Monthly Archives: March 2015

Jose Celso Barbosa

American Latino History

Jose Celso Barbosa 1880 Yearbook Jose Celso Barbosa
1880 Yearbook

Dr. Jose Celso Barbosa is the first Puerto Rican to earn a medical degree from a university in the continental United States. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1880. Dr. Barbosa was born on July 27, 1857 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. He was the first student of color to attend the Jesuit Seminary. Wanting higher education, he traveled to New York City to learn English. While in New York, he attended Fort Edward Institute to learn the English language. While in the city, he applied for enrollment to the College of Physicians and Surgeons (now Columbia University Medical School) with the help of a mentor, Dr. Wendell. Because of his background, he was rejected admission to the institution. Dr. Wendell received a letter dated October 5, 1877 that stated the following regarding Barbosa’s admission to the College of Physicians and Surgeons:


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