Esther Hill Hawks Book Report

884 Words4 Pages
Gerald Schwartz, A Woman Doctor's Civil War: Esther Hill Hawks' Diary. (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1984. ix, 30lp. Illustrations, maps, bibliography, index. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Gerald Schwartz is a professor of history at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. A graduate of Mexico City College, Dr. Schwartz holds a Ph.D. from Washington State University. His article, "An Integrated Free School in Civil War Florida," which also concerns the career of Dr. Esther Hill Hawks, appeared in The Florida Historical Quarterly. A physician, a northerner, a teacher, a school administrator, a suffragist, and an abolitionist, Esther Hill Hawks was the antithesis of Southern womanhood. And those very differences lead…show more content…
Army Acting Assistant Surgeon on General Rufus Saxton's staff, and Esther became a teacher of freedmen, both civilian and military, with the National Freedmen's Relief Association. It is at this point that Esther's diary begins. Gerald Schwartz has divided this book into three major parts the foreword in which the Hawks's early lives are sketched; the diary, from three composition books which were salvaged from trash in 1975 (Schwartz thinks there is a fourth diary volume, but it has not turned up) and covering the period from October 1862 to November 1866; and an afterword in which he describes Esther's and Milton's respective careers in medicine, business, and reform from the end of the diary until their deaths in the early 1900s. The editor has carefully footnoted all three parts. The entries in the diary cover Esther Hawks's several teaching and administrative assignments—her medical practice was very limited in the Sea Islands, including Hilton Head Island, Florida mainly Jacksonville, and Charleston, South Carolina. An eager observer of people and events, she moved in the course of four years more than a dozen times to the places noted and was sometimes near her
Open Document