Hutchins F. Inge

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Hutchins Franklin Inge (April 16, 1900 – March 28, 2002) was an African American physician and Democratic Party politician. He was the first African American to serve in the New Jersey Senate.

Early life and career[edit]

Inge was born in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1900 to George and Kate Ferguson Inge. He graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and Howard University College of Medicine.[1]

Inge began his medical practice in Newark, New Jersey in 1936. He served on the staff of United Presbyterian Hospital in Newark and was also staff physician for the Newark Board of Health's Division of Child Hygiene. He was director of the Essex Urban League and a founder of the Council of Doers, professional men dedicated to community service. He was also a life member of the NAACP and a member of the American Medical Association.[1]

Political career[edit]

In 1965, at the age of 65, Inge was nominated by the Essex County Democratic organization as a candidate for the State Senate.[2] He was one of four Senate candidates on the county slate, after a temporary reapportionment plan awarded Essex (as well as Bergen County) the right to elect four instead of one senators. All four Democratic candidates were elected to office, in a year when Governor Richard J. Hughes was reelected in a landslide and Democrats took control of both houses of the legislature.[3]

1965 Essex County State Senator General Election Results[edit]

Winner Party Votes Loser Party Votes
Nicholas Fernicola Democrat 145,589 C. Robert Sarcone Republican 128,815
Maclyn Goldman Democrat 143,794 Irwin Kimmelman Republican 116,205
John J. Giblin Democrat 143,040 James E. Churchman, Jr. Republican 112,995
Hutchins F. Inge Democrat 135,959 William F. Tompkins Republican 112,128
George C. Richardson Independent 10,409
Kendrick O. Stephenson Independent 5,970
David Blumgart Independent 5,305
Frederick Waring Independent 44,76

During Inge's tenure in the Senate from 1966 to 1968, he served as the chairman of the Senate Federal and Interstate Relations Committee. He was a supporter of measures to aid education, transportation, and housing.[4]

Later life[edit]

In 1970 Inge married Dorothy E. Helme and moved to Osterville, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. He continued his medical practice at his residence there until his retirement in 1995. His wife died on December 25, 1996 at the age of 82.[5] Inge died on March 28, 2002 at the age of 101 at St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he lived after his wife's death.

In 2007, Governor Jon Corzine signed a bill commemorating the achievements of Inge, along with Walter G. Alexander, the first African American to serve in the New Jersey General Assembly.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Obituaries". The Standard-Times (New Bedford). 2002-05-03. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  2. ^ "Essex Democrats Nominate First Negro for Senator". The New York Times. 1965-04-27. p. 20. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  3. ^ "3 Precedents Set In Wake Of Hughes' Big Win". New York Amsterdam News. 1965-11-13. p. 21. 
  4. ^ "Governor Signs Legislation Honoring New Jersey's First African-American State Senator and Assemblyman" (PDF). Governor of New Jersey. 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2008-12-27. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Obituaries". The Standard-Times (New Bedford). 1996-12-27. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  6. ^ Jones, Richard G. (2007-04-08). "A Tribute, and One Conspicuous Absence". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-27.