Francis T. King reminiscences
Conditions Governing Use
0.167 Cubic Feet (28 pages)
After college, King entered business and found a place with Janney, Hopkins, and Hull, a firm owned by the prominent Quaker merchant and philanthropist, Johns Hopkins. Around 1838, King become a member of a hardware importing house under the firm name of Plummer & King. He withdrew after three years. It was during this period that King met the eminent Quaker, Joseph John Gurney, well-known in Great Britain and the United States as a Biblical scholar and Evangelical theologian. Gurney traveled in America, 1837-1840, and was a guest of King's parents during a visit to Maryland in 1838. King later visited Gurney in Philadelphia and was greatly influenced by the spiritual messages of the English Quaker. Though King eventually formed a prosperous partnership with his cousin, James Carey, he was mostly drawn to the Quakers' belief in performing charitable and educational work. He was Clerk of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting for many years.
In 1867, the intention of Mr. Johns Hopkins to fund and establish a university in Baltimore was formalized when the first Board of Trustees was named. Among the twelve trustees personally selected by Hopkins was Francis T. King. King was also named to serve on the board of the planned Johns Hopkins Hospital. When Hopkins died in 1873, King served as one of the three executors of his estate along with Francis White, and Charles J. M. Gwinn.
After 1867, King devoted great attention and energy to fulfilling the bequest of Johns Hopkins. In the spring of 1881, he went to Europe to search for men of learning to complete the first faculty of the new University. At the same time, he inspected the English women's colleges since he was also serving as chairman of the trustees who were planning Bryn Mawr College. King also consulted with Florence Nightingale regarding the education of nurses.
Francis T. King died in 1891.
Scope and Contents
In his reminiscences, King described both his parents and mentioned briefly a few of his experiences at St. Mary's College in Baltimore and later at Haverford. He mentions being taken as a young child to see the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) during the French general's visit to Baltimore in 1826 and attending the funeral of Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832) while a student at St. Mary's. In one poignant anecdote, he described his successful attempt to secure the release of a young male slave removed from a neighboring farm and held for re-sale in Baltimore. Of particular interest are passages in which King described his encounter with the renowned English Quaker, Joseph John Gurney (1788-1847). King describes in some detail how the meeting with Gurney had a profound effect on his spiritual life and led him to seriously question the correctness of pursuing a career in business. The manuscript concludes with King's visit to Philadelphia in  and a visit with a Quaker minister, Elizabeth Evans. Although the manuscript is fairly brief, it presents an interesting perspective on Quaker thought and purpose of the period and provides an insight into an important figure in the early history of Hopkins.
- College trustees
- Gurney, Joseph John, 1788-1847
- Haverford College
- Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Johns Hopkins University
- King, Francis T. (Francis Thompson), 1819-1891
- King, Joseph, 1784-1865
- King, Tacy E. (Tacy Ellicott), 1795-1872
- Slavery and the church
- Society of Friends
- United States
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