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Having always found friends enough ready to
supply her with money, whenever she wished to establish a temporary
hospital, it had never occurred to her that she should need any for
private use, beyond just enough to furnish the simple blue merino dress of
the sisterhood, which had often been provided for her by the Kaiserswerth
Institute. But here she was; and she very soon learned to understand the
difficulties which must be overcome before I could enter again into my
profession. She became satisfied, and lived with us, sharing equally in
whatever we had ourselves. There is a peculiar satisfaction in showing
kindness to a person who has injured us, though unconsciously under
different circumstances: and, in her case, she was not entirely
unconscious of the harm she had done me; for she confessed to me while in
America, that her acquaintance was courted by all those who had been
thwarted in their opposition by my appointment, and that she knew well
that they sought every opportunity to annoy me.

On the 18th of September, a sister, one year younger than myself, joined
us; having been tempted by our favorable accounts to try a life of
adventure. We were now four in the family. But Catherine gradually grew
discontented. Having been accustomed to the comforts afforded in large
institutions, and to receiving attentions from the most aristocratic
families of Prussia, the monotonous life that we led was only endurable to
her so long as the novelty lasted. This soon wore off, and she became
anxious for a change. She had heard her fellow-passengers speak of a
Pastor S., who had been sent to America as a missionary; and she begged me
to seek him out, and take her to him, that she might consult him as to
what she had best do. I did so, and she soon became acquainted with his
family. Mr. S. exerted himself in her behalf, and secured her a place as
nurse in the Home for the Friendless, where she had the charge of some
thirty children. This was a heavy task; for, though none were under a year
old, she was constantly disturbed through the night, and could get but a
few hours' consecutive sleep. Besides, she could not become reconciled to
washing under the hydrant in the morning, and to being forced to mingle
with the commonest Irish girls. She was in every respect a lady, and had
been accustomed to have a servant at her command, even in the midst of the
typhus-fever in the desolate districts of Silesia; while here she was not
even treated with humanity. This soon grew unbearable; and she returned to
us on the 16th of October, after having been only ten days in the
institution. So eager was she to make her escape, that she did not even
ask for the two dollars that were due her for wages. But we could not
receive her; for we had taken another woman in her place, as friendless
and as penniless as she. Besides, a misfortune had just fallen upon us.
During the night before, our doors had been unlocked, our bureau-drawers
inspected, and all our money, amounting to fifty-two dollars, carried off;
and, when Catherine arrived, we were so poor that we had to borrow the
bread and milk for our breakfast. Fortunately, the day before, I had
refused the payment due me for a large bill of goods; and this came now in
a very good time. I did not feel justified, however, in increasing the
family to five after our loss; nor did she claim our assistance, but went
again to Pastor S., who had invited her to visit his family. With his
assistance, she obtained some private nursing, which maintained her until
the congregation had collected money enough to enable her to return to
Berlin; which she did on the 2d of December. Having many friends in the
best circles of that city, she immediately found a good practice again;
and is now, as she says, enjoying life in a civilized manner.

We moved at once from the scene of the robbery and took a part of a house
in Monroe Street, for which we paid two hundred dollars a year. Our
business continued good, and I had some prospects of getting into
practice. But, with spring, the demand for worsted goods ceased; and as my
practice brought me work, but no money, I was forced to look out for
something else to do. By accident, I saw in a store a coiffure made of
silk, in imitation of hair, which I bought; but I found, on examination,
that I could not manufacture it, as it was machine-work. I went,
therefore, to Mr. G., and proposed to establish a business with him, in
which he should manufacture these coiffures, while I would sell them by
wholesale to the merchants with whom I was acquainted. Mr. G. had
completely ruined himself during the winter by neglecting his business and
meddling with Tammany-Hall politics, which had wasted his money and his
time. He had not a single workman in his shop when I called, and was too
much discouraged to think of any new enterprise; but, on my telling him
that I would be responsible for the first outlay, he engaged hands, and,
in less than a month, had forty-eight persons busily employed. In this way
I earned money during the spring, and freed myself from the obligations
which his kindness in receiving us the spring before had laid upon us.

