Woman of the Century/Hannah Amelia Wright
WRIGHT, Miss Hannah Amelia, physician, born in New York City. 18th August, 1836. She is a daughter of Charles Cushing and Lavinia HANNAH AMELIA WRIGHT. D. Wright. Her father was a native of Maine. Her mother was born in Charleston, S. C., and was in direct lineal descent from the second settlers of that city, the Huguenots. Dr. Wright's father was an artist of merit The daughter received her education at home. Until her thirteenth year she lived in Louisiana, but returned to New York in 1849, where she has since resided. While still a young girl, Miss Wright decided upon an independent career. Her first effort was in writing fiction. Her stories were published, but, dissatisfied with her work in that line, she turned her attention to the study of music. In 1860 she obtained a position as teacher of music in the Institution for the Blind in New York. After spending eleven years in teaching in that school, she was preparing to go abroad to pursue the study of music, when she became interested in the care of the insane. She determined to study medicine, with the hope that she might render service to that unfortunate class. In 1871 she entered the New York Medical College for Women, and in 1874 she received the diploma of that institution. Shortly after her graduation, and again some years later, backed by influential friends, Dr. Wright sought admission to one of the State asylums for the insane as assistant physician, but great was her disappointment to find, after preparing herself especially for that branch of work, that women were not considered eligible for the position of physician in those institutions, sex being the only ground upon which she was rejected. The better to care for her own patients, Dr. Wright was in 1878 made an examiner in lunacy, being the first woman so appointed. As a physician she has been successful, having established a large and remunerative practice. Realizing the necessity for women physicians in the field of gynaecology, she has for the past five or six years devoted herself to that branch of the practice of medicine as a specialist. In 1878 she was made a trustee of the medical college from which she was graduated. While serving as secretary of the board of trustees, she used her influence to establish women in the chairs of that college, and it was mainly through her determination and perseverance that women succeeded men as professors in that institution. Dr. Wright was one of the organizers of the Society for Promoting the Welfare of the Insane, chartered in 1882. She served for many years as president of that society. She was also instrumental in organizing the alumni association of her alma mater, serving for several years as its secretary and afterward as its presiding officer. She is a member of the Medico- Legal Society, the Woman's Legal Education Society, the State and County Homeopathic Medical Societies, and the American Obstetrical Society.