Dickinson, Anna E.

1864 ALS to controversial physician D. Willard Bliss, then in charge of Washington's Armory Square Hospital

Price: $175.00

Description:
(1842-1932) Philadelphia-born Quaker, orator, teacher, lecturer, advocate for abolition of slavery and for women's suffrage. She was the 1st woman to speak before the US Congress, and, in 1873, the 1st White woman on record to climb Colorado’s Longs Peak. She published an emotional anti-slavery essay in William Lloyd Garrison’s “The Liberator” at 14, and addressed the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society in 1860. In 1861 she obtained a clerkship at the US Mint but was removed for criticizing General McClellan at a public meeting. One of the first women to mount the platform to discuss burning issues of the day before the Civil War, gave impassioned speeches on abolition. In 1862, Garrison asked her to deliver lectures sponsored by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society that helped foment the abolitionist movement in the state prior to Lincoln's issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. During the 1863 elections, she campaigned for Republican candidates in New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, speaking in support of the Radical Republicans ' anti-slavery platform and for the preservation of the Union, which included occasional attacks on Lincoln for being too moderate. An audience of over 5,000 hailed her in New York City when she spoke there on behalf of Republican candidates. She earned a standing ovation in 1864 for an impassioned speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. She broadened her political views to include strong opinions on the rights of Blacks, also lectured on Reconstruction, women's rights, and temperance. In 1868, she published a novel, “What Answer (1868) that featured an interracial marriage. Dickinson later turned to the theater as playwright and actress. In 1891 her sister arranged for Anna to be incarcerated at the Danville State Hospital for the Insane. After a brief stay, Dickinson won her freedom and embarked on a series of legal battles against those who had her incarcerated and the newspapers that claimed she was insane. She spent her last 40 years in relative obscurity in New York. 7 x 4 ½ ALS from her Locust Street, Philadelphia home, December 1 1864, to Dr. D. W. Bliss, thanking him for his kind invitation to help a good cause but the pressure of other engagements prevents her from coming to his. Dr. Doctor Willard Bliss (1825-1889) 3rd Michigan Infantry Surgeon in the Civil War, pomoted to Major and Surgeon, USV Sept. 1861 and in Oct., named Brigade Surgeon on Brig. Gen’l Israel Richardson’s staff. By late summer he was placed in charge of Armory Square Hospital in Washington, opposite the Smithsonian Institution. Brevet Colonel US Vols. March 1865. After the war, remained in Washington area practicing medicine, caused stir in the medical community by promoting a cancer remedy, “Cundurango” and expelled for a time by the medical association. In charge of medical staff of physicians in attendance to President Garfield, mortally wounded by an assassin July 2, 1881. Bliss inserted a metal probe into the wound, turning it slowly, searching for the bullet. The probe became stuck between shattered fragments of Garfield's 11th rib, and removed only with great difficulty and pain. Bliss inserted his finger into the wound, widening the hole in another unsuccessful probe. Leading doctors also probed the wound with their fingers or dirty instruments. When Garfield died Sept. 19, his 16 doctors had turned a 3” deep, harmless wound into a 20” long contaminated gash from his ribs to his groin, oozing more pus each day. He lingered for 80 days, dying Sept. 19. After Garfield's death, his physicians submitted a bill of $85,000 to the Senate; the Senate authorized payment of only $10,000. Bliss later attended several prominent US Senators.

Condition: Very good
Type:Letter






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