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Thu, 07.30.1840

Benjamin A. Boseman, Doctor and Politician born

Benjamin A. Boseman

*Benjamin A. Boseman was born on this date in 1840. He was a Black physician and politician.

Benjamin Antony Boseman Jr. was born in Troy, New York, the son of Benjamin and Annaretta Boseman, the oldest of five children. In the 1860 U.S. Census, he was listed as mulatto. His father was a steward on a steamboat and then a sutler. He studied in the Preparatory (high school) Division of New York Central College from 1854 to 1856. After an apprenticeship in Troy, Boseman completed his medical studies at Dartmouth Medical School in 1863 and Bowdoin College's Maine Medical College in 1864.

During the American Civil War, he served the Union as an assistant surgeon in the U.S. Colored Troops. Stationed at Camp Foster, Hilton Head, South Carolina, Bosman treated sick and wounded soldiers and medically examined prospective recruits. At the war's end, he opened a medical practice in Charleston, South Carolina. Boseman served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for three consecutive terms, from 1868 until 1873, representing Charleston County.

In 1869, he was appointed physician to the Charleston City Jail. He married Virginia Montgomery, and they had two children. In 1869, the South Carolina Legislature appointed him and Francis L. Cardozo trustees of South Carolina College, the predecessor of the University of South Carolina. He was on the Board of Regents of the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum. He introduced 1870 South Carolina's first comprehensive Civil Rights bill as a legislator. In 1872, he declined the nomination for Comptroller General of South Carolina. 

In 1873, Boseman became the first Black postmaster of Charleston. His salary was $4,000 (equivalent to $90,478 in 2021). He invested in railroad and phosphate mining. Boseman served as postmaster until his death on February 23, 1881, at 40. 

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