Dorothea Dix was born in 1802 and was an advocate for the mentally ill. She travelled around the country to investigate the state and the treatment of those suffering from mental illness. She created the first generation of American mental asylums.
After fighting the terrible conditions of the prisoners confined in a local jail, she quickly became the voice for the prison and asylum reform. She was one of the many female activists of her time, which was considered insignificant in the society.
In 1861, during American Civil War, Dorothea was appointed Superintendent of Army Nurses by the Union Army. She was well respected for her work throughout the war because of her dedication. This stemmed from her putting aside her previous work to focus completely on the war at hand. With the conclusion of the war her service was recognized formally.
She was awarded with two national flags, these flags being for “the Care, Succor, and Relief of the Sick and wounded Soldiers of the United States on the Battle-Field, in Camps and Hospitals during the recent war.” Dix ultimately founded thirty-two hospitals, and influenced the creation of two others in Japan.