Jane Gray Swisshelm (Cannon) (1815 - 1884)

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Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA,
Death: Died in Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm
Managed by: Elizabeth-Gaye Jeans
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Immediate Family

About Jane Gray Swisshelm (Cannon)


When she was eight years of age her father, James Cannon, died, leaving a family in straitened circumstances. The daughter worked at manual labor and teaching till she was twenty-one, when she married James Swisshelm, who several years afterward obtained a divorce on the ground of desertion. Two years later she removed with her husband to Louisville, Ky. In this city she became an outspoken opponent of slavery, and her first written attack upon the system appeared in the Louisville “Journal” in 1842. She also wrote articles favoring abolition and woman's rights in the “Spirit of Liberty,” of Pittsburg, for about four years. In 1848 she established the Pittsburg “Saturday Visitor,” a strong abolition and woman's rights paper, which, in 1856, was merged with the weekly edition of the Pittsburg “Journal.” In 1857 she went to St. Cloud, Minn., and established the St. Cloud “Visitor.” Her bold utterances caused a mob to destroy her office and its contents, and to throw her printing-press into the river. But she soon began to publish the St. Cloud “Democrat.”

When Abraham Lincoln was nominated for the presidency, Swisshelm spoke and wrote in his behalf. When the American Civil War began and nurses were wanted at the front, she was one of the first to respond. After the Battle of the Wilderness, she had charge of 182 badly wounded men at Fredericksburg for five days, without surgeon or assistant, and saved them all



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Jane Swisshelm's Timeline

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA,
Age 21
Age 42
Age 69
Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm
Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA