Plymouth Meeting Friends School: A History of Social Justice

July 3rd, 2018
Category: Alumni News, News

Did you know a PMFS alum led the effort to recognize women physicians?

Dr. Hiram Corson (1804-1896) attended PMFS as a boy. He became a practicing physician and a tireless advocate for women in medicine. He also founded the Montgomery County Anti-Slavery Society, and his house was part of the Underground Railroad. You can actually search digital copies of the diaries he kept starting in 1827!

Dr. Corson writes about medicine, abolition, temperance, the unrest leading up to the Civil War, and the war itself. Page through three full volumes at http://www.medicalheritage.org/2015/03/18/new-to-the-mhl-hiram-corson-diaries.

Here is an excerpt from January 1890 in which Dr. Corson celebrates a success for women in medicine, when the first woman doctor was hired at a hospital in Staunton, VA:

Excerpt from the diaries of Dr. Hiram Corson, January 1890.

Excerpt from the diaries of Dr. Hiram Corson, January 1890.

In July of 1874, he wrote of the funeral of a childhood friend he knew from school at Plymouth Meeting:

Excerpt from the diaries of of Dr. Hiram Corson, July 1874.

Excerpt from the diaries of of Dr. Hiram Corson, July 1874.

It’s wonderful to know the place that we know as PMFS was a central part of work for peace and social justice a century and a half ago.

1912 PMFS teachers past and present