Abstract

This article explores the relationship between African American lay midwives and the Mississippi State Board of Health. Seen as responsible for high rates of infant and maternal mortality, the midwives were targeted for elimination in the 1920s. However, the shortage of physicians and hospitals postponed this process for more than five decades, and lay midwives were integrated into the state’s public health system.

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NOTES

1. D. V. Galloway, M.D. and Louise Holmes, R.N. to Dr. Lucille Marsh, Dec. 3, 1951, Box 8416, Series 2036: Midwife Program Files and Photos—Public Health Nursing Division, 1911–1976, Mississippi State Department of Health, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson, Mississippi (hereafter cited as Department of Health Records) (emphasis added). The research for this article is adapted from my dissertation, Yulonda Eadie Sano, “Health Care for African Americans in Mississippi, 1876–1946,” (PhD diss., Ohio State University, 2010), 28–67.
2. D. V. Galloway to Dr. Lawrence N. Bellew, Dec. 7, 1951; D. V. Galloway, M.D. and Louise Holmes, R.N. to Dr. Lucille Marsh, Dec. 3, 1951, Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records; Felix J. Underwood, “The Development of Midwifery in Mississippi,” Nov. 1925, p. 1, Box 8752, Series 2012, Department of Health Records; Felix J. Underwood, “Twenty-Five Years in Maternal and Child Health,” reprint from American Journal of Public Health 38 (Nov. 1948): 1512–13, Box 8416, Series 2012, Department of Health Records; “Mary D. Osborne, 1875–1946,” State Board of Health, p. 147, Oct. 1946, Box 8752, Series 2012, Department of Health Records; “The Relation of the Midwife to the State Board of Health,” pp. 1, 3, Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records; Laura Jean Reid, “The Plan of the Mississippi State Board of Health for the Supervision of Midwives,” 1921, p. 7, Box 8752, Series 2012, Department of Health Records. It is clear that Galloway and Holmes’s letter does in fact refer to All My Babies, an educational film by the Georgia Department of Public Health; the letter refers to characters and specific scenes from the film. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has used the film in midwifery training, and it was added to the National Film Registry in 2002. See George C. Stoney, prod., All My Babies: A Midwife’s Own Story (Atlanta: Georgia Department of Public Health, 1952); George C. Stoney, All My Babies: Research (Atlanta: Georgia Department of Public Health 1959), 5, 7.
3. See Gertrude Jacinta Frasier, African American Midwifery in the South: Dialogues of Birth, Race, and Memory (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998); Judy Barrett Litoff, American Midwives, 1860 to the Present (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1978); Debra Anne Susie, In the Way of Our Grandmothers: A Cultural View of Twentieth-Century Midwifery in Florida (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1988); Susan L. Smith, Japanese American Midwives: Culture, Community, and Health Politics, 1880–1950 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005); Susan L. Smith, Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Black Women’s Health Activism in America, 1890–1950 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995); Jenny M. Luke, Delivered by Midwives: African American Midwifery in the Twentieth-Century South (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2018).
4. Valerie Lee, Granny Midwives and Black Women Writers: Double-Dutched Readings (New York: Routledge, 1996), 5; Hans A. Baer, “Toward a Systematic Typology of Black Healers,” Phylon 43, no. 4 (Fourth Quarter 1982): 327–43; Margaret Charles Smith and Linda Janet Holmes, Listen to Me Good: The Story of an Alabama Midwife (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1996), x, 75; Marie Jenkins Schwartz, Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006), 130; Sharla M. Fett, Working Cures: Healing, Health, and Power on Southern Slave Plantations (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002), 130, 147–48.
5. Alicia D. Bonaparte, “‘The Satisfactory Midwife Bag’: Midwifery Regulation in South Carolina, Past and Present Considerations,” Social Science History 38, no. 1–2 (Spring/Summer 2014): 160, 165; Molly Ladd-Taylor, “‘Grannies’ and ‘Spinsters’: Midwife Education under the Sheppard-Towner Act,” Journal of Social History 22, no. 2 (Winter 1988): 255–75; Christa Craven and Mara Glatzel, “Downplaying Difference: Historical Accounts of African American Midwives and Contemporary Struggles for Midwifery,” Feminist Studies 36, no. 2 (Summer 2010): 330–58.
