Manuscript Collections - Rosalie Slaughter Morton Papers

Oct 18, 2021

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7 linear feet, 2 linear inches (16 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box)
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library


Blanche Rosalie Slaughter Morton was born in Lynchburg, Virginia on October 28, 1876, to John and Mary Slaughter. She attended private schools in Virginia and Maryland. In 1897 Morton graduated from The Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania. She did postgraduate work in Europe and finished her studies with a tour of India studying the bubonic plague.

In 1902, Morton began her medical practice in Washington, D.C moving it to New York after marrying George Morton in 1905. George died in 1912, and Rosalie became a world traveler, often serving as a good will ambassador for various organizations on these trips.

In 1916 Morton served in a French Army hospital on the Salonica front as a special commissioner of the American Red Cross to the Serbian Army. There she studied the organization of hospitals and contributions of women to the war effort. She was later appointed chairman of the War Service Committee of the Medical Women's National Association. From 1917 to 1918 she organized and directed the American Women's Hospitals and represented women physicians through her appointment to the Council of National Defense.

After the war, Morton organized and directed the Virginia Hospital Fund which provided equipment for two Yugoslavian hospitals and a tuberculosis camp for children operated by the Serbian Red Cross. She founded the International Serbian Education Committee which brought 61 Serbian students to the United States for post-secondary education.

Morton was the first woman faculty member of Columbia University Medical School. She was an attending surgeon at the Vanderbilt clinic of the College of Physicians and Surgeons and a lecturer on clinical and minor surgery from 1916 to 1919. Her career included: the first chair of the Public Health Education Committee of the American Medical Association from 1909 to 1910, staff member of the New York Polyclinic Hospital and postgraduate medical school from 1912 to 1918, and work at hospitals in Washington, New York, and Florida.

In 1930 Hamilton Holt, president of Rollins College persuaded Morton to set up practice in Winter Park, Florida. She continued her world travels and published two books, A Woman Surgeon and A Doctor’s Holiday in Iran.


The collection includes correspondence, diaries, book drafts, biographical materials, articles, scrapbooks, photograph albums, travel literature, clippings, notes, photographs, and postcards.
These materials document Morton’s medical work, world travels, and professional affiliations.

The papers were transferred in 1972 to the Hoover Presidential Library from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. The College obtained them from Helen Duke, Morton’s niece. Some materials of unknown content were lost to insects and dampness while stored in a garage.


SUBJECT FILES contain correspondence, biographical information, diaries
Topics include the International Serbian Education Committee, the American Women’s Hospital, Morton’s medical practice, and Rollins College. The two diaries record Morton’s medical education in Europe. There is correspondence between Morton and Surgeon General Hugh S. Cummings. Correspondence pertaining to the origin and administration of the American Women's Hospital has been lost since Morton used these letters as paper for pasting together the draft for her book on Iran. Arranged alphabetically.

LECTURES AND WRITINGS contain book drafts, articles, notes, and research files for Morton and Aline Shane Devin.  Included are drafts and source material for Morton's books, A Woman Surgeon and A Doctor’s Holiday in Iran. Arranged alphabetically.

TRAVEL FILES: Correspondence, notes and clippings, printed material, and writing from world travels.

VISUAL MATERIAL AND MEMORABILIA: Prints, photographs, postcards, and scrapbooks.


Morton’s autobiography A Woman Surgeon and A Doctor's Holiday in Iran are in the library collection.



1          American Women's Hospitals, 1917-1940 (3 folders)
            Biographical Information
                     Biographical Clippings, 1912-1954 (scattered, pictures)
                     Biographic Publishers, 1922-1928
                     Data Sheets, 1920-1931 (2 folders)
                     Data Sheets for Biographers, 1920-1928
                     Data Sheets for Colonial Dames, 1925-1927
                     Data Sheets for Service to Serbia, 1919
                     Data Sheets for Veterans of Foreign Wars, 1927
                     Data Sheets for War Work, 1919
                     Data Sheets for Who's Who, 1912
                     Incomplete Data Sheets, 1920-1931 (3 folders)
                     Clippings, 1900-1920s
                     Information for Colonial Dames and Daughters the American Revolution,
                              1877, 1898, 1912, 1927, 1933 and undated

