By: Jenny Myung
Early Life and Influences
One of her first influences was her wealthy grandfather, Elijah Dix. He was the opposite of the failure she called her father. While her father flunked out of school and getting a reputable job, Elijah Dix was the epitome of the self-made man; he grew up poor and became a doctor and was able to acquire money, land, and prestige. He was considered a 'pillar' of Boston society. Elijah Dix was considered 'the brightest presence" in Dorothea's childhood. As a child, Dorothea would personally hear the tales of how her grandfather climbed the steps of success and reached the status he was at. His story of his success motivated Dorothea to someday strive to reach the level of success her grandfather reached.
Tired of the neglect she faced with her parents, she sought the refuge of her grandmother, Madam Dix. She ran away from her parents and lived at Dix Mansion for a long period of time, under the supervision of her grandmother. Her grandmother was extremely strict, and enforced self-control, discipline, and restraint. The neglect of her parents and the aloofness of her grandmother had a critical impact of her childhood. Her early years were shrouded with a cloak of anger.
Although her childhood and teen years were full of angst, she confided in a friend with the name of Anne Heath. If her parents and grandmother were glaciers, Anne was the sun; she melted away the cold in Dorothea's heart and allowed Dorothea to feel the affection she had so lacked in her youth. Anne was someone that Dorothea confided and trusted in, which eventually led to them becoming life long friends.
Compare and Contrast
Dorothea Dix Hospital
Hospital opened in 1856 and was initially named Dix Hill in honor of Dorothea's grandfather.
Current Day Photo of Dorothea Dix Hospital
The hospital stopped admitting patients and transferred patients to other hospitals. As of 2015, the property around the Dorothea Dix Hospital turned into a destination city park
Dorothea Dix Hospital's Sign