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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/213

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EARLY PRACTICE OF MEDICINE BY WOMEN.

of the patients, and the new-comers, and of these last there is at least one living in the town. In the midst of her usefulness she was removed by death, and it became a great inquiry, 'Who will take the place of Granny Johnson?'" This question was answered in the person of Mrs. Huldah Beach, daughter of Aaron Loomis, Jr., more successfully than was anticipated. Mrs. Beach became as celebrated in her calling as Granny Johnson, and continued to attend to her professional duties until an advanced age. She was a woman of remarkably fine personal appearance and decided dignity of carriage, yet marked kindliness of manner. Her intellectual strength and ability were perceptible to every one, and she in consequence commanded great respect in all classes of society, and won the confidence of the people so that but few calls were made on any other physician in her specialty, on the western side of the town. She also rode as far as Winchester, Goshen, and Litchfield.

Dr. Orcutt, whose "History of Torrington" has furnished us with these particulars, remarks in this connection, "Many have imagined that, in the practice of medicine by women, a new era has arrived, but in this there is only a 'restoration of the lost arts.'"

Our allotted task is completed, yet we can not close this address without a brief survey of the present period, in which the facilities afforded women in all branches of learning contrast strongly with the formerly wellnigh insurmountable impediments and obstacles.

Women desirous of acquiring medical knowledge are no longer obliged to disguise themselves in male attire like Agnodice the Athenian, nor are practitioners liable to suffer the penalties of the law for their works of benevolence and charity. In 1880 the young woman with aspirations for intellectual culture finds open to her such excellent training-schools as Holyoke, Wells, and Rutgers, such-noble institutions as Vassar, Smith, and Wellesley. Does she not shrink from contact with her brothers, she may gain entrance into many universities, either expressly founded in a liberal spirit, as Oberlin, Cornell, and Ann Arbor, or which have yielded to the steady pressure of public opinion, and now open their doors more or less widely to the gentler sex. To enumerate the latter would be tedious and unprofitable; suffice it to say that even venerable and aristocratic Harvard has lately joined the number, and our own Columbia, should her President's views prevail, will not be slow to follow.

The young woman who seeks intellectual training of a more technical character, with a view to adopting a professional career, will find many avenues opening up with constantly increasing privileges and facilities. The student in art, thanks to the philanthropy of our venerable citizen, Peter Cooper, can, without incurring expense, acquire a knowledge of designing or of wood-engraving which will hardly fail to secure for her a competence. The student in biology will receive her share of attention at a summer school of science on our Atlantic