On this day in Alabama history: Dorsette urged to move to Montgomery

On this day in Alabama history: Dorsette urged to move to Montgomery
Hale infirmary, Montgomery. (Courtesy of the Alabama Department of Archives and History)

February 28, 1883

Physician Cornelius Nathaniel Dorsette received a letter from former classmate Booker T. Washington urging him to relocate to Montgomery. Dorsette moved to the capital city later that year and earned his medical certification after passing a six-day examination conducted by an all-white board of medical examiners. Often described as the state’s first certified black physician, he also served on Tuskegee Institute’s board of trustees, owned an office building and operated a drug store. In 1890, he worked with his father-in-law, James Hale, and a white women’s club to open Hale Infirmary, the state’s first hospital for blacks. Dorsette’s funeral procession in 1897 was said to be the largest ever for a black citizen in Montgomery up to that time.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

Related Stories