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Politics and Law

Women Suffragists


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Worksheet (pdf):

Famous Women Worksheet


March 2003

image of Clara Barton While she is best known as the founder of the American Red Cross, Clara Barton also made history in New Jersey. Barton, who began her career as a teacher, opened the first free public school in Bordentown in 1852. Her Bordentown school eventually had more than 600 students. She left the school when she was passed over for a job as head of the school because she was a women. Barton went on to become famous for her work as a nurse in the Civil War. In 1881, she founded the American Red Cross, which she led for more than two decades.
Dorothea Lynde Dix received worldwide renown for her pioneer work in reforming mental institutions and psychiatric care. She was responsible for the enlargement or establishment, through state legislation, of 32 public mental hospitals, including the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum at Trenton in 1848. Dix championed humane treatment of the mentally ill at a time when they were considered subhuman and incarcerated in jails or almshouses. She also served as Superintendent of Women Nurses of the Union Army during the Civil War, the highest executive position held by a woman in the U.S. at the time. image of Dorthea Lynde Dix
image of Dr. Rita S. Finkler Dr. Rita S. Finkler, the first woman on the senior medical staff at Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, founded the department of endocrinology there in 1939. (Endocrinology is the study of the glands and hormones of the body and their related disorders.) Finkler directed the endocrinology department until 1951.

For more information on New Jersey Women’s History, please visit the Women’s Project of New Jersey.

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