Plan of the City of Baltimore
by Thos. H. Poppleton, 1822 , MSA SC 1213-1-292
Baltimore has been labeled by some scholars
as the city that gave rise to
the birth of modern philanthropy. It is said
that the charitable actions of
nineteenth century Baltimoreans served as
the model for others throughout
the country. Individuals such as Johns Hopkins,
George Peabody, and
Enoch Pratt gave freely of their personal
wealth to found schools, hospitals,
and support the general public good. Whether
prompted by religious conviction
or deep personal concern, these benevolent
minded citizens fully embraced
their civic responsibility to the city and
the welfare of its population.
Yet one must be careful not to overlook the
many smaller scale works of
average residents. Though their activities
may not be recorded in the general
histories of the city, the continued commitment
of Baltimoreans to the funding of
charities and community institutions ultimately
improved the quality of life for all.
African American citizens have a long history
of providing assistance to one
another. As early as the 1820s, community
based mutual beneficial societies offered
financial support and encouragement to members
facing hardships. Black churches
also served as a wellspring for assistance
to both free and enslaved.
The following timeline is an initial, modest
step toward a comprehensive record of
the philanthropic and benevolent activities
of all Baltimoreans. The timeline will
undoubtedly grow as more research is undertaken.
The Benevolent Society of Baltimore City and
County is founded to
relieve the distress of poor girls (now St.
Paul's School for Girls).
John McDonogh moves from Baltimore to New Orleans.
Baltimore Dispensary opens to provide free
medical care to the
indigent poor without regard to creed or color.
include Archbishop John Carroll and Elisha
The Humane Impartial Society for Poor and
Needy Women is
founded (now Pickersgill Retirement Home).
John H. B. Latrobe is born. He will be founding
president of the
Maryland Institute for the Mechanic Arts,
a founder and later
president of the American Colonization Society,
and a founder and
later president of the Maryland Historical
Society and the first biographer
of Benjamin Banneker.
St. Mary's College, founded in 1791 by French
Haiti, opens its doors to English-speaking
The Hibernian Society is formed to aid Irish
The Baltimore House of Industry is founded
to provide housing
and job training for the poor. Elisha Tyson
is a founder.
St. Peter's School is founded as Baltimore's
first free school with a
$10,000 bequest for the education of poor
children from Captain
Jeremiah Yellott, a Revolutionary War privateer
The Medical College of Maryland is established.
Elizabeth Seton opens the Female Academy.
Enoch Pratt is born in North Middleborough,
will found the Enoch Pratt Free Library in
Baltimore and bequeath
$1,500,000 to the Sheppard-Pratt hospital.
The first Roman Catholic elementary school
in the United States is
Elizabeth Seton founds Sisters of St. Joseph.
Brantz Mayer is born. He will be a founder
and later president of
the Maryland Historical Society and agent
for Baltimore City in the
settlement of John McDonogh's large philanthropic
The Baltimore Society to Protect Free Negroes
is organized. Elisha
Tyson is a founder.
Maryland enacts legislation abolishing the
requirement of two or
more witnesses to a deed of manumission and
prohibiting sale of
slaves out of state. Elisha Tyson is a supporter.
Orphaline Charity School for Poor Girls is
George Peabody moves to Baltimore.
Rembrandt Peale opens the Peale Museum, a
The Baltimore House of Refuge opens. Elisha
Tyson is a founder.
The American Colonization Society is founded
with Henry Clay as
president. John H. B. Latrobe will succeed
Clay. John McDonogh
and Moses Sheppard are vice presidents.
William Thompson Walters is born. He will
Walters Art Gallery collection, which will
be given to Baltimore
City, with an endowment, by his son Henry
John W. McCoy is born. He will contribute
his art collection to the
Peabody Institute and bequeath his library
and most of his estate
to the Johns Hopkins University.
John W. Garrett is born in Baltimore. He will
become president of
the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. A philanthropist
himself, he will
advise George Peabody and Johns Hopkins on
McKim Free School opens.
