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De Rosset (DeRosett), Armand John

by Durward T. Stokes, 1986

17 Nov. 1767–1 Apr. 1859

Armand John De Rosset. Image courtesy of "Annals of the DeRosset Family".Armand John De Rosset (DeRosett), physician, was born in Wilmington, the son of Moses John and Mary Ivy De Rosset and grandson of Armand John De Rosset. His father died when De Rosset was an infant, but he was affectionately reared by his stepfather, Adam Boyd, who also served as his efficient teacher at home. Well equipped with a rudimentary education, the youth continued his studies at a school in Hillsborough before enrolling at Nassau Hall (now Princeton University), from which he was graduated in 1787. He then completed his medical education at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was privileged to number Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Benjamin Rush among his acquaintances. At age twenty-three he returned to Wilmington and began to practice medicine, adding to the record begun by his forebears and continued later by his descendants as a physician and respected citizen.

De Rosset married Mary Fullerton, whose father was John Fullerton, a nephew of the Scottish philosopher David Hume, and whose mother was Elizabeth Toomer Fullerton. The couple had three daughters who died in infancy, and one son, Moses John De Rosset, born 11 Feb. 1796. The following year Mrs. De Rosset died, and on 1 Aug. 1799 Armand John married her sister, Catherine Fullerton. The children of the second marriage were Catherine G., Elizabeth Ann, Magdalen Mary, Mary Jane, Armand John, and two sons who died in infancy.

On 10 Oct. 1814 De Rosset was commissioned a surgeon in the Third Regiment of the North Carolina Militia, which was his only military service. For many years he served as a justice of the peace. He was not a frivolous man and organized the Nine-Penny Whist Club more to provide occasions on which the members could enjoy congenial discussions than to play cards. Members of his family had always served as wardens, vestrymen, lay readers, and treasurers of Saint James's Church—both while it was Anglican and later when it became a part of the Protestant Episcopal church—and he was active in all of its affairs. He assisted in the founding of the Bible Society in Wilmington in 1816, serving as vice-president and later as president. An affluent citizen, De Rosset was a director of the Bank of Cape Fear for thirty-seven years. He also invested $10,000 in The Rockfish Company and a similar sum in the road that became the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad.

A contemporary described De Rosset as "short in stature, being not over five feet four inches, with light blue eyes and ruddy complexion; not handsome, though a benign expression lent a pleasing and attractive appearance to his countenance." He was buried in Saint James's Churchyard, Wilmington.

References:

"Autobiographical Sketch by Dr. Armand John De Rosset, in 1847," James Sprunt Historical Monograph 4 (1903).

De Rosset Family Papers, Group 1 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Catherine De Rosset Meares, Annals of the De Rosset Family (1906).

New Hanover County wills (New Hanover County courthouse, Wilmington).

Durward T. Stokes, "Adam Boyd, Publisher, Preacher, and Patriot," North Carolina Historical Review 49 (1972).

Additional Resources:

Catherine DeRosset Meares. Anna. http://archive.org/details/AnnalsOfTheDerossetFamily (accessed May 29, 2013).

DeRosset Family Papers, 1671-1940 (bulk 1821-1877) (collection no. 00214). The Southern Historical Collection. Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/d/DeRosset_Family.html (accessed May 29, 2013).

De Rosset, Armand John 1767-1859 in WorldCat: http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n85-286199

Image Credits:

Catherine DeRosset Meares. Anna. http://archive.org/details/AnnalsOfTheDerossetFamily (accessed May 29, 2013).

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Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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