6. Marian Steinmann, “Parent and Child: The New Old Way of Delivering Babies,” The New York Times Magazine, Nov. 23, 1975, 34; US Children’s Bureau, The Promotion of the Welfare and Hygiene of Maternity and Infancy (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1924), 14; Elizabeth C. Tandy, Infant Mortality among Negroes (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1937) 2–3, 6; Tandy, The Health Situation of Negro Mothers and Babies in the United States (Washington, DC: US Department of Labor, 1940), 2–3. During the 1930s, Mississippi had the second highest number of midwives under public health supervision (3,121); Georgia had the highest (3,171). Both Alabama (4,967) and Texas (4,000) had more practicing midwives than Georgia and Mississippi, but their numbers under supervision were far lower—Alabama (2,879) and Texas (500).
7. Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census, Mortality Statistics: 1908, Bulletin 104 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1909), 7–8, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsushistorical/mortstatbl_1908.pdf (accessed May 22, 2019); Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census, Mortality Statistics: 1909, Bulletin 108 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1910), 11, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsushistorical/mortstatsh_1909.pdf (accessed May 22, 2019); US Department of Commerce, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1930 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1930), 83, 88; Department of Commerce, Infant Mortality by States and Cities of Populations of 100,000 or More, 1915–1938 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1940), 388, Box 8753, Series 2012; Mortality Rates and Charts, Box 8753, Series 2012, Department of Health Records; History, July 1, 1935 to June 30, 1937, Box 15772, Series 1706: History Files, 1877–1972, Department of Health Records; Tandy, Infant Mortality among Negroes, 9, 18, 25; J. Stanley Lemons, “The Sheppard-Towner Act: Progressivism in the 1920s,” Journal of American History 55, no. 4 (Mar. 1969): 776.
8. Felix J. Underwood, “Twenty-Five Years in Maternal and Child Health,” 1512–13. Infant mortality is a statistic that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of a nation’s health care system, with infant mortality rates of 15 or fewer deaths per 1,000 births indicating an effective system. See American Medical Association, Complete Medical Encyclopedia, s.v. “infant mortality”; Alice Park, “America’s Health Checkup,” Time, Dec. 1, 2008, 43, 47.
9. Craven and Glatzel, “Downplaying Difference,” 357; Felix J. Underwood to Michael M. Davis, Jan. 31, 1930; Felix J. Underwood to Edwin R. Embree, May 24, 1929; Felix J. Underwood to Edwin R. Embree, Dec. 23, 1929, all from Folder 8, Box 222, Julius Rosenwald Fund Archives, Fisk University Archives, The John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library, Nashville, TN (hereafter Rosenwald Fund Archives); Sam Shapiro, Edward R. Schlesinger, and Robert E. L. Nesbitt Jr., Infant, Perinatal, Maternal, and Childhood Mortality in the United States (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968), 224; Lemons, “The Sheppard-Towner Act,” 777, 781; Ladd-Taylor, “‘Grannies’ and ’Spinsters,’” 257; US Children’s Bureau, The Promotion of the Welfare and Hygiene of Maternity and Infancy, 1; Underwood, “Twenty-Five Years in Maternal and Child Health,” 1514; Lynn Dumenil, “The New Woman and the Politics of the 1920s,” OAH Magazine of History 21, no. 3 (July 2007): 23–24; US Department of Labor, The Seven Years of the Maternity and Infancy Act, 2, 4–5. After the Sheppard-Towner Act expired, the state board of health applied for funds from the Julius Rosenwald Fund to assist with one-quarter of Nurse Osborne’s salary and expenses ($4,500) for 1930. In order to increase the number of black public health nurses, the Rosenwald Fund initiated a program that paid a portion of the nurses’ salaries over a two-to-five-year period. Underwood asked for and received an exception for Nurse Osborne, who was white; the state received $975 to contribute toward her salary. See also Michael M. Davis to R. D. Dedwylder, May 24, 1929, Folder 8, Box 222, Rosenwald Fund Archives.
10. Reid, “The Plan of the Mississippi State Board of Health for the Supervision of Midwives,” 1921, pp. 1–2, Box 8752, Series 2012, Department of Health Records; Esculapius to Editor, New York Times, “The Service of Midwives,” Mar. 19, 1900, 8.
