Blacks@Dartmouth 1775 to 1960

Dempsey Rollo Fletcher

Physician and Liberian colonist

alumnus image

Dartmouth Medical School M.D.

Class of 1847

Born  1825  NC

Died 1878 Monrovia Liberia

Quotes from Biographical Sources

[Rollo Fletcher] went to Liberia, we believe, at about seven years of age, from some part of N. Carolina, perhaps, as another colonist once told me, from 'ten miles beyond the court-house,' (and probably, less distance from the whipping-post.) He first came to Cape Palmas eleven years since as an apprentice boy to old Ben Johnson, not old English Ben, but one not less rare in his peculiar province of killing leopards, bush-cats, and monkeys with his famous 'kill-deer.' Fletcher could then write a tolerable hand, and spell strong, according to sound, having, as is not uncommon in Liberia, an utter abhorrence of supernumerary italics. On becoming acquainted with this gift of writing in the boy, we employed him as clerk in the public store, where he remained some five or six years, having in charge the whole merchandise of the Society.

Some four or five years since, he engaged himself as an assistant to Dr. McGill in preparing medicine, administering it to patients, &c. He soon concluded to commence a regular course of study in the profession, and now comes to America to attend lectures in some medical institution at the North, probably that of Dartmouth College, where Dr. McGill took his degree, with a view to graduation, and we doubt not but he will succeed.

Let those who question the beneficial influences of African Colonization, call and judge for themselves, whether he is a more intelligent, more happy, and more useful being in society, than a plantation hand in the Carolinas, of some twenty-five years of age, which he would now have been were it not for Colonization.

(1845). Maryland Colonization Journal, 2(21), 327-328.

Other source(s)

  1. James, Winston, & Russwurm, John Brown. (2010). The Struggles of John Brown Russwurm: The Life and Writings of a Pan-Africanist Pioneer, 1799-1851 (p. 292). New York: NYU Press.
  2. Murray, Robert P. (2013). Whiteness in Africa: Americo-Liberians and the Transformative Geographies of Race, pp.82-90, (PhD thesis). Univ of Kentucky.