Washington University (medical school) Article

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Washington University was a medical school in Baltimore, Maryland. It was founded in 1827, chartered as Washington Medical College in 1833, closed in 1851, revived in 1867 as Washington University, and closing for good in 1878. The remains were absorbed into the College of Physicians and Surgeons, later the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Founding and early growth

In the mid-1820s, Pennsylvania native Dr. Horatio Gates Jameson led the a group of Baltimore physicians who sought a charter for a new medical school in Baltimore. [1] Jameson was an 1813 graduate of University of Maryland Medical School, where he was later professor of surgery. [1] He was one of the most celebrated surgeons of his day, with a list of published works reaching 2 pages. [1]

Jameson pursued the medical school charter because he was unhappy with the direction and operation of the medical school. [1] During 1825 and 1826, he led a group of like-minded physicians seeking a charter from the Maryland General Assembly for a new Baltimore medical school. [1] They argued that the city had grown to a sufficient size to require a second medical school. [1] After protests from University of Maryland Medical School, the charter did not materialize. [1]

The Washington Medical College building on Fairmont and Broadway used from 1837-1849 shown in 1845. [2]

In spring 1827, Jameson went a different direction and secured a charter from Washington College in Washington, Pennsylvania. [1] At the time, it was only 1 of 2 instances where a college had chartered an institution outside of state. [1] The new school, Washington Medical College, was located on Holliday Street, between Saratoga and Lexington, opposite city hall. While it issued degrees, Washington College did not take a strong leadership role in the development of the medical school. [3] Washington Medical College grew quickly, especially in light of issues with the management of University of Maryland Medical School. [1]

In 1833, a renewed application for a charter was granted by the Maryland General Assembly. [1] [4] Jameson left to go to the Cincinnati Medical School in 1835. [1] His departure began a period of decline, with student enrollment falling to 15 by 1838. [1] The name was changed to Washington University of Baltimore in 1839. [5]

After lingering for some time, the school finally collapsed in 1851. [1]

Revival as Washington University

At the end of the American Civil War, Dr. Edward Warren, a Confederate veteran, refounded the university, [1] Warren's school gave express preference to students of the former slave states. [1] as a southern medical school. The charter was revived and the school was re-christened Washington University. [6] The new facility was located at northwest corner of North Calvert and East Saratoga Streets. This site was later occupied by Baltimore City Hospital after the six Sisters of Mercy (a Roman Catholic order of nuns), and later Mercy Hospital, then Mercy Medical Center. [1] The school created the Maryland Free Hospital. [6] Amid a dispute, the College of Physicians and Surgeons was founded as a splinter institution. [1] In 1872, Washington College began having financial issues, requiring an appropriation from the state of Maryland to survive. [1] [7] In 1878, it closed and was merged into the College of Physicians and Surgeons. [1]

A collection of student theses submitted to the college is held at the National Library of Medicine. [8]


See also