Blacks @ Dartmouth 1775 to 1950

African Americans @ Dartmouth College 1775-1950

Samuel Ford McGill

Dartmouth Medical School
Class of 1839 (M.D.)
Jan 1815, Baltimore MD
21 Jun 1871, Monrovia Liberia
School Dartmouth Medical School Class 1839
Born Jan 1815, Baltimore MD Degree M.D.
Died 21 Jun 1871, Monrovia Liberia

Career summary

First African American physician of Liberia, colonist, educator, political leader, and merchant

Quotes from biographical sources

Samuel McGill was born in Baltimore in January 1815 and died on 26 June 1871. McGill moved to Liberia with his father and brother in 1826. As the McGills set out to become one of the leading commercial families in Liberia, Samuel sailed back to the U.S. to attend medical school at Dartmouth College.

He returned to Liberia in 1838 and became Liberia's first doctor of African descent. The American Colonization Society appointed him as colonial doctor, and he trained many other Liberians. McGill served as the Acting Governor of the Maryland colony from 1848 to 1853. He started to direct his family business in Cape Palmas with his brother in 1856 and moved to Monrovia by the mid-1860s to invest in commercial shipping. He and his brothers exported palm oil and sugar from the Saint Paul River and had several warehouse and stores in Monrovia.

Sims, J. L., Seymour, G. L., & Anderson, B. J. K. (2003) African-American Exploration in West Africa: Four Nineteenth-Century Diaries (p. 370): Indiana University Press.

Other source(s)

  1. Forbush, Bliss. (1988). The Price of Freedom. Friends Journal, 34(9), 28-29.
  2. Campbell, Penelope. (Summer 1970). Medical Education for an African Colonist. Maryland Historical Magazine, 130-137.
  3. The Late Dr. McGill. (1871). The African Repository, 47(1), 287.
  4. Diemer, Andrew. (2014). The Quaker and the Colonist - Moses Sheppard, Samuel Ford McGill, and Transatlantic Antislavery across the Color Line. In Brycchan Carey & Geoffrey Plank (Eds.), Quakers and Abolition (pp. 135-148). Champaign, IL, USA: University of Illinois Press. Champaign, IL, USA.
  5. Murray, Robert P. (2013). Whiteness in Africa: Americo-Liberians and the Transformative Geographies of Race. Ph.D., University of Kentucky.
  6. Njoh, Joseph N. (2018). Dr. Samuel Ford McGill, M.D., and the McGill Family. In The Beginning and Growth of Modern Medicine in Liberia and The Founding of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, Liberia (pp. 388). Nigeria: Panaf Publishing, Inc.