Born to a sickly mother and an absent father, Dorothea Dix was called upon to mother her younger siblings. Consequently, at age 12 she visited her grandmother in Boston and never returned. Her grandmother was a strong New England woman who got Dorothea an education, allowing her to become a teacher, and Dorothea started a school at age 14. Instead of embracing her grandmother’s legacy upon her death and becoming a lady of leisure. Dorothea became a champion for the mentally ill, prisoners, and wounded soldiers.
Visiting the horrific poorhouses, Dorothea met children, the disabled, the unfortunate and the insane, all thrown together and mistreated. She became an activist on their behalf, lobbying state legislatures and the US Congress eventually starting the first mental asylums. Later she put her efforts into the Civil War and became the Superintendant of Union Army Nurses, Her reports were brutally honest, earning her the nickname Dragon Dix. Her courage and persistence went way beyond what was expected.
Pat Jordan is perfect to portray Dorothea Dix and has performed her program in venues throughout the United States. Pat has a strong connection with Dorothea Dix and her heart goes out to her. Both Dorothea and Pat love teaching, agreeing that if you love what you do, you have a social responsibility to share what you know with others. And both women are generous with their time and their talents. Similar in height and coloring, Pat is especially gratified that by embodying Dorothea Dix, she makes her accessible. Like Dorothea, Pat gives voice to the stories of courageous, inspirational women. That’s Pat’s mission in life and she joyfully fulfills it.
• Keynote Speaker: Women’s Issues, Civil War, Education, and other topics on request
Schools, Libraries, Museums, Historical Sites, 40 minutes plus Q & A
• Pair with Alice Paul, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, or other Civil War Era characters
• Pat Jordan: Bio of Actor/Historian