Their faultless English contrasts strikingly with the Negro dialect of the States. In manner they are usually more British than American and a certain air of thoroughness which must come from their schools, sometimes creates the impression that there may be a feeling of superiority. One has only to know them personally, however, and get their point of view, to understand how gladly they enter into the business, social and religious life of their respective communities.
Here we tell the story of one of these British West Indians, who hails from the Island of Jamaica. Dr. John James Williams, of Clarksburg, W. Va., was born in Jamaica on September 8, 1886. His father, Rev. Henry Williams was a Wesleyan (Methodist) preacher; his mother, before her marriage, was Ann Williams.
Young Williams laid the foundation of his education in the government schools of his native island, which corresponds to our graded and high schools. After that he had two years in college. He was more or less active in athletics which takes the form of cricket rather than baseball or football at the American College.
He came to the States in 1906. For his medical course, he matriculated at the School of Medicine of Howard University where he won his M.D. degree in 1912. In the fall of the same year he visited his old home and in December located at Panama where he practiced for five years. Here he did a general practice in a mixed multitude of races. He was medical examiner for the British Government at Panama during 1917.
In 1918, he returned to the States and located at Clarksburg where he has since resided, and has built a good general practice. Retaining his British citizenship, he takes no active part in American politics. In religion he is a Methodist. His secret order and benevolent society affiliations are with the Masons, Pythians, Odd Fellows, Elks and American Order of Foresters. He is medical examiner for the colored public schools of Clarksburg. He is also examiner for the National Benefit Life Insurance Company, and the Supreme Life and Casualty Company.
He is a general reader, with a special liking for history and poetry.
History of the American Negro Index
West Virginia History Center