James Dickson Carr: First Black Graduate of Rutgers College

Peter Mazzei


In 1892 Carr became probably the first black graduate of Rutgers and was on one of very few black graduates in all the colleges of the Northeast. First attending Rutgers Grammar School in 1886, he entered the college in 1888, where he was an outstanding student. Later he went on to receive a LL.D from Columbia Law School. He was an assistant district attorney of New York County and held other offices in NYC government. He accomplished all of this despite many obstacles due to racial discrimination. In 1919 he wrote a remarkable letter, transcribed here, to President Demerest protesting the action of Rutgers football team to pull Paul Robeson from a game because the opposing team would not against a black player.  

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14713/jrul.v47i2.1651