Lucy Hughes Brown

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Lucy Hughes Brown, sometime after 1897

Lucy Hughes Brown (April 12, 1863 – June 26, 1911) was the first African-American woman physician in South Carolina[1] and the cofounder of a nursing school and hospital.


Lucy Manetta Hughes was born in Mebane, NC, on April 12, 1863.[2][3] She attended Scotia Seminary in Concord, graduating in 1885. She went on to study at the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, graduating with her medical degree in 1894.[3]

In 1889 she married David Brown, a clergyman.[2][3]

Brown practiced medicine in Wilmington for two years, and then in 1896 she and her husband moved to Charleston, SC. The state's first African-American woman physician,[1] she joined with other black professionals—including Dr. Alonzo Clifton McClennan—to cofound the Hospital and Training School for Nurses in 1897.[2] She was head of the school's department of nursing and its associated training program, which graduated its first class in 1898.[2][3] Brown also helped to edit the state's first black medical periodical, the Hospital Herald, which was founded in 1898 In 1902, the British Journal of Nursing recognized her as a leader in her profession in South Carolina.[2]

Suffering from ill health, Brown retired in 1904. She died in Charlotte on June 26, 1911.[3]


  1. ^ a b Hine, Darlene Clark. Hine Sight: Black Women and the Re-construction of American History, p. 151.
  2. ^ a b c d e Payne, Elizabeth Anne, ed. Writing Women's History: A Tribute to Anne Firor Scott, pp. 127–28.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Dr. Lucy Hughes Brown". Hospital & Training School for Nurses, McLennan-Banks Memorial Hospital website.

Further reading[edit]

  • Martin, Maxine Smith. "Dr. Lucy Hughes Brown (1863–1911): A Pioneer African-American Physician". Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association, vol. 89 (January 1993), pp. 15–19.