James McCune Smith

All About Him

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His Achievements

He was the first African American to get his Medical degree and he graduated at the top of the class. He was a leader as an abolitionist and a member of the Anti-Slavery Society. He was a member of numerous societies.

His LIfe After The Degree

He was in many societies including: American Geographic Society in 1854, American Anti-Slavery Society, and he help start the National Council of Colored People in 1853, the first permanent national organization for blacks. He was one of the 13 people from that council to organize a resist the fugitive slave law by helping people in the underground railroad. For 20 years he was a doctor at the colored orphan asylum but it was burned down by a mob in the New York Draft Riot in July, 1863.

His Family Life

He married Malvina Barnet, who was a graduate of the Rutger Female Institute, and had 11 kids. One of the children's names is unknown. Only 5 of them survived to adulthood 4 males and 1 female. In the 1860 census the family was classified as white. To escape racial discrimination the 4 sons married white spouses and the daughter lived with one of the sons. They became lawyers, teachers, and business people.