Far more important, however, was her work with women's organizations. A staunch Presbyterian and Gladstonian Liberal, a woman of great poise and boundless energy, she was an aristocrat-democrat with a strong social conscience. She believed that women represented an enormous, unused capacity in Canada, and that they would be a civilizing force in an untamed country. She was instrumental in forming the Canadian branch of the NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN. Despite fierce opposition from the medical establishment, she created the VICTORIAN ORDER OF NURSES. The social family compact in Ottawa, Montréal and Toronto opposed and ridiculed her projects. Her attempts to use Rideau Hall to cool the racial and religious passions of the 1890s and to break down social barriers did not endear her to the local establishment.
Author JOHN SAYWELL
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Dictionary of Canadian Biography
A searchable collection of detailed biographies of prominent figures in Canadian history. Produced by the University of Toronto, the Université Laval and the National Archives of Canada.