Woman of the Century/Emma Southwick Brinton
BRINTON, Mrs. Emma Southwick, army nurse and traveler, born in Peabody, Mass . 7th April, 1834. She was a daughter of Philip R. and Amelia D. Southwick, and the oldest of seven children. Her ancestors, (Lawrence and Cassandra,) were among the earliest colonists to this country from England. Lawrence received a gift of land for the first tanning establishment in the settlement, near Salem, Mass., on which he built the first house with glass windows They were also the first in the Colonies to be persecuted for their belief, being Quakers, and for harboring a preac her. Miss Southwick entered, at an early age, into the activities of New England home life. She was educated in Bradford Academy, and, with the firing of rebel guns on Fort Sumter, she was on the alert to aid by needle and by the collection of supplies those who were marching to the relief of Washington. Communicating with Dr. S. G. Howe, of the Sanitary Commission, who was then in Washington, he soon sent for her to join the corps of nurses in Mansion House Hospital, Alexandria A year was spent there ; then, after a rest at home, nearly another year was spent in Armory Square Hospital, Washington, Then came service in the field at Fredericksburg, White House Landing and City Point At the last place, while fighting was going on around Richmond, with thirty-five tents full of wounded, with a constant call for food and care, scant water supply and great heat, with no shelter but a tent, where nearly all the food for her patients was provided, weeks passed into months, the overburdened nurse became a patient, and was sent to Washington and then home, broken down. Quiet and rest prepared her for some years of active service in the Freedmen's work in Petersburg and the Sea Islands. Her next move in public work was as foreign correspondent for the Boston press, and in that capacity she visited nearly all the countries of Europe, spending a summer in Scandinavia and Russia and a winter in Egypt and Palestine In 1873 she spent several months in the Vienna Exhibition, where so much interest was shown by all other countries and so little by the United States, that she resolved to take some active part in our Centennial in 1876 in Philadelphia. Having been especially interested in the illustration of the home life of the peasantry of the various provinces of Austria, with their houses, gardens and costumes, she applied for permission to illustrate EMMA SOUTHWICK BRINTON. the ancient life of New England by a log cabin and its accessories. At the same time she was invited by the State of Massachusetts to take partial charge of the office of the Centennial Commission in Boston, a position which she held a year. She then went to Philadelphia and spent six months in presenting to the multitude of visitors, inside her log house, a most interesting collection of furniture and domestic utensils, which ladies illustrated. In June, 1S80, Miss Southwick was married to Dr. J. B. Brinton, of Philadelphia, and while there was an active member of the New Century Club, the Woman's Christian Association and the Woman's Hospital Staff. She has now a pleasant home with her mother in Washington, D. C., and is interested in the various activities of that city, and a member of the Woman's National Press Association. An enthusiastic traveler, she spends her summers, with various parties of ladies under her chaperonage, amid the highways and byways of the Old World.