Skip to main content

Bodley, Rachel (1831–1888)

Bodley, Rachel (1831–1888)

American chemist and botanist. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on December 7, 1831; died of a heart attack, at age 56, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1888; daughter and third of five children of Anthony (a carpenter) and Rebecca (Talbott) Bodley (an educator); attended private school in Cincinnati; graduated from Wesleyan Female College, Cincinnati, 1849; graduated from Polytechnic College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1860.

Credited with helping to raise the profile of women in science, Rachel Bodley attended a private school run by her mother Rebecca Talbott Bodley before enrolling at Wesleyan Female College. After completing advanced studies in the natural sciences, Rachel embarked on her teaching career at the Cincinnati Female Seminary, in 1862. Three years later, she was named first chair of chemistry at Female Medical College (later Woman's Medical College). She became dean of the school and was elected school director in Philadelphia's 29th School District. In 1883, she was one of the first women appointed to the State Board of Public Charities.

Throughout her teaching career, Bodley classified and mounted an extensive collection of plants. In 1881, she conducted a statistical survey concerning the careers of graduates of the Woman's Medical College. Her study, one of the first relative to women and the professions, was published in the pamphlet, The College Story. Several of her lectures were also published.

Bodley held membership in a number of scientific societies, including the Academy of Natural Science of Philadelphia (1971), the New York Academy of Sciences (1876), the American Chemical Society (1876), and Philadelphia's Franklin Institute (1880). Woman's Medical College awarded her an honorary M.D. in 1879.

Barbara Morgan , Melrose, Massachusetts

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bodley, Rachel (1831–1888)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Bodley, Rachel (1831–1888)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 21, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bodley-rachel-1831-1888

"Bodley, Rachel (1831–1888)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Retrieved November 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bodley-rachel-1831-1888

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.