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 Phoebe Yates <I>Levy</I> Pember

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Phoebe Yates Levy Pember

  • Birth 18 Aug 1823 Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA
  • Death 4 Mar 1913 Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Burial Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA
  • Memorial ID 11772346

Medical Pioneer, Author. Phoebe Pember was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, as the child of wealthy and respected Jewish merchants Fanny and Jacob Levy. The family was prominant in K.K Beth Elohim Synagogue, which is still in use today. Mrs.Pember was married to Thomas Pember, a gentile from Boston, who died of Tuberculosis in 1861. Mrs. Pember then rejoined her family, who had relocated to Marietta, Georgia, at the start of the Civil War. Desiring to make a contribution to the war effort, Mrs. Pember moved to Richmond, Virginia. In September of 1862, the Confederacy passed the Matron Law in an attempt to free men to fight, and to free Doctors to care for patients. By giving administrative control to a woman, and a non-physician, the Confederacy pre-dated the US Military by well over 100 years. Mrs. Pember became Matron of Chimborazo Hospital, one of the largest military hospitals in Richmond in December of 1862. She stayed until the end of the war and beyond, caring for an ever increasing tide of sick and wounded soldiers, with ever decreasing resources. Mrs. Pember was never shy about using her own socially prominant position to get help from other prominant ladies of the communtiy. In 1879, Mrs. Pember published "A Southern Woman's Story," an often sad, sometimes humerous, and unvarnished account of life in a Civil War Hospital. It is currently in print and easily avaliable. In later years, Mrs. Pember wrote for "Atlantic Monthly" and "Harpers," current magazines of the time. Interestingly enough, she was also the sister of Eugenia Phillips (Confederate spy). Today, the location of Chimborazo on East Broad St. in Richmond houses the Confederate Medical Museum, and is part of the Richmomd National Battlefield Park. Mrs. Pember was honored on a US postage stamp in 1995.

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 18 Sep 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11772346
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Phoebe Yates Levy Pember (18 Aug 1823–4 Mar 1913), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11772346, citing Laurel Grove Cemetery (North), Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .