Her name was Elizabeth Blackwell, better known as Bess. She was born in Bristol England on the 2rd of February 1821, and died on the 31st of May 1910 at the age of 89. She had 9 Brothers and Sisters all very well educated as her Father believed that all children should be educated not just the boys.
Portrait of Elizabeth Blackwell by Joseph Stanley Kozlowski, 1905. Syracuse University Medical School collection.
Elizabeth Blackwell started teaching in Kentucky to make money to pay for medical school. The story goes that she applied to and got rejected by either 27 or 28 medical schools. Finally she was accepted at the Geneva Medical College in New York. But it was mainly thought a bit of joke by the men that attended the College, and she was accepted on a student vote. As you can imagine she had a very hard time at the College. Not only did Elizabeth graduate, she graduated in the top of her class, and on the 11th of January 1849, she became the first women to achieve a medical degree in the US and graduated on the 23rd of January 1849.
Blackwell was commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp in 1974, designed by Joseph Stanley Kozlowski. Syracuse University Medical School collection.
In 1857, Blackwell, along with her sister Emily and Dr. Marie Zakrzewska, founded their own infirmary, the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children, in a single room dispensary near Tompkins Square in Manhattan. In 1869, she left her sister Emily in charge of the college and returned to England. There, with Florence Nightingale, she opened the Women’s Medical College. Blackwell taught at the London School of Medicine for Women, which she had co-founded, and accepted a chair in gynecology. She retired a year later.
Wikipedia has some good information if you would like to know more about “Bess”
A song written & performed by Jonathan Sprout about Elizabeth Blackwell.
The video below is part of a play about the life of Elizabeth Blackwell
“A Lady Alone”
Dr Eckhert was inspired to write this play after visiting Hobart and
William Smith College with her son on a college tour. “It is a story
that needed to be told.” Source