Ellen N. La Motte

Nurse, writer, activist

By Lea Williams

Ellen N. La Motte


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2951-2
  • Pages: 248
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: October 2019
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / General, Society & social sciences / Gender studies: women, Modern History, History of Medicine, History, MEDICAL / History, Nursing, Medicine / History of medicine, Biography: science, technology & medicine
  • Series: Nursing History and Humanities


Ellen La Motte: nurse, writer, activist, is a biography of La Motte that traces the arc of her life, from her birth in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1873 to her death in Washington, D.C. in 1961. It integrates original unexamined sources such as diaries, unpublished manuscripts, and publishing contracts along with primary sources-letters, newspaper articles, health department reports, and public records-with an examination of her prolific published writings, about topics as diverse as tuberculosis nursing, women's suffrage, nursing during the Great War, and the opium trade. It considers of how she developed as a nurse, writer, and activist once she entered the Johns Hopkins Training School for Nurses in 1898 and grew into a potent force in the anti-tuberculosis campaign. Gaining experience speaking and writing on behalf of controversial causes, La Motte put her talents to use on behalf of the fight for the vote for women, nursing during World War I and the anti-opium campaign.


List of figures

List of abbreviations

Introduction: The making of a nurse, writer, and activist
1 Becoming professionalized: La Motte and nursing, 1898-1913
2 La Motte and suffrage, 1910-1913
3 In search of meaningful work, 1914-1915
4 At the frontlines, 1915-1916
5 The anti-opium crusade, 1916-1930s
Conclusion: The end of campaigning, 1930s-1961



Lea M. Williams is Professor in the Department of English and Communications at Norwich University, USA

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