(25 September 1898 – 21 December 1973)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU) has cataloged 102 fungi specimens and a single vascular plant specimen collected by Freeman Augustus Grant, who usually signed his herbarium labels “F.A. Grant.” Frequent collecting locations included his home town of Sneads Ferry (Onslow County, North Carolina), Smith Island (Brunswick County, North Carolina), and Chapel Hill (Orange County, North Carolina). A catalog of NCU’s fungal collection, including macrofungi collected by F. A. Grant, is available via mycoportal.org.
Freeman Augustus Grant was born 25 September 1898 to Augustus Merriman Grant (1870-1974) and Callie Ward Freeman Grant (1878-1967) in Sneads Ferry, Onslow County, North Carolina.1 Freeman had three sisters, Helen Grant Merritts (1901-1993), Wilma Grant Offutt (1904-1963), and Lucy Ward Grant Lof (1908-1986).2 From 1915 to 1917 Freeman attended the Whitsett Institute in Whitsett, Guilford County, North Carolina.6
Freeman Grant entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1919 and graduated with an A. B. in Education in 1925.6 While at Carolina he was a member of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society and the North Carolina Academy of Science.
Freeman Grant is a living testimony of the fact that ‘you can’t keep a good man down.’ First entering the University [of North Carolina at Chapel Hill] in January, 1919, he has had a sporadic career both as a student here and in spreading the gospel of learning to North Carolina’s youth. Grant is a man of principle, and he gave up his last charge out in the wilds of Beaufort because he would not renounce his belief in man’s evolution from a lower state. In his four years at Carolina, Freeman has been a special student most of the time, having tried Pre-Med. B.S. in Chem., and A.B., his last love. “Ulysses” has long been a familiar figure in chemistry and botany labs, and take it from us, he knows his stuff. Something unusual is the fact that in his several summer terns here he has made higher averages than in the regular session. We’re speaking of classroom work. However, in the memorable weekly struggles at Bynum Gym his presence has been felt by many a Summer School girlie. We’ll remember “General” Grant as a quiet, good-natured chap who is as sincere as the day is long.5
On the basis of a collection of fungus made by Freeman while an undergraduate, he and Dr. William Chambers Coker described not only a new species but also a new genus of fungi. Septocladia dichotoma in the Blastocladiaceae was “found only once, October 20, 1921, on a knuckle bone of beef partly covered with water, in Sparrow’s pasture, Chapel Hill, N.C.” by Freeman A. Grant. This taxon currently named Allomyces arbusculus f. dichotomus (Coker & F. A. Grant) Kanouse. Grant also worked on Isoachlya eccentrica, which was described by W. C. Coker in 1923.
Freeman A. Grant married Corinne Lee Harris (1906-1985) in the Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City. Corinne graduated from Louisburg College and East Carolina Teachers College, and taught high school mathematics. Freeman pursued a career in the insurance industry, and at the time of his marriage, was employed by the Interboro Mutual Indemnity Insurance Company in Union Square, New York City. However, for most of his career, Freeman Grant was a Safety Engineer with the United States federal government and the family lived in Bethesda, Maryland. Freeman and Corinne had one son, Freeman Augustus Grant, Jr., who attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Class of 1956) and pursued a career in the United States Navy.4
Freeman Augustus Grant died at age 75 in Bethesda, Maryland and was buried in the Grant Cemetery on Ennett Lane in Sneads Ferry.3
PUBLICATIONS (possibly incomplete list):
Coker, W. C. and F. A. Grant (1922) A new genus of water mold related to Blastocladia. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 37(3-4): 180-182.
1. Evans, John. “Freeman Augustus Grant, Sr.” Find A Grave. N.p., 15 Sept. 2009. Web. 30 Dec 2013. <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41979660>.
2. Evans, John. “Augustus Merriman Grant.” Find A Grave. N.p., 15 Sept. 2009. Web. 30 Dec 2013. <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41979329>.
3. “Grant Cemetery.” Find A Grave. N.p.. Web. 30 Dec 2013. <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&GRid=41979594&CRid=2323208&>.
4. Evans, John. “Corinne Lee Harris Grant.” Find A Grave. N.p., 15 Sept. 2009. Web. 30 Dec 2013. <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41979689>.5.
5. Yackety yack 1925. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1925. Print. <http://library.digitalnc.org/cdm/ref/collection/yearbooks/id/612>.
6. Grant, Freeman Augustus. The General Alumni Association of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Information submitted by F.A. Grant on December 10, 1923 and November, 1970.
Special thanks to Meredith Tozzer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Alumni Records Office