Federal Writers' Project – Life Histories/2020/Summer II/Section 12/Mattie Ingram

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Mattie "Miss Brunson" Ingram edit

Early Life edit

Mattie “Miss Brunson” Ingram was born on a farm in South Georgia. Ingram was one of twelve children of a farmer. Ingram completed her high school education but couldn’t attend college due to her large family and the lack of funds. After high school, Mattie pursued her interest in nursing and trained at Macon Hospital, until she finished her course of study in 1920. Then, she continued her career in institutional and private nursing for a span of nine years and public health for one year. Finally, she moved to Beaufort, South Carolina in 1930, where she would become a County Health Nurse.

Career edit

Ingram’s work as a county health nurse was primarily with African-Americans since it was the majority of the population in the county. African-Americans continued to struggle to improve their health conditions in the 1930s. The population struggled with venereal diseases which were known as “bad blood.” This would also include high birth rates in which caused the issue of caring for the children that they previously had. Mattie Ingram ultimately saw these issues and created a plan to change those common issues in the community. Within her work, she would administer clinics for well-baby visits, prenatal and venereal diseases. Also, she directed classes for midwives weekly, while assessing and giving vaccinations to children in schools. Mattie Ingram had countless stories of her encounters with those she provided care for. She continued working with for years. In the end, she continued her work throughout the years in Beaufort while living with her sister and niece.

Social Issues During Great Depression edit

Venereal Diseases During The Great Depression edit

Venereal Diseases was heavily found throughout the United States since 1912. Diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea were the most commonly transmitted disease found. These two types of diseases were known to attack the reproductive organs. The Public Health Service would then created 599 county health departments for one-fifth of the known United States Population. Also, known U.S Surgeon General Thomas Parran Jr created a campaign for public health education that targeted these known diseases. His campaign included his request for the need for training medical personnel and many other facilities to help those that have those venereal diseases. Treatments were provided for those that needed it and this ultimately decreased the cases of venereal diseases in the United States.

Mortality Rates Among Infants in the South edit

Infants in the United States were among the affected as well during the Great Depression. During this time, Infant mortality rates weren’t as significantly high for the whites. It was known that nonwhites had a significant increase in mortality rates. It was shown that there were "14.7 deaths per thousand live births." This would be based upon the given government assistance and income in the household. It was seen that nonwhites had little to no government assistance and had low income.

References edit
Interview in the Federal Writers' Project papers #3709, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

MD, MPH Cutler, John, and R.C. Arnold, MD. “Venereal Disease Control by Health Departments in the Past: Lessons for the Present,” https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.78.4.372>

Granados, Jose, and Ana Roux. “Life and Death during the Great Depression.” PNAS, no. 106 (2009) https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0904491106

Fishback, Price, Michael Haines, and Shawn Kantor.“The Impact of the New Deal on Black and White Infant Mortality in the South,” Explorations in Economic History 38, 93-122 (2001):DOI:10.1006/exeh.2000.0759
“Public Health 1929-1941” Encyclopedia Online, August 6, 2020,https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-and-education-magazines/public-health-1929-1941

“African American Life During The Great Depression And The New Deal,” Britannica Online, February 26, 2020, https://www.britannica.com/topic/African-American/African-American-life-during-the-Great-Depression-and-the-New-Deal