NOT Doctor Rebecca Lee Crumpler

Doctor Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1831 – 1895)was a physician, nurse, author and the first African-American woman to become a doctor of medicine in the United States in 1864.
Unfortunately no photograph of her survives, as far as I know, which unfortunately has resulted in people who, rightfully, want to honour her, do so by using photos of other, also impressive, black women.

Above you see just a small selection of pictures I found online that were of course all made with a lot of good intentions, but the picture used is is not Doctor Rebecca Lee Crumpler.
The woman in this photo is Mary Eliza Mahoney who deserves recognition in her own right, as she was the first African-American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States.

These lovingly made images also don’t show Dr. Crumpler but in stead used a photo of Doctor Georgia E. Lee Patton Washington (1864 – 1900) who also deserves to be honoured as she was the first black woman to become a licensed surgeon and physician in Tennessee.

This is also not Dr. Crumpler but in stead DR. Eliza Ann Grier, the first African-American woman licensed to practice medicine in the U.S. state of Georgia.

This photo is also often shared with the claim that it shows Dr. Crumpler, although I don’t think it is her, I could not find the source of the image and therefore can’t definitely say that it isn’t her.
But until the identity of the woman in the photo can be confirmed people should also not share it with the claim that it is her.

And no, this lovely lady is also not Dr. Crumpler, but a random photo from an stock image website, which should be kind of obvious because Dr. Crumpler died in 1895 and this is clearly a modern photo.

Finally there is this coin/medal/stamp which is also very popular as an image, it was even used by PBS and TIME but according to the Drexel Legacy Center Archives & Special Collections the image most likely also doesn’t depict an authentic depiction of Dr. Crumpler but is a generic image or something they just made up.
The medal was made in 1980 and as far as I know they didn’t have access to a genuine photo of Dr. Crumpler back then either.

All these women were trailblazers and deserve to get more attention, which makes it extra sad when people confuse one black woman for another and use the wrong picture.
What makes it all even more painful is that this has not just happened to Dr. Crumpler.
I’ve dealt with two other cases like it.
You can read about Charlotte E. Ray by clicking here and Yourna DeSilva by clicking here.

If you can find an image of Dr. Crumpler, please let me know.

Sources & references:

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Picture(s) found online, used for (re-)educational purposes only.
I do not own the copyrights to these images, I only share them here for educational purposes to try and make sure the real story behind it becomes known and people will stop spreading false information.
If the copyright owner objects to the sharing here, kindly contact me and I shall alter the article.
If you’re interested in using any of the images here get in touch with the copyright owners mentioned in the article.
Feel free to contact me with questions.

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