11. E. L. Bishop to S. L. Smith, July 27, 1926, Folder 2, Box 555, Rosenwald Fund Archives.
12. Underwood, “Twenty-Five Years in Maternal and Child Health,” 1512, 1514; “Underwood, Felix Joel,” in American Medical Biography, Volume II M–Z (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984), 757. Puerperal is the period directly after childbirth.
13. Underwood, “The Development of Midwifery in Mississippi,” 1; Underwood, “Twenty-Five Years in Maternal and Child Health,” 1516 (emphasis added). Accoucher is a French term for a man who is trained to assist women during childbirth.
14. Helen M. Dart, Maternity and Child Care in Selected Rural Areas of Mississippi (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1921), 7, 8, 53–55; Ladd-Taylor, “‘Grannies’ and ‘Spinsters,‘” 260.
15. Fett, Working Cures, 138–40; Deirdre Cooper Owens, Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of Gynecology (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2017), 53–54.
16. Lee, Granny Midwives and Black Women Writers, 17; Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Publishers, 1966), 3–4; Phyllis Palmer, Domesticity and Dirt: Housewives and Domestic Servants in the United States, 1920–1945 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989), 140; Tera W. Hunter, To ’Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors after the Civil War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), 187–203; Owens, Medical Bondage, 53–54; Allison Davis, Burleigh B. Gardner, and Mary R. Gardner, Deep South: A Social Anthropological Study of Caste and Class (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1941), 233; Gertrude Jacinta Fraser, “Afro-American Midwives, Biomedicine and the State: An Ethnohistorical Account of Birth and Its Transformation in Rural Virginia” (PhD diss., Johns Hopkins University, 1988), 50–52.
17. Reuben W. Griffith, “The Public School, 1890–1970,” in A History of Mississippi, Vol. 2, ed. Richard Aubrey McLemore (Hattiesburg: University & College Press of Mississippi, 1973), 408.
18. “The Relation of the Midwife to the State Board of Health,” 1, 4; US Department of Commerce, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1930, 34; Dart, Maternity and Child Care, 14–15. These illiteracy statistics applied to people at least ten years old. Whites are divided into native and foreign born. The illiteracy rate for native whites was 5.2 percent in 1910 and 3.6 percent in 1920. Although foreign-born whites had a higher illiteracy rate, it was still much lower than the rates for African Americans—15.1 percent in 1910 and 13.3 percent in 1920. The black illiteracy rate in Mississippi was also higher than the black illiteracy rate for the United States—30.4 percent in 1910 and 22.9 percent in 1920. The states with higher illiteracy rates than Mississippi were also in the South. By 1940, Charles S. Johnson’s Statistical Atlas of Southern Counties showed that the black population’s illiteracy rate was 23.2 percent as opposed to 2.7 percent for the native white population. See Johnson, Statistical Atlas of Southern Counties: Listing and Analysis of Socio-Economic Indices of 1104 Southern Counties (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1941), 161; Griffith, “The Public School,” 408.
19. Neil R. McMillen, Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989), 73–75, 83–85; Johnson, Statistical Atlas of Southern Counties, 161; Negro School Buildings in the Southern States, 1917–1947, pp. 1–2, nd, Folder 10, Box 76, Rosenwald Fund Archives. Mississippi’s population was 50.2 percent black in 1940. I make the assumption that the Rosenwald Fund’s accounting refers to public schools and does not include private schools. The education of white children was clearly much more important than the education of black children.
20. US Census Bureau, “Resident Population and Apportionment of the U.S. House of Representatives,” http://www.census.gov/dmd/www/resapport/states/mississippi.pdf (accessed Nov. 30, 2017); “The Relation of the Midwife to the State Board of Health,” 3; Mississippi State Board of Health, Manual for Midwives, rev. 1956, Box 8752, Series 2012, Department of Health Records.
