Numa P. G. (Pompilius Garfield) Adams
was born in 1885 and graduated from Steelton High School in 1905,
one of four African American students to graduate that year. He studied
at Howard University, graduating from that institution in 1911, and went on to
study chemistry at Columbia University, earning an M. A. in 1912. Adams
returned to Howard to teach chemistry as an assistant professor, with
Professor Herbert Clay Scurlock and instructor Ernest Jones Marshall.
In 1919, Adams began the study of medicine at the University
of Chicago medical school, established a practice, and later returned to
Howard again, this time to assume the duties of dean of the medical school,
being the first African American to hold that position. Adams was dean,
and professor in the medical school until his death in 1940. The Numa P.
G. Adams Building at Howard College of Medicine is named for him.
In 1915 Numa Adams married Osceola Macarthy, a gifted actress
who frequently used the stage name Osceola Archer. She was active on and
off Broadway, appearing in the New York Shakespeare Festival, and also
appeared in movies and television. During the Depression years her work
at the American Negro Theater as a director and teacher influenced such
popular actors as Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Ossie Davis and Ruby
Dee. She was Director of the Harlem School of the Arts and was a
founding member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in 1913 at Howard
University. She died in 1986.
"Chemistry at Howard 1867-1927" Retrieved July 30, 2002 from the World Wide Web:
http://www.chem.howard.edu/~mfeldman/chemdept.htm (inactive link)
"Osceola Macarthy Adams (1890-1986)" Retrieved October
28, 2002 from the World Wide Web: http://members.tripod.com/~Ezell/OADAMS.HTM
"Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.," Retrieved October
28, 2002 from the World Wide Web:
http://www.uga.edu/nphc/dst.htm (inactive link). See http://www.uga.edu/nphc/
Numa P. G. Adams was named for a Roman ruler, Numa Pompilius.
Read about that ruler here:
other Steelton articles