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By Roger Chartier

 

Robert Hayden Carter lll - New Bedford

Robert Carter lll (1847-1908),

The first licensed African-American pharmacist in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts began his career in New Bedford.

A few years before his birth in New Bedford his ancestors had migrated to the city to escape the southern oppression.

An anecdote:
As a youth Carter was shoveling snow after school for a local pharmacist. There, he found a wallet with about $400.00, a lot of for those times, in it.

He turned it over to the pharmacist. The pharmacist rewarded him by taking him under his wing as an apprentice.
Robert Carter


By the time, Carter was 20 years old he had mastered the trade.

In 1871, he is listed as working for William P. S. Cadwell a druggist and chemist with a shop at 49 Purchase St.

In 1875, he and his wife, a "hairworker" are living at 66 Purchase st.

In 1887, he is listed as a druggist at 141 Purchase St. and living at 237 Kempton St.

In 1892, he is listed as a druggist at a shop on the corner of Kempton St and Cedar St, and he is living at 722 Kempton St.

He was certified as a registered pharmacist on January 5, 1896 and came to own and managed 5 pharmacies in New Bedford and Boston.

In New Bedford directories for 1897, 1898 and 1904 he is not listed in New Bedford and my have gone to Boston by then.
This is conjecture.

His career lasted 37 years.

For more on the subject read the book "Pills, Potions, Powders and Poisons: A Pioneering African-American in Pharmacy" written by the African-American author, historian and educator Robert C.Hayden Jr.

That author's great aunt, a retired school teacher had told him stories about Robert Carter, and when she died in 1971 he undertook the task of dealing with some of her things.

In the things, he found a note book that had belonged to Robert Carter lll containing notes and formulas for such as "Carter's Toothache Powder" among other things of note.

Links for more information about this author:

History Makers Biography Robert C. Hayden

Encyclopedia.com Article on Robert C Hayden

Available books from Amazon.com by the author Robert C. Hayden

 
 
 

 


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