Francis Taylor Fuller, M. D., was born in a part
of Granville, now Vance county, N. C., June 14th, 1835. At the age
of eighteen he began the study of medicine under the direction of
the late Dr. W. E. Hicks, of Oxford, and afterwards under Dr.
Charles E. Johnson, of Raleigh, and graduated at the University of
Pennsylvania in the spring of 1856.
The North Carolina Insane Asylum was opened for the reception of
patients in February, 1856, with Dr. E. C. Fisher as Superintendent.
The same year, Dr. Fuller was elected Assistant Physician, which
office he has held continuously to the present time. In 1882 he was
appointed a Director of the Western N. C. Insane Asylum and
continued such until 1889, when he resigned. When a Superintendent
was about to be elected for that Institution he would probably have
been chosen without opposition, had he consented to the use of his
name, but he declined, loath to sever his connection with the N. C.
Insane Asylum, and remove himself from his relatives and friends in
Raleigh, and believing that as a Director there and a physician in
the former, he could best serve the insane of North Carolina. To him
is due a large part of the credit for all that is good in both.
The State Chronicle of Raleigh, North Carolina, in speaking of Dr.
Fuller and his long service in the State Institution there, says,
"Dr. Fuller is modest and unpretending to a fault. A man of broad
views he has ever been in thorough sympathy with all progress in his
profession. All societies and associations for its advancement he is
ever ready to aid and encourage in any way.
He is of fine appearance, large brain, unerring judgment, strong
determination, keen conscientiousness and with a tender, sympathetic
Truly all of his life has been devoted to the insane. Of him it can
indeed he said, "The Asylum is father and mother, brother and
sister, sweetheart and wife." No service to the patients, no duty
about the Institution has ever been too menial for him. to perform
if there were need.
During the late war and the desolation and poverty immediately
following it, his struggles for food, clothing, medicines and
attention for the inmates of the Asylum would make a story of
courage, self-sacrifice and endurance that would do credit to his
heart and hand. It is needless to say that with his thirty-three
years experience and uninterrupted attention to his profession in
all its details few men are his equal in it.
In his intercourse with the insane, kindness, gentleness, patience,
and perseverance are his unvarying guides. To each of them his whole
bearing is that of an adviser, a comforter, and a friend, and as
such they look upon him."
Dr. Fuller comes very near to the description of the model
Superintendent, as described by Dr. Ray.