In 1897, Trinidad-born Augustus Nathaniel Lushington became the first black man in America to be a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), having earned his dictorate at the University of Pennsylvania.
He practised for about two years in Philadelphia, and worked as an instructor in Veterinary Sanitation and Hygiene at Bell Mead Industrial and Agricultural College at Rock Castle, West Virginia.
Lushington practised for much of his life in very segregated Lynchburg, Virginia, where he experienced unfair treatment.
He, however, eventually earned a reputation as a superior practitioner in the community, and had memberships in the Bureau of Animal Industry, Federal Department Agriculture and the Lychburg Chamber of Commerce.
Lushington was born on August 1, 1869, to William Lushington, who worked as a butcher and grew produce for sale at market, and Mollie Dickerson.
He trained to be a teacher in 1875, worked at various schools for several years, and was promoted to the rank of principal.
He left for Venezuela, where he worked as a clerk in the town of La Guayra for a British-owned railroad.
After three years, Lushington returned to Trinidad but found that opportunities were insufficient on the island, which was already crowded with successive waves of Indian and Chinese immigrants.
In 1889, he immigrated to New York, USA, where the following year he met his wife, Elizabeth Gavino Hubert, an Antiguan.
In 1894, Augustus graduated with a degree in Agriculture from Cornell University.
Three years later, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania veterinary school.
Now, when students walk into the University of Pennsylvania, the first thing they see is a portrait of Lushington, hanging at the main entrance to the main building.
Lushington retained British citizenship and never participated in American political life.
He never retired, working until he died at age 69 in 1939.
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