Dr. Aaron McDuffie Moore was Durham, NC’s first African American physician, as well as an important business and community leader who was instrumental in the establishment of the city’s Black Wall Street at the turn of the Twentieth Century. DCL, Inc. has launched a new research project that will explore and lift-up Dr. Moore’s life and contributions to Durham and the American experience.
In 1863, one month after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed Aaron McDuffie Moore was born to Anna Eliza Spaulding Moore and Israel Moore in Columbus County, North Carolina. He was the eighth of ten children and part of a third generation of free yeoman farming parents who came from negro, white, and Lumbee Indian heritage. Over the course of his life, Moore was a physician, entrepreneur, and a champion of education. Dr. Moore graduated from the Shaw University’s Leonard School of Medicine and moved to Durham in 1888 to begin a medical practice to treat tobacco and textile workers and their families. He went on to found or partner to found more than ten businesses organizations and institutions including: Bull Durham Drug Company, NC Mutual Life Insurance Company, Lincoln Hospital, Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing, Mechanics and Farmers Bank, North Carolina College for Negros (now NCCU), the Volkemenia & Shubert Shakespeare Clubs, Durham Colored Library, Inc., Durham Knitting/Textile Mill, and Mutual Savings & Loan Association.
The DCL, Inc. board believes it is vital to bring Dr. Moore’s inspirational story into our community’s current conversation and to preserve his unique journey for generations to come.