Dorthea Dix

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Dorthea Dix

Born in Hampden, Maine, in 1802, Dorothea Dix was a social reformer whose devotion to the welfare of the mentally ill led to widespread international reforms. After seeing horrific conditions in a Massachusetts prison, she spent the next 40 years lobbying U.S. and Canadian legislators to establish state hospitals for the mentally ill. Her efforts directly affected the building of 32 institutions in the United States.. Dorothea Lynde Dix was born on April 4, 1802, in Hampden, Maine. She was the eldest of three children, and her father, Joseph Dix, was a religious fanatic and distributor of religious tracts who made Dorothea stitch and paste the tracts together, a chore she hated.At age 12, Dix left home to live with her grandmother in Boston, and then an aunt in Worcester, Massachusetts. She began teaching school at age 14. In 1819, she returned to Boston and founded the Dix Mansion, a school for girls, along with a charity school that poor girls could attend for free. She began writing textbooks, with her most famous, Conversations on Common Things, published in 1824.

1802- Dorthea birth date1836- searched for a cure1841 - wrote a letter to the legislature about how bad insane people were taken care of1842- yyyy - events

Dorothea Dix was an educator and social reformer whose devotion to the welfare of the mentally ill led to widespread international reforms.

Dorothea Dix played an instrumental role in the founding or expansion of more than 30 hospitals for the treatment of the mentally ill. She was a leading figure in those national and international movements that challenged the idea that people with mental disturbances could not be cured or helped. She also was a staunch critic of cruel and neglectful practices toward the mentally ill, such as caging, incarceration without clothing, and painful physical restraint. Dix may have had personal experience of mental instability that drove her to focus on the issue of asylum reform, and certainly her singular focus on the issue led to some important victories.


My Reformer:Dorthea Dix

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Dorthea Dix



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