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Dorothea Dix

Dorothea was born into an abusive family in April of 1802. Her father taught her how to read and write giving her the advantage when she later entered the classroom. Due to her mothers alcohol addictions and mental breakdowns, and her father being in the military, she was forced to raise her brothers by herself at a very young age. As Dorothea became of age she realized that her true passion in life was to teach children. At this point in history girls weren’t allowed to attend public school therefore Dorothea decided to open up her own school at the age of 15 with the help of her second cousin Edward Briggs who was also a well known lawyer. Between 1822-1836 Dorothea taught classes out of her grandmother’s mansion and began writting childrens books. After recovering from tuberculosis, Dorothea visited a jailhouse which held maniacs, prostitutes, drunks, murders, and the mentally retarded. At this jailhouse Dorothea witnessed very harsh living conditions which included dark corridors, cages, and chains because the physicains believed harsh treatment was the cure to the mental disabilities. She immediatly took the matter to the courts and created a legislative document to improve the conditions of the jail houses. Following the success with this first legislative document Dorothea traveled to other states pushing for the same standards in jailhouses. Eventually, Dorothea managed to cover every state on the east side of the Mississippi River. Dorothea found 32 mental hospitals, 15 facilities for the feeble minded, one school for the blind, and academies for nurses. Following her success in America, Dorothea traveled to Europe where she changed the jailhouse systems as well traveling to Germany, France, Austria, Scotland, England, Turkey, etc. Dorothea made a definite change in the way Europeans treat the mentally ill in only 2 years. During the Civil War Dorothea became the Superintendent of nurses for the Union Army. She later died in 1887 following a life a great accomplishments. 

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Posted by on March 12, 2010 in Civil War

 

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Over the Carnage Rose Prophetic a Voice & Dirge for two Veterans

Over the Carnage Rose Prophetic a Voice

Over the carnage rose prophetic a voice, Be not dishearten’d, affection shall solve the problems of freedom yet, Those who love each other shall become invincible, They shall yet make Columbia victorious. Sons of the Mother of All, you shall yet be victorious, You shall yet laugh to scorn the attacks of all the remainder of the earth. No danger shall balk Columbia’s lovers, If need be a thousand shall sternly immolate themselves for one. One from Massachusetts shall be a Missourian’s comrade, From Maine and from hot Carolina, and another an Oregonese, shall be friends triune, More precious to each other than all the riches of the earth. To Michigan, Florida perfumes shall tenderly come, Not the perfumes of flowers, but sweeter, and wafted beyond death. It shall be customary in the houses and streets to see manly affection, The most dauntless and rude shall touch face to face lightly, The dependence of Liberty shall be lovers, The continuance of Equality shall be comrades. These shall tie you and band you stronger than hoops of iron, I, ecstatic, O partners! O lands! with the love of lovers tie you. (Were you looking to be held together by lawyers? Or by an agreement on a paper? or by arms? Nay, nor the world, nor any living thing, will so cohere.)

 Over the Carnage Rose Prophetic a Voice protrays the states uniting as one and there is definite love for each other. Therefore, the tone is light and happy and full of brotherhood between the opposing sides. It’s rather optomistic for the future of the states, “One from Massachusetts shall be a Missourian’s comrade, From Maine and from hot Carolina, and another an Orgonesem, shall be friends triune” (lines 10-12). It is evident that Whitman believes that once the war is over the states can unite once again and that despite the violence and death there is still a feeling of brotherhood among the two sides.

Dirge for Two Veterans

THE last sunbeam Lightly falls from the finish’d Sabbath, On the pavement here, and there beyond it is looking, Down a new-made double grave. Lo, the moon ascending, Up from the east the silvery round moon, Beautiful over the house-tops, ghastly, phantom moon, Immense and silent moon. I see a sad procession, And I hear the sound of coming full-key’d bugles, All the channels of the city streets they’re flooding, As with voices and with tears. I hear the great drums pounding, And the small drums steady whirring, And every blow of the great convulsive drums, Strikes me through and through. For the son is brought with the father, (In the foremost ranks of the fierce assault they fell, Two veterans son and father dropt together, And the double grave awaits them.) Now nearer blow the bugles, And the drums strike more convulsive, And the daylight o’er the pavement quite has faded, And the strong dead-march enwraps me. In the eastern sky up-buoying, The sorrowful vast phantom moves illumin’d, (‘Tis some mother’s large transparent face, In heaven brighter growing.) O strong dead-march you please me! O moon immense with your silvery face you soothe me! O my soldiers twain! O my veterans passing to burial! What I have I also give you. The moon gives you light, And the bugles and the drums give you music, And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans, My heart gives you love.

Dirge for Two Veterans explains how the soldiers on each side of the battle are both dying and ending up in the same place, a grave. Whitman focuses on the moons glare atop the houses and villages where the processions of the dead soldiers are taking place, “Two veterans son and father dropt together, And the double grave awaits them” (lines 19-20). The mood of this poem is sad as it highlights the death of generations fighting because they’re leaders cannot get along, “All the channels of the city streets they’re flooding, As with voices and with tears” (lines 11-12). Whitman’s tone of voice suggests that he feels the lives are being wasted on a avoidable war but the soldiers should be honored for risking their lives for their country.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2010 in Whitman's Civil War Poetry

 

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Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel, also known as the father of genetics, is famous for his study of the genetics of plants, primarily peas. In his earlier years, Mendel became a priest in Austria Hungary before becoming a science teacher. After experimenting with over 29,000 pea plants, Mendel became the first to use successive generation to trace many characteristics of a living organism. When he planted a typical variety plant next to atypical variety plants he found that the offspring was made up of the combined traits from the two different types of plants instead of by the environment. These results led to the idea of heredity and are reflected in one of his most popular books Experiments with Plant Hybrids explaining how traits are inherited. Using these results Mendel developed three different laws which stated  that plant cells may have two different traits, the characteristics are obtained independently from another organism, and dominant and recessive genes are both present but only dominant genes show up. Mendel’s theories are used in modern science even though they were not accepted among other scientists during his lifetime.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2009 in Malcolm X

 

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