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It was the desire of Johns Hopkins that the bulk of his estate be used for the establishment of a university and a hospital. However, he also specified in his will that in conjunction with the establishment of a hospital he wanted a colored orphan asylum built separate from the hospital but managed by the hospital trustees and operated with their funds. In 1875 the asylum opened at 206 E. Biddle Street in Baltimore with twenty six children. In 1894, it moved to Remington Avenue. In 1913, the Hospital's Board of Trustees converted the asylum into a convalescent home and school for crippled colored children who had received orthopedic treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The former wards of the asylum were placed under the supervision of the social service department of the hospital, at other schools, or with families. In 1917, the convalescent home closed. In 1924, the work of the Colored Orphan Asylum ceased when the remaining orphans of the asylum reached the age of majority.
Scope of the Records
Much of the basic history of the Colored Orphan Asylum may be found in minutes of the Hospital's Board of Trustees. The few surviving records of the asylum are a minute book of the committee on the Colored Orphan Asylum and financial ledgers and bills.
Series a. Committee on the Colored Orphan Asylum, 1898-1905.
This volume contains brief handwritten minutes of the Committee on the Colored Orphan Asylum. Included is a printed copy of the Asylum's bylaws and rules.
Series b. Financial Records, 1895-1923.
The financial records are petty cash books showing daily expenses. These are primarily food and loose bills covering all types of expenses such as food, clothes, fuel, transportation, and health care.