Baltimore General Dispensary

Founded: Established 1801, incorporated 1807
Location: 651 West Lexington Street, Baltimore, MD

Images

Baltimore General Dispensary - Staff. Photograph Collections Cross-Section. Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore General Dispensary – Staff. Photograph Collections Cross-Section. Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore - Hospitals - General Dispensary. Photograph Collections Cross-Section. Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore – Hospitals – General Dispensary. Photograph Collections Cross-Section. Maryland Historical Society

Additional Information

  • Dates: 1801/01/09
    Notes: Baltimore General Dispensary founded, chiefly through the efforts of Dr. John Crawford; 234 patients treated the first year (January 9).
    Source: Cordell, Eugene Fauntleroy, Medical Annals of Maryland 1799-1899 Baltimore: The Medical and Chirurgical Faculty for the State of Maryland: 673
  • Dates: 1807
    Notes: Relief from drowning added to work of Baltimore General Dispensary.
    Source: Cordell, Eugene Fauntleroy, Medical Annals of Maryland 1799-1899 Baltimore: The Medical and Chirurgical Faculty for the State of Maryland: 676
  • Dates: 1808
    Notes: Baltimore General Dispensary incorporated; has had 6263 patients to date.
    Source: Cordell, Eugene Fauntleroy, Medical Annals of Maryland 1799-1899 Baltimore: The Medical and Chirurgical Faculty for the State of Maryland: 676
  • Dates: 1814/06/29
    NotesTHE DISPENSARY. In every respectable and well regulated community — in every city of so high and opulent a class as the City of Baltimore, a DISPENSARY is an essential institution — It dispenses clarity in a peculiar way; it gives present relief; and prevents future calls on humanity — By restoring the sick to health, it obviates accumulated misery, and enables the workman and the laborer to return to their different employments ,again to be useful members of society, and support their families by honest industry. — But for the seasonable relief afforded by this institution, many poor tradesmen, with their wives and children, would be left to pine in want, sickness, and sorrow.It is every way wiser to prevent disease, than be at the expense of supporting it when past cure and past hope — By the administration of a little medicine and advice, in due time, months and years of sickness and affliction may be prevented, and whole families enabled to obtain the means of subsistance by their accustomed employments.

    To the honor of the Citizens of Baltimore, be it recorded by different Parties, and conducted by members of different Religions — Their motto is: “UNIVERSAL CHARITY,” the grand characteristic of the Christian Faith — Here it may be truly said, “that all are Christians, all are Philantropists,” engaged in the whor of doing good, all employed in the holy work of administering immediate relief to “the sick and the afflicted, to the widow, the orphan, the stranger, and those who have none to help them.”To the opulent, the generous, and the charitable inhabitants of Baltimore, and appeal of this nature can require but few words — This amiable principle, this humane sensation, comes home at once to the feeling heart — to that heart which has a just and lively sense of that Religion, whose divine precepts were promulgated by HIM who went about doing good, who visited the sick, gave sight to the blind, and poured the oil of consolation into the minds and wounds of the sons and daughters of Affliction.
    Source: American & Commerical Daily Advertiser, June 29, 1914

