Mary Ashton Rice Livermore Banner


Mary Ashton Rice was born in Boston, Mass., and educated at a New England female seminary. When the Civil War broke out Livermore directed her energies toward soldier relief work. She wrote articles that encouraged women to ease the plight of their Union soldiers by donating supplies and time. She was intolerant of conditions some of the wounded soldiers faced and wrote exposes bringing the military's deficiencies to the attention of civilians who could at least help relieve the shortages.

Livermore's appeals brought in a wealth of donations. To make order of the "chaos of benevolence," the U.S. Sanitary Commission was established, and Livermore became one of the national directors. Livermore and Jane Hoge also conceived of the idea of the sanitary fair, which raised a great deal of money for Union fighting men.

After the Civil War, Livermore wrote My Story of the War, which accurately depicts hospitals and nursing during the conflict.