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Dorothea Dix Charlotte Bolio, Greg Villafane, Alex Herbert.

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1 Dorothea Dix Charlotte Bolio, Greg Villafane, Alex Herbert

2 Early Life  Dorothea Dix was born April 4 th, 1802 In a small town called Hampden Maine  The first child of three siblings  Abusive family life: Father Joseph Dix  Dorothea ran away from home which triggered her sympathy for the helpless

3 Passion for Teaching  In 1821 she opened a school in Boston in her Grandmothers estate for both wealthy and poorer class  Taught neglected and poor children, as well as the upper class to appeal to her grandmother

4 Teaching Cont.  Became ill in 1824  Wrote a book during her recovery, called “Conversations on Common Things”  When she recovered, in 1831, she opened a small school for girls in Boston which she managed successfully until 1836 when she became ill with tuberculosis.

5 English Experience  In 1836 she traveled to England where she spent a year with a prominent upper class family.  She was exposed to noble social reformers who shared her belief that the government should have an active role in social welfare.  She also observed the “British Lunacy Reform Movement”

6 Return to America  On her return to America she conducted a statewide inspection and wrote a report detailing Massachusetts’ care for the insane/poor.  She found that the system was underfunded and unregulated  Traveled across the country documenting the condition of pauper lunatics

7 Getting Legal  She lobbied her observations in Washington to pass laws helping the mentally ill and helpless  She worked in hopes that the “Bill For the Benefit of the Indigent Insane” would be passed, which planned to set aside 12,225,000 acres of federal land giving the sale profits to states in order to improve and maintain their asylums.  However, in 1854, president Franklin Pierce vetoed it because he believed that federal government should not be responsible for social welfare. It is the states responsibility.

8 Civil War  During the Civil War she was appointed superintendant of the Union Army nurses.  However, her qualities as an activist were not ideal for a position of leadership.  She was relieved of her position.  She considered this chapter in her life a failure.

9 Abraham Lincoln letter to Dix asking her to be superintendant of the Union Nurses

10 Last Years  After her time as a nurse, she moved into the NJ State Hospital in Morris Plains  Admitted herself into the hospital 1881  After 6 years being hospitalized she died July 17 th, 1887  Was buried at Mount Auburne Cemetery

11 Dix’s Contributions  Her major contribution was to the indigent insane movement, which was suffering from poor funding as well as little concern and awareness.  She was also an advocate for complete government support of social welfare.  Her avid work for the indigent insane brought awareness and funding to help the helpless.

12 Contributions Cont.  She influenced fifteen states to open hospitals for the mentally ill

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