Harriet Amelia Judd Sartain 1830 – 1923

homeopathic medical college of pensylvania foundersHarriet Amelia Judd Sartain 1830 – 1923 was one of the most successful homeopathic physicians in Philadelphia and a pioneer amongst women doctors.

Harriet was the first woman member of the Philadelphia Homeopathic County Medical Society, and the first woman elected to the Pennsylvania State Homeopathic Medical Society, and one of the first three women admitted to the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1870.

In 1883, Harriet founded the Women’s Homeopathic Medical Club of Pittsburgh and served as its President for many years, and she was also a member of the New Century Club.

The Sartains were important not just for who they were but for whom they knew and influenced. They were in the vanguard of the movement to democratize art and art education.

Among their acquaintances were painter Thomas Eakins, Emily’s one-time beau; poet and short-story writer Edgar Allen Poe; industrialist and art collector Joseph Harrison, Jr.; and Harriet Judd Sartain, a successful homeopathic physician who financed her niece Emily’s professional training.

Harriet married Samuel Sartain, son of John Sartain. The Sartain’s were one of the City’s most socially elite families in Philadelphia, and Harriet counted amongst her friends homeopaths William Bird Van Lennep and Pemberton Dudley, as well as orthodox physicians D Hayes Agnew and Silas Weir Mitchell.

Harriet was also close to William Dean Howells and she was a classmate of Alice Bunker Stockham and handed out Stockham’s book Tokology to her patients.

Harriet and her husband Samuel, as well as Samuel’s father John were spiritualists.

Harriet underwrote her sister in law Emily Sartain’s professional training, and Emily Sartain painted portraits of Constantine Hering and James Caleb Jackson.

Emily Sartain was born in 1841 into an artistic Philadelphia family. Her father John Sartain, was a noted engraver, portrait and miniature painter. Her brothers, Samuel and William, also became artists, and a third, Henry, was also an artist and became plate printer for his father. Her niece Harriet became a landscape painter and teacher.

Harriet Amelia Judd Sartain graduated from the American Hydropathic Institute in 1851 and the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati in 1853. Harriet trained under Mary Gove Nichols and Harriet N Austin.

Harriet’s practice in Philadelphia was the largest private practice of any female practitioner in the City and in 1866 she was the first woman member of the Philadelphia Homeopathic County Medical Society, and in 1872 she was the first woman elected to the Pennsylvania State Homeopathic Medical Society, and one of the first three women admitted to the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1870.

In 1883, Harriet founded the Women’s Homeopathic Medical Club of Pittsburgh and served as its President for many years, and she was also a member of the New Century Club.

Harriet Judd Sartain Memorial Scholarship was founded by bequest of $21,033 under the will of Paul J. Sartain. The income from the fund is to establish a scholarship which is awarded to a member of the graduating class who, in the judgment of the faculty, needs and is deserving of assistance for the study of medicine.

The Sartain Archives are held at the Philadelphia Archives of American Art in the Bryn Mawr College Collection, and in the Nicholas B. Wainwright Papers in the Harriet Sartain Collection and in the Roberta M. West Collection in The Historical Society of Pennsylvania Archives.

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