Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the passing of Dr. Susan M. McKinney-Steward

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Senate Resolution No. 5006


COMMEMORATING the 100th Anniversary of the passing
of Dr. Susan M. McKinney-Steward

WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body to recognize and
pay tribute to those individuals within the medical field who
distinguished themselves through professional excellence and who made
significant contributions to the quality of life of citizens in the
State of New York; and

WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its
long-standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to
commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the passing of Dr. Susan M.
McKinney-Steward; and

WHEREAS, Prospect Place from New York Avenue to Nostrand Avenue was
co-named Dr. Susan M. McKinney-Steward Place in 2008; and

WHEREAS, Susan Marie Smith was born on March 18, 1847, to Sylvanus
and Anne Smith in Weeksville, Brooklyn, New York; her unique mixed
heritage included African-American, European, and Shinnecock Indian; and

WHEREAS, At a young age, Susan M. Smith learned to play the organ;
later, she became the organist for the African Methodist Episcopal (AME)
Church in Brooklyn; and

WHEREAS, In 1867, Susan M. Smith became a student at the New York
Medical College and Hospital for Women in New York City at the age of
20; after three years, she graduated as Valedictorian on March 23, 1870;

WHEREAS, Dr. Susan M. Smith became the first African-American woman
to formally enter the medical profession in New York, and the third in
the United States; from 1870 to 1895, she ran her own practice out of
her home in Brooklyn; and

WHEREAS, In 1871, Dr. Susan M. Smith married Reverend William G.
McKinney from South Carolina, and together, the couple raised two
children; and

WHEREAS, As her reputation grew, Dr. Susan McKinney's practice drew
interracial clientele across the social barriers; a hard-working and
compassionate woman, she was extremely successful as a pediatrician,
treating all kinds of childhood diseases; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Susan M. McKinney opened her second clinic in
Manhattan; during this time, she established the Women's Royal Union of
New York, and was actively involved in the Kings County Homeopathic
Society; and

WHEREAS, In 1881, Dr. Susan M. McKinney co-founded the Women's
Hospital & Dispensary in Brooklyn, which later became the Memorial
Hospital for Women and Children; she was also a staff member for her

alma mater, New York Medical College, and managed the Home for Aged
Colored People; and

WHEREAS, After the passing of her first husband, Dr. Susan M.
McKinney married Theophilus Gould Steward in 1896; she and her husband
moved to Nebraska, Montana and then Texas, where she treated many
African American Buffalo Soldiers as a Doctor for the Regiment; their
next stop was AMEs Wilberforce University in Ohio where Dr.
McKinney-Steward held the position of College Physician; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Susan M. McKinney-Steward used her knowledgeable voice
to serve as an advocate for social reform by giving public lectures
about medicine health and nutrition; she was also involved in campaigns
calling for female suffrage and temperance; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Susan M. McKinney-Steward was active in missionary work
around the city and was a prolific writer of both secular and sacred
writings; she read a paper on "Women in Medicine" in 1914, before the
National Association of Colored Women; and

WHEREAS, Four years later, Dr. Susan M. McKinney-Steward passed away
at Wilberforce University at the age of 71; she was laid to rest in the
Green-Wood Cemetery in her birth town of Brooklyn, and was eulogized by
W.E.B. DuBois; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Susan M. McKinney-Steward's legacy lives on; in
addition to co-naming a street in Brooklyn, The Susan Smith McKinney
Junior High School and The Susan Smith McKinney-Steward Medical Society
will forever stand as a testament of her many good deeds, and her role
as the first African-American woman to enter the medical profession; and

WHEREAS, Throughout her illustrious life, Dr. Susan M.
McKinney-Steward served as a role model, not only for women, but for
anyone who wanted to make the world a better place; she truly altered
and intensified our understanding of healing and society and will
forever serve as a paradigm for tenacity and courage; and

WHEREAS, As a leader in her profession, Dr. Susan M.
McKinney-Steward provided herself to be a great asset to medicine and to
the health and welfare of the citizens of the State of New York; and

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body that when
individuals of such noble aims and accomplishments are brought to our
attention, they should be celebrated and recognized by all the citizens
of this great Empire State; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the passing of Dr. Susan M.
McKinney-Steward; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this historically significant 100th Anniversary of
her passing will be commemorated at a Ceremony to be held at the North
East corner of Prospect Place and Nostrand Avenue with the presentation
of this Resolution her Descendants and Representatives of the
organizations that carry on her legacy.


  • 02 / May / 2018
  • 08 / May / 2018
  • 08 / May / 2018

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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