Martha Minerva Franklin House (1870)

July 26th, 2017 Posted in Houses, Meriden, Vernacular

The house at 63 Cherry Street in Meriden (built c. 1870) was the childhood home of Martha Minerva Franklin (1870-1968), one of the first people to campaign for racial equality in nursing. Franklin was the only African American graduate in the class of 1897 at Woman’s Hospital Training School for Nurses in Philadelphia. She sought to address discrimination in her profession and spent two years investigating the status of African American nurses. She organized a meeting in New York in 1908 that founded the National Association for Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) and became its first president. She later settled in New York, where she completed a postgraduate course at Lincoln Hospital and worked as a nurse in the public schools. She studied public health nursing at Teachers College, Columbia University, but retired before completing a degree. Franklin lived the rest of her life in New Haven.

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