21. US Children’s Bureau, The Promotion of the Welfare and Hygiene of Maternity and Infancy, Bureau Publication No. 137 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1924), 14; Underwood, “The Development of Midwifery in Mississippi,” 1; US Treasury Department Public Health Service, Hospital Facilities in the United States (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1938), 9, 26, 44; Sixteenth Census of the United States, 567, 569; Tandy, Infant Mortality Among Negroes, 4, 6; Tandy, The Health Situation of Negro Mothers and Babies in the United States, 2–3.
22. Hattie Hemschemeyer, “Midwifery in the United States: How Shall We Care for the Million Mothers Whose Babies Are Born at Home?” American Journal of Nursing 49 (Nov. 1939): 1181–87; Fred J. Taussig, “The Nurse Midwife,” in The American Midwife Debate: A Sourcebook on Its Modern Origins, ed. Judy Barrett Litoff (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1986), 227–29; Judy Barrett Litoff, “The Nurse-Midwife: A Possible Solution?” in The American Midwife Debate, 227; Edwin R. Embree, American Negroes: A Handbook (New York: The John Day Company, 1942), 27–28; US Children’s Bureau, The Promotion of the Welfare and Hygiene of Maternity and Infancy, 15; J. Clifton Edgar, “The Education, Licensing and Supervision of the Midwife,” in The American Midwife Debate, 130–31, 133–34; Lucie Robertson Bridgforth, Medical Education in Mississippi: A History of the School of Medicine (Jackson, MS: Medical Alumni Chapter and Guardian Society of the University of Mississippi Alumni Association, 1984), 143–44, 175; “Nursing School to Offer a Course in Midwifery,” The Clarion-Ledger, July 12, 1969, 8.
23. Dart, Maternity and Child Care, 17.
24. “Midwife Supervision,” pp. 103–104, Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records; Underwood, “Twenty-Five Years in Maternal and Child Health,” 1512, 1516; Underwood, “The Development of Midwifery in Mississippi,” 1; “The Relation of the Midwife to the State Board of Health,” 1. The state records almost never mention white midwives. By using the state’s tally of midwives, there must have been somewhere between 42 (1 percent) and 126 (3 percent). In 1951, there were reportedly around thirty white midwives; see D. V. Galloway, M.D. and Louise Holmes, R.N. to Dr. Lucille Marsh, Dec. 3, 1951.
25. “Midwife Supervision,” 104; Underwood, “Twenty-Five Years in Maternal and Child Health,” 1513–14, 17; Louise Holmes to Mrs. Johnny Anderson, July 13, 1953, Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records; Felix J. Underwood, M.D. to Honorable Edwin R. Embree, Dec. 23, 1929, Folder 8, Box 222, Rosenwald Fund Archives; “Mary D. Osborne, 1875–1946,” State Board of Health 148, Oct. 1946, pp. 147–48, Box 8752, Series 2012, Department of Health Records.
26. Reid, “The Plan of the Mississippi State Board of Health for the Supervision of Midwives,” 1921, 3–4; Mississippi State Board of Health, Manual for Midwives: For the Protection of Maternal and Infant Life and Prevention of Blindness in the Newborn, rev. 1928, p. 3, Box 8752, Series 2012, Department of Health Records; “Midwife Supervision,” 103–4. Underwood, “The Development of Midwifery in Mississippi,” 2–3; Mississippi State Board of Health, Study of Midwife Activities in Mississippi, July 1, 1921–June 30, 1929, Box 222, Rosenwald Fund Archives. “The Relation of the Midwife to the State Board of Health” gives slightly different statistics on the number of midwives active in 1929. It states that 2,707 midwives retired and 699 died. Thus, the number no longer practicing, out of 6,210, was 3,406. It is unclear which is more accurate since the Julius Rosenwald Fund’s records were probably provided by the state board in correspondence with the director, Felix J. Underwood.
27. “Act to Amend Section 3691 of the Code of 1906 Section 6375 of Hemingways Code,” Folder: Laws Governing Midwives Prior to and Including 1917, Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records.
28. Marie Jenkins Schwartz, Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006), 130; Smith and Holmes, Listen to Me Good, 75; Fett, Working Cures, 130, 147–48; Otha Bell Jones to Mary D. Osborne, Midwife’s Report Leflore County, Apr. 13, 1938, Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records; Johnnie Lee Smith, My Life and How I Saw the Caldwell Memorial Hospital Grow and Pass Away, 27; Beulah M. D’Olive Price, “‘Birthin’: A Past Life for an Alcorn Midwife,” The Daily Corinthian, Nov. 10, 1976, Subject File: Midwives, Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH); Smith and Holmes, Listen to Me Good, 75, 85; “Grannies: The Roots of Midwifery,” The Clarion-Ledger, Jan. 1, 1982, 9e, Subject File: Midwives, MDAH.
