Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jane Todd Crawford

Have you heard of her? Let me tell you a little about this incredible woman.

Mrs. Crawford was diagnosed with a ovarian tumor in 1809. She begged  Dr. McDowell to keep from a slow and painful death. He told her the procedure to remove her type of tumor had never been preformed and that the best doctor in the world thought it was impossible to be removed. Mrs. Crawford must of trusted Dr. McDowell because she told him she wanted the tumor taken out. Dr. McDowell agreed but told Mrs. Crawford she had to travel 60 miles to him to preform the surgery. Mrs. Crawford did not travel by coach, she rode her horse!

On Christmas morning Dr. McDowell operated on Mrs. Crawford. This was done with NO anesthesia! HERE is a photo of Mrs. Crawford. She was given a oral dose of opium and several attendants to hold her down. It was reported she sang hymns and repeated psalms during the procedure!

Dr. McDowell removed the tumor, which was 22.5 pounds ( no wonder she wanted it out). She returned home in 25 days and lived
another 32 years.


More information can be found Here


  1. My goodness, what an amazing story ! To think this was done while she was fully awake, and that she survived to live another 32 years. Makes you wonder about all the new options we have today. She was a real warrior...

  2. WOW! I had never heard of Jane Todd Crawford until today. Surgery without anesthesia? Holy SMOKES! It would take more than several attendants to hold me down-I'd need an elephant sitting on me! Oh my goodness, the things that people went through back in the day when it came to surgery, dentistry, all of it. The advances in medicine are wonderful-especially after reading a story like this one. I think I'd have died just knowing I'd be sliced open while awake!

    And to ride the 60 miles there THEN HOME on horseback after going through that ordeal? I agree with Myra-she was indeed a warrior.

    1. Same here Carol. Reading this makes me put on my big girl pants now when I drive to the dentist and he numbs me up!

    2. I hear that! And I was thinking the SAME thing since I have such a fear of the dentist..........

  3. Myra- just like the post on facebook that you added- You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

  4. Amazing, Totally amazing. Ouch The Dentist. Now that is one that really still puts the wrath of fear in me.

    Thanks Jj.
    Good Morning all


  5. She sounds like an amazing lady Linda, Thanks for sharing her story.

  6. WOW, OUCH, WOW! What a woman!