Sophie Elodie Savard, one of two main characters in the Gilded Hour series, is the daughter of Paradise to Ben and Hannah Savard. As a young man Simon relocated to New Orleans to study medicine, where he met and married , the daughter of a New Orleans apothecary and great granddaughter of Curiosity Freeman, born in
In my writer’s eye Sophie looks something like Sara Loguen Fraser, born in the Dominican Republic and educated in the U.S. as a physician. She was the fourth or fifth woman of color to earn an M.D. in the 19th century.
Selah’s father Leo Freeman was born on the New York frontier and raised in Albany and Johnstown. He apprenticed as a cooper, but had aspirations to study medicine, an opportunity not available to black men at that time. Through his connections to the Savard family in Paradise he was offered the opportunity to move to New Orleans, where he took up the study of pharmacology. There he met and married Danae Anne Martin, a Free Woman of Color. Of their three children only Selah survived into adulthood.
Selah and Simon Savard met soon after he arrived in the city. They married within a year. Simon was a staff physician at the Savard clinic Dispensaire de Bienfaisance on the rue Dauphine; his wife, trained by her father as an apothecary, was also employed by the clinic. Both died in the last year of the Civil War.
Galileo & Curiosity Freeman >
Almanzo Freeman & Selah Voyager >
Galileo (Leo) Freeman & Danae Anne Martin >
Selah Freeman & Simon Savard >
Sophie Elodie Savard
Sophie, born 8 July 1855 in New Orleans, was orphaned at age ten. At that time she was taken in by her Aunt Quinlan and moved to New York to be raised in her home on Waverly Place Also in the household is her half cousin Anna Savard. The two girls grow up together with a strong bond. Cap Verhoeven is a mutual, very important friend who Sophie will marry.
Sophie and Anna enroll at the Rutger's Female College and then too the Woman's Medical College of the New York Infirmary. Sophie specializes in obstetrics and gynecology. As a woman of mixed race many professional and social avenues are shut to her, but she is a talented practitioner and is often called on by her male colleagues. She works primarily among the poor women and children of the city.