Eliza Anna Grier was an African American who graduated from Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1897. In 1901 Grier was practicing medicine in South Carolina and struggling to maintain her practice while battling health issues of her own. On March 7 of that year Grier wrote to Susan B. Anthony, President of the National Woman Suffrage Association, to appeal to her for financial help.
Why It Matters
Dr. Grier, sick with “La grippe” (the flu) and struggling to keep her practice afloat because most of her patients were poor and presumably not always able to pay for her care, sought the assistance of Susan B. Anthony, one the most famous women’s rights advocate and social reformers of her time. That Grier thought to appeal to this prominent white woman for help speaks to the changes in a society where women of disparate backgrounds found some common cause in the struggle to gain equal rights.
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Analyze this evidence
- Why do you think Dr. Grier wrote to Susan B. Anthony for help? Do you think they knew each other?
- What do you think Dr. Grier means when she writes that “there are a great many forces operating against...the Negro in business”?
- What are some of the reasons Dr. Grier is struggling to pay her expenses and keep her practice open?