Phoebe Yates Levy Pember, At Chimborazo (American National Biography)

Scholarship
Marli F. Weiner, "Pember, Phoebe Yates Levy," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-01118.html.
Pember wrote of her experiences at Chimborazo Hospital in A Southern Woman's Story, published in 1879. In it she recounts her struggles with the staff and with patients and their families. Pember was the first woman administrator at Chimborazo, and many of the male physicians were reluctant to allow her to attend to her duties….

Pember proudly claimed that she "learned to make requisitions and to use my power." Still, using power required almost constant effort. Pember faced difficulties arranging food for patients, the result of both their unwillingness to eat unfamiliar dishes and of physicians who refused to write orders acceding to patients' dietary idiosyncrasies. She also struggled with the consequences of inadequate supplies, claiming "calm courage" was required just to count the number of people to be fed. Pember fought hard to maintain the good will of patients who were angered by her willingness to care for Confederate soldiers from Maryland. She found herself frequently provoked by the presence of patients' family members, who interfered with hospital routine, required food, and, on one occasion, tried to usurp her office for their living quarters.
How to Cite This Page: "Phoebe Yates Levy Pember, At Chimborazo (American National Biography)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/18492.