“The fact that Mr. Hopkins had, at any time in his life, a direct connection to slavery … is a difficult revelation for us, as we know it will be for our community, at home and abroad, and most especially our Black faculty, students, staff, and alumni,” the JHU letter read.
The latest revelations shatter what the JHU system previously believed of Hopkins.
“For most of the last century, our institutions believed Johns Hopkins to be an early and staunch abolitionist whose father, a committed Quaker, had freed the family’s enslaved people in 1807,” the school said.
JHU admitted much of their history about Hopkins came from a short book written by his grandniece, Helen Thom. The book was published by the JHU press in 1929, the school said.
“Thom’s book collected and retold family memories, including the story that Johns Hopkins’ parents, motivated by their Quaker convictions, freed all the ‘able-bodied’ enslaved people on their Anne Arundel plantation in 1807,” the school’s letter read.
Aside from founding the school and hospital, Hopkins also “called upon his trustees to create an orphanage for Black children in Baltimore,” JHU said.
Because of their latest findings, JHU is inviting students, alumni, faculty, staff and the general public to a virtual town hall at 11 a.m. Friday.