Dr. Crumpler not mentioned in PBS program on 19th century female pioneering physicians

‘Follow the challenging and illuminating history of 19th century women doctors.’

https://www.pbs.org/show/daring-women-doctors-physicians-19th-century/

Excellent history lesson that included a few sentences about the New England Female Medical College (NEFMC) where Dr. Crumpler graduated in 1864. The program mentioned: Dr. Rebecca Cole, who graduated in 1867 from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania to be the 2nd black women to earn a medical degree, and also Elisa Grier, the 1st black female physician to work in Georgia (1897).

Why was Rebecca Lee Crumpler not discussed? Was it because no one has yet to find a photographer of her? Harvard University and Radcliff University provided source material for the program, so they had the opportunity to search the Countway Medical Library where there is a copy of a NEFMC annual report that lists Dr. Rebecca Lee as a student. That library also has a link to a copy of her 1883, ” A Book of Medical Discourses”.

Don’t let this omission stop you from watching the program which indeed is very informative.

Foundations in place

The foundation for the grave stones for Rebecca Crumpler and for Arthur Crumpler are in place. The grave stones will be installed when the inscriptions are completed.

Looking at the ‘front’ of the stones , and toward Aspen Avenue. Dr. Crumpler ‘s stone will be on the left.
Parallel to the road .
Looking at what will be the back side of the stones where there will be writing about the Crumpler’s significance. This is what will be seen from the road.

Crumpler Grave Stones

The granite has arrived from Vermont and the text for the inscriptions on the graves stones for Rebecca and Arthur Crumpler has been finalized. The front side will have name and dates, and the back side will honor them with information about their lives.

The public dedication ceremony has been cancelled. When the stones are installed later next month, their location in Fairview Cemetery will be posted. A memorial card with quotations from Dr. Crumpler’s book will be available in the cemetery office when it is open.

Plans for a memorial plaque in another location are being discussed.

Suffolk Street NOT Chestnut Street

A correction to the previous post. A Crumpler Fund donor, Robert M., suggested that the reference to 72 Chestnut Street be checked because it likely was not the home of Dr. Rebecca Lee.  From records Robert forwarded, it appears that Rebecca Lee at #72 was a wealthy, property-owning widow.   Dr. Lee had no money, resulting in Wyatt Lee being buried in a grave for an indigent person.

Further investigation located a Rebecca Lee living at 73 Suffolk Street, now  Shawmut Avenue in the South End.   Dover Street is now East Berkeley.   In fire insurance maps, red/pink buildings are brick, and yellow are wood framed.

#73 would have been opposite the word Suffolk. Plan of the City of Boston, Publisher Boston: Prang & Co. Lith., 1861, Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library

D.A. Sanborn, Insurance map of Boston : volume 1 (1867). Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library.

It’s  possible that Dr. Lee lived on Suffolk Street after medical school and before she went to Virginia to work for the Freedmen’s Bureau.  She may have also lived there during her medical training. As you can see on the map, it would have been an easy walk to the medical school on Stoughton Street between Albany and Harrison Avenue in the South End.

cropped BCH
Atlas of the county of Suffolk, Massachusetts plate X,  1874, Publisher : G.M. Hopkins & Co., Boston Public Library, Norman B. Leventhal Map Center

A’Llyn Ettien, the Collections Management Librarian at Boston University, Alumni Medical Library wrote that the 1860 Annual Report stated that  “Board can be had in the city for $4 to $6 a week, according to accommodations. Students, who desire it, will be assisted in obtaining suitable boarding-places.”

If any other information in these posts needs correction, please let us know.  Of course, we also look forward to new bits of information about the lives or Rebecca and Arthur Crumpler.

 

 

 

Two ways to support the Crumpler project

  1. Make out a check to Friends of the Hyde Park Branch Library indicating that it is for the Crumpler Fund. Address: Hyde Park Library, 35 Harvard Avenue, Hyde Park, MA, 02136 Paypal buttons below. Please supply your name, phone number and email address when prompted.

The Friends of the Hyde Park Library is a federally recognized 501(c)3 organization.

