Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Where Johns Hopkins Lived in Baltimore City, 1813-1873

Johns Hopkins: Baltimore City Residences, 1813-1873

1851 annotated detail from Sidney & Neff, Plan of the City of Baltimore,

It is uncertain what year Johns Hopkins came to live with his Quaker Uncle, Gerard T. Hopkins to learn the grocery business. Some sources indicate he was seventeen which would bring him to Baltimore in 1812, two years before his father Samuel died. He was in Baltimore by September 17, 1813 when he was received into the Lombard Street Meeting, and that is more likely the year in which he arrived in Baltimore to stay, 12 months before the British attack on the City.

Swarthmore College, Minutes, 1794-1883, Baltimore Yearly Meeting Minutes, RG2/B/S361, 3.7

(1) 1813-1820

Pratt Street

1813: Johns Hopkins went to live with his uncle and aunt, Gerard T. and Dorothy Hopkins, staunch Quakers. There he resided for about seven years to learn the trade of grocer.[1]

  • According to Helen Thom, at the South River school he was known as “Johnsie Hopkins,” a name that he apparently was known by only to his family and servants after he moved to Baltimore. See Thom, p. 12, and p. 60. Pietila, Antero. The Ghosts of Johns Hopkins: The Life and Legacy That Shaped an American City. 2018) uses "Johnsie" as the title of a chapter about Johns Hopkins career in Baltimore. It is possible that he was known by his family as 'Johnsie'. There was another contemporary Hopkins in Baltimore County that is listed on the tax records as "Johnzey” to distinguish him from his father, Johns Hopkins, the part owner of Friend’s Discovery.[2]
  • 1816: Gerard T Hopkins, merchant, 1 County Wharf, dw 78 W Pratt
  • 1819: J[G]erard T. Hopkins grocer, 1 County wharf dw 78 Pratt

(2) 1820-1832/33

Baltimore Street


Johns Hopkins lived at Beltz[h]oover’s Hotel, Baltimore Street, until he contracted Cholera.[3]

Beltzhoover’s Hotel was a fashionable place to stay.

  • Henry Clay stayed there in March of 1829.[4]
  • “Between his unsuccessful stints in the Army and at West Point, [Edgar Allen] Poe spent a few months in 1829 sharing a room with his cousin at the Beltzhoover’s Hotel on the corner of Hanover and Baltimore streets.” [5]
  • The German Society of Maryland met regularly at Beltzhoover’s Hotel “southeast corner of Baltimore and Hanover streets. It was also called “Indian Queen” Hotel, and celebrated in its days.[6]

1831 directory::

  • Beltzhoover, Geo. proprietor of Indian Queen Hotel, SE corner Hanover and w Baltimore sts
  • Hopkins Bros, grocers 5 W Pratt [no residence]
  • Hopkins Saml, comm. mercht.; dw 31 n Charles st
  • Hopkins Gerard T. &l Co. grocers, 3 and 4 Light
  • st wharf; dw Gerard T. cor Hanover & Barre
  • Hopkins & Brothers, grocers, 5 w Pratt st

1822 directory:

  • Gerard T. Hopkins, Grocer, sw corner of Pratt and Light Street, dw 78 Pratt
  • 1822 directory: [no entry for Johns Hopkins]
  • Hopkins, Nicholas, hatter, 71 Pratt
  • Hopkins & Moore, grocers, Pratt st. whf. N side W of Calvert st.
  • Hopkins, Greenbury, coach maker, Liberty, E side N of McElderry, o t .
  • Hopkins, Jumes, cordwainer, rear of 2 Low, o t
  • Hopkins, Grace, Great York, S side E of Lloyd, o t
  • Hopkins, Gerard T. grocer, SW corner of Pratt & Light st. whf. dw. 78 Pratt
  • Hopkins. William, grocer, SW corner of Pratt st & Light st. whf dw. 80 Pratt
  • Hopkins, Solomon, cabinet maker, William's alley, S side E of Spring-st. o t
  • Hopkins,Richard, currier, 51 S Calvert, dv/. 69 Pitt, o t
  • Hopkins, Sarah, widow, Pitt, N side W of Aisquith, o £
  • *Hopkins, Hager, laundress, Garden, E side S of Biddle
  • *Hopkins, Charles, drayman, Hartford, E side S of the intersection of Hartford and Aisquith, o t

1827 directory: [no entry for Johns Hopkins]:

1829 directory:

