On a sweltering day in August 1873, Eliza R. Snow stood in the Ogden, Utah, tabernacle and addressed her sisters in the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She recounted that church president Brigham Young had told her that he wanted a “good many” sisters to get a “classical education” and then to go on for further training in medicine. As described in the Woman's Exponent, the Salt Lake City–based newspaper that published on topics of interest to Latter-day Saint women, it is not clear which sentiments were Young's and which were actually Snow's. The article explained that younger women should train in medicine and older ones in nursing and obstetrics. In her concluding remarks, Snow summarized what had become a rallying cry of the 1870s. Women's “first business” was to their home duties but, Snow continued, “by seeking to perform every duty you...
Deseret Hospital, Women, and the Perils of Modernization
COLLEEN MCDANNELL is Professor of History and the Sterling M. McMurrin Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. A recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, she is a specialist in American religions. Her book Sister Saints: Mormon Women since the End of Polygamy (Oxford University Press) received the 2019 Mary Nickliss Prize in US Women's and/or Gender History, given by the Organization of American Historians.
Colleen McDannell; Deseret Hospital, Women, and the Perils of Modernization. Utah Historical Quarterly 1 April 2023; 91 (2): 92–112. doi: https://doi.org/10.5406/26428652.91.2.01
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