DIXON, Mrs. Mary J. Scarlett

Mary J. Scarlett Dixon (2).jpg

Dublin Core


Mary J. Scarlett Dixon was born in Robeson, Berks County, Pennsylvania, on October 23, 1822.  She grew up in a Quaker family that became very involved in the Anti-Slavery cause.  Having lost both parents by the age of sixteen, Mary was very interested in medicine.  After pursuing a teaching career, she entered the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1855.  When Mary graduated in 1857, she continued to take classes, worked with poor patients, and delivered lectures on medical topics.

Beginning in 1859, Mary taught at her alma mater and held the title of Professor of Anatomy.  Eventually, she established a successful practice in Philadelphia and changed her position to Professor of Anatomy and Histology.  Mary's colleagues included Rachel Bodley, Emeline H. Cleveland, and Ann Preston.  On March 16, 1867, Mary gave the valedictory address at the graduation ceremony.  Her address, which was printed in The Evening Telegraph  that evening, included wise advice for both future physicians and all women.   

After she married G. Washington Dixon on May 8, 1873, when she was fifty years old, Mary continued to teach and practice medicine.  In addition to her medical practice and personal life, Mary advocated for peace reform.  When she was named a member of the Executive Board of the Pennsylvania Peace Society in 1876, she worked with Lucretia Mott and others for this cause.

In 1881, Mary left the faculty of the school that had been renamed The Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, and an article from October of 1885 in the Richmond Dispatch referred to Mary as "professor emeritus...." Unfortunately,  Mary suffered from glaucoma.  By 1886, she also needed to curtail her practice.  

Mary passed away in Philadelphia on January 28, 1900, and is buried in that city's Fair Hill Burial Ground.



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This Item knows Item: BODLEY, Miss Rachel L.
This Item knows Item: MOTT, Mrs. Lucretia