  • Dates: 1815
    NotesAnnouncement of meeting of officers of the Dispensary.
    Source: Federal Gazette (Baltimore), 1815, p. 384
  • Dates: 1820
    Notes: Baltimore dispensary. This humane institution was founded in 1803, but in that year had only 234 patients — last year 3987! Whole number from the beginning, 30,663 — of whom 25,388 were cured, 548 died — the rest negligent, dismissed, vaccinated, &c. It will be well indeed, if in “these hard times,” an establishment which has been so beneficial to the poor, is continued with vigor to do good.
    Source: Niles’ Register (Baltimore), 1820, p. 384
  • Dates: 1882/09/91
    Notes: Hospital Opening and Dispensary Consolidation. The Baltimore Eye, Ear and Throat Charity Hospital, No. 186 Franklin street, opened its outpatient or dispensary department yesterday. The institution is a consolidation of the Eye and Ear Dispensary of the Church Home, North Broadway, the Baltimore Charity Eye and Ear Dispensary, Central Avenue, the eye and ear department of the Baltimore General Dispensary, Liberty street, and the Baltimore Throat Dispensary, Park avenue, all of which have been discontinued. The staff of the hospital is made up of specialists formerly connected with those institutions, as follows: Eye and ear, Drs. Samuel Theobald, S.L. Frank, Russell Murdock and I. Bermann; throat, Drs. J.H. Hartman, Samuel Johnston and John N. McKenzie; consulting surgeons, Drs. Alan P. Smith, L. McLane Tiffany, Christopher Johnson and Oscar J. Coskery; consulting physicians, Drs. Samuel C. Chew, G.W. Miltenberger, Rigin Buckler and Ferd. J. Chatard, Jr. The hospital is supported by volunteer contributions, and treatment will be supplied free of charge to the poor. The in-patient department, provided with free beds, will be opened about October 1. The officers of the institution are as follows: Hon. Geo. Wm. Brown, president; John W. McCoy, Samuel G. Wyman, vice-presidents; Clayton C. Hall, treasurer; John N. Mackenzie, M.D., secretary; finance committee, Wm. H. Perot, C. Morton Stewart, Mendes Cohen, W.S. Rayner; board of trustees, John Lee Carroll, Ernest Knabe, C. Morton Stewart, Wm. H. Perot, T. Edward Hambleton, Samuel G. Wyman, Jno. W. McCoy, W. S. Rayner, Samuel H. Lyon, T. Harrison Garrett, Mendes Cohen, S. Teackle Wallis, Wesley A. Tucker, Geo. Wm. Brown, Clayton C. Hall.
    Source: Sun (Baltimore), 19 September 1882.
  • Dates: 1901
    Notes: (Estab. 1801, incor. 1807) 651 west Lexington St.; C&P telephone, St. Paul 3674-m. Dispensary open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Physicians in attendance, 10 a.m. to 12 m. All diseases treated; medicines given on prescription of any physician registered at the Dispensary. Outside service to persons living north of Pratt St. and west of Jones’ Falls. Benefits intended for indigent sick only. Cases sent before 10 a.m. will be visited that day. Management.–By board of 12 directors, who appoint the physicians, and by an association of subscribers of $5. or more. Supported by these subscriptions, by a small endowment, and by a share of fines from houses of ill-fame; and is at present used by the Supervisors of City Charities as the dispensary for the western district of the city. Patients treated (1900) 10,556; prescriptions filled, 15,602; outside visits paid, 514.
    Source: Charity Organization Society, Directory of the Charitable and Beneficent Organizations of Baltimore together with Legal Suggestions, Etc. Baltimore: : 43
  • Dates: 1928
    Notes: At Paca and Fayette Streets stands this city’s oldest charity, the Baltimore General Dispensary, founded here in 1801 by the Right Rev. J.G.B. Bond, one of the first Episcopal bishops in Maryland.The charter of the institution was procured from the General Assembly in 1807 and its first president was Emmanuel Kent. The first dispensary was at the corner of Baltimore street and Grant alley, but was moved to the corner of Charles and Baltimore streets in 1807. Another move was made in 1846, to the corner of Fayette and Liberty streets, where it remained until 1893, when it was established at 651 West Lexington Street.

    The present building at Paca and Fayette streets was opened to the public February 15, 1912, and is considered a model of its kind. The first floor is divided into two sections, one for white and one for colored persons, with the medical dispensary in the center. The upper floor is devoted to offices, also operating and fumigating rooms for the use of the medical and surgical staff.

    The work done by the institution is entirely charitable, furnishing the best medical service and drugs without charge to those who are unable to pay. During its long years of usefulness there have been connected with the dispensary many of Baltimore’s most noted physicians, who have given their time, labor and skill in furthering the interests of the institution.

    See: “Baltimore in Pictures” News (Baltimore) Apr. 23, 1928

Bibliography

  • Baltimore General Dispensary, One hundred years of history at the Baltimore General Dispensary Baltimore: n.pub., [1901]
  • Baltimore. General Dispensary, An address to the citizens of Baltimore and its vicinity, containing a concise account of the Baltimore General Dispensary, its by-laws, and other matters worthy of notice. Baltimore: Benjamin Edes, 1812
  • Baltimore. General Dispensary, Rules and by-laws of the Baltimore General Dispensary; with other matter, relative to the institution. Baltimore: Sower and Cole, 1803
  • Baxley, Charles Herbert, A history of the Baltimore General Dispensary, founded 1801 Baltimore: , 1963
  • Miller, J.M., “The Baltimore General Dispensary: Withhold Not Thine Hand” Maryland Medical Journal (44): 538-541