Reformer of the 1800s
Who was Dorothea Dix?
“We are never happy until we learn to laugh at ourselves.”
“There isn't a single human being who hasn't plenty to cry over, and the trick is to make the laughs outweigh the tears.”
Why is she important?
Dorothea's impact is still remembered today. Without her mental hospitals my not exist.
- Her father was abusive and an alcoholic
- Her mother had bad mental health so Dorothea took care of younger siblings
- She opened "a little dame school" at the age of fifteen. She ran and taught at this school for three years.
- She founded 32 mental hospitals, 15 schools, 1 school for blind.
Timeline of Life
1802- Born at Hampden, Maine
1819- Attended secondary school in Dorchester.
1821- Opened elementary day school in grandmother's home.
1825- Published Conversations on Common Things.
1830- Served as governess for children of William Ellery Channing at St. Croix, Virgin Islands.
1831- Opened secondary school in her home.
1841- Taught Sunday School lesson to prisoners in East Cambridge House of Correction; appalled by misery of insane there.
1842- Toured Massachusetts, inspecting conditions of the insane in almshouses and jails.
1843- Released memorial to the state legislature on the conditions of the insane.
1844- Exposed maltreatment of the insane in Rhode Island.
1861- Volunteered services to the War Department & appointed Superintendent of Army nurses.
1881- Made her last tour of the South, inspecting hospitals in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida and accepted apartment in the Trenton State Hospital.
1887- Died in her founded hospital in Trenton.