Elizabeth Blackwell (February 3, 1821 May 31, 1910) was the first woman to practice medicine in the United States. She was born in Bristol , England, the third of nine children born to a sugar refiner who could afford to give his numerous daughters, as well as his sons, an education. In 1831, the family emigrated to the United States, and set up a refinery in New York City. After the death of her father, she took up a career in teaching. Desiring to apply herself to the practice of medicine, she took up residence in a physician's household, using her time there to study from the family's medical library. She became active in the anti-slavery movement (as did her brother Henry Brown Blackwell, who married Lucy Stone), in the course of which she made friends with Harriet Beecher Stowe. Another brother, Samuel C. Blackwell, married another important figure in women's rights, Antoinette Brown..
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