Definitions

Dix

Dix

[diks]
Dix, Dorothea Lynde, 1802-87, American social reformer, pioneer in the movement for humane treatment of the insane, b. Hampden, Maine. For many years she ran a school in Boston. In 1841 she visited a jail in East Cambridge, Mass., and was shocked at conditions there, especially the indiscriminate mixing of criminals and the insane. After inspecting other Massachusetts institutions, she wrote (1842) a famous memorandum to the state legislature. Her crusade resulted in the founding of state hospitals for the insane in many states, and her influence was felt in Canada and Europe. Dix also did notable work in penology. During the Civil War she was superintendent of women war nurses.

See H. E. Marshall, Dorothea Dix: Forgotten Samaritan (1937, repr. 1967); S. C. Beach, Daughters of the Puritans (1967); F. Tiffany, Life of Dorothea Lynde Dix (repr. 1971); D. C. Wilson, Stranger and Traveler: The Story of Dorothea Dix, American Reformer (1975); D. Gallaher, Voice for the Mad (1995).

Dix, John Adams, 1798-1879, American statesman, b. Boscawen, N.H. He served in the War of 1812, was later admitted to the bar, and practiced law in Cooperstown, N.Y. He held high state offices and served (1845-49) as Democratic U.S. senator from New York. In 1848 he ran for governor of New York on the Free-Soil ticket. President Buchanan appointed him secretary of the treasury in 1861, and in his two-month tenure of office, despite secession, he was able to secure loans. He was a major general in the Civil War and later (1866-69) minister to France. Dix was prominent in railroad affairs and became (1863) president of the Union Pacific, with T. C. Durant as vice president, and he was the long-time president of the Erie RR. Dix served as Republican governor of New York in 1873-74.
Dix, Morgan, 1827-1908, American Episcopal clergyman, b. New York City; son of John A. Dix. He was rector of Trinity Church in New York City from 1862 to 1908. Among his writings are Memoirs of John Adams Dix (1883) and History of the Parish of Trinity Church in the City of New York (4 vol., 1898-1906). A fifth part on the rectorship of Dr. Morgan Dix himself was added to the History in 1950.

See biography by W. A. Swanberg (1968).

Dix, Otto, 1891-1969, German painter and draftsman. Dix fought in World War I and returned to Düsseldorf haunted by the horrors he had witnessed. Associated with the new objectivity movement in German expressionism, he depicted the sordid world of prostitutes and swindlers with a painful precision and intensity. In 1924 he published War, a series of 50 etchings, fantastic visions executed with great clarity. Accused of an attempt on Hitler's life in 1939, he was imprisoned in Dresden and later made prisoner of war by the French. After the war he worked in West Germany.
Dix, Fort: see Fort Dix.
Passe-dix, also called passage in English, is a game of chance using dice. It was described by Charles Cotton in The Compleat Gamester (1674) thus:

"Passage is a Game at dice to be played at but by two, and it is performed with three Dice. The Caster throws continually until he hath thrown Dubblets under ten, and then he is out and loseth; or Dubblets above ten, and then he passeth and wins."

Andrew Steinmetz, in The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims, described it at greater length but somewhat confusingly (the results of rolling a 10 are unclear, depending on whether it wins for the bank or is a push, there is house advantage is at best 0, and at worst negative, and the suggestion that it was played at the crucifixion is of course sheer speculation):

"Passe-dix is one of the, possibly the, most ancient of all games of chance, is said to have actually been made use of by the executioners at the crucifixion of our Saviour, when they parted his garments, casting lots, Matt. xxvii. 35.

"It is played with three dice. There is always a banker, and the number of players is unlimited. Each gamester holds the box by turns, and the other players follow his chance; every time he throws a point under ten he, as well as the other players, loses the entire stakes, which go to the banker. Every time he throws a point above ten (or passes ten -- whence the name of the game), the banker must double the player's stakes and the stakes of all those who have risked their money on the same chance. When the game is played by many together, each gamester is banker in his turn."

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