My chief business now was to sell the goods manufactured by Mr. G. Our
worsted business was very small; and the prospect was that it would cease
entirely, and that the coiffure that we made would not long continue in
fashion. Some other business, therefore, had to be found, especially as it
was impossible for us to lay up money. Our family now consisted of myself
and two sisters, the friend that was staying with us, and a brother,
nineteen years of age, who had joined us during the winter, and who,
though an engineer and in good business, was, like most young men,
thoughtless and more likely to increase than to lighten our burdens. Our
friend Mr. C., who had become our constant visitor, planned at this time a
journey to Europe; so that our social life seemed also about to come to an
end.

On the 13th of May, 1854, as I was riding down to the stores on my usual
business, reveries of the past took possession of my mind. Almost a year
in America, and not one step advanced towards my purpose in coming hither!
It was true that I had a comfortable home, with enough to live upon, and
had repaid my sister the money that I had borrowed from her on our
arrival; yet what kind of a life was it that I was leading, in a business
foreign to my nature and inclinations, and without even the prospect of
enlarging this? These reflections made me so sad, that, when I reached the
store, the book-keeper noticed my dejection, and told me, by way of
cheering me, that he had another order for a hundred dollars' worth of
goods, &c.; but this did not relieve me. I entered the omnibus again,
speculating constantly on what I should do next; when a thought suddenly
dawned upon me. Might not the people in the Home for the Friendless be
able to give me advice? I had hardly conceived the idea, when I determined
to ride directly up there, instead of stopping at the street in which I
lived. I thought, besides, that some employment might be found for my
sister Anna, in which she could learn the English language, for which she
had evinced some talent, while I had decided that I could never become
master of it. I had seen the matron, Miss Goodrich, once when I called
there on Catherine S. She had a humane face, and I was persuaded that I
should find a friend in her. I was not mistaken. I told her of my plans in
coming here, and of our present mode of life and prospects; and confided
to her my disappointment and dejection, as well as my determination to
persevere courageously. She seemed to understand and to enter into my
feelings, and promised to see Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, whom she advised me
to call upon at once.

I went home full of the hope and inspiration of a new life. Dear Mary, you
can hardly comprehend the happiness of that morning. I was not suffering,
it is true, for the necessaries of life; but, what was far worse, I
suffered from the feeling that I lived for no purpose but to eat and to
drink. I had no friends who were interested in the pursuits towards which
my nature inclined; and I saw crowds of arrogant people about me, to whom
I could not prove that I was their equal in spite of their money. My
sisters had not seen me so cheerful since our arrival in America, and
thought that I had surely discovered the philosopher's stone. I told them
of what I had done, and received their approbation.

On the morning of the 15th of May,--the anniversary of the death of Dr.
Schmidt and of my greatest joy and my greatest misery,--we received a call
from Miss Goodrich, who told us that she had seen Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell,
and thought that she had also procured a suitable place for my sister. She
gave us the addresses of Dr. Blackwell and of Miss Catherine Sedgwick. We
called first upon the latter, who was extremely kind; and although she
had quite misunderstood our wishes,--having exerted herself to procure a
place for my sister in a way that manifested the belief that we had
neither a home nor the means to live,--yet her friendliness and readiness
to assist us made us for ever grateful to her. At that time we did not
know her standing in society, and looked upon her merely as a benevolent
and wealthy woman. We soon learned more of her, however: for, though
unsuccessful in her first efforts, she shortly after sent for my sister,
having secured her a place in Mr. Theodore Sedgwick's family; which was
acceptable, inasmuch as it placed her above the level of the servants. She
remained there seven weeks, and then returned home.

On the same morning, I saw Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell; and from this call of
the 15th of May I date my new life in America. She spoke a little German,
and understood me perfectly when I talked. I gave her all my certificates
for inspection but said nothing to her of my plans in coming to America.
It would have seemed too ludicrous for me in my position to tell her that
I entertained the idea of interesting the people in the establishment of a
hospital for women.



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