• Date of Birth: November 12, 1870
  • Born City: Elkton
  • Born State/Country: MD
  • Parents: Edward, a cook, butler, and Civil War veteran, & Indiana Clinton Caldwell B.
  • Date of Death: March 11, 1942
  • Death City: Raleigh
  • Death State/Country: NC
  • Married: Alethea Amelia Chase, September 22, 1897; Inez T. Alston, December 24, 1927.
  • Education:

    Institute for Colored Youth (Philadelphia, PA); B.A., Yale, 1896; registered in absentia, 1905-8; M.A., 1915.

  • Professional Experience:

    Teacher, Charlotte Hall (MD) 1886-90; college prep. Dept. Hopkins Grammar School (New Haven, CT, 1890-2; prof. Greek, mathematics & English, St. Augustine’s College (Raleigh, NC), 1896-1936; dean, junior & senior colleges, 1925-37; president, St. Augustine’s Missionary Society; president, North Carolina Intercollegiate Athetic Association, 1918-21.

  • Notes:

         Charles Henry Boyer graduated at age sixteen from the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia in 1886, where he was Latin Salutatorian of his class. After teaching school for four years, he spent the years 1890 to 1892 in the college preparatory department of the vener­able (founded 1660) Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven, CT and then moved across town to Yale. After graduation he took a post at St Augustine’s College, an Episcopalian-supported school founded in 1868 in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1915, he earned his M.A. from Yale. He soon left the classroom to become a dean, striving to raise the over-all quality of the school to that of an accredited college in both academ­ics and athletics. 

           A photo from 1908 in Amy Hill Hearth, Annie Elizabeth Delany, and Sarah Louise Delany’s book Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years (New York: Kodan­sha America, 1993) attests to his classroom work. It shows Boyer at the chalkboard conjugating the verb λύω with Sadie Delaney (1889-1999). Sadie was the daughter of Henry Delany (1858-1928), former slave and first African American to be elected Bishop in the Episcopal Church. When Boyer retired in 1936, his sister-in-law Julia A. Delany (1893-1974) published a poem titled, “Dean Charles H. Boyer: Heroic couplets after the manner of Dryden and Pope.” One of the lines reads: “No easy road did he ever seek to make his pupils learn Latin and Greek.” In 1925, Dean Boyer joined the APA (TAPA 56 (1925): lxxiii). He was also a member of the American Negro Academy and the orga­nizer and president of the North Carolina Inter-Collegiate Athletic Association. 

  • Sources:

    n.a., “Charles Henry Boyer—College Dean,” Who’s Who in Colored America, ed. Thomas Yenser (Brooklyn, NY: Thomas Yenser, 1942): 69-70; n.a., “Charles Henry Boyer, B.A., 1896,” Bulletin of Yale University, Obituary Record of Gradu­ates of Yale University Deceased During the Year 1941-1942, 39 (January 1, 1943): 74-75; n.a., Complied Military Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served with the United State Colored Troops: Infantry Organizations, 20th through 25th, Microfilm Serial: M1823; Microfilm Roll 72; A.B. Caldwell, ed. History of the American Negro—North Carolina Edition (Atlanta: A.B. Caldwell Publishing Company, 1921): 249-252; Julia A. Delany,  “Dean Charles H. Boyer: Heroic couplets — after the manner of Dryden and Pope,” The Pen (1936): 7; Emory A. Johnson, “We Doff Our Hat to Charles Henry Boyer,” The Sphinx 17 (June, 1931): 27.

  • Author: Michele Valerie Ronnick