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Dorothea Dix was an educator and social reformer whose devotion to the welfare of the mentally ill led to widespread international reforms.
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She was responsible for setting up field hospitals and first-aid stations, recruiting nurses, managing supplies and setting up training programs. Although she was efficient and focused, many found her rigid, without the social skills that were necessary to navigate the military’s bureaucracy.
After the war, she briefly returned to her work on behalf of the mentally ill. She contracted malaria in 1870 and was forced to abandon aggressive traveling, although she continued to write,
lobbying for her causes. She took up residence at the hospital she had founded 40 years earlier in Trenton, New Jersey, and died there on July 17, 1887.
Though Dix had many admirers over her lifetime, and was briefly engaged to her second cousin, Edward Bangs, she never married.
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