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Almshouse medical records

Identifier: MS 2474


This collection consists of the case notes of Dr. James H. Miller (1788-1853), attending physician of the Baltimore Almshouse from 1833-1837.


  • 1833-1837


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 volume)

Language of Materials


Related Materials

MS 1866, Baltimore City and County poor relief and welfare services, 1833-1937

MS 2532, Bay View Asylum receipt collection, 1866-1886

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the case notes of Dr. James H. Miller (1788-1853), attending physician of the Baltimore Almshouse from 1833-1837. The Baltimore Almshouse was established in 1773 to care for the poor, especially those who suffered from illness, old age, physical handicaps, mental deficiency, or insanity. The case notes of Dr. Miller are a useful source of information for several reasons. First, they contain the doctor's personal assessment of the Almshouse's weaknesses, as well as his proposals for change. Secondly, the notes contain a brief essay written by Dr. Miller in which he differentiates between private and public health care. Thirdly, the notes provide detailed accounts of the diagnosis and treatment of over thirty-five individuals.

Of the Almshouse, Dr. Miller wrote: "That it possesses the choicest facilities for a school of practical medicine is unquestionable. We have here every form of disease, from the most ephemerally acute to the most protractedly chronic; we see it in every age from infancy to old-age, upon the cradle to the grave, [nay] even man, anterior to birth, & post mortem; in both sexes; & in individuals of every country, of every occupation, of all constitutions, habits, & modes of life." The case notes verify Dr. Miller's comments. Among the more common illnesses treated were measles, cholera, typhoid, fevers, rheumatism, pneumonia, gonorrhea, syphilis, alcