Autograph Letter Signed ("D.L. Dix") to Eben Merriam. Dorothea Lynde Dix.

Autograph Letter Signed ("D.L. Dix") to Eben Merriam.

Trenton, NJ: November 28, 1853.

2 pp. 4to (7.75 x 9.75 inches). Bifolium. Light marginal staining, top edge a bit ragged. Item #308820

Dix writes about her travel plans between New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, as well about her most recent philanthropic cause–– the procurement of rescue boats and life-saving equipment for Sable Island, in Nova Scotia, a notorious site of shipwrecks on the east coast to which she had traveled a few months earlier. In part: "I design coming on the fourth by the train which leaves Phila at 9 A.M. but I may not get off till 1 the same day, that is Wednesday–
I shall leave N. York again on Friday probably for Washington. Do you think it less that I prefer Mr. Jones' name for the Boat? ... The Samaritan is a capital name and moreover 'tis original for a Boat – and so quite desirable it succours the distressed stranger.
Yr. suggestion of Life Preservers is not to be neglected though I almost fear we may exceed the means easily to be had – but this business is so excellently conducted by yrself...."

Dix (1802-1887) is best known for her advocacy and activism on the part of the mentally ill in the United States. The letter dates from the same year she established the library and reading room at the Harrisburg State Hospital, which Dix had been instrumental in founding in two years earlier. The visit to Washington she mentions in the letter was for the purpose of promoting and advocating her monumental Land-Grant Bill For Indigent Insane Persons, which passed both houses of Congress in 1854 before being vetoed by President Pierce in 1854.

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