Bethenia Owens-Adair

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Pioneer Woman Doctor in Oregon

Bethenia Angelina Owens-Adair (1840 – September 11, 1926) was a social reformer and one of the first female physicians in Oregon Country with an MD (Doctor of Medicine). She was also a divorcee and a single mother, who overcame many hardships to fulfill her dream.

Some Oregon women, such as Mary Anna Cooke Thompson, called [Read More ...]

Women and the Battle of Baton Rouge

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Two Women Diarists Tell the Story

The Battle of Baton Rouge might have been considered small or insignificant by Civil War standards, but to the women who lived in that city, it was traumatic. Twice they were forced to flee from their homes when Union gunboats in the Mississippi River shelled their town.

Image: Civilians, including a young girl in [Read More ...]

Civil War Widows

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Women Who Lost Husbands in the Civil War

Approximately 620,000 soldiers died in the American Civil War. The Union lost around 360,000 soldiers - 110,000 killed in combat; the Confederacy lost around 260,000 men - 93,000 killed in combat. Disease killed the rest. While not all of these soldiers were married, the War created an unprecedented number of young white [Read More ...]

Emily Warren Roebling

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The Woman Who Saved the Brooklyn Bridge

Emily Warren Roebling (1843-1903) was married to Washington Roebling, who was Chief Engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge. After her husband was incapacitated by caisson disease (the bends), Emily helped him complete the building of the bridge. First American woman engineer, one source calls her a prioneering example of independence.

Childhood and Early Years[Read More ...]

Mary Harris Thompson

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Pioneer Doctor and Educator of Women in the Medical Professions

Dr. Mary Harris Thompson (1829–1895) was one of the first women to practice medicine in Chicago, and by some accounts the first female surgeon in the US. She was founder, head physician and surgeon of the Chicago Hospital for Women and Children, founder of the Women's Medical College, the first [Read More ...]

Matrons in Civil War Hospitals

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Civil War Women Working in Hospitals

In the Union, hospitals the term matron referred to the woman who had the responsibility of supervising the wards in general hospitals - large military facilities in Northern cities, far away from the battlefields. Running hospitals during the war taught women that they could be leaders, and that the limitations society placed on them [Read More ...]