Tax ID# 04-2774183

 

Charlestown – Boston ‘homes’ 1852-1879

Where did Rebecca,Wyatt and Arthur live between 1852-1880?  (Source in parenthesis)  If you have any primary source documentation for the years without information please send it to: friendshplibrary@yahoo.com

April 19,1852  Rebecca and Wyatt – Charlestown MA (Marriage Registration)

May 20,1853    Death of Wyatt’s son Albert, born in VA,1846 A.Lee Death

1854         —————-

1855         Wyatt and Rebecca Lee Ward – 3 Charlestown 1855 MA cenus - Charlestown Ward 3 CROPPED

1856          Wyatt Lee 37 Cook St. rear, Charlestown1856 directory

1857,1858,1859       ————

1860          Wyatt and Rebecca Lee -Ward 5, Boston  1860 Ward 5 census

1861, 1862          Rebecca Lee may have had been in medical school housing

April 18,1863    Wyatt Lee, 2 Smith Pl., BostonW.Lee Death

June 1863      Arthur Crumpler, Newton, MA (Draft Registration)

1864          ——                          

June 2,1865   Marriage Rebecca Lee and Arthur Crumpler                                                                                   72 Chestnut St, Boston (BD)

cropped 1865

1866          72 Chestnut St. (BD)  

1867          RC – Richmond VA with Freeman’s Bureau (Allen Catalog)

1868           ——————     

1869          Arthur and Rebecca Crumpler –  67 Joy St., Bostoncropprd BD 1869

1870          20 Garden St., Boston1870-71 directory cropped  

                 Lizzie Sinclair Crumpler 12/18/1970 Lizzie birth registry CROPPED

1870          AC buys land in Hyde Park (Norfolk County Deed)    

1871, 1872, 1873     —————-

1874           RC teaching in Wilmington, DE (Allen Catalog)

1875/76      AC  work and board locations  (BD)

1875-76 boston directory cropped1876          RC teaching in New Castle, DE (Allen Catalog)

1877          ——————–

1878          AC buys land in Hyde Park (Norfolk County deed)

1879          AC boards at 4 Hamilton Pl.  (BD)

1880         RC and AC in Hyde Park, MA    1880 census cropped

 

More primary source material in the next posting.  Stay well and take the time to read about local and state history. 

 

 

Two ways to support the Crumpler project

  1. Make out a check to Friends of the Hyde Park Branch Library indicating that it is for the Crumpler Fund. Address: Hyde Park Library, 35 Harvard Avenue, Hyde Park, MA, 02136 Paypal buttons below. Please supply your name, phone number and email address when prompted.

The Friends of the Hyde Park Library is a federally recognized 501(c)3 organization.

Tax ID# 04-2774183

 

April 18th Presentation Postponed

In February, when we started the campaign to raise money for one  grave stone for Dr. Rebecca Crumpler and Arthur Crumpler, we assumed it would take months to get the word out and to raise the $5,000.    Surprisingly it took about 2 weeks to surpass the goal thanks  to social medial sharing and a Boston Globe article.

Twos grave stones have been order from a Vermont quarry. We  hope work will  soon resume, and that our order  quickly work its way to the head of the queue.  The stones will be shipped to Quincy where they will be inscribed before installation at Fairview Cemetery.

Since the April 18th Historical Society event has been cancelled, here is some interesting  information about Dr. Crumpler’s life.

1855 Charlestown Massachusetts Census 

 (Wyatt Lee – Rebecca Lee)1855 MA cenus - Charlestown Ward 3 cropped

Boston Post  May 28, 1869 

Anniversary Meeting of the New England Anti-slavery Society

boston-post-may-28-1869-cropprf

 

The New Journal     

Wilmington Delaware, March 17, 1874

Sumn-Mem

1880  Federal Census Norfolk County, Massachusetts 

croppedResident and Business  Directory of Hyde Park, Massachusetts  – Similar information  in  1883, 1884  and 1885 1883-85 W.River Street

More primary source material in the next posting.  Stay well and take the time to read about local and state history. 

