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Old 01-30-2020, 04:14 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
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I was delighted today to receive a photo of this great mans grave in NY... and until recently it didnt have a gravestone at all and was all but forgotten.. Id like to tell his story.......and Glasgow Scotlands admiration for this man.

https://www.gla.ac.uk/news/archiveof...615335_en.html


James McCune Smith (April 18, 1813 – November 17, 1865) was an African-American physician, apothecary, abolitionist, and author in New York City. He was the first African American to hold a medical degree and graduated at the top in his class at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. After his return to the United States, he became the first African American to run a pharmacy in that nation.

In addition to practicing as a doctor for nearly 20 years at the Colored Orphan Asylum in Manhattan, Smith was a public intellectual: he contributed articles to medical journals, participated in learned societies, and wrote numerous essays and articles drawing from his medical and statistical training. He used his training in medicine and statistics to refute common misconceptions about race, intelligence, medicine, and society in general. Invited as a founding member of the New York Statistics Society in 1852, which promoted a new science, he was elected as a member in 1854 of the recently founded American Geographic Society. But he was never admitted to the American Medical Association or local medical associations.

He has been most well known for his leadership as an abolitionist: a member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, with Frederick Douglass he helped start the National Council of Colored People in 1853, the first permanent national organization for blacks. Douglass called Smith "the single most important influence on his life."[1]

Smith was one of the Committee of Thirteen, who organized in 1850 in New York City to resist the newly passed Fugitive Slave Law by aiding refugee slaves through the Underground Railroad. Other leading abolitionist activists were among his friends and colleagues. From the 1840s, Smith lectured on race and abolitionism and wrote numerous articles to refute racist ideas about black capacities.

Both Smith and his wife were of mixed-race African and European ancestry. As he became economically successful, Smith built a house in a mostly white neighborhood; in the 1860 census he and his family were classified as white, along with their neighbors. In 1850 they were classified as mulatto, when living in a predominately African-American neighborhood.

Smith served for nearly 20 years as the doctor at the Colored Orphan Asylum in New York. After it was burned down in July 1863 by a mob in the New York Draft Riots, in which nearly 100 blacks were killed, Smith moved his family and practice to Brooklyn for their safety. Many other blacks left Manhattan for Brooklyn at the same time. The parents stressed education for their children. In the 1870 census, his widow and children continued to be classified as white.

To escape racial discrimination and have more opportunities, his children passed into white society: the four surviving sons married white spouses; his unmarried daughter lived with a brother. They worked as teachers, a lawyer, and business people. Smith's unique achievements as a pioneering African-American doctor were rediscovered by 20th-century historians. They were relearned by his descendants in the twenty-first century, who identified as white and did not know about him, when a three-times-great-granddaughter took a history class and found his name in her grandmother's family bible. In 2010, several Smith descendants commissioned a new tombstone for his grave in Brooklyn. They gathered to honor him and their African-American ancestry. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/...photo=33569403 https://ordinaryphilosophy.com/2019/...-mccune-smith/ Glasgow also has a cafe/diner in this mans name.. he should never be forgotten.
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:24 AM
 
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Interesting piece. the name rang a bell. glad you posted.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
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I only found out a few years ago with a cafe diner with his name in Glasgow..and did a bit of poking for info.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
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Thank you for the interesting history of a unique and exceptional American.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
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What Glasgow has did in the past and now for McCune.. https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/camp...thlearninghub/
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Old 01-31-2020, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
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Is this man recognised by the Medical records in the US..
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Old 02-01-2020, 06:59 AM
 
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Interesting thread, thanks for starting it, Dizzy.

The link below is from a December 2019 article about Dr. McCune Smith published in Hektoen International - A Journal of Medical Humanities. (Interesting that it is so current)

https://hekint.org/2019/12/16/africa...mccune%20smith

Something else I learned on line-

Public School 200 (PS 200) at 2589 7th Ave in NYC (also called Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd) is named for Dr. McCune Smith. Looking at Google maps, it appears to be in a building that also houses the Frederick Douglas Academy, which is located at 2581 7th Ave. The McCune Smith school is grades K-5 and the Adam Clayton Powell school is grades 6-12. The school has several good reviews from young folks attending.. One 5th grader wrote that it was the "best school" he/she attended so far. ;-)

Here is another link with more information about Dr. McCune Smith's accomplishments-

https://coloredconventions.org/?s=james+mccune+smith

A life well lived. RIP

Last edited by LilyMae521; 02-01-2020 at 07:09 AM..
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
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Thanks so much Lily reading them now.
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
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Wonderful Lily thank you..
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Old Yesterday, 08:53 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzybint View Post

Smith served for nearly 20 years as the doctor at the Colored Orphan Asylum in New York. After it was burned down in July 1863 by a mob in the New York Draft Riots, in which nearly 100 blacks were killed, Smith moved his family and practice to Brooklyn for their safety. Many other blacks left Manhattan for Brooklyn at the same time. The parents stressed education for their children. In the 1870 census, his widow and children continued to be classified as white.

.
More info on the bolded, please. This is a side of "northern" life one generally doesn't hear about in the history books or elsewhere.

Also: How was it that Smith was free, and how did he pay for his passage to Scotland, and who paid for his studies there?

Fascinating find, Dizz! Thanks so much!
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