“Sister Tyler” - A Rare Brady Portrait of the First Civil War Nurse & Later Administrator of Boston’s Children’s Hospital
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ADELINE BLANCHARD TYLER (1805-1875).
Carte de Visite, Brady New York mount, with “Brady’s National Photographic Portrait Galleries” NY & Washington DC imprint on verso. Ca 1864.
Sister Tyler was one of the true heroines of the Civil War. Born in Massachusetts, “Sister Tyler” became a deaconess of the Episcopalian Church, and trained as a nurse in Europe. In 1856, she returned to establish an infirmary for St. Andrew’s Church in Baltimore. On April 19, 1861, the first Union troops rushing south from Massachusetts to defend Washington, D.C. were attacked in the Baltimore Riots. Overcoming the objections of the local police, Sister Tyler treated the wounded and protected them from further attack. She was then appointed to administer the National Hospital in Baltimore. Her insistence on equal treatment of Union and Confederate wounded was opposed by many Unionist volunteers, compelling her transfer. She served at a military hospital in Chester, Pa., and then was appointed to administer the U.S. General Hospital at Annapolis, Md, treating thousands of wounded soldiers and former P.O.Ws. She began ordering photographs to document the mistreatment of the former P.O.Ws. In May of 1864, completely exhausted, she travelled to Europe to convalesce. She returned in November 1865, and in 1869 was appointed administrator of the new Boston Children’s Hospital. A rare Matthew Brady portrait of one of the true heroines of the American Civil War.