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Dorothea Dix

  • I have come to present to you the strong claims of suffering humanity. I come as the advocate of the helpless, forgotten, insane men and women held in cages, closets, cellars, stalls, pens; chained, naked, beaten with rods and lashed into obedience.

    • Dorothea Dix,
    • speech, Masschusetts Legislature ()
  • ... in proportion as my own discomfort has increased, my conviction of necessity to search into the wants of the friendless and afflicted has deepened. If I am cold, they too are cold; if I am weary, they are distressed; if I am alone, they are abandoned.

    • Dorothea Dix,
    • 1845, in Dorothy Clarke Wilson, Stranger and Traveler: The Story of Dorothea Dix, American Reformer ()
  • [To a woman who claimed she'd rather be dead than unconfined and unfashionable:] My dear, if you continue to lace as tightly as you do now, you will not long have the privilege of choice. You will be both dead and out of fashion.

    • Dorothea Dix,
    • 1845, in Dorothy Clarke Wilson, Stranger and Traveler: The Story of Dorothea Dix, American Reformer ()
  • Be of good cheer, for sadness cannot heal the national wounds.

    • Dorothea Dix,
    • 1845, in Dorothy Clarke Wilson, Stranger and Traveler: The Story of Dorothea Dix, American Reformer ()
  • Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote.

    • Dorothea Dix,
    • 1851, in Charles M. Snyder, The Lady and the President: The Letters of Dorothea Dix and Millard Fillmore ()
  • Of all the calamities to which humanity is subject, none is so dreadful as insanity. ... All experience shows that insanity seasonably treated is as certainly curable as a cold or a fever.

    • Dorothea Dix,
    • speech (1846), in Judith Anderson, ed., Outspoken Women ()
  • What greater bliss than to look back on days spent in usefulness, in doing good to those around us.

    • Dorothea Dix,
    • in Charles M. Snyder, The Lady and the President: The Letters of Dorothea Dix and Millard Fillmore ()

Dorothea Dix, U.S. nurse, social reformer, mental health crusader

(1802 - 1887)

Full name: Dorothea Lynde Dix.