Wednesday, May 19, 2010
"Character must be kept bright as well as clean." – Philip Dormer Stanhope
Happy Birthday John Hopkins - wikipedia
On May 19, 1795, Johns Hopkins was born on Whitehall, a 500-acre tobacco plantation with approximately 500 slaves located in Maryland. His first name, Johns, (not John) was a family name. His great-grandmother, Margaret Johns, married Gerard Hopkins, and they named their son Johns Hopkins, a not-uncommon naming convention at the time; his name was then passed on to his grandson.
In 1807, the Hopkins family, who were members of the Society of Friends (Quakers), emancipated their slaves, which meant that the formal education of Johns, then 12, had to be interrupted in order to help out on the plantation. Moreover, his help was needed because he was the second oldest of eleven children and, as their local Friends society had decreed, the family freed only the able-bodied slaves, and had to provide for the less able-bodied slaves, who would remain at the plantation and provide labor as they were able.
In 1812, at the age of 17, Hopkins left the plantation and went to Baltimore to work in the wholesale grocery business of his uncle, Gerard Hopkins. While living with his uncle's family, Johns and his cousin, Elizabeth, fell in love, but the prejudice against the marriage of first cousins was especially strong among Quakers. Neither Johns nor Elizabeth ever married. Still, just as he would continue to provide for his extended family throughout his life and posthumously through his will, Hopkins bequeathed a home for Elizabeth, where she lived until her death in 1889.
Seems like a nice guy - I can see why there is John Hopkins University and Hospital.