Hibernian Free School is founded for children
of Irish immigrants.
Benjamin Lundy, a vigorous opponent of slavery
and publisher of
America's first antislavery newspaper, The
Genius of Universal
Emancipation, moves to Baltimore. He will
be joined by William
Lloyd Garrison, future editor of The Liberator,
Elisha Tyson dies after a lifetime of leadership
causes, respect for others, and the abolition
Maryland enacts legislation giving Jewish
citizens full voting and
office-holding rights. John S. Tyson, nephew
of Elisha Tyson and
cousin of Johns Hopkins, is a major proponent
in the House of
The first Baltimore Athenaeum building is completed.
The Maryland Institute of the Mechanic Arts
is founded with John
H. B. Latrobe as president.
The Mercantile Library Company is organized
to provide useful
and popular books to members.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is founded.
It will generate wealth
for philanthropists such as Johns Hopkins
and John W. Garrett.
The Oblate Sisters of Providence found St.
Francis Academy for
John Glen, who will become a national leader
in the study of the
effects of philanthropy, is born.
Benjamin Lundy and his associate William Lloyd
The self-educated New York inventor Peter Cooper
Baltimore to build steam locomotives for the
Baltimore and Ohio
Baltimore is America's second largest city.
Mendes Cohen is born. He will become a dedicated
Enoch Pratt moves from Boston to Baltimore
to become a
merchant, dealing in nails and horseshoes.
Visiting French author and statesman Alexis
de Tocqueville reports
on the high level of volunteerism in the United
The Maryland Colonization Society is chartered
with John H. B.
Latrobe as president.
The Peale Museum closes.
Members of the Maryland Colonization Society
vow to hasten "the
arrival of the period when slavery would cease
to exist in
The University of Maryland Medical School becomes
the first in
America to teach hygiene and public health.
The State of Maryland assumes control of the
for the Insane. The predecessor institution
was founded jointly in
1797 by the State, the city of Baltimore,
and private citizens.
The Athenaeum Building, home of the Maryland
Institute for the
Mechanic Arts, is destroyed by fire.
The Mercantile Library opens.
George Peabody moves from Baltimore to London.
Recession in the United States ("The Panic
Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery in
Baltimore. He will
become a prominent and effective spokesman
against slavery and
advisor to President Abraham Lincoln.
Baltimore Dental College is founded, the first
school of its kind in
Baltimore Central High School (now City College)
Author and legislator John Pendleton Kennedy
about Maryland's lack of cultural resources
and proposes an
Institution that would incorporate a public
library, a museum, an
art school, and a lecture hail.
Maryland College of Pharmacy is founded.
Brantz Mayer conducts a study of state historical
The Maryland Historical Society is founded.
The institution brings
together business, cultural, and philanthropic
contributes to Baltimore's position as a major
philanthropy among American cities.
An article in the New York Sun estimates
that there are 21
millionaires in the United States.
Calvert Hall College founded by the Christian
Frederick Douglass publishes his narrative
of his life in slavery.
An appeal signed by 116 citizens and business
$35,000 in gifts for building and furnishing
a new Athenaeum building
to house the Maryland Historical Society,
a gallery of fine arts,
the Baltimore Library Company, a reading room,
and the Mercantile
Library. Donors include Johns Hopkins, George
Moses Sheppard, John McDonogh, and Enoch Pratt.
Johns Hopkins becomes a director of the Baltimore
The new Athenaeum Building is occupied.
The Maryland Historical Society holds its first
annual art exhibit
with Johns Hopkins as an exhibitor.
Henry Walters is born. In 1931 he will give
the Walters Art Gallery,
with an endowment, to Baltimore.
Baltimore Female College for teachers founded.
John McDonogh dies, leaving bequests for education
and New Orleans.
Baltimore Association for the Improvement of
the Poor is founded.
Family and Children's Society opens.