Otis House

Elizabeth Mott

From The Liberator, August 13, 1847

Elizabeth Mott located herself at the matrix of traditional women’s healing and modern alternative medicine; her abilities, she argued, were the result of both a natural “gift” and careful study. For most of her career, Mrs. Mott limited her practice to women and children, arguing “ladies ought to have their own sex attend to them” because they could talk more openly with female doctors without violating standards of morality and modesty.

While popular with female patients (they claimed 4,000 patients in Boston), Mrs. Mott and her husband Richard, were not considered qualified doctors by the mainstream medical profession, which was taking hold in the neighborhood at the time.  As urban neighborhoods can change dramatically, this neighborhood, the West End, was gradually changing from a residential neighborhood to a more commercial neighborhood with the founding of Massachusetts General Hospital in the 1820’s and increased traffic over the West Boston bridge.