Hopkins Family collection
Scope and Contents note
This collection contains manuscripts, photographs and printed material by or about Johns Hopkins and his ancestors, 1743-2005. It is an artificial collection created to draw together the various Hopkins related materials that were donated to or purchased by the Library. The earliest papers in this collection are legal documents such as land deeds, wills, and the marriage contract of Hopkins's parents. Especially interesting is the 1807 indenture apprenticing two boys to Samuel Hopkins. There are also four letters (1826-40) written by Hopkins's mother Hannah Janney Hopkins and the family bible in which she recorded the names of her children with their birth and some death dates. Other related items are a copy of a book (1844) owned by Joseph S. Hopkins and a group of 39 carte de visites and 13 ferreotypes dating from the mid- to late nineteenth century. Only one of the images is identified, that of Pricilla Hopkins (b. 1785). The items were donated by a grand-niece of Hopkins's and presumably are Hopkins family members or friends. The papers of Johns Hopkins are largely personal letters he wrote which were later donated to the University. These include letters (1855) to Emily Turpin and letters (1858-61) to [Margaret] Beyere. A brief glimpse of Hopkins's business life comes in the letters (1870-73) he wrote to W.H.D. Alcock. Other items include a few incoming letters, his will, a deed to a lot in Greenmount Cemetery, resolutions passed on his death, and signatures clipped from letters or documents he signed. There are several portrait photographs of Hopkins and his home "Clifton." The collection also includes material about Johns Hopkins such as reminiscences, newspaper clippings, and genealogical material. In 2008, a ledger from the company of Alexander Reid was added to the collection. The ledger documents some business transactions with Johns Hopkins by Reid.
- Creation: 1714 - 2005
- Hopkins, Elizabeth, 1802-1889 (Person)
- Hopkins (Johns) Family (Family)
- Hopkins, Johns, 1795-1873 (Person)
- French, John Calvin, 1875- (Collector, Person)
Conditions Governing Access note
This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.
Collection is open for use.
Conditions Governing Use note
Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.
Johns Hopkins (1795-1873) was a highly successful Baltimore merchant and philanthropist. He left much of his wealth to found a university and hospital in Baltimore. Both institutions bear his name. Hopkins was the second of eleven children born to Samuel and Hannah Janney Hopkins. Samuel's ancestors came to Virginia from Great Britain in the mid-1600s, and joined the Society of Friends (Quakers) after hearing George Fox preach. Several branches of the family moved across the Potomac into Maryland in the 1700s. Samuel and Hannah raised their family on a farm in Anne Arundel County known as Whitehall (or White's Hall), named for the original owner, Jerome White. The family grew tobacco as a cash crop and owned enslaved people until 1807 when, following the admonition of the Society of Friends, they freed them. Johns's formal schooling is believed to have ended at the age of twelve. Johns had an uncle, Gerard, who was a merchant in Baltimore and in 1812, Johns moved to the city and began his business career assisting his uncle in a dry goods establishment.
1.19 Cubic Feet (1 legal size document box, 1 custom box (14 x 13 x 6 inches), 1 custom box (9 x 5 x 3 inches), 1 over-sized folio box)
Language of Materials
Johns Hopkins (1795-1873) was a highly successful Baltimore merchant and philanthropist. He left much of his wealth to found a university and hospital in Baltimore. This collection contains manuscripts, photographs and printed material by or about Johns Hopkins and his ancestors, 1743-2005.
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
This is an artificial collection made up of various donations and purchases. The source of all the items is not known. Much of the material in this collection was collected by the University Librarian and historian John C. French. Some material was transferred from the University's Alumni Records Office in 1972, and other items were donated to the Library because of their association with the University's founder Johns Hopkins.
The Hopkins family bible was donated to the university by Miles White on behalf of his mother, Jane E. White (née Janney), the niece of Johns Hopkins. The gift is noted in the minutes of the Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees meeting on January 6, 1913.
The ledger of Alexander Reid, donated in 2008, was a gift of Neil Seidman. Information about additional accruals to this collection can be found at the appropriate level of description.
Existence and Location of Copies
Much of this colleciton has been digitized. Please see individual components of the finding aid for links to digitized content.
Processing Information note
Processed by Jordon Steele and Emily Davidson, from April to June 2015. Additional processing by Annie Tang in November 2015 and by Kristen Diehl in November 2020 and February 2023.
- Hopkins, Joseph S. (Person)
- Turpin, Emily (Person)
- Beyere, Margaret (Person)
- Reid, Alexander, active 2008 (Person)
- Alcock, W. H. D. (Person)
- Hopkins, Hanna Janney, 1774-1846 (Person)
- Hopkins, Samuel, 1759-1814 (Person)
- Hopkins, Johns, 1795-1873 (Person)
- Hopkins, Gerard T. (Person)
- Johns Hopkins University (Organization)
- Guide to the Hopkins Family records
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA