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Dorothea Dix: A Voice for the Mad

Written By: Off The Grid News Service  |  Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

             Our society today is driven by a social-works mentality that ignores fiscal realities and seeks to shift our personal responsibility to care for the less fortunate to the government. But there was a time such was not the case. Too often Americans of another time who could not defend themselves were warehoused away out of sight and out of mind. For such a time as the mid-1800s, Dorothea Dix rose to bring a lifelong crusade to make the conditions of the mentally ill more humane. For that reasons she will always be remembered as "a voice for the mad."

            Dorothea Lynde Dix was born to a circuit-riding Methodist preacher but was raised by her grandmother from the age of twelve. Apparently, a love for others was rooted deep within her because, at the mere age of fourteen, she founded a school for young children and continued to educate mostly poor children for the next twenty years. After bouts with ill health, Dorothea traveled to England in hopes of regaining her strength. While there she was introduced to the lunacy reform movement and gained a heart for the plight of the insane.

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