Guide to the Dr. Matilda Arabelle Evans Collection

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAAHC.A2019.109
Creators:
Evans, Matilda Arabella, Dr., 1872-1935
Dates:
1896-1995
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
1.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The Dr. Matilda Arabella Evans Collection of documents how she broke boundaries as one of the first African American women physicians to have her own practice. The collection highlights her role as a physician and the great impact she had on the health and welfare of the African American community. The collection is comprised of educational material, business records, photographs, publications, and reference materials collected by and about Evans and her work.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The materials in this collection have been kept at the folder level and separated into five series. The materials have been ordered and organized based on the content. Within each series and subseries, the folders are organized as close to the collection's original order as when it was acquired.

Biographical Sketch
Biographical Sketch
Biography Dr. Matilda A. Evans – A2019.109
Dr. Matilda Arabella Evans was born in Aiken, South Carolina on May 13, 1872. Her parents, Anderson and Harriet Evans, were sharecroppers. In order to help her family, Evans and her two siblings did agricultural work for the Schofield family. Martha Schofield was an early advocate of education for African Americans and the founder of the Schofield Normal and Industrial School. Schofield inspired Evans to start her educational career. She excelled at the Schofield Normal School, so much so, that Schofield led a campaign to raise funds for Evans to attend Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. However, Evans left Oberlin College in 1891 to teach at the Haines Institute in Augusta, Georgia before completing her degree. Schofield and Alfred Jones, the Secretary of Executive Committee of the Board of Corporators of Woman's Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (WMC) helped create the scholarship for Evans to attend WMC. She was the only African American woman in her class. After earning her medical degree, Evan was the first African American woman to be licensed as physician in South Carolina.
Evans' specialties included general surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, and hygienics. For the next fifteen years, Evans created and managed three medical institutions, Taylor Lane, Lady Street, and St. Luke's hospitals, all of which doubled as nurse training schools. She began by caring for patients in her own home at 1007 Lady Street. In 1901, she established the Taylor Lane Hospital at 2027 Taylor Street, Columbia, South Carolina. The hospital was the first African American owned hospital in the city of Columbia. Even rarer, she treated patients regardless of race and was known for her discretion and expertise. Using this to her advantage, she used funds from wealthy white patients to give free or greatly reduced rate care to African American patients. Around 1903, a fire destroyed the building, closing the hospital. She then created St. Luke's Hospital and Evans Sanitorium.
Evans had a special interest in the care and medical needs of African American children. She strongly believed that healthcare should be a right as an American and the responsibility of the government to provide healthcare for all. Evans created a health assessment and examination program that was later adapted and used by all of South Carolina public schools. She petitioned the South Carolina State Board of Health to give free vaccines to African American children.
Continuing her work in health education, in 1916, Evans created the weekly newspaper Negro Health Association of South Carolina and the South Carolina Good Health Association that educated the public on health matters including hygiene and nutrition. In 1918, Evans volunteered to serve in the Medical Service Corps of the United States Army, during World War I, to take care of veterans and their families. As Evans dedicated all her time to the Corps, she closed St. Luke's Hospital. She decided to leave the Corps after a year because of the racism and discrimination she faced daily.
Returning to medicine and breaking more barriers, in 1922, Evans became the only African American woman in America to serve as president of a state medical association, South Carolina's Palmetto Medical Association. She went on to become the regional Vice President of the National Medical Association.
Evans was dedicated not only to the health of African American children but their whole well-being. In 1926, she owned Lindenwood Park, a 20-acre farm. On her property, she created a community health organization, a community center, a swimming pond, dance hall, and café. All her community outreach programs were completely integrated and welcomed all. Evans established a free clinic in 1930 named the Evans Clinic Association of Columbia, S.C. It was incorporated by the Secretary of State in South Carolina. Evans adopted eleven children, seven had been abandoned after their delivery at her hospital. The other five children were her nieces from her sister who passed away.
On November 17, 1935, Dr. Matilda A. Evans passed away in her home in Columbia, South Carolina.
Timeline Dr. Matilda A. Evans
1872
Matilda Arabella Evans was born in Aiken, South Carolina to Anderson and Harriet Evans
c. 1880-1890
Evans attended the Schofield Normal and Industrial School
1890-1892
Evans attended Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio
1892
Evans left college early and accepted a teaching position at Haines Institute and the Schofield School in Augusta, Georgia
1893-1897
Evans attended the Woman's Medical College (WMC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1897
Graduated with a medical degree from WMC and moved to Columbia, South Carolina. She created her own practice in her home on Lady Street
1901
Evans established the Taylor Lane Hospital, the first African American owned hospital in Columbia, South Carolina
1903
A fire destroyed the building and her practice returned to 1007 Lady Street, the location of her original practice
1914
Evans opened St. Luke's Hospital and Evans Sanitorium
1916
Evans created the weekly newspaper Negro Health Association of South Carolina
1918
Evans volunteered in the Medical Service Corps of the United States Army during World War I. St. Luke's Hospital was closed
1922
Evans served as president of the South Carolina's Palmetto Medical Association
1926
Evans opened a park and community center on her Lindenwood property for children of all races and ages
1930-1931
Evans established a free clinic, Evans Clinic Association of Columbia, S.C. It was incorporated by the secretary of state in South Carolina
1935
Evans passed away in Columbia, South Carolina

