Augustus Lushington was a Black Veterinarian born in Trinidad and Tobago. His paternal grandfather was brought from DR Congo as a child to Trinidad as a slave to work on the sugar plantations. His father, William, was a butcher, who also planted and sold produce.
Lushington trained as a teacher and later on became a principal. He left for Venezuela, where he worked as a clerk in the town of La Guayra for a British-owned railroad. After three years, Lushington returned to Trinidad and Tobago, but opportunities were limited in the island.
In 1889, he migrated to the United States and settled in Binghamton, New York. In 1890 he met his wife Elizabeth Gavino Hubert. (native of Antigua). With encouragement from his wife and friends, he enrolled in Cornell University to study Agriculture and graduated in 1894. There were no opportunities for work in the West Indies at that time, so Lushington returned to the United States to attend the University of Pennsylvania veterinary school finishing the program in three years. Lushington became the first Black man to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). He earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1897.
When students walk into the University of Pennsylvania the first thing they see is a portrait of Augustus Lushington in the main entrance of the main building.
He practiced two years in Philadelphia, PA then was an instructor in Veterinary Sanitation and Hygiene at Bell Mead Industrial and Agricultural College at Rock
Castle, Virginia. Later, he practiced in Lynchburg, Virginia.
To make ends meet, Lushington also worked as an agricultural statistics reporter for the US. Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry, a meat inspector, and a probation officer on weekends. He eventually began treating domestic pets in his later years. Lushington never retired and worked until his passing. Augustus Lushington died on February 12, 1939.