Charles A. Tingley, senior research librarian with the St. Augustine Historical Society Library, presents “Alexander Darnes: Florida’s First African American Physician” at a 6:30 p.m. Feb. 2 program. Setting will be the Southeast Branch Public Library, 6670 U.S. 1 South.
Admission is free, with the program open to the public. Reservations are not required, but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Dr. Alexander Hanson Darnes, who was taken as a teenager to a U.S. Army cavalry post in the West, went through the Civil War as the personal valet of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith. Darnes gained freedom through Emancipation, sued for his right to vote, took a medical degree, stood up for equal rights on public transportation, and served the community as Florida’s first African American physician.
Darnes is buried at Jacksonville’s Old City Cemetery, In a Florida Times-Union story, published more than three years ago, it was noted that his burial site was being restored by the Kirby-Smith Chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. A native of St. Augustine, Darnes served Jacksonville during the city’s 1888 yellow fever epidemic.