Dorothea Lynde Dix 's Life

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Dorothea Lynde Dix was born on April 4, 1802 (Cliffe, 2003; Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2013; Parry, 2006). Dix was born in Hampden, Maine to underprivileged and inattentive parents Joseph and Mary Bigelow Dix (Parry, 2006; Ritter & Wakelyn, 2014) Throughout her childhood Dix’s father struggled with drinking problems as well as attaining a stable job. Her father died when she was only ten and she moved to live with her grandmother two years later (Cliffe, 2003; Parry, 2006). Between 1818 and 1836, Dix earned money as a writer and a teacher, opening her own school in her grandmother’s house in 1821 and publishing a book in 1824 (Gollaher, 1991; Parry, 2006; Ritter & Wakelyn, 2014). According to Parry, Dix’s books often contained religious poetry and moral lessons. In her Conversations on Common Things; or Guide to Knowledge: With Questions, Dix targeted schoolteachers, providing tips and advocating that women must be educated just like men (2006). However, despite Dix’s strong encouragement of equal educational opportunities for male and females, she opposed the feminism movement (Gollaher, 1993, para. 6). Dix continued teaching in 1831 when she opened another school in her own home and later proceeded to teach Sunday school to female convicts at a jail (Parry, 2006). It was at this East Cambridge jail in 1841 that Dix was first exposed to the terrible conditions of those who lived there and was astounded at the fact that insane individuals had been meshed in with the
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