The Treaty of Paris was at last signed on March 30, 1856, and Seacole returned to London. After the war, Nightingale met a hero’s welcome back in England. “Was it possible that American prejudices against colour had some root here? Racism was — of course — the reason. Did these ladies shrink from accepting my aid because my blood flowed beneath a somewhat duskier skin than theirs?”, But she decided that societal prejudices wouldn’t stop her from doing what was right. Jamaican Doctress Mary Seacole Was As Heroic As Florence Nightingale. Circa 1855. The magazine Punch even described as simply a “canteen keeper” during the war. A battle during the Crimean War. Wikimedia CommonsInjured British soldiers during the Crimean War. Full name: Mary Jane Grant Born: 1805 Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica Occupation: Nurse and business woman Died: 14 May 1881 Best known for: Her work in helping the sick and wounded – particularly during the Crimean War. Surely not.”. Read more. She slept on a ship, fighting off thieves, and began to build a shop just outside of the town. Seacole met up with a friend of hers, Thomas Day, in Balaclava, where she began helping doctors transfer sick and wounded soldiers from ambulances to hospitals. Meet extraordinary women who dared to bring gender equality and other issues to the forefront. Mary Seacole (1805 – 1881) was a Jamaican nurse who became well known in the Victorian period for her nursing efforts during the Crimean War. Punch/Wikimedia CommonsA cartoon that mocks Mary Seacole and belittles her heroic acts in the Crimean War. Although technically 'free', being of mixed race, Mary and her family had few civil rights - they could not vote, hold public office or enter the professions. A campaign to erect a statue in Seacole’s honor in London was launched in 2003, and in 2016 it was erected in front of the St. Thomas’ Hospital. Mary Seacole Facts. There were no doctors in town — save one frightened dentist — and so Seacole took the lead in stemming the epidemic. Seacole and her partner could not sell their supplies. After a few more failed attempts to travel to Crimea with the British forces, Seacole decided to fund her own trip. Born in 1820 to a wealthy family, Nightingale pursued nursing as a young woman. “The distressed face, sunken eyes, cramped limbs, and discolored shrivelled skin were all symptoms which I had been familiar with very recently,” she wrote, “and at once I pronounced the cause of death to be cholera.”. Seacole grew up learning about medicine from her mother, whose skills were reputable within the community of British officers and soldiers stationed in Kingston. Find out more about how the BBC is covering the. This shop became known as the British Hotel and it was a place that soldiers could go for fresh food and rest. Within the first year of their involvement, thousands of British soldiers died — most by disease, not combat wounds. Circa 1855. Then, read about Gisella Perl, the doctor who saved lives inside Auschwitz. After the Battle of Alma, the British government called for a number of female nurses to be sent to the peninsula to lend their services. In 1836, Mary married Edwin Seacole but the marriage was short-lived as he died in 1844. As soon as the peace treaty was signed, on March 30, 1856, the troops began to leave. A cartoon that mocks Mary Seacole and belittles her heroic acts in the Crimean War. At 19, she traveled to England for the first time and lived there on and off for the rest of her life. After her death, Mary Seacole was almost forgotten. The village immediately suspected Edward of poisoning him, but Seacole had a sneaking suspicion. There she worked tirelessly, becoming known as “the Lady with the Lamp” because of the way she made her nightly rounds through the dark hallways of the military hospital. Mary Jane Seacole (née Grant; 23 November 1805 – 14 May 1881) was a British-Jamaican business woman and nurse who set up the "British Hotel" behind the lines during the Crimean War.She described this as "a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers", and provided succour for wounded servicemen on the battlefield. Mary Seacole was born Mary Jane Grant in Kingston, Jamaica in 1805, the daughter of a Scottish soldier and a Jamaican “doctress,” a practitioner of Creole healing arts. Seacole was a pioneering nurse and heroine of the Crimean War, who as a woman of mixed race overcame a double prejudice. She was refused. In 1850, when cholera swept the island of Jamaica, she treated its victims, “receiving many hints as to its treatment which afterwards I found valuable.”. Mary Seacole, or “Mother Seacole” as many of the soldiers called her, treated the men that came to her hotel as well as the men on the battlefield. Fearful of Russian expansion, Britain, and France joined the Ottomans in 1854, sending thousands of soldiers to the Black Sea and the Crimean peninsula. In 1855, the Russians withdrew from Sevastopol and began talks of peace. Injured British soldiers during the Crimean War. In 1854, Seacole travelled to England again, and approached the War Office, asking to be sent as an army nurse to the Crimea where there was known to be poor medical facilities for wounded soldiers. But she and her mother had limited civil rights: While they could own property and slaves of their own, they could not vote, hold public office, or enter many professions. In 1836, she married Edwin Horatio Seacole, but he had a propensity for sickness and died just eight years later. Undaunted Seacole funded her own trip to the Crimea where she established the British Hotel near Balaclava to provide 'a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers'. Wikimedia CommonsFlorence Nightingale, the European nurse that treated hundreds of soldiers during the Crimean War. Mary Seacole died in 1881 in Paddington, London, and was buried in the Catholic Cemetery at Kensal Green. With herbal and natural remedies, Seacole effectively treated diseases like cholera, yellow fever, malaria, and smallpox. Wikimedia CommonsThe statue of Mary Seacole outside of St. Thomas’ Hospital in London.