Skip Navigation
Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Jeanne Mance

b. 1606, Langres, France; d. 1673, Montréal

Jeanne Mance, the first lay nurse in North America, sailed from France to New France (now Canada) in 1641. Persevering in the face of financial, political, and environmental challenges, she established the first hospital in New France, the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, in 1645 (it is still in operation today). Mance is also considered a co-founder of the city of Montréal. Since her death in 1673, her contribution has been commemorated in several sculptures; one, by Louis-Philippe Hébert, stands in front of the Hôtel-Dieu.