29. Paul Starr, The Social Transformation of American Medicine: The Rise of a Sovereign Profession and the Making of a Vast Industry (New York: Basic Books, 1982), 40–41; John Duffy, From Humors to Medical Science: A History of American Medicine, 2nd ed. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993), 130, 148, 284–85; Charlotte G. Borst, “The Training of Midwives: A Wisconsin Study,” in Women and Health in America, ed., Judith Walzer Leavitt (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1999), 428; Bonaparte, “‘The Satisfactory Midwife Bag,‘” 160, 165.
30. Mississippi State Board of Health, Manual for Midwives, rev. 1928, 20; Mississippi State Board of Health, Manual for Midwives, rev. 1939, 41; Mississippi State Board of Health, Manual for Midwives, rev. 1956, 55; Lee, Granny Midwives and Black Women Writers, 38; Eudora Welty, Ida M’Toy, np (emphasis in the original). The theme of cleanliness is repeated throughout the manual. “Protect the Mother and Baby” was written by Mary D. Osborne, but the 1928 manual had a different midwife song, “Song of the Midwives.” It was sung to the tune of “As We Go Marching On.” This song reiterates all of the things good midwives should do, but it does not focus as much on the cleanliness issue.
31. Smith and Holmes, Listen to Me Good, 75; Mississippi State Board of Health, Midwife Manual, rev. 1928, 14; Mississippi State Board of Health, Manual for Midwives, rev. 1956, 14; D. V. Galloway, M.D. and Louise Holmes, R.N. to Dr. Lucille Marsh, Dec. 3, 1951; Jack Bleich, “Midwife’s Delivery 82 Years Ago Began Tradition for Bessie Sutton,” The Clarion-Ledger, ca. 1980, Subject File: Midwives, MDAH; Price, “‘Birthin‘”; Special, Monroe County, Examiner, 1944, Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records; Lawrence Gordon, “A Brief Look at Blacks in Depression Mississippi, 1929–1934: Eyewitness Accounts,” Journal of Negro History 64 (Autumn 1979): 379.
32. Mississippi State Board of Health, Manual for Midwives, rev. 1928, 11–15.
33. Ladd-Taylor, “‘Grannies’ and ’Spinsters,’” 262–63; Dart, Maternity and Child Care, 32–33, 44; Mississippi State Board of Health, Manual for Midwives, rev. 1928, 11–15; Price, “’Birthin’”; Alice Walker, “Three Dollars Cash,” in Revolutionary Petunias & Other Poems (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971), 6; “Grannies: The Roots of Midwifery”; Logan and Clark, Motherwit, 52; Bleich, “Midwife’s Delivery”; Johnnie Lee Smith, My Life, 31. Welty, Ida M’Toy.
34. Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi (New York: Dell Publishing, 1968), 55–56, 59–60.
35. Smith and Holmes, Listen to Me Good, 73, 85; Logan and Clark, Motherwit, 60, 65–66.
36. Price, “‘Birthin‘”; Walker, “Three Dollars Cash,” 6; “Grannies: The Roots of Midwifery”; Logan and Clark, Motherwit, 52; “Leflore Midwife Fails on Fee, Takes Baby,” Nov. 8, 1939, Jackson Daily News, Folder: County Files: Amite-Grenada, 1939–1951, Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records; Bleich, “Midwife’s Delivery”; Smith, My Life and How I Saw the Caldwell Memorial Hospital Grow and Pass Away, 31. Authorities arrested Mamie Smith, charged her with kidnapping, and returned the baby to its parents.
