handbook of Settlements (1911)

RICHMOND – THE NURSES SETTLEMENT 201 East Cary Street (August, 1909 -)   Note: This description of the Nurses Settlement in Richmond, VA is from the Handbook of Settlements written by two settlement house pioneers: Robert Archey Woods and Albert J. Kennedy.  The book included the findings of a national survey of all the known settlements in existence in 1910 and…

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Nurses and Wartime St. Vincent’s Hospital

St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village was not just a place of employment for nurses, but it was also a place for education. In 1892, forty-three years after the hospital’s opening, the St. Vincent’s School of Nursing opened its doors to women. The school was first directed by Katherine A. Sanborn. Many graduates from this school continued their work at St. Vincent’s hospital. Other graduates went to work elsewhere in New York City, including the New York Foundling Hospital, another institution directed by the Sisters of Charity. Eventually, in the 1930s, St. Vincent’s School of Nursing began to accept men. This produced even more graduates and more St. Vincent’s educated nurses working in the field.

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Nurses In “Settlement” Work (1895)

Presentation by Lillian D. Wald at the Twenty-Second Annual Session of the National Conference Of Charities And Correction, 1895. “The actual nursing in the tenements, the lending of sick-room utensils and bedding, and the making of delicacies and carrying of flowers have not been different from the usual methods of district nursing.”

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The Women Who Went to the Field – A Poem

The Women Who Went to the Field   Editor’s Note: Clara Barton (founder of the American Red Cross) wrote the following poem as a toast to women who served in the Civil War. It was first presented at a gala dinner held in 1892 by the Women’s Relief Corps and was later printed in many…

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Bly, Nellie (1864-1922)

The year was eighteen eighty-seven. The place was New York City. A young woman, Elizabeth Cochrane, wanted a job at a large newspaper. The editor agreed, if she would investigate a hospital for people who were mentally sick and then write about it. She decided to become a patient in the hospital herself. She used the name Nellie Brown so no one would discover her or her purpose. Newspaper officials said they would get her released after a while.

To prepare, Nellie put on old clothes and stopped washing. She went to a temporary home for women. She acted as if she had severe mental problems. She cried and screamed and stayed awake all night. The police were called. She was examined by doctors. Most said she was insane.

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Gilman, Daniel Coit (1831 – 1908): Part Two

Daniel Coit Gilman is best known for his contributions to American university and medical education. Much less well known are his activities in contributing to the foundation for American professional social work education and his personal social welfare activities. This paper reviews his history in these areas and argues that greater attention should be given to his social welfare educational and practice accomplishments.

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Settlement Workers of Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD

This original list of settlement houses serving neighborhoods in Baltimore was probably published sometime between 1912 -1915. It briefly describes the many ways early settlement house residents and volunteers provided facilities and resources in order to assist recent immigrants and very poor families to play, socialize, learn a variety of skills, save money, organize and take steps to improve their lives and the communities in which they lived. The document was contributed by Harris Chaiklin, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

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The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War

By the end of the Civil War, roughly 179,000 black men (10% of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army and another 19,000 served in the Navy. Nearly 40,000 black soldiers died over the course of the war—30,000 of infection or disease. Black soldiers served in artillery and infantry and performed all noncombat support functions that sustain an army, as well. Black carpenters, chaplains, cooks, guards, laborers, nurses, scouts, spies, steamboat pilots, surgeons, and teamsters also contributed to the war cause. There were nearly 80 black commissioned officers. Black women, who could not formally join the Army, nonetheless served as nurses, spies, and scouts, the most famous being Harriet Tubman, who scouted for the 2d South Carolina Volunteers.

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Blackwell, Elizabeth (1821-1910)

At the age of 24, Elizabeth Blackwell had a revelation that changed her life, taking her far from her tiny Cincinnati schoolroom where she was teaching. She had gone to see Mary Donaldson, a family friend dying of what was probably uterine cancer. “My friend,” Blackwell later recalled, “died of a painful disease, the delicate nature of which made the methods of treatment a constant suffering to her.” A “lady doctor,” Donaldson told her young visitor, would have spared her the embarrassment of having male physicians examine her. Indeed, Blackwell believed, had a female physician been available, Donaldson might have sought treatment in time to save her life. For the idealistic Blackwell, moved by her friend’s plight, the idea of becoming a doctor “gradually assumed the aspect of a great moral struggle.”

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