Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Pomroy, Rebecca Rossignol

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POMROY, Rebecca Rossignol, nurse, b. in Boston, Mass., 16 July, 1817; d. in Newton, Mass., 24 Jan., 1884. She was the daughter of Samuel Holliday, and on 12 Sept., 1836, married Daniel F. Pomroy. Sickness in her own family for nearly twenty years made her an accomplished nurse, and when her only surviving son enlisted in the National army she offered her services to Dorothea L. Dix (q. v.). She was at once called to Washington, and in September, 1861, assigned to duty in Georgetown hospital, but was soon transferred to the hospital at Columbian university. Early in 1862 she was called to the White House at the time of the death of Willie Lincoln, and nursed “Tad,” the youngest son, then very ill, and Mrs. Lincoln, until both were restored to health. President Lincoln said to her at that time: “Tell your grandchildren how indebted the nation was to you in holding up my hands in time of trouble.” Mrs. Pomroy returned to the hospital and continued in her work, gaining a high reputation. In 1864, when the president's life was threatened and Mrs. Lincoln was suffering from injuries that she had received in a fall from her carriage, Mrs. Pomroy again went to the White House. Later in the year she spent some time at the West hospital in Baltimore, but ultimately returned to the hospital at Columbian university. Refusing advantageous offers to go elsewhere, she remained at her post until the close of the war, and then, stricken with typhoid fever, was an invalid for several years. She became matron in 1867 of a reformatory home for girls at Newton Centre, Mass., and then of the Newton home for orphans and destitute girls, which, since her death, has become the Rebecca Pomroy home. See “Echoes from Hospital and White House,” by Anna L. Boyden (Boston, 1884).