Start your archival research on the Blackwell family with this guide.
Hannah (1792–1870) and Samuel (1790–1838) Blackwell immigrated to the United States from England with their nine children in 1832. Their extraordinary family, four generations of whom are represented in these papers, went on to play important roles in 19th and 20th century American social reform movements: abolition of slavery, women’s rights, woman’s suffrage, and temperance. Two of their daughters were pioneering doctors; Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910) was the first woman to obtain a medical degree in the United States, and she and her sister Emily (1826–1910) were instrumental in promoting medical education for women. Their brother Henry Browne Blackwell (1825–1909), his wife Lucy Stone (1818–1893), and their daughter Alice Stone Blackwell (1857–1950) were known for their leading roles in the abolition, woman’s suffrage, and prohibition movements; and their sister-in-law Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825–1921) was the first woman ordained as a minister in the United States and an active social reform lecturer.
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The Schlesinger Library received a grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to digitize our main Blackwell family materials. This research guide describes what was digitized and how to access it. Digitized material from all the collections listed below can be viewed through this portal.