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George Peabody Monument in Mount Vernon

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East Mount Vernon Place (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 51.18″ N 76° 36′ 54.33″ W

History

Born in 1795 in the town of South Danvers, Massachusetts, George Peabody was an entrepreneur and philanthropist who moved to Baltimore in 1816, where he lived for twenty years overseeing the dry-goods mercantile business he co-founded, Peabody, Riggs, and Company.

In the 1850s, while in London, Peabody became involved in banking, forming a prominent partnership with Junius Spencer Morgan, father of financier JP Morgan. A number of large financial institutions, including Morgan Grenfell, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, can trace their roots directly back to Peabody’s handiwork. For this reason, a statue of Peabody quite similar to Baltimore’s was unveiled before his death beside the Royal Exchange in London.

Peabody is also considered to be father of modern philanthropy. In 1857, Peabody founded the first music conservatory in the United States in Baltimore, the Peabody Institute (now a part of Johns Hopkins University). In 1862, he set up the Peabody Trust in London to provide housing for the city’s deserving poor.

After the American Civil War, he established the Peabody Education Fund to educate children from the Southern States, and is known to have donated some $8 million dollars to charitable trusts and organizations during his lifetime. His philanthropic acts served as a model for others, including Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates.

Notes

Peabody’s Baltimore Monument rests in the park just east of the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon. Immediately to his south is the historic Peabody Institute building, with the Mount Vernon Place Methodist Church to the north.

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Written by monumentcity

May 15th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Johns Hopkins Monument in Charles Village

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N Charles Street & E 33rd Street (Street View)

GPS: 39° 19′ 41.02″ N 76° 37′ 4.55″ W

History

In 1873, Johns Hopkins died. In 1875, a university in his name was established, one of many institutions that would eventually use his moniker. A Quaker from a plantation in Virginia, Hopkins and his brothers first business was selling supplies from covered wagons in the Shenandoah Valley. Occasionally they traded goods for corn whiskey, repackaged the liquor, and sold it to Baltimoreans as Hopkins Best. After a series of businesses Hopkins eventually helped bankroll the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad during the company’s westward expansion, bailing the company out of debt several times and making himself a very wealthy man in the process. During and after the Civil War, Hopkins thrived as an investor and professional, becoming one of the richest men in American history.

Notes

The bust of Johns Hopkins, sculpted by Hans Schuler, rests atop a tall foundation and is flanked by two statues, one a young male and the other a youthful female. Originally located at North Charles Street & East 34th Street, the structure was moved a block south due to numerous automobile accidents attributed to its placement. Surrounded by lush vegetation, with the school’s campus behind, the monument presents a dignified view of an American icon.

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Written by monumentcity

March 29th, 2009 at 3:24 pm