1821 Born in
and lived in Bristol. Parents: Samuel and Hannah. Family life
is good with large home, servants and home schooling for the girls by tutor.
1831 Samuel’s sugar refinery burns down; decides to moved family to
1832 Family moves to
settles in New York City
1838 Family moves to
to avoid getting sugar cane harvested by slaves Cincinnati, Ohio
1838 Samuel dies unexpectedly leaving family broke. Hannah and daughters start a
school for girls in their home to earn a living.
urged by dying friend to become a doctor, an unheard of concept.
1845 Against all odds,
Elizabeth begins her quest to
enter a school of medicine to
become a physician. She is met with callous resistance and verbal abuses.
1847 Thinking it was a joke, the student body at
agrees to admit Geneva College
begins her studies at
setting a historic precedence. Geneva College
1848 Practical experiences between terms are gained at the Blockley Almshouse in
graduates with her degree in medicine, the first woman to do so. History
is made and a new path for women is created.
sails to Europe to attempt getting post graduate studies
ends up in Paris at a maturity
hospital, La Maternite.
1849 An accident during treatment of an infant causes a serious infection to
eye eventually resulting in the loss of vision in her left eye. She is forced to quit.
1850 With some vision restored,
accepted at Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital
to continue her post-graduate internship.
returns to America
where she, again, is denounced by doctors. She
ignores their threats and begins a Dispensary for the poor in
1855 With the encouragement and financial help from Quaker friends,
making plans for a full hospital to serve poor women and children.
1856 Feeling the need for companionship,
adopts a seven-year-old orphan,
Katherine “Kitty” Barry.
1857 On May 12 a ceremony is held for the grand opening of The New York Infirmary
for Indigent Women and Children, a dream of
come true. The hospital
continues to operate to the modern day.
1861 The Civil War brings
Elizabeth’s Infirmary into
service, as the hospital aids in
providing field nurses for the Union Army. Her service is recognized by
1866 A college of medicine for women is established by
in conjunction with
the hospital and is chartered by the state of
returns to England
where she establishes a private practice while
working with others to open up medical schools to women.
1873 After helping to create a medical school for women in
to accept the position of Chair of Gynecology at the school.
1873 Forced to place her work on hold because of a Biliary Colic condition,
Rome as part of the cure.
1876 After returning to work, the Biliary Colic returns and she is forced to take up
There she writes a book on sex education for Bordighera, Italy
children, which is immediately denounced, but eventually published.
1907 Regaining her health she vacations in
where she sustains a Kilmun, Scotland
serious fall down a flight of stairs causing her damage to her brain. She retires
from all activities.
of a stroke at her home in
Hastings, Sussex England. She
years old and is buried at the Saint Munn’s
in Kilmun. Parish Church
1949 On the 100th anniversary of her graduation from
, her alma mater Geneva
(now known as
Hobart and )
names a new student William
dormitory in her memory.
1958 The College establishes the Elizabeth Blackwell Award for outstanding service to
1994 As an additional tribute to this famous alum, an 800-pound larger-than-life bronze
Elizabeth is dedicated, resting
near one of the most-traveled
walkways on the college’s campus.
1974 The United States Postal Service issues the Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D.
commemorative postage stamp.
2007 The New York Downtown Hospital and the City of
founding of the New York Infirmary by
with a special celebration
of its 150th anniversary. The corner of Gold and Beekman Streets is officiallydeclared “Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell Place”