Mary Siddons (1844-1896)
Successful British actress in Shakespeare play met with limited success on her U.S. tours..
Moves to IL at 3 from Vt after parents die, after academy education to Canada as governess, learns French & German, to Cairo, IL to live with brother, meets “Mother Bickerdyke” in ’61 & volunteers as a nurse, at Ft Donelson & Shiloh, known as “Angel of Cairo,” ruins her health from overwork, European trip, returns ’66, graduates NY Medical College for Women, a proven surgeon, opens private practice, marries then divorces, Boston U School of Medicine appt.
Early home schooling by progressive-minded parents in NY, Falley Seminary, medical texts interest her, teaching to fund Syracuse Medical College, only woman in class, MD grad ’55, marries & divorces a doctor, wears trousers breaching dress norms, abolitionist, volunteers for Union & starts as nurse, ’63 becomes first asst surgeon in army, mostly western battles, captured as spy by CSA, exchanged, Sherman & Thomas recommend her for Medal of Honor ’65, disability pension, lecturer for dress, women’s rights, suffrage, testimony to Congress.
Became popular in America after years in England
NYC, follows older sisters into acting at 12, by 20 at Bowery Theater in Oliver Twist, heroine roles lead to “Maggie Mitchell craze” among young men in ’53, starring role in Fanchon, The Cricket, where she plays a forest elf, carries her for 30 years, ’60 plays Juliet to John Wilkes Booth’s Romeo, pro-Southern sympathies, Emerson & Lincoln applaud her, “The Little Captivator,” retires in 1892.
Maggie Mitchell (1832-1918)
Clara Barton (1821-1912)
Young Ladies College in Philadelphia, marries, 13 children, to Chicago ’48, founds “Chicago Home for the Friendless,” organizes nurses during war, she and Mary Livermore run Chicago Sanitary Commission during war, rest of life supporting women’s colleges & Presby foreign missions.
One of Wilkes Booth's four final girlfriends
Collage of Performers
Nurse in white uniform
Ohio, Oberlin College, marries and 2 kids, widow ’59, to IL, Congregational church and medicine, herbal lean, Union nurse, Mary Livermore link, US Sanitary Commission, soldiers call “Mother B,” runs hospitals, hires run-aways, Sherman calls her “Brigadier Commanding Hospitals,” cheered by soldiers, sets up 300 hospitals & at 19 battles, rides in Grand Review, pension and more good works post-war.
Born Mary Moss in England, married & divorced, her actress aunt suggest stage career, changes her name & begins, debut in London ’51, fame, invited to appear in NYC ’52, becomes theater manager, tours US, appears with Edwin Booth, opens Laura Keene’s Theater, premier is Our American Cousin, on April 14, ’65 she is on stage in this play in DC when Lincoln shot, holds his head on lap & bloodies her dress, donates it.
Girl Actress - Nobody's Child
Charlotte Cushman (1816-1876)
Ellen Tree Kean
Along with husband Charles, they dominate the English stage in the 1840's
Laura Keene (1826-1873)
Actress known as “The Nation’s Darling,” she began her stage career at six in California in the gold rush period and became a national star by twenty. She left an estate of $4million in 1924.
Sisters Ada & Charlotte Webb
Nurse Cordelia Perrine Harvey (1824-1895)
Dr. Mary Safford (1834-1891)
Boston, Mayflower ancestors, precocious, into music to support family financial troubles, voice fit for opera, Marriage of Figaro, throat strain and turns to acting at 18, ’35 Lady Macbeth, sister also acting, series of lesbian relationships, lives between Italy and NY, dramatic readings on stage, large fortune by end, dies in Boston at 59.
Born in Mass, youthful wish to help others, gets some education, starts as school teacher for 12 years ’38-50 in Georgia & Canada, higher-ed ’50, opens successful school in ’52 until “bumped” by male replacement, clerk in US Patent Office ’53 in DC, again gender issues, when war comes her ex-militia father says her duty is to help soldiers, joins Ladies Aid Society, off to front lines ’62 w support of Sen. Henry Wilson, earns “Angel of the Battlefield” rep, Lincoln help leads to Office of Missing Soldiers search, lectures lead to Susan B. Anthony & Fred Douglass, ’69 Europe visit to Red Cross op in Switzerland, serves in Franco-Prussian War ’71, in ’81 convinces Prez Arthur to opens US branch of Red Cross, she is RC Prez til ’04, broadens mission, dies at 90.
Dr. Mary Walker (1832-1919)
Moves ’42 from NY to Wisconsin, marries fellow teacher Louis Harvey, he gets into politics, helps form Republican Party, elected WI Senate and Sec of State ’60-62 and Governor ’62 (100 days), both are deeply involved in care of soldiers, he drowns while visiting troops after Shiloh, she dedicates herself to missionary work with the Sanitary Commission, meets Lincoln repeatedly, persuades to build hospitals in North to improve care, called “Wisconsin Angel” by wounded, sets up orphanage post-war, then teaches school.
Nurse Jane Blaike Hoge
CSA Nurse Julia Jordan
Union nurse with pin
Starts acting at 5 and masters romantic roles like Shakespeare's Juliet and Longfellow's Evangeline