Administration
Processing Information
Collection processed, arranged, and described by Ja-Zette Marshburn and Alana Donocoff in 2019 and 2020.
Author
Ja-Zette Marshburn and Alana Donocoff
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Aquired as a Gift of Leatrice Trottie Brown in memory of Dr. Matilda A. Evans

Sources
Sources
Beardsley, E. (February 2000). "Evans, Matilda Arabella (13 May 1872–17 November 1935)." American National Biography. (accessed August 12, 2020). https://www.anb.org/view/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.001.0001/anb-9780198606697- e-1201064.
Bodie, Idella. (1991) South Carolina Women. Sandlapper Publishing, Inc.: Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Caldwell, A.B., Ed. (1919). History of the American Negro: South Carolina Edition. A.B. Caldwell Publishing Company: Atlanta, Georgia.
Davis, Marianna W., Ed. (1982). Contributions of Black Women to America, Volume II. Kenday Press, Inc.
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education. (1917) Negro Education: A Study of the Private and Higher Schools for Colored People in the United States, Volume I. Government Printing Office: Washington, D.C.
"Dr. Matilda Arabella Evans was the First Black Woman to Practice Medicine South Carolina." Westside Gazette, February 2010, (accessed September 9, 2020). https://www.proquest.com/docview/369142347?accountid=46638.
"Dr. Matilda Arabella Evans." Changing the Face of Medicine. (accessed August 12, 2020). https://cfmedicine.nlm.nih.gov/physicians/biography_107.html.
Evans, Matilda A. (1906) Taylor Lane Hospital and Training School for Nurses: Columbia, South Carolina. Schofield School Press: Aiken, South Carolina.
Gallman, Burnett W. "From African to South Carolina: A Brief Review of the Contributions of Africans and African-Americans to Medicine." The Journal of South Carolina Medical Association. May 1988, pp. 249-254.
Hennig, Helen Kohn, Ed. (1936). Columbia: Capital City of South Carolina, 1786-1936. The Columbia Sesqui-Centennial Commission, The R.L. Bryan Company Printer: Columbia, South Carolina.
Hine, Darlene Clarke, Elsa Barkley Brown, and Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, Ed. (1994). Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, Indiana.
Hine, Darlene Clarke. "The Corporeal and Ocular Veil: Dr. Matilda A. Evans (1872-1935) and the Complexity of Southern History." The Journal of Southern History, vol. 70, no. 1, 2004, pp. 3–34. JSTOR. (accessed September 9, 2020.) www.jstor.org/stable/27648310.
Matilda A. Evans collection, 1897-1977. South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina. (accessed September 9, 2020). https://rb.gy/d5ih8x.
Moore, John Hammond. (1993). Columbia and Richland County: A South Carolina Community, 1740-1990. University of South Carolina Press: Columbia, South Carolina.
Payne, Elizabeth Ann, Ed. Writing Women's History: A Tribute to Anne Firor Scott (2011). Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Spruill, Marjorie Julian, Valinda W. Littlefield, and Joan Marie Johnson. (2010). Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times, vol. 2. The University of Georgia Press: Athens, Georgia.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Dr. Matilda Arabelle Evans Collection of archival material, National Museum of African American History and Culture
Conditions Governing Use
The NMAAHC Archives can provide reproductions of some materials for research and educational use. Copyright and right to publicity restrictions apply and limit reproduction for other purposes.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Access to collection materials requires an appointment.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Medicine Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
South Carolina -- Columbia Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American South Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Education Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Health Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Children Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
World War I, 1914-1918 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Race discrimination Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Communities Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Activism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Washington, D.C. 20004
NMAAHC-ArchivalCollection@si.edu
https://nmaahc.si.edu