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History Bytes: Dr. Harriett Alleyne Rice

Dr. Harriett Alleyne Rice was born in the Rice family homestead at 33 Spring Street, then near the corner of Touro Street. Her father, George A. Rice, was a steward for the Newport Steamship Company. Harriett attended public schools and graduated from Rogers High School in 1882. She later distinguished herself as the first African American graduate of Wellesley College and of the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary. Her brother George, graduated from Dartmouth and was granted a medical degree in Edinburgh, Scotland. During World War I, Harriett served in hospitals throughout France and won awards for her “immense services.” She returned to America as a practicing physician, and died at Worcester, MA in 1958. She is buried in the Rice Family Plot in the God’s Little Acre section of Newport’s Common Burying Ground.

Image of Dr. Harriett Alleyne Rice courtesy of Gilded Age in Color