  • Hopkins and Brothers grocers, 5 Pratt st whf [no residence]: see:
  • Hopkins mrs Sarah, cor of Comet and Pitt
  • Hopkins mrs Ann, seamstress, Bond near Fleet
  • Hopkins mrs Eliza, French w of totter
  • Hopkins miss Emily, cor of Baltimore and East
  • Hopkins Gerard T. & co. merchants, 1 Light st whf
  • Hopkins Gerard T. of the firm of G T. Hopkins & Co. Hanover second door from Barre
  • Hopkins Thos. cabinet maker, Pratt w of Hanover
  • Hopkins Wm. L. flour and commission merchant, cor Light and Conway, dw Barnet near Charles
  • Hopkins Jas. cordwainer, Caroline near Pratt
  • Hopkins Jas. currier, High near Water
  • Hopkins Greenbury, coach maker, East N of Douglas
  • Hopkins Rich'd, cordwainer, Jefferson E of Aisquith
  • Hopkins and Brothers grocers, 5 Pratt stwhf
  • Hopkins J. & G. curriers 63 s Calvert
  • *Hopkins Cato, labourer, Salisbury st near Harford run [Free Black]
  • *Hopkins Matilda, shop beeper, Saratoga E of Cove [Free Black]
  • *Hopkins Hannah, laundress, Davis near Bath [Free Black]

(3) 1832-1840

Franklin Street

According to Helen Thom, Johns Hopkins Resided at Belshoover’s [Beltzhoover Indian Queen Hotel] until he suffered an attack of Cholera and moved “to one of two houses on Franklin … left to him by his father, taking his two brothers with him.” [7] In fact Johns Hopkins bought two houses on Franklin Street, east of St. Paul in June 1833 and sold them to his mother Hannah in December 1842, by which time he was living at his new rental address, 177 Lombard Street, the former Dr. Peter Macaulay mansion.[8]

1835/36 directory:

  • Hopkins & brothers, grocers, 6 Pratt st wharf, dw J. Hopkins, Franklin st 2d door from St Paul
  • Hopkins Wm. L. corner Calvert and Pratt sts
  • Hopkins Jerard J. dry goods mt. IS Centre Market space
  • Hopkins Samuel, mt. Bowly's wf. dw St Paul st n of Mulberry
  • Hopkins Wesley, tailor, Jew alley n of Dutch
  • Hopkins miss Charlotte, corner Pitt and L. Comet sts
  • Hopkins Samuel, Biddle st e of Penn avenue
  • Hopkins James, corner Exeter and Granby sts
  • Hopkins T. W. & G. grocers and Commission merchants, corner Pratt st and Light st wharf
  • Hopkins Samuel, firm Matthews and Hopkins, dw St Paul st e side, 3 doors s of Franklin
  • Hopkins Grace R. n w corner Baltimore and East sts
  • Hopkins Edward, shoemaker, 11 Thomsen st
  • Hopkins Wm. M. dry goods merchant, 101 Baltimore st
  • Hopkins James, watchman, Bond st n of Wilk
  • Hopkins Bazil B 77 Lombard st
  • Hopkins G. T. dvv Barre st near Sharp
  • Hopkins Johns, Franklin st near St. Paul's lane
  • Hopkins Thomas, pilot, Wolf st n of Thames
  • Hopkins Richard, broker, 39 Albemarle st
  • Hopkins &. brothers, grocers, 6 Pratt st wharf, dw J. Hopkins
  • Franklin st 2d door from St Paul
  • tHopkins Hannah, Davis st near Pleasant [Free Black]

1837 directory:

  • Johns Hopkins’ residence- Franklin Street e St. Paul [note: the addresses on Franklin east from St. Paul were in the 9th Ward in 1840, and in the 8th by 1842].

(4) 1840-1842

In 1840, Johns Hopkins moved to a rental house on Sharp Street, apparently renting out the Franklin Street properties.

Sharp Street

This image is taken from a kmz file that places the 1851 Poppleton Map of Baltimore on Google Earth Pro. The faint yellow lines are the streets as of 2021.

1840-1842 directories:

  • Johns Hopkins, firm Hopkins & Brothers, dw e side Sharp st 4 doors s of German [9]


1842 Ledger 4 of Property and Taxes due, excerpt f.144

note Samuel’s slave assessed at $375

(5) 1843/1850

Lombard Street

The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, 06 Mar 1850, Wed • Page 3

detail from Lloyd’s Elevated Building Map, ca. 1891


  • 177 Lombard Street- According to Helen Thom, Johns Hopkins “bought a large house on Lombard Street, the second door east of Sharp Street” where he brought his mother, Hannah (b. 19 May 1774 –d. 25 November 1846), and two sisters, Hannah and Eliza to live with him.[12] In fact Johns Hopkins rented Dr. Macaulay”s Lombard Street House on the southwest corner of Lombard and Hanover streets.

