Women of Valor


Nurses Father

Rebecca Gratz, 1781 - 1869

"Oh Sally! Each morning that I enter his chamber to take breakfast I am tortured with ten thousand pangs.... With fortitude should not a daughter stand the trial?"

When she was nineteen, Gratz's father, Micheal Gratz, suffered a debilitating stroke. Her brothers, Simon and Hyman, took over the family business and Rebecca became her bedridden father's caretaker. Although Gratz did not at first enjoy this role, she, like other single women of her era, became the family nurse. She went on to attend the births of many of her twenty-seven nieces and nephews and continued to take care of her sick relatives throughout her life.

  1. "Oh sally!..." Letter from Rebecca Gratz to Sarah Gratz, July 28, 1800, Gratz Family Papers, Collection no. 72, box 21. Courtesy of the The American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Rebecca Gratz - Nurses Father." (Viewed on April 17, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/gratz/nurses-father>.