Life Story: Dorothea Dix

Life Story: Dorothea Dix Dorothea Dix Dorothea Dix, 1848-1849. Marcus Aurelius Root; Houghton Library / Harvard University. Dorothea Dix was born in 1802 in Hampden, a town that would soon be part of the state of Maine. She was the eldest child of Joseph Dix and Mary Bigelow. Joseph was a traveling preacher and bookseller, so he was not home often. Mary suffered from an unknown illness that prevented her from taking proper care of her children. From an early age, Dorothea was responsible for caring for her two younger brothers. Later in her life, she told friends that she never had a childhood. When Dorothea was 12 years old, the three Dix children were sent to live with their grandmother in Massachusetts. Dorothea began teaching at a