Mary Jane Seacole (1805 – 14 May 1881), née Grant, was a Jamaican-born woman of Scottish and Creole descent who set up a 'British Hotel' behind the lines during the Crimean War, which she described as "a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers," and provided succour for wounded servicemen on the battlefield.
She was posthumously awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit in 1991. In 2004 she was voted the greatest Black Briton.
In 1851 Seacole travelled to Cruces to visit her brother, but shortly after her arrival the town was struck by cholera.
Seacole was on hand to treat the first victim, who survived, establishing Seacole's reputation and bringing her a succession of patients as the infection spread. The rich paid, but she treated the poor for FREE.
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