Christine Alexander William Kean was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on Oct 3, 1826, the daughter of Peter Philip James Kean and Sarah Sabina Morris Kean. In early 1849 she married Lt. William Preston Griffin of the U.S. Navy, 16 years her senior, who was a widower with a five year old daughter. They honeymooned in Europe for almost a year, but their life together was very short: he died Dec 4, 1851. She never remarried. Marian Gouverneur, in her book, "As I remember: recollections of American society during the nineteenth century", said of Christine, "I was accustomed to call her "sunshine" as she carried joy and gladness to every threshold she crossed. She was superintendent of nurses in the sanitary corps during the Civil War, and as such rendered conspicuous service in the State of Virginia." In later life, she was known to a younger generation of her family as "Aunt Teenie", and her nephew, Stuyvesant Fish, wrote in his book, '1600-1914', "The confidante to whom every member of the family told their griefs and joys was my Aunt Tinie (Mrs. William Preston Griffin)." After the Civil War, she was a member of the 1872 Special Committee that drafted the plan for the first Training School for Nurses in the United States, Bellevue, of which she became the president of the Board of Managers. She is credited with the design of the nurses cap that is still in use today. She was the step-mother of Mary Lawrence Griffin Redmond, and the step-grandmother of William Preston Redmond, who moved to Jackson Hole, WY in the late 1800's. Her generosity extended to Mr. Redmond's adopted home, as she donated beds to the hospital and a bell to the Chapel of the Transfiguration. She died in Manhattan, New York on July 25, 1915.
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