THE JOHNS HOPKINS CHARITY: Enthusiastic Mass Meeting of Colored Citizens -- Resolutions and Speeches


THE JOHNS HOPKINS CHARITY: Enthusiastic Mass Meeting of Colored Citizens -- Resolutions and Speeches
Article from the Baltimore Sun summarizing moments from a mass meeting of Black Baltimoreans after the death of Johns Hopkins. Specifically, they discuss his founding a free hospital, an orphan's asylum, and college "all of which are to be open to colored people upon equal terms with white citizens."
April 9, 1873
Rights Holder
The Baltimore Sun
transcript of
Transcript generously shared by Research Team:
Stan Becker (Professor Emeritus, Bloomberg School of Public Health)
Sam B. Hopkins, (Retired Attorney, JHSPH Alumnus, Great Great Great Grandson of Samuel Hopkins)
Edward C. Papenfuse (Retired Archivist at the Maryland State Archives, JHU Alumnus)
Sydney Van Morgan (International Studies Program Director, Sr. Lecturer of Inter-national Studies).


Enthusiastic Mass Meeting of Colored Citizens — Resolutions and Speeches.
[Reported in the Baltimore Sun, April 9, 1873.]

A mass meeting of the colored citizens of Baltimore was held last night at the Douglass Institute, pursuant to a call, for the purpose of showing their appreciation of the “great charity” of Johns Hopkins, Esq. in founding a free hospital, orphan asylum and college, all of which are to be open to colored people upon equal terms with white citizens. The committee of arrangements were John H. Butler, Sr., Wm. F. Taylor, Henry W. Martin, John W. Jacks, Willian H. Bishop, Sr., H. Clay Hawkins, Jacob A. Seaton, Samuel W. Chase, Sr., George W. Foster and George W. Perkins. The hall was filled, and the gallery was also crowded with many of the gentler sex. On motion of Mr. Isaac Myers the following officers of the meeting were unanimously elected.

President, John H. Bulter; vice-presidents, Wm. F. Taylor, Henry W. Martin, Isaac Myers, Wm. H. Bishop, Sr., John W. Lochs, George W. Lester, Samuel W. Chase, Jr., George W. Perkins, Jacob A. Seaton, John H. Smith, James A. Harris, Sr., Wm. Perkins, John A. Fernandis, James T. Bradford, Burwell Banks, C.L. J. Lee, Wm. H. Brown, Charles A. Deaver, Nathaniel T. Burgess, Solomon McCabe; secretaries, H. Clay Hawkins, George Myers, W.S. Emerson, Dr. Reverdy Hail, Wm. J. Gray, Dr. J.A. Jordan, James H. Hill, Dr. W.P. Thomas and J.A. Harris, Jr.
Mr. John H. Butler returned his thanks for the honor. He said of the many meetings heretofore held in Douglass Hall this meeting was the most important. He stated the object of the meeting, which was to express the gratitude of the colored people to Johns Hopkins for his munificent endowment of institutions which the colored people were to share in all their advantages. Few men ever dreamed of the great object to which his wealth was to be devoted.
Mr. George Myers moved the appointment by the chair of a committee to report resolutions, and the chair appointed Messrs. Myers, S. W. Chase, Robert Deaver, J.H. Smith and Dr. Gross. The committee retired, and shortly after reported the following

Whereas Johns Hopkins, Esq., has recently added his name to the list of those who by their lives have sought success only that it might enable their warm-hearted philanthropy the more to serve the great cause of a common humanity; and whereas for the first time in the history of Maryland a generous impulse, throbbing in the noble breast of one of its best citizens, who, regarding not the clamor of the hour, but realizing the demands of the times, at the dictation of statesmanlike views, unbiassed [sic] by popular prejudice, has elevated himself above all other men in Maryland, in the mode and manner of the distribution of his charity, and out of his private means donated to the public good, without distinction of race or color, more than four millions of dollars to endow a free hospital and a home for colored orphans in Baltimore. Therefore be it
Resolved by the Colored Citizens of Baltimore City, in Mass Meeting Assembled, That Johns Hopkins, Esq., heartily receives our warmest expression of heartfelt thanks for his generosity in regarding and recognizing our race in his great act of munificence.
Resolved, That Johns Hopkins, Esq., will ever be regarded as the friend of the colored race, and that we will teach our children to do honor to his memory when we shall have passed away, because of his noble liberality of spirit, and the comprehensiveness of mind characterizing his conduct in recognizing our race as being entitled to equal consideration and treatment with all others.
Resolved. That a copy of these resolutions be presented to Johns Hopkins, Esq., signed by the officers of this meeting.

Mr. Hopkins’s letter of instruction to the trustees of the Johns Hopkins Hospital was read by Mr. H. Clay Hawkins amidst such applause. The letter stated that he had given thirteen acres of land on Broadway upon which to erect the hospital, and suggesting his wishes upon the subject. Also to erect suitable buildings for the reception, maintenance and education of 300 or 400 orphan colored children, who have lost one parent only, and in exceptional cases to receive those who are not orphans, and he appropriates annually $20,000 for its support. Also that he had dedicated to the support of the hospital property worth two millions of dollars, from which $120,000 will be annually derived. The indigent sick of this city and its environs who require medical or surgical treatment are to be received without charge, without regard to age, sex, or color. The whole to form a part of the medical school of Johns Hopkins Hospital University, for which he has made simple provision by his will.

Isaac Myers said he called to mind the liberality of Mr. Peabody, of Mr. Astor, of Peter Cooper and others, but there was only one man in this country or in Europe who says his wealth shall be equally distributed for the relief of the colored man—but one man who has said in words not to be misunderstood by executors, nor evaded by the law, and that man is Johns Hopkins. By this grand demonstration they propose to put Johns Hopkins at the head of all men. He gives to the colored people without putting himself up for office and asking their votes or any other favors. He gives four millions [sic] of dollars to the people of Maryland without distinction of color, and twenty thousand dollars a year for a colored orphan asylum. That is the kind of friend he wanted.
He then referred to the opposition which he had to encounter in obtaining the hospital lot, how some persons wanted to run a street through it, &c [sic]. But, true to the instincts of his own nature, to the teachings of the Friends’ Society, he persevered, and declared there should be no distinction of race or color within the walls of the noble institution he has founded.

Rev. J. Sella Martin, of North Carolina, was then introduced. He said the white people were not disposed to give anything to the colored people except from necessity. They did not let them fight or vote until they found it a political necessity. There was now an educational necessity, and Johns Hopkins was the first man to see that necessity. He has taken the highest expression of the spirit of the age as his guide.—Others have left their money to be expended after their death, but Mr. Hopkins gives his money while living, and keeps an eye on its disbursement. It requires the best of training, that of the Quaker Society, to produce such a man as Johns Hopkins.
The speaker here paid a high compliment to the members of the Society of Friends in this country and in England. Johns Hopkins will be lifted in the future to that high station which is accorded to the true philanthropist. [Cheers.]

Elder J.V. Givens, of Virginia, next addressed the meeting. He said he could hardly express his feelings on this occasions [sic]. Mr. Hopkins rises above all men that he knew of. His great act makes him thank God for the existence of such a man in the country. They should teach their children to lisp [sic] their gratitude. Mr. Hopkins’s fame will not be local. He belongs to the whole Union. Wherever the colored man may be, there will his name be known.
The resolutions were then adopted, every man and woman in the hall rising to their feet, and the committee of arrangements was instructed to have them handsomely framed and presented to Mr. Hopkins. The meeting then adjourned.