Rebecca Cole

Rebecca Cole was born, March 16th in 1846. She was was born in Philadelphia, and attended the Institute of Colored Youth, in Philadelphia. Rebecca Cole was one to excel in school. She was the second African-American to receive an M.D in 1867. During this time, the Medical Field was mostly men, and she was a second class citizen, because of her gender. Cole worked around these obstacles, and excelled as a Physician for 50 years.

There are no pictures that survived of Rebecca Cole, so this is a drawing of her.


Adult Life

In 1863, Rebecca Cole worked as a teacher, at the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania. During this time Cole became the first African-American to get her M.D from Drexel University. After this, Cole decided to move to New York City and work at the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. Cole became a sanity visitor to the Slums of New York. This job consisted of her going down there, and teach people basic hygiene, and child care. This job could be fufilled by anyone like a nurse, because of this some people debate if Cole was given this job, because of her gender and race, or because she wanted the job. After this job, Cole moved to North Carolina, and practiced medicine there, but then moved on to Washington D.C, and worked as a Superintendent for the Home of Destitute Colored Women and Children. This organization provided, medicine for poor and homeless black women and children.

Rebecca Cole, wrote in newspapers and often spoke out in public about the things she viewed as injustices and ignorances. For example, Cole wrote a rebuttal to an allegation made by W.E.B Dubois, who said "African-Americans were dying of consumption in large numbers, because of their ignorance of hygiene." Cole didn't agree with this. She wrote that the the reason for overcrowding in the African-American communities was because of "soul-less" landlords.

Rebecca Cole died August 14th, in 1922. She worked as a physician for almost half a century. She fought through the odds to become a doctor. She protested for the medical rights, of African- Americans, women, children, and the poor.



"Dr. Rebecca J. Cole." National Library Of Medicine. National Library of
Medicine, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2009. <

Henderson, Ashyia. Comtemporary Black Biography. Farmington Hills: Gale Group,
2003. N. pag. Biography Resource Center. Web. 17 Nov. 2009.