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December 16, 1961


JAMA. 1961;178(11):1104-1105. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040500046012

Not only was Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) the recipient of the doctorate of medicine from the provincial Geneva (N.Y.) Medical College, the first of her sex to become a physician in America, she was equally at home in Cincinnati, Philadelphia, New York, London, and Hastings. The family migrated from her birthplace in Bristol, England to Cincinnati, prompted by the interest of her father in the cultivation of sugar beets as a substitute for cane sugar.1 This practical motive was balanced by a zealous ulterior one. He abhorred the subjugation of man, irrespective of race, creed, or color, and fervently hoped to make all men free. While residing temporarily in New York prior to the westward trek, he became an ardent abolitionist. William Lloyd Garrison was a frequent visitor at their home on Long Island.

The family moved to Cincinnati when Elizabeth was 17. The father died shortly after. In order