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Typed letter from Susan B. Anthony to Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania regarding Eliza Grier.

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Eliza Grier and Matilda Evans: Two Women, Two Paths

Susan B. Anthony was a renowned activist for temperance, labor rights, educational reform, abolition, and most famously, women’s rights.  Her work writing and speaking on behalf of these reforms convinced her that women needed the right to vote to truly influence legislation. A leader of the woman suffrage movement, Anthony was arrested in Rochester, NY in 1872 for voting in an election.   She founded the American Equal Rights Association in 1866, which eventually became the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Anthony was serving as honorary president of NAWSA at the time she wrote this letter in 1901. Eliza Grier was born into the last years of slavery in North Carolina in 1862. She went on work her way through Fisk University in Tennessee and then attended Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania on scholarship, graduating with her MD in 1897.  She eventually set up a practice in Greenville, South Carolina, serving an impoverished community.

In her letter to WMCP, Anthony sympathizes with Grier and her plight, and acknowledges the hardship and difficulty of Grier’s endeavor to practice medicine in adverse circumstances. The fact that Anthony, a prominent white woman and perhaps the most famous women’s rights advocate of the time, responded to the appeal of Grier (albeit to Grier’s alma mater and not to Grier herself), an African American woman born into slavery but pursuing a professional demonstrates how women of disparate backgrounds found some common cause and mutual sympathy in the struggle to gain equal rights in all aspects of life, including in careers and the professions.

Creator: Anthony, Susan B. (Susan Brownell), 1820-1906

Contributor: Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania

Item Number: a266_056

Pages: 1

Size: 21.1x27.7

Physical Collection: Records of W/MCP: Registrar 1921-1975 (ACC-266), ACC-266

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Link to OPAC Record:

Cite this source: Title of document, date. Eliza Grier and Matilda Evans: Two Women, Two Paths. Doctor or Doctress?: Explore American history through the eyes of women physicians. The Legacy Center, Drexel University College of Medicine Archives & Special Collections. Philadelphia, PA. Date of access.

Grier, Eliza Anna

Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania--Alumni and alumnae


Mumford, Mary E. (Mary Eno), 1842-1935