Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Preston, Ann

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PRESTON, Ann, physician, b. in West Grove, Pa., 1 Dec., 1813; d. in Philadelphia, Pa., 18 April, 1872. She was the daughter of Amos Preston, a Quaker, and, owing to the delicate condition of her mother's health, the family was early placed under her care. Meanwhile she received her education in the local school, and evinced more than a usual fondness for her books. In 1850 the Woman's medical college of Philadelphia was founded, and she studied there until her graduation in 1852. Settling in Philadelphia, she began the practice of her profession, in which she achieved deserved success. In 1854 she was elected professor of physiology and hygiene in the college where she was graduated, and in 1866 to the office of dean, which places she held until her death. Her lectures and addresses were filled with striking thoughts and practical knowledge. Dr. Preston was active in the stablishment of the Woman's hospital of Philadelphia, and was from its beginning one of the managers, its corresponding secretary, and its consulting physician. The Philadelphia county medical society in 1867 made public objections to the practice of medicine by women, and Dr. Preston at once defended the claims of her sex so ably that much of the adverse criticism was disarmed; indeed her influence in removing prejudices against female physicians was very extended. She published various essays on the medical education of women, and was the author of a book of poems entitled “Cousin Ann's Stories for Children” (Philadelphia, 1848).