Elizabeth Blackwell

Nick Whiting

Big image


Elizabeth Blackwell was born on February 3, 1821 in Bristol England. She was raised by her parents and had 5 sisters and 4 brothers. In 1832, an economic depression wiped out her fathers sugar refinery business, so the Blackwell's moved to the U.S. The family settled in New York, starting a new sugar refinery business. Later the family and the business, yet again, moved to New Jersey. In 1836, the sugar refinery was destroyed by a fire, leaving the family in a lot of debt. The father became depressed and eventually died. This left the Blackwell's with no choice but to open up a boarding house to make money and repay their debt. After the family repaid there debt, Elizabeth Blackwell visited a sick friend who was dying of cancer. Her friend, Mary Donaldson, told Elizabeth that she should should go into the field of medicine. This left a long lasting impression on Elizabeth Blackwell.

Notable Accomplishments

Elizabeth Blackwell started teaching to earn money for medical school. When she finally saved up enough money she was denied by dozens of colleges because she was a woman, but she was eventually accepted into New York's Geneva College. This made Elizabeth Blackwell the first female medical student in U.S. history. In 1849 she graduated with top honors. She then moved to Paris, France to look for new opportunities with her medical degree. After having little luck in France she moved back to America. She hoped to open a small private practice in New York, but she had no success because she was a woman. Elizabeth Blackwell later raised enough money from working in various hospitals and was able to make her dream come true by opening a medical school for woman. She opened the Woman's Medical College of New York Infirmary in 1868. Elizabeth Blackwell also co-founded another medical school for woman in London in 1874.

Impact on Society

Elizabeth Blackwell had a major impact on society and medical history. She inspired woman by proving that they could become whatever they wanted. Elizabeth Blackwell is a good leader who uses a paternalistic leadership style towards woman. She opened colleges to teach them about medicine and used her actions to show them that woman are just as equal as men. If Elizabeth Blackwell did not go into the medical field, then our society might be completely different today.


"Elizabeth Blackwell." Contemporary Heroes and Heroines. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 2000. Biography in Context. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.

"Elizabeth Blackwell - Google Search." Elizabeth Blackwell - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.