Hannah Lane Blackwell and Selected Daughters

  • 100% Completed
Many Blackwell women supported American social reform movements, established themselves in male-dominated professions, and kept family ties strong through their correspondence. Hannah Lane Blackwell (1792-1870) was the wife of Samuel Blackwell (c.1790-1838) and together they had nine children and numerous grandchildren, many of whom had extraordinary accomplishments, while others led more ordinary lives. Their nine children included: Anna, Marian, Elizabeth, Samuel Charles, Henry, Emily, Sarah Ellen, Howard, and George Washington Blackwell. The family moved from England to New York City in 1832. After her husband’s death in 1838, Hannah Blackwell opened a school with her daughters in order to support her family. Hannah’s papers consist of correspondence and some biographical papers. Four of her daughters’ papers are also represented in this grouping, including those of Anna, Emily, Marian, and Sarah “Ellen” Blackwell. Anna Blackwell (1816-1900) was the oldest of the nine children of Samuel and Hannah. She was a poet, writer, translator, and spiritualist.

Emily Blackwell (1826-1910) followed her sister Elizabeth into the medical profession and was the third woman to earn a medical degree in the United States. She was a cofounder, along with her sister Elizabeth Blackwell and Marie Zakrzewska, of the first woman’s hospital staffed by women the United States, the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. After her sister and Zakrzewska departed for other projects, Emily Blackwell continued and developed this woman-centered medical institution for over forty years. Marian Blackwell (1818-1897) kept house, at various points in her life, for her sister, Elizabeth, in New York, and then cared for her mother, Hannah, in New Jersey. She also lived for a time with her sister, Anna, in Hastings, England, nearby their sister, Elizabeth, and niece, Kitty Barry.

Sarah Ellen Blackwell (1828-1901) was known to her family by her middle name, “Ellen.” Ellen was an artist and studied painting and drawing in Philadelphia, New York, and Europe. She later published the first biography of Anna Ella Carroll, the Civil War military strategist, titled A Military Genius: Life of Anna Ella Carroll (1891). Explore these women’s lives as well as the lives of many other Blackwell family members as you transcribe these documents.

Filter pages: