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Interactive video lesson plan for: Mary Seacole - II: Mother Seacole in the Crimea - Extra History

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Unable to find any official sponsors, Mary Seacole decided to send herself to the Crimea. She recruited her husband's cousin, a fellow business person, and the two of them set off for the war zone. Unlike London, where she'd met a chilly reception, Mary's help was welcomed by the overworked doctors and suffering soldiers. She built a new version of her British Hotel and invited officers to dine or shop there, using their money to buy medical supplies and creature comforts for the poorer soldiers. She had set herself up next to the army camp, and during battles she helped provide emergency care. But when at last the city of Sevastopol fell, Mary's medical services were no longer in much demand. She enjoyed a few months of prosperity as the soldiers celebrated their newfound time off, but in March of 1856, a treaty was signed and troops began returning home. Many of them left unpaid debts, and Mary could no longer sell her supplies, so she and her business partner were forced to return home to London and declare bankruptcy. When that news got out, the soldiers she'd cared for rallied to her aid, donating money to help pay her debts. Although Mary tried to continue serving soldiers in warzones, the government never recognized her and in the end, only her homeland of Jamaica remembered her contributions after her death. In the 2000s, her story came back to light in the United Kingdom and she was recognized in 2004 as the Greatest Black Briton.

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Tagged under: Mary Seacole,Mother Seacole,Crimean War,History Medicine,Famous Nurse,Greatest Black Briton,Seacole,Seacole Day,Thomas Day,Siege Sevastopol,Balaclava,Sevastopol,Crimea,Kadikoi,British Hotel,War Medicine,War Nurse,Nursing History,History Nursing,Extra History,Extra Credits,Soraya Een Hajji,James Portnow,Daniel Floyd

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