Go for a walk in a cemetery to see history and spring time. FYI – Mount Auburn Cemetery has closed it gates to walkers  because the roadways and paths were becoming crowded.  Try Forest Hills – Jamaica Pain, Brookdale – Dedham,  Cedar Grove – Dorchester,  Calvary, New Calvary and Mt. Hope – Roslindale/Boston,  and of course Fairview – Hyde Park  just  to name just a few. 

 

Two ways to support the Crumpler project

  1. Make out a check to Friends of the Hyde Park Branch Library indicating that it is for the Crumpler Fund. Address: Hyde Park Library, 35 Harvard Avenue, Hyde Park, MA, 02136 Paypal buttons below. Please supply your name, phone number and email address when prompted.

The Friends of the Hyde Park Library is a federally recognized 501(c)3 organization.

Tax ID# 04-2774183

 

Boston-New Brunswick-Richmond

Rebecca Crumpler wrote in the introduction to her 1883 book Medical Discourses, that after she received the degree of Doctress of Medicine (1864) she practiced in Boston, ‘but desiring a larger scope of general information, I traveled toward the British Dominions.’

In 1865, New Brunswick was a colonial territory of the British Empire but in 1867 it joined 3 other provinces to form the Confederation of Canada. It is uncertain why Rebecca and Arthur chose to go to New Brunswick other than they knew that former slaves found safety in British North America, and transport could be arranged.

In 1851, Cornelius Sparrow and his wife who had escaped from Virginia were aided by the Boston Vigilance Committee and the Underground Railroad. They settled in St John’s, New Brunswick where they were successful in business. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/cornelius-sparrow-saint-john-black-history-1.4517154

In the previous century a few thousand black  slaves and servants accompanied the British Loyalists, who fled after the American Revolutionary War, along with free Blacks who had pledge allegiance to England.

Arthur Crumpler and Rebecca Lee married while on their trip to New Brunswick.

 

wedding report
This announcement appeared (in a different format) in 1865  in the Religious Intelligencer.

relgious intelligencer
“Containing the principal transactions of the various Bible and missionary societies, with particular accounts of revivals of religion.”

‘On my return (to Boston), after the close of the Confederate War, my mind centered upon Richmond, the capital city of Virginia, as the proper field for real missionary work, and one that would present ample opportunity to become acquainted with the diseases of women and children.’

03049_150px
Library of Congress

Professor Jim Downs has written in  Sick From Freedom African American Illness and Suffering During the Civil War and Reconstruction (Oxford University Press, 2012)  about the unintended consequences of emancipation.” They (freed slaves and their families) ended up entering into a world that was plagued by disease and suffering. Let us understand what was really at stake — yes, you’re free, you’re liberated, you can dance in the street. But where did you sleep that night, where did you eat? What about when you entered into the Union camp and there was an outbreak of measles?’

SmallpoxSlaves_960x640-1200x0-c-default
Library of Congress

At least a quarter of the four million former slaves got sick or died between 1862 and 1870, including at least 60,000 who perished in a smallpox epidemic that began in Washington and spread through the South as former slaves traveled in search of work.

At a Virginia Historical Society lecture in 2016, National Park Service historian Michael Gorman said that by June of 1865, there were 30,000 former slaves in Richmond with no place to live and no way to sustain themselves. ‘They were trying to get a job, trying to find a new way of life,” Gorman said. “There was this fundamental narrative of ‘Okay slavery is over. Now go get a job.’ How?”

Chimborazo Hospital outside of Richmond was the largest hospital on either side of the conflict. According to the National Park Service, Chimborazo was more of a convalescent home for the sick and wounded confederate soldiers because Richmond wasn’t on the front line until April 2, 1865 when the confederate army left and burned the city. In July 1865, there were 50,000 former slaves in Richmond with no feasible living situation.

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, usually referred to as simply the Freedmen’s Bureau, was an agency of the United States Department of War to “direct such issues of provisions, clothing, and fuel, as he may deem needful for the immediate and temporary shelter and supply of destitute and suffering refugees and freedmen and their wives and children.”[2]

orlando brown
From:Findagrave.com

Dr. Orlando Brown, a former surgeon, and the Assistant Commissioner for Virginia’s Freedman Bureau allowed Dr. Crumpler ‘access each day to a very large number of the indigent, and others of different classes, in a population of over 30,000 colored’.  Dr. Crumpler worked in Richmond in  1866 -1867, and in her book she refers to a General Brown.

