Sarah Hackett Stevenson
Sarah stevenson 1893

Full name

Sarah Ann Hackett Stevenson

Presence on Earth



Illinois State University 1863


Woman's Hospital Medical College 1874


Seminary period alum

Sarah Ann Hackett Stevenson was a student at Shimer College during the early Seminary period. She became one of the earliest female physicians in Illinois, and was the first female delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA). Stevenson is not listed in the 1862 catalog, indicating that her attendance must have been no later than the 1858-1859 academic year.


Brief descriptionEdit

This brief description is released under the CC0 copyright waiver.

Sarah Hackett Stevenson was a pioneering Illinois female physician, and the first female delegate to the American Medical Association. She received her education at Shimer College, Illinois State University, and Woman's Hospital Medical College (which was later absorbed into Northwestern University). She taught medicine and authored a number of books on medical topics for popular audiences, including The Physiology of Women and Boys and Girls in Biology. Stevenson was the founding president of the Chicago Medical Woman's Club. (from Shimer College Wiki)


Born in Buffalo Grove, Stevenson began her studies at the Mount Carroll Seminary, continuing to Illinois State Normal University where she graduated in 1863. She taught school and served as principal in Sterling, Illinois, but later moved to Chicago to study medicine at Woman's Hospital Medical College, where she obtained her MD in 1874, having in the meantime also spent a year in England studying under Thomas Huxley. In 1875, she took up a professorship at the Woman's Hospital Medical College, which later became part of Northwestern University but was closed in 1892.

In 1876, attending the AMA convention as a delegate of the Illinois State Medical Society, she was accepted without controversy as the AMA's first female member. In 1880 she co-founded the Illinois Training School for Nurses together with Lucy Flowers. She retired in 1903.

In June 1891, Stevenson returned to the Seminary to deliver an address before the Oread Society, and she was profiled in the August 1891 Oread.


  • "Educated to Death", Ladies' Repository (1875) [1]
  • Boys and Girls in Biology (1875)
  • The Physiology of Women (1880)
  • Wife and Mother: Or, Information for Every Woman (1888)
  • "Chicago Women" (1893) [2] (speech at the Columbian Exposition)


  • in The Standard, 1891-06-15, reprinted in the August 1891 Oread, p. 22:
    The exercises proper of anniversary week opened with an address delivered on Friday evening, June 5, before the Oread Society, by Sarah Hackett Stevenson, M.D., of Chicago. Dr. Stevenson was a former student at the Seminary, and her address was a greater pleasure for that reason. The evening was very unfavorable, but most of the society and school, with some other friends, greeted the speaker, who addressed them on "Shakespeare's Characterization of the Abnormal," citing Richard III. and Caliban, as physically deformed, but dwelling more at length upon distorted normal natures, the chief examples being Richard III., the Macbeths and Iago. The audience, though small, was unusually attentive and appreciative.


This page is part of the Shimer College Wiki, an independent documentation project. Shimer College, the Great Books college of Chicago, is not responsible for its content.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.