Elizabeth Blackwell was born in 1821, one of nine children. When she was eleven her family emigrated from their native England to the United States, but in 1838 tragedy struck when her father died forcing Elizabeth, her mother, and siblings to work just to make ends meet. (1) After teaching for several years Elizabeth toyed with the idea of studying medicine, but this wasn’t open to women. Eventually she got into a medical school in western New York after the student body voted to let her in. (2) In 1849 she became the first female doctor in American history, opening a new door for future generations.
(1) “Elizabeth Blackwell.” National Women’s History Museum. Edited by Debra Michaels (2015). (Accessed October 4, 2019) https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/elizabeth-blackwell.
(2) “Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell.” Changing the Face of Medicine. (Accessed October 4, 2019) https://cfmedicine.nlm.nih.gov/physicians/biography_35.html.