A photo of Dorothea Lynde Dix. Daughter of Joseph Dix and Mary Bigelow, she was born on April 4, 1802 in Hampden, Maine. In 1821, Dorothea opened a school in Boston for wealthy families but she also taught poor children in their homes. She had recurring heath issues that eventually led to her touring Europe for "rest and relaxation." While in Europe, she became interested in working on equal rights for the mentally ill and when she returned to the U.S., she brought her interests with her.