Dr. Brown had an interesting connection to the Boston area and  to the Black community, and this may be why he allowed Dr. Crumpler freedom to work as the only known black female physician in the Bureau.

He graduated from Yale Medical School, worked in Boston,  and joined the army as the assistant surgeon to the 18th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry which trained at Camp Meigs in Reidville.  In 1865 he was promoted to colonel of the 24th  United States Colored Infantry Regiment and remained with them in Richmond  until they mustered out in October 1865.

Dr. Crumpler recognized that the main threat to people’s lives was the lack of shelter, clothing and nutrition and that without the basics, they were at higher risk for infection, disease and death.

In, Charlestown, Boston, New Brunswick, and Richmond, Dr. Crumpler observed cause and effect. Her desire for writing her book was to ‘impress upon someone’s mind the possibility of prevention’.

Two ways to support the Crumpler project

  1. Make out a check to Friends of the Hyde Park Branch Library indicating that it is for the Crumpler Fund. Address: Hyde Park Library, 35 Harvard Avenue, Hyde Park, MA, 02136
  2. Use a credit card with the Paypal buttons below. Please supply your name, phone number and email address when prompted.

The Friends of the Hyde Park Library is a federally recognized 501(c)3 organization.

Tax ID# 04-2774183

 

Boston Library Programs Cancelled

We are very sad to announce that as a preventative measure to minimize the spread of COVID-19, all Boston Public Library programs and events have been cancelled until further notice. This includes programs sponsored by the Historical Society.

All library locations remain open at this time.  We plan to reschedule and reinstate all events once this health crisis passes.

You can always call the library at 617 361-2524 or visit www.bpl.org for more updates and more information.

Please take care during this difficult time!

The 125th Anniversary of the Death of Dr. Rebecca Crumpler

Rebecca Lee Crumpler M.D.

April 14,1831—March 9, 1895

The Friends of the Hyde Park Library and the Hyde Park Historical Society are very pleased to announce that the Rebecca Crumpler Fund has received a generous donation from the Massachusetts Medical Schools.

“After learning of the Hyde Park Library Friends’ efforts to install a memorial marker in recognition of Dr. Crumpler, Dr. George Q. Daley, Dean of Harvard Medical School, reached out to the deans of the other three Massachusetts medical schools with a request that each join forces to support the fundraising effort. Each medical school dean, Dr. Karen Antman (Boston University), Dr. Terence Flotte (University of Massachusetts), and Dr. Peter Bates (Tufts) responded quickly and with enthusiasm for the plan. All recognized that the Hyde Park Library Friends’ effort is a most fitting tribute given Dr. Crumpler’s legacy within Massachusetts as a trailblazer for individuals under-represented in medicine.”

Dr. Joan Reede, HMS, Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership

The contribution from the medical schools and from more than 115 individuals will make it possible for us to honor Dr. Crumpler’s legacy in many ways. We are reviewing our options while we finalize the style and engraving for the headstones.

Fairview cemetery was opened in 1893, and Dr. Crumpler was the 123rd interment.  Most of the other graves in the areas date from 1894 -1918, and many  do not have headstones. We must follow the rules for gravestone size in that part of the cemetery and will purchase granite that reflects the era.  Alas, Quincy granite is no longer available.

Sincere thanks to the Medical School deans and to all who have made donations.

Victoria Gall         Tom Sullivan            Gretchen Van Ness         

 Elisa Birdseye     Mimi Turchinetz        Denella Clark 

   Patrice Gattozzi               Tanisha Sullivan

 

Two ways to support the Crumpler project

  1. Make out a check to Friends of the Hyde Park Branch Library indicating that it is for the Crumpler Fund. Address: Hyde Park Library, 35 Harvard Avenue, Hyde Park, MA, 02136
  2. Use a credit card with the Paypal buttons below. Please supply your name, phone number and email address when prompted.

The Friends of the Hyde Park Library is a federally recognized 501(c)3 organization.

Tax ID# 04-2774183