Copy of a letter to Hannah Darlington from Ann Preston, 1851. Hannah Darlington was a fellow Quaker from Chester County, who, like Preston, was involved in the abolition movement. In her letter to Darlington, Preston discusses her health, her enthusiasm for her studies, lectures she has attended, and mutual friends.
Why It Matters
Preston’s account of WMCP faculty member Dr. Moseley’s rejection by the Philadelphia Medical Society indicates that widespread acceptance of women doctors had not been achieved. Her excitement of learning a new field of study in a stimulating atmosphere and discussion of her other intellectual pursuits, intertwined with her support of abolition and women’s rights, reflects the dynamism of this era in of rapid social change and experimentation, marked by new social standards and roles for women.
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Analyze this evidence
- How does Preston feel about studying medicine? Why do you think she refers to Female Medical College as an “experiment” that some people think will fail?
- What does the term “blackballing” mean? Why was there an attempt by the Philadelphia Medical Society to “blackball” Dr. Moseley?