Woman of the Century/Lucy Salisbury Doolittle

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DOOLITTLE, Mrs. Lucy Salisbury, philanthropist, born in Farmersville, Cattaraugus county, N. Y., 7th October, 1832. On both sides she came of plain New England stock, both families having moved to western New York in the early days of settlement. Not long after her birth her parents moved to Castile, N. Y., where, with the exception of a few months, her early life was spent. She was but eight years old when her mother died, and after that event she lived with her grandmother's sister. She had a good home, but was obliged to work hard and had but little time for recreation. In Castile she received a common school education. Not being satisfied, at the age of twenty she went to Yellow Springs, Ohio, where she entered the preparatory department of Antioch College. There she received the greater part of her education, having completed the work of the preparatory department and taken special collegiate studies. In Antioch she became the wife of Myrick H. Doolittle, a graduate of the college and for a while professor there. In 1863 she went to Washington, D. C. her husband following a few months later. She at once entered into the work in the hospitals and w as thus engaged until the fall of 1S65, a part of the time as volunteer nurse, and during the remainder as agent for the Sanitary Commission. Immediately after the war she became interested in the Erisons and jails. It was her labor in them which rought to her a realization of the terrible condition LUCY SALISBURY DOOLITTLE.jpgLUCY SALISBURY DOOLITTLE. of female convicts and convinced her of the need of suffrage for women, that they might have the power effectually to aid their suffering sisters of the lower classes. She was also at the same time conducting a sewing-school for women and girls of the colored race, who had flocked to Washington at the close of the war. It gave those poor women their first start in life. In that work, and also in that of the Freedmen's Bureau with which she was connected as agent, she saw so many homeless and friendless children that her sympathies were aroused for them. She and her husband helped to organize the Industrial Home School for poor white children of the District of Columbia, now a flourishing institution supported by appropriations from Congress. In 1875 her energies were enlisted in work for poor colored children, and she became a member of the National Association for the Relief of Destitute Colored Women and Children, with which she has been connected ever since, being its efficient treasurer for nine years and working at other times on various committees. A comparatively new branch of that institution is a Home for Colored Foundlings, in which she at present takes an especial interest In the associated charities and in the charitabie work of the Unitarian Church she has done good service. In all of her work for the poor of Washington she has shown practical ability and a marked talent for business.