Johns Hopkins, a Quaker, was the second of eleven children. He fell in love with his cousin Elizabeth when he was young but they never married due to the social taboo. In 1832, Johns Hopkins saw his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland devastated by yellow fever and cholera. Almost 1000 townsfolk died that summer. Again, Hopkins saw his hometown hit hard during the Civil War. While the country was divided by the issue of slavery so too was the state of Maryland. Many were supporters of the South; however, Hopkins, "an abolitionist before the word was even invented"supported the North. He offered his summer estate as a meeting place for Union sympathizers. With his countrymen dying from disease on the battlefield, or coming home maimed, Hopkins saw the need for more and better hospitals. He made out his will, offering 17 million dollars to further the cause of medicine. In the end, he built a hospital, medical college, nursing college, orphanage and university, all which bear his name.
Johns Hopkins Hospital opened in 1889 courtesy doc.med.yale.edu.