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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Rebecca Lee

b. 1833, Richmond, Virginia; d. 1881(?), location unknown

Rebecca Lee Crumpler worked as a nurse in Massachusetts from 1852 to 1860 and, in 1864, became the first African American woman to earn a Doctress of Medicine degree, which she received from the New England Female Medical College in Boston. She initially opened a practice in Boston but after the Civil War (1861–65) relocated to Richmond, Virginia, in order to provide health care services to the black community. In 1883, Crumpler published A Book of Medicinal Discourses in Two Parts, which instructed women on the provision of health care for themselves and their children.