Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler Gravestone

Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African-American woman in the United States to earn an M.D. degree.  Ms. Crumpler was born in 1831 in the state of Delaware.  What little is known about her life, comes from the introduction of her work, "Book of Medical Discourses," published in 1883.
Rebecca grew up in Pennsylvania, where she was reared by an aunt, who cared for sick neighbors.  It seems her aunt was influential in Rebecca pursuing a profession that would help her "relieve the suffering of others."  Rebecca served as a "nurse" under different doctors from 1852-1860, while living in Massachusetts.  She was able to receive letters of recommendation from the various doctors she assisted presenting her to the faculty of the New England Female Medical College.  She was the first and only African-American woman to graduate from the college four years after admission. 
Once she graduated, Dr. Crumpler practiced in Boston, before moving to Richmond, Virginia, after the Civil War.  She worked with a large population of indigent women, children and men.  Dr. Crumpler , along with other African-American physicians, provided medical services to freed slaves.  After leaving Virginia, Dr. Crumpler returned to Boston, where she practiced for a short time.  She provided services to those in need, who were unable to pay medical costs.  She  then moved to Hyde Park, Massachusetts around 1880 and was no longer in practice.  Racism and sexism impeded Dr. Crumpler's practice from being financially viable. 
Dr. Crumpler died in Hyde Park, MA on March 9, 1895.  She is buried in an unmarked grave, along with her husband, Arthur, at Fairview Cemetery.
My interest in African-American history and  historic cemeteries, led me to Dr. Crumpler's grave site.  With the help on the staff at Fairview Cemetery, I was able to find the location of her grave.  I was saddened and disheartened, however, to find that she did not have a headstone.  After further research, I discovered that she and her husband, Arthur, had one child that died during infancy.  I have not yet been able to find any of her descendants.  It is my desire to continue to do research on Dr. Crumpler and possibly have a sculpture erected in her honor.  Immediately, however, it is my mission to raise the money to honor her with a headstone.  
The amount requested is for a basic headstone, which will include letters and a caduceus, the traditional medical symbol used in the United States.  Additionally, it will pay for the foundation for the headstone.  
Plese help me honor this amazing woman with any amount you are able to give.

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 3 mos
  • Brian Scales 
    • $25 
    • 4 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 4 mos
  • Diahanne Lucas 
    • $20 
    • 11 mos
  • Tanya Jisa 
    • $33 
    • 20 mos
See all

Organizer

Sula Nel 
Organizer
Worcester, MA
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