37. Mississippi State Board of Health, Lesson Outlines for Teaching Midwives, p. 3, Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records; “The Relation of the Midwife to the State Board of Health,” 4–5; Picture 2036-57-60, Sept. 9, 1942, Box 8419, Series 2036, Department of Health Records; Eloise Conn, R.N., “Amite County Midwives,” Southern Herald (Liberty, MS), Nov. 12, ca. 1942 (News Clipping), Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records; “History,” July 1, 1935 to June 30, 1937, Box 15772, Series 1706, Department of Health Records; Mississippi State Board of Health, Manual for Midwives, rev. 1956, 14.
38. Dear Doctor, Nov. 20, 1925, in Underwood, “The Development of Midwifery in Mississippi,” 6; “The Relation of the Midwife to the State Board of Health,” 8, 9; Brooksie W. Peters, R.N. to Miss Lucy E. Massey, July 14, 1947, Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records. Underwood’s document does not reveal the number of questionnaires mailed to doctors or the number that responded. However, the state board reported that there were 1,775 physicians in Mississippi in 1920 and 1,490 in 1930.
39. See Shapiro, Schlesinger, and Nesbitt Jr., Infant, Perinatal, Maternal, and Childhood Morality, 258.
40. Ladd-Taylor, “‘Grannies’ and ‘Spinsters,‘” 257; “Births Attended by Physicians and Midwives,” Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records; “Births Attended by Physicians and Midwives,” Folder 8, Box 222, Rosenwald Fund Archives. The percentage of black children delivered by midwives was as high as 80.7 percent in the 1920s. However, the number of midwife-assisted births in 1952 were greater than in 1929.
41. “Midwifery in Mississippi,” The Independent (Booneville, MS), Apr. 1, 1948, Subject File: Midwives, MDAH; Jessie Lynn Ruff to Harold Mantell, Box 16009, Series 1706, Department of Health Records; Underwood, “Twenty-Five Years in Maternal and Child Health,” 1517; “State Health Agency Calls Midwifery ‘Dying Avocation,‘” Commercial Appeal (Jackson, MS) n.d. (ca. mid-to-late 1960s), Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records; Brooksie W. Peters, R.N. to Miss Lucy E. Massey, July 14, 1947; From Subcommittee on Employment, Manpower, and Poverty, 90th Congress, July 11 and 12, 1967, Statement of A. L. Gray, M.D., Executive Officer and Secretary, Mississippi State Board of Health, 80.
42. “Infant Mortality Rate Is Down, Officials Credit Better Procedures,” Greenwood Commonwealth, Sept. 21, 1975, 25; “Referral Service Needed,” Press Register (Clarksdale, MS), Sept. 17, 4; Lynda Smalhout, “State Has Third Highest Infant Death Rate in the U.S.,” Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS), Aug. 10, 1978, 35.
43. “State Health Agency Calls Midwifery ‘Dying Avocation‘”; Brooksie W. Peters, R.N. to Miss Lucy E. Massey, July 14, 1947; Smith and Holmes, Listen to Me Good, 63, 136–37; Starr, The Social Transformation of American Medicine.
44. Susan L. Smith, “White Nurses, Black Midwives, and Public Health in Mississippi, 1920–1950,” Nursing History Review 2, no. 1 (1994): 40–41; Brooksie W. Peters, R.N. to Miss Lucy E. Massey, July 14, 1947; Report of Retirement Ceremony, Pocahontas, Mississippi, May 4, 1950, Box 8416, Series 2036, MDAH. Osborne was with the state board of health from 1921 to July 1, 1946. She died July 7, 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio. See Louise Holmes to Mrs. Johnny Anderson, July 13, 1953, Box 8416, Series 2036, MDAH. Unsigned letter to Nurse Osborne, Pocahontas, Mississippi, May 4, 1950, Box 8416, Series 2036, MDAH; Robert Loftus, “Stork Loses Two Long-Time Forrest County Helpers,” Hattiesburg American, Nov. 29, 1948.
45. Brenda Boykin, “Midwives Recall Way Childbirth Used to Be,” Feb. 15, 1976, The Clarion-Ledger, 9C, Subject File: Midwives, MDAH.
46. “Grannies: The Roots of Midwifery”; Sunflower County Midwives, July 19, 1973, Box 8416, Series 2036, Department of Health Records; “Advocates Oppose Bill to Regulate Mississippi Midwives,” Clarion-Ledger, Mar. 1, 2010.
47. Mississippi State Legislature 2010 Regular Session, House Bill 695.