James McCune Smith (1813–1865) was an African American abolitionist, physician, and writer. Born in New York City, Smith was the first African American to earn a medical degree; after being denied admission to schools in New York, he enrolled at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, completing his education in 1837. Upon returning to the New York to practice medicine, Smith became active in the abolitionist movement. He lectured for the American Anti-Slavery Society (though he later broke from Garrison) and wrote anti-slavery pamphlets as well as pieces for abolitionist publications including the Emancipator, the Liberator, and Frederick Douglass’ Paper. In the 1840s, he was involved in the anti-slavery Liberty Party and, later, the Radical Abolition Party.

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