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Annie L. Alexander Papers

Filing title: 
Alexander (Annie L.) Papers

Inventory of the Annie L. Alexander Papers

Summary Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte
Alexander, Annie Lowrie, 1864-1929
Annie L. Alexander papers
Date [inclusive]
1.0 Linear foot
Papers of the first woman to practice medicine in the South. Includes letters she wrote to her father, Dr. John Brevard Alexander, while a student and intern at the Women's Medical College in Philadelphia (1884-85); patient records; financial accounts; essays on medical topics; and newspaper clippings.

Preferred Citation note

Annie L. Alexander Papers. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Biographical/Historical note

Dr. Annie Lowrie Alexander was born January 10, 1864 near Cornelius in Mecklenburg County, N.C. Her parents were Dr. John Brevard Alexander (1834-1911) and Ann Wall Lowrie Alexander (1834-1893). Alexander graduated from Woman's Medical College in Philadelphia in 1884. After a year as an intern at the college, she became an assistant teacher of anatomy at the Woman's Medical College of Baltimore, Maryland. She returned to North Carolina in 1887 as the first woman to practice medicine in the South. Although medicine was considered an improper field for women, Alexander gained the respect of her community. In 1909 she was elected to her first of several terms as president of the Mecklenburg County Medical Society. She also served on the staffs of St. Peter's Hospital (now Carolinas Medical Center) and Presbyterian Hospital and on the boards of the Charlotte YWCA, the Florence Crittendon Maternity Home, the Associated Charities, and the Cooperative Nursing Association. During World War I, Alexander became a first lieutenant in the army and worked in North Carolina with the U.S. Health Service, serving as acting assisting surgeon at Camp Greene in Charlotte. For 23 years, she served as the physician to the Presbyterian College for Women (now Queens College). Alexander never married. She died October 15, 1929 in Charlotte from pneumonia, an illness she contracted from a patient. She is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte. [For more information, see William S. Powell, ed., The Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, vol. 1 (1979).]

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Scope and Contents note

This collection is comprised primarily of material relating to Annie L. Alexander as student and physician. Includes correspondence, essays, financial records, and patient records. Also includes a few civic-related and personal items.

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Arrangement note

The Annie L. Alexander Papers are organized in a single alphabetical folder title series.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte 1997

9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC, 28223

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Mrs. Mary Alexander Way, 1997.

Processing Information note

Processed by Joanna Goltzman, November, 1997.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Alexander and Ramsey Family Papers (UNCC Manuscript 162). John B. Alexander Papers (UNCC Manuscript 218).

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Charlotte (N.C.)--History--19th century
  • Mecklenburg County (N.C.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Alexander, Annie Lowrie, 1864-1929
  • Alexander, J. B. (John Brevard), 1834


  • Medical care--North Carolina--History--19th century
  • Physicians--North Carolina--History--19th century
  • Women physicians--North Carolina--History--19th century
  • Women's health services--History--19th century

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Correspondence 1883-1929 

Scope and Contents note

Includes family correspondence (including fifteen letters from Alexander to her father, Dr. J. B. Alexander) written while Alexander was in medical school in Philadelphia and while she was an assistant teacher in Maryland (1883-1886); a letter from a suitor (1888); and twelve letters concerning Alexander's funding of a scholarship for the medical education of Chinese women (1920-28).

1 1

Essays--Health Issues undated 

Scope and Contents note

Topics include physical, mental, and moral health; values of regular eating, drinking, and sleeping habits; medical inspections of school children; sex education; and hospital management.

1 2

Essays--Medical 1914, 1922, 1928, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Topics include caring for premature infants; antiseptics; "nervous prostration"; reports of medical assistance provided for various unnamed patients; indigestion; calcium deposits; pneumonia; tuberculosis; and eugenics.

1 3

Essays--School Lessons undated 

Scope and Contents note

Essay topics include the U.S. Constitution and classical philosophy. Lesson topics include French composition; Ulysses; penmanship; Dante's Inferno; lists of facts about U.S. presidents, English monarchs, and Roman emperors; reading journal entries interspersed with personal reflection; and "A Tragedy and Comedy of Hearts."

1 4

Essays--Women's Issues (Medical and Non-medical) undated 

Scope and Contents note

Topics include pregnancy, experiences of female doctors, female anatomy, female adolescence, and marriage

1 5

Fiction undated 

Scope and Contents note

Includes "A Valentine Love Story," and a short story about a female doctor.

1 6

Financial records 1889-1892, 1914, 1920-1929 

Scope and Contents note

Includes detailed records of Alexander's earnings and expenditures (1920-1924) and patient accounts and Alexander's 1928 physician's license.

1 7-8

Local history 1904-1905, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Includes handwritten 1904-05 historian's report for the Halifax Chapter [?] of the Daughters of the American Revolution (Dr. Alexander served as the chapter's historian) and a list of city government officials.

1 9

Memorabilia/Miscellany 1885, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Includes advertisements for needles, medicine, and a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan; detailed diet plans; hospital nursing rules; office stationery; document from the Women's Silk Culture Association (1885); and a pass to the North State Club assigned to Alexander's sister, Dixie.

1 10

Magazine articles and newspaper clippings 1918, 1929, 1997, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Includes articles on Alexander's appointment as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army (1918), obituaries (1929), published biographical materials (1997) and women's suffrage (n.d.). [photocopies]

1 11

Patient records--Medical college 1881-1883 

Scope and Contents note

Includes detailed descriptions of medical treatments for unnamed clinic patients written while Alexander was a Woman's Medical College student in Philadelphia.

1 12

Patient records--Medical practice 1888-1889 

Scope and Contents note

Includes detailed descriptions of Alexander's named patients written while Alexander practiced medicine in North Carolina.

1 13

Patient records--Medical practice 1914-1922 

Scope and Contents note

Includes one examination form and detailed descriptions of Alexander's named patients.

1 14

Patient records--Medical practice 1924-1929 

1 15

Elmwood Cemetery 

Scope and Contents note

Information regarding Alexander's burial site.

1 16
Map-case Drawer Folder

Memorabilia/Miscellany--Oversize material 1884, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Comprised of Alexander's diploma from the Women's Medical College in Philadelphia and a human anatomy wall chart

MC3 10 1


Box item

Annie L. Alexander undated 

SF1 SF247/1
Box Folder item

Annie L. Alexander undated 

Scope and Contents note

Copies of originals at the Charlotte Public Library.

P21 6 P247/1-3