Dorthea Dix was born on April 4 th, 1802. She was born in Hampden, Maine. At age 12, she fled from her alcoholic and abusive family. She went to go live with her wealthy grandmother. When she was 14, she opened her own school and began to teach there. She is most famous for the prison reform.
In 1841 Dorothea Dix went to investigate state prisons. She found that mentally ill people were held in cages or small prison cells. They were beaten and were given tattered clothes to wear. Most of them were chained to the walls or to the floor.
In 1848, Dorothea Dix traveled to North Carolina. She gave a speech on how mentally ill people were treated. In her speech she stated that mentally ill people should be cared for and not treated like animals. The people of North Carolina created a hospital for the mentally ill people. They named it The Dorothea Dix Hospital in her honor.
Dorothea Dix was in charge of hiring the nurses to care for the wounded men from the Civil War. The nurses had to be between the ages of 35 to 50. They had to wear plain black or brown dresses and were not allowed to wear any kind of jewelry. She would often fire the untrained nurses, or nurses that she didn’t hire herself.
Dorothea Dix moved into The New Jersey State Hospital in 1881, 4 years before her death. The hospital gave her a private suite which she could live in as long as she lived. She died on July 17 th, 1887. She died when she was 85 years old. She was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge Massachusetts.
In 1983, the United States Postal Office created a 1 cent stamp in her honor. The Dorothea Dix Hospital was named in her honor.
Bio.com. A&E Networks Television. Web. 28 Feb. 2012.. "Us History." Us History. Web. 28 Feb. 2012..