David J. Peck

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David Jones Peck (c. 1826-1855) was an American physician. He was the first African American to receive a Doctor of Medicine from an American medical school.

Peck was born to John Peck[disambiguation needed], one of the most prominent abolitionists, ministers, and businessmen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From about 1844 to 1846, Peck studied medicine under Dr. Joseph P. Gazzam, a white anti-slavery physician. After his two years of study with Gazzam, Peck entered Rush Medical College, Chicago in autumn 1846, and graduated in 1847. During the summer after graduation, Peck toured the state of Ohio with William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass.

He set up a medical practice in Philadelphia in 1848. He married Mary Lewis in Chicago, IL in 1849. When his medical practice in Philadelphia proved unsuccessful, he returned to Pittsburgh in 1850.

At the suggestion of Martin R. Delany, Peck moved to San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua in early 1852. No photographs of Dr. Peck are known to be in existence.

Peck was killed in the spring of 1855 in a skirmish between Democratic forces and their Republican rivals at Jalteva, Nicaragua (near Granada). The latter forces had been deposed after an election in 1854. Dr. Peck's death is recollected by Charles W. Doubleday in Chapter 4 of his "Reminiscences of the 'filibuster' War in Nicaragua. Peck died as the result of concussion injuries sustained when a Republican cannonier fired on the position from which Doubleday and Peck had been observing their activities.

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