"Doctress" Rebecca Lee Crumpler

The New England Female Medical College building on Springfield Street

The New England Female Medical College Building, circa 1860

Reproduced from the Eleventh Annual Report of the New-England Female Medical College (Boston : Published by the Trustees, 1860)

From the collections of the Library of Harvard Medical School

 

 

Rebecca Davis Lee Crumpler (1831-1895) worked as a nurse in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and was then accepted into the medical degree program at the New England Female Medical College in Boston.  In 1864, she was awarded the degree of "Doctress of Medicine" and is believed to be the first African American woman to graduate from a medical school.  She briefly practiced in Virginia after the Civil War and then returned to Boston in 1869.

 

Sixteenth annual catalogue and report of the New-England Female Medical College.

Lists of the Students and Graduates of the New England Female Medical College, 1864

Reproduced from the Sixteenth Annual Catalogue and Report of the New-England Female Medical College (Boston : Published by the Trustees, 1864)

From the collections of the Library of Harvard Medical School

 

 

While little is known of her life and career, she did publish one monograph, A Book of Medical Discourses in Two Parts (Boston : Cashman, Keating & Co., 1883), addressing women on pediatric and gynecological topics.

The full-text of A Book of Medical Discourses is available through the Medical Heritage Library here.

Slavery's Legacy Combatted
"Doctress" Rebecca Lee Crumpler