March 1, 2024

Records show that Johns Hopkins, who had long been believed by the university to abolish the death penalty, owned slaves

The Johns Hopkins Foundation, the founder of the University of Baltimore Research and Hospital, who has long been believed to be a firm believer in the abolition of the death penalty and was slave-owned, announced the foundation Wednesday.

Census records were revealed recently during a search listing that Hopkins owned many slaves in the mid-nineteenth century.

“We now have government census records indicating that Mr. Hopkins was the owner of one of the listed slaves in his home in 1840 and four enslaved people listed in 1850,” University President Ronald J. Daniels; Paul Rothman, Dean, College of Medicine; Kevin W. Sawers, president of Johns Hopkins Health System, wrote In a letter to the Johns Hopkins community. “By the 1860 census, there were no enslaved people included in the family.”

They write that it was long believed that Hopkins’ father freed the family’s slaves in 1807. It is now unclear whether this was the case and whether Johns Hopkins was an abolitionist.

John Hopkins, portrait painted at age 40, 1835.JHU Sheridan Libraries / Gado / Getty Images file

Johns Hopkins University was the first research university in America, and it is recognized and accredited Project To track and present information surrounding The COVID-19 pandemic.

Hopkins established the university through a multimillion-dollar will after his death.

Do good He left $ 7 million In his will to open a hospital, orphanage and university; At that time it was the largest charitable will in the nation’s history.

The records were uncovered as part of a research project, and the project team learned in late spring about a possible 1850 census document showing Hopkins as a slaveholder, school officials say.

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Officials called for more research to form a clearer picture of Hopkins’ life. There is no comprehensive curriculum vitae, and it is believed that his personal papers were destroyed before his death or lost suddenly.

School officials said that Hopkins ‘previous account as an early advocate of abolishing the death penalty is mostly from a book he also said his father freed their slaves and was written by Hopkins’ granddaughter Helen Thom and published in 1929, and they admit the university believed it was completely without it. Investigate allegations. Hopkins died in 1873.

But the research by Martha S. Jones and Alison Seeler “found no evidence to support Thom’s description of Johns Hopkins as an abolitionist,” as stated in the university’s message to society.

“They could not document the story of Johns Hopkins’s parents freed slaves in 1807, but they discovered partial emancipation of slaves in 1778 by Johns Hopkins’s grandfather and also continued slavery and transactions involving slaves for decades afterward. The Wednesday message says.

Jones, professor of history at the university, wrote Opinion article published in the Washington Post On Wednesday, Tom’s novel of Hopkins was “a collection of memories that annihilated her uncle’s role in owning slaves.”

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“This year, many of us at Johns Hopkins are proud to belong to our colleagues in medicine and public health who have deftly confronted the coronavirus pandemic,” Jones wrote. “This pride, for me, is now mixed with bitterness. Our university was a gift to a man who traded in the freedom and dignity of other men and women.”

But she writes, “Replacing myth with historical facts is difficult but necessary.”

University officials said they did not know the names, circumstances, or relationships of slaves in the exposed census records. They also said it was not clear why his family was listed in 1860 as no longer having any slaves.

They write that details about the lives of those enslaved are among several questions raised by the research.