1845: dw 177 W Lombard

1847/48: Johns Hopkins, dw 177 w Lombard st

1849/51 directory: dw 177 w Lombard

1850: Baltimore Sun article about late residence of JH on Lombard Street[13]

1851 BC Directory, compiled in 1850: Johns Hopkins, dw 177 W Lombard

(6) 1851/1873

Saratoga Street

81 Saratoga Street (later 18 Saratoga), detail from 1869 Sachse Birds Eye view of Baltimore.


In 1851 Johns Hopkins purchased 81 Saratoga Street for $50,000 on an installment plan from the Widow of Richard Dorsey.[14] It would remain his city home for the rest of his life, dying there on Christmas Eve, 1873. According to the surviving tax records for Baltimore City from 1850-1864, Johns Hopkins was not taxed for owning slaves.

1860: BC Dir:

  • Hopkins Johns, president Merchants' Bank, 81 Saratoga
  • Hopkins Johns, office Commercial Buildings, n e cor Gay and Lombard, dw 81 Saratoga
  • Hopkins Joseph J. hardware merchant, 15 n Howard, dw Baltimore Co


  • President Merchants Bank, office Commercial Bldg, dw 81 Saratoga


  • Johns Hopkins died at his Baltimore residence, 81 Saratoga Street and was buried in Greenmount Cemetery[15]

Johns Hopkins’ grave, Greenmount Cemetery, 6/30/2021, courtesy of David Papenfuse

[1] Helen Hopkins Thom, Johns Hopkins A silhouette, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1929, pp. 14, 22. According to Thom, Johns Hopkins arrived in Baltimore in 1812, but Quaker records indicate the year was 1813.

[2] To date the relationship of the Hopkins who owned Friend’s Discovery off York Road in Baltimore County is unknown. They were Quakers who owned slaves, yet they were buried in the Friends Burial ground on Belair Road near Clifton. See the tax record for the 2nd district of Baltimore County, 1833, MdSA C278-1-0002.pdf and the records for .

[3] Thom, p. 28. “,,,the ship Brenda had arrived in Baltimore on the sixth of June after having had fourteen cholera deaths on her passage from Liverpool. Freeman’s Banner (Baltimore), June 16, 1832; Horatio G. Jameson, “Observations on Epidemic Cholera as It Appeared at Baltimore, in the Summer of 1832,” Maryland Medical Recorder, 111 (1832), 37”, Charles E. Rosenberg, The Cholera Years The United States in 1832, 1849, and 1866, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1962, note 19, p. 25.

[4] Niles Register, Volume 36, p. 90.

[6] History of the German Society of Maryland, p. 91.

[7] Thom, p. 28

[8] Baltimore City Land Records, TK 228, ff. 271. Hannah was in Baltimore by December 1842 when Johns Hopkins sold her the properties on St. Paul and Franklin. It is likely that the properties on Franklin were income properties for Hannah (the equivalent of Social Security of the day for single women and widows), and that she resided with Johns Hopkins on Lombard Street until her death in 1846 when her funeral was from her “late residence on Lombard Street,” Baltimore Sun, Thursday, November 26, 1846. According to Murphy’s City Directory, In 1844/45, James H. Luckett of the, firm of Neale & Luckett, was living in the house where Johns Hopkins had resided at 21 Franklin st., and which Johns Hopkins had sold to Hannah in 1842. In 1846, when Hannah died, the properties on St. Paul and Franklin were listed in her inventory along with enough personal effects for accommodations at 177 Lombard Street. See: Baltimore County Inventories, Vol. 59, 1847-48, ff. 343. As the administrator of Hannah’s estate, in May of 1848, Johns Hopkins sold the Franklin Street properties to Samuel Hopkins for $8500. Baltimore County Land Records, AWB, no. 396,f. 258 (erroneously recorded as f. 358 in 1864).

[10] Chalfant, Randolph W., and Charles Belfoure. Niernsee and Neilson, Architects of Baltimore: Two Careers on the Edge of the Future. Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Architecture Foundation, 2006.

[11]Care must be taken in utilizing the tax lists to document slavery in the city. The tax list for the 9th Ward for 1841, although compiled after September 1841, followed the old ward boundaries of 1831-1840 and not the new boundary ordinance of March 1841. The first person charged with compiling the tax data for Ward 9 had failed in his duties and a new tax assessor was appointed in September of 1841.

[12] Thom, p. 28.

[13] The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, 06 Mar 1850, Wed • Page 3

[14] Baltimore County Land Records, AWB no. 463, ff. 297.

[15] Death of Johns Hopkins", The Baltimore Sun, December 25, 1873

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