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Medical History Society of New Jersey

‘Agitation of the Question’: James McCune Smith and the New York Academy of Medicine, 1847 and 2018

  • Tuesday, February 16, 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (EST)
  • Online, Zoom

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Please join the Medical History Society of New Jersey for our next monthly Zoom meeting! In honor of Black History Month, we are hosting, “‘Agitation of the Question’: James McCune Smith and the New York Academy of Medicine, 1847 and 2018.” 

Physician, author, and activist James McCune Smith (1813-1865) is the earliest known Black American to have earned a medical degree (University of Glasgow, 1837).  In 1847, the first year of the New York Academy of Medicine, Smith was nominated for Resident Fellowship by two founding members of the Academy. Because of his race, Smith’s nomination posed a challenge for the fledgling but rapidly growing Academy and its Committee on Admissions, who wished to avoid “agitation of the question.” 

Join our Zoom presentation to learn what happened to James McCune Smith’s nomination in 1847 - and what changed in 2018.

Bob Vietrogoski is the Special Collections Librarian in the History of Medicine, George F. Smith Library of the Health Sciences, Rutgers University Libraries. For the Medical History Society of New Jersey, he is the current Treasurer, co-chair of the Program Committee, and editor of the brand new MHSNJ newsletter.  



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Medical History Society of New Jersey
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