Students at the Harvard Dental School
Part of a set of photographs of members of the first graduating class of Harvard Dental School, this image of Robert Tanner Freeman (d. 1873) is particularly interesting. Dr. Freeman was born in Washington, D.C., and was the son of former slaves from North Carolina. After attending classes in the Harvard Medical School, he became, in 1869, the first African-American to graduate from the Harvard Dental School and is believed to be the first to be awarded a dental degree in the United States.
Dr. George Franklin Grant (1847-1910) of Oswego, New York, received a degree from the Harvard Dental School in 1870 and then j the faculty as an authority on mechanical dentistry. He was the first African-American faculty member at the university and remembered today for his invention and patenting of the golf tee.