Harriett is born in Newport one year after the Civil War ends.

Her parents are named George and Lucinda.

Her father is a steward on a steamboat.

Her mother keeps home.

Harriett lives on Spring Street.

She is the youngest of four children.

She has one brother and two sisters.

Harriett studies hard.

She graduates at the top of her class at Rogers High School.

She is the first black student to graduate from Wellesley College.

Harriett decides she wants to be a doctor,

just like her brother

She attends Michigan Medical School.

In 1891, Harriett earns her M.D.

She moves to Boston

where she interns at New England Hospital for Women and Children.

Later, she moves to Chicago to provide medical aid for poor families.

In 1914, war erupts in Europe.

After being rejected by the Red Cross because of the color of her skin,

Harriett secures a position in a medical unit in France.

She treats soldiers there until 1918.

Her hard work and devotion are rewarded

with a medal from the French embassy.

Harriett returns to Rhode Island.

Although in the wake of the Great Depression

rampant racism and personal loss

take a toll on Harriett,

she lives to the age of 92.

Check below for research updates.


September 4 – Young Harriett and Family