In the 1700s and 1800s women did not have the same advantages as men. Most women could not own property or go to college. Women were not even allowed to vote until 1920! Elizabeth Blackwell, however, helped bring about change.
When Elizabeth was young, she decided that she was never rely on a husband for money or for happiness and that she would find success on her own. After serving as a teacher for slaves in the American South, Elizabeth became interested in medicine when a dying friend told her she wished her doctor was a woman. Elizabeth saved her money, borrowed medical books, and applied to medical school. Every school rejected her because she was a woman except one – Geneva Medical College in New York. Elizabeth studied hard and graduated first in her class in 1849, becoming the first women to earn a medical degree in the United States.