Skip to main content

Dr. Mary Walker

U.S. Army surgeon in the Civil War and the only woman to be awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor

Born into a world with clearly defined gender roles, Mary Walker (1832–1919) defied them all. One of America’s first female physicians, she believed that restrictive clothing such as the corset encumbered healthful movement. She wore and advocated for “reform dress”—a shortened dress and pants as shown below, before she abandoned the skirt altogether, although she was physically attacked and arrested for wearing pants in public.

Dr. Mary Walker

Object Details

See more items in
Political and Military History: Political History, Women's History Collection
Health & Medicine
ID Number
1977.0564.01
accession number
1977.0564
catalog number
1977.0564.01
Location
Currently not on view
Credit Line
Jean Bowler Bloombergh
depicted (sitter)
Walker, Mary Ellen McMurry
subject
Women's History
Women's History
Medical
Medicine
related event
Civil War
Measurements
overall: 5 in x 3 1/2 in; 12.7 cm x 8.89 cm
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Object Name
photograph
GUID
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746b3-bc03-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
Record ID
nmah_1904882

Dr. Mary Walker

Back to Top Back to Main Content