“Known in History”: Dr. Martha Griffith Records Her Past

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Emily Lyon


In 1910, Crawfordsville, Indiana, physician Dr. Martha Hutchings Griffith wrote a brief account titled “Early Indiana,” in which she told a story that began before the Revolutionary War and extended until passage of the first state constitution in 1816. Like many amateur historians of the early twentieth century, Griffith sought to locate her family and herself in the history of her state. Author Emily Lyon traces Griffith’s history from her years growing up in Madison, Indiana; her study at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania; and her partnership—both in marriage and a medical practice—with Thomas Griffith. Lyon places Griffith’s historical writing in the context of early twentieth-century debates over the professionalization of history and discusses other amateur historical works on Indiana history written around the time of the state’s centennial. The article con-cludes with a transcription of Griffith’s manuscript of “Early Indiana.”

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How to Cite
Lyon, E. (2019). “Known in History”: Dr. Martha Griffith Records Her Past. Indiana Magazine of History, 113(2), 114-133. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/imh/article/view/27586