2          Diaries on Medical Education in Europe, 1898-1899, 1901-1902 (3 folders)
            Financial Papers and Will, 1926-1944
            General Correspondence, 1897-1955 and undated (7 folders)
                     Nomination for Distinguished Service Medal by Veterans of Foreign Wars, 1928
                     Tree Planting in Honor Grove of Central Park, 1926
3          International Serbian Education Committee
                     General Correspondence, 1919-1927, 1939-1955 (11 folders)
                     Clippings and Programs, 1920-1923
                     Related Materials, 1920-1934 (essays, history, reports, Belgian students)
            Lynchburg Monument, 1943
            Medicine and Practice
                     Correspondence Regarding Medical Effects of Fresh Air, 1911
                     Interesting Patients, 1936
                     Medical Literature on Women in American Medicine, 1909-1935
                     New York Polyclinic, 1912‑1928 and undated
                     Practice – Morton’s Hospital Privileges, 1913-1922
                     Miscellaneous, 1910‑1915

4          Memberships
                     Colonial Dames and the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1912-1923
                     League of Nations – Nonpartisan Association, 1924-1932
                     Medical Society of New York, 1912-1928
                     New York Peace Society, 1911-1928
                     Veterans of Foreign Wars, 1927-1928
                     Women's Medical Society of New York, 1928
                     Zonta, 1923-1925 (2 folders)
            Missionary Literature, 1936-1942
            Railroad Accident and Lawsuit, 1937-1940 (4 folders)
            Rollins College, 1931‑1940
            Rollins College – Printed Material, 1929-1940 (2 folders)

5          Aline Shane Devin
                     Fiction, 1911-1929
                     India, circa 1930-1939
                     A Little Maid of Brittany, 1920-1924
                     Plays, circa 1905-1929
                     Travel writings, circa 1920-1939
                     Unidentified Drafts, undated
            Rosalie Slaughter Morton
                     Constitutional States in Relation to Gynecological Conditions, 1914 (article)
                     Drafts (primarily related to travels)
                              Africa, 1927-1928
                              Iceland, undated
                              Ireland – the Giant's Causeway, 1899-1900
                              League of Nations, circa 1923
                              Medicine, Practice and Arthritis, 1934-1936
                              On Board the City of Rome, 1900
                              South Africa, 1926-1928
                              South America, 1933
6                            Miscellaneous, 1920-1939 (3 folders)
                     A Doctor's Holiday in Iran
                              Correspondence, 1935-1939 (2 folders)
                              Clippings and Criticism, 1939
                              Table of Contents
                              Chapters 2-17 (16 folders)

7                            Chapters 18-20 (3 folders)
                              Book Notes, 1937-1939 (5 folders)
                              Drafts, 1935-1939 (2 folders)

8                   Life In New York, 1925-1928 (article fragment)
                     New Book, 1955
                     Notes and Clippings, 1915-1949 (3 folders)
                     Pan-American Congress in Panama and the APHA, 1905 (article)
                     Report of Work of Women Physicians in the Near East, 1936 (article)
                     With the French Fleet of Mercy, 1917 (article)
                     A Woman Surgeon (autobiography)
                              Correspondence, 1936-1941
                              Abstract, 1936
                              Chapters 1-3, 7, 9-10, 25, 30 (8 folders)
                              Clippings, 1937
                              Criticism, 1935-1937
                              Preface, 1937
                              Source Material, 1935-1937
                              Unidentified Drafts, 1935-1937 and undated

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Box      Contents
9          Africa
                     Correspondence, 1924-1933 (5 folders)
                     Clippings, 1926-1927
                     Guidebooks – South Africa, 1926-1935 (3 folders)

10                 Missions – South Africa, 1905-1928
                     Notes – South Africa, 1926-1936
                              Tanganyika Territory Report of Education Department, 1926-1931
                              University of Cape Town Development Scheme, 1919
                     Trip Arrangements, 1926-1928
            Australia, 1923-1928
                     Correspondence, 1900-1902
                     Notes, circa 1900
            England, 1931‑1934
                     Correspondence, 1923‑1924
                     Notes, 1923
            Greece, 1925-1933

11        Iran
                     Correspondence, 1932-1945 (2 folders)
                     Alborz College of Teheran (formerly American College), 1931-1937
            Iraq – Notes and Drafts, 1937-1941
            Passports, 1926-1937
            Portugal, undated
            Serbia Correspondence
                     General, 1919-1955 (2 folders)

12                 Book donations, 1922-1928
                     Crown Prince of Serbia, 1921
                     Dementevitch, Zorfka, 1922-1929
                     Reception for Serbian Minister, 1922
                     Serbian Red Cross, 1919-1928
                     Siebold, Mary – On Women’s Hospital in Serbia, 1920-1921
                     Society of Women Doctors, 1920-1921
            Serbia Topical
                     Atrocities in Serbia, 1919
                     Circle of Serbian Sisters, 1919-1921
                     Clippings, 1922-1926
                     Lectures and Notes by Morton, 1919-1924
                     Maestrovitch, Ivan, 1924 (sculptor)
                     Publications, 1920-1924
            South America
                     Articles and Writings, 1914-1933
                     Notes and Correspondence, 1913-1920s
            Spain, 1924-1928
            Sweden – Accident, 1930-1931
                     American University, 1934-1936
                     Notes, 1934-1936


