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A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 Chapter Summary & Analysis - February 1801 Summary

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
This Study Guide consists of approximately 41 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Midwife's Tale.
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February 1801 Summary

John Davis Jr. was the son of Hetty Pierce. Hetty Pierce was the sister of Jonathan Ballard's wife, Sally. A child was born out of wedlock and was fathered by a prominent man of Hallowell, serving as Justice of the Peace. His name was John Davis, Esquire, and he financially supported his son. In 1801, John Davis Jr. died at the age of three. Martha was invited to view the autopsy of the child, and she accepted.

This was one of the four autopsies Martha attended. The other three were young women of Hallowell and included Martha's niece, Parthenia.

It was a common practice for midwives to attend autopsies during Martha's lifetime. However, when autopsies stopped being done in homes and medicine became more institutionalized, the invitations were stopped, and midwives were left out.

Professionalism and male dominance did away with the community female healers. Some of the...

(read more from the February 1801 Summary)

This section contains 404 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 Study Guide
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A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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