Essay on The Legacy Of Dorothea Lynde Dix

1415 Words Apr 16th, 2016 6 Pages
Originally named Dorothea Lynde Dix, she was born in Hampden, Maine during the year 1802. While growing up, however, Dix did not experience a normal childhood, instead she grew up in an unhappy home with neglectful parents. As a result, she suffered from depression at several times and by age thirty three, Dix had a complete physical and psychological breakdown. In order to restore her health, Dix embarked on a trip to Europe in 1836 where she resided in the home of William Rathbone and his family of wealthy, socially conscious liberals. During her stay in England, Dix was frequently in contact with English modern ideas of prison and mental health reform and she had the opportunity to meet several individuals who supported the cause such as, prison reformer Elizabeth Fry and the founder of York Retreat for the Mentally Ill Samuel Tuke. Unfortunately for Dix, her stay was not long and in 1837, after only a year of living in Europe, she returned to America. Shortly after, her grandmother, Madame Dorothea Dix passed away. Upon her grandmother’s death, Dix received a large inheritance which allowed her to be financially supported. Because of the abundance of leisure time Dix now possessed, she had begun to devote her time to reform and charitable work which had become her primary interest after her return to America. Being unmarried and without close attachments also gave Dix the ability to sacrifice her personal life for the betterment of her country and consequently she made…

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