  1. Photographs

                     Florida, 1930-1955
                     Frontier Nursing Service, 1931-1932
                     Haiti, 1928-1933 (2 folders)
                     Serbia, 1916-1920 (2 folders)
                     Slaughter, Willis, 1953
                     South Africa, 1926-1928 (4 folders)
                     World trip, 1937
                     Yugoslavia – Portraits of Individuals, 1916-1919

14        Postcards
                     South Africa (2 folders)
                     Southern Rhodesia
                     United States
                              Florida (2 folders)
                              Georgia (Miss Barry’s school)
                              New York
15                 Yugoslavia
                              Bosnia and Herzegovina
                              Serbia (4 folders)

16        Awards, Certificates, and Licenses
                     Association of Military Surgeons, 1941
                     Bermuda Medical License, 1908
                     Colonial Dames of America, 1912
                     Daughters of the American Revolution, 1910
                     Department of State – United States Food Administration, 1917
                     District of Columbia Medical License, 1902
                     Florida Medical License, 1919
                     France Medical Services, 1927
                     Honorary Doctorate – Rollins College, 1929
                     Honorary Doctorate – Rutgers University, 1939
                     Library of Congress – Transcription of A Woman Surgeon into Braille, 1940
                     Medical Society of the County of New York, 1908
                     New York Academy of Medicine Fellow, 1910
                     New York Academy of Sciences, 1939
                     Serbia Medical Services, 1919
                     Serbian Awards, 1921, 1927
                     United States Council of National Defense, 1919
            Lantern slides – Serbian people, circa 1920
            Scrapbook – Report on the Work of the International Serbian Educational Committee,
                     Inc., 1919-1926 
            Scrapbook – Zonta Biographical Information on Rosalie Slaughter Morton
(documents, photographs, articles by Morton: Physical and Moral Health During Adolescence, 1911; Woman’s Place in the Public Health Movement, 1912; Constitutional States in Relation to Gynecological Conditions, 1914; Dysmenorrhoea, 1914; Oil Ether Colonic Anesthesia, 1916;)

17        Photo Album – Haiti by H. G. Witte, Aug 9, 1929
            Photo Album – Serbia – Buildings, undated
            Scrapbook – Rosalie Slaughter Morton, 1916-1919 (Columbia medical faculty, Labrador,
                     American Women’s Hospitals, Serbia, clippings, photographs, document)
            Scrapbook – Serenity, undated (colored postcards and photographs of Florida home)
            Scrapbook – Yugoslavia Postcards, undated (color postcards paintings)
            Sketches, undated (woman, statues, mule, buildings)


1876             Born in Lynchburg, Virginia

1897             Graduated from Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania

1898             Resident Physician, Alumni Hospital and Dispensary, Philadelphia

1899‑1902    Post graduate study in Europe and Asia

1903‑1905    Gynecologist, Women's Clinic, Washington, DC

1905-1915    Practice in New York City

1916             Volunteer service in French Military Field Hospital on the Salonica front

1919             Provided hospital equipment for 2 Yugoslav hospitals and tuberculosis camp for
                     children under Serbian Red Cross.

1919‑1923    Visiting surgeon and consultant, Volunteer Hospital

1919‑1928    Founder and chairman International Serbian Educational Committee under which
                     60 Yugoslav students were educated in American Colleges.

1921‑1926    Commissioner on International education to England, France, Germany and Italy.

1923             Delegate Pan Pacific Scientific Congress, Australia

1924             Delegate to Congress of Societies to Promote League of Nations, France

1926             Commissioner from League of American Pen Women and Women's Medical
                     Society of New York to South Africa.

1926             Tree in Honor Grove, Central Park, New York, planted in her honor
                     "for distinguished patriotic service"

1927             Awarded Palm of Officer French Academy

1928‑1929    Ambassador of goodwill from various organizations to Mexico, Haiti and Porto Rico

1929             Honorary Doctor of Humanities, Rollins College

1930             Practiced medicine at Winter Haven, Florida, specializing in arthritis

1930             Member visiting staff, Orange General Hospital

1934             Presented with loving cup by a group of members of American Medical Association

1935             Commissioned by League of American Pen Women and Women's Medical Society
                     of New York State to Iraq and Persia

                     Honorary President and Ambassador of goodwill to medical women in Near East
                     and Middle East

                     Business and professional commission of national and international associations to
                     Greece, Turkey and Syria

1939             Doctor of Science, Rutgers University

1968 May 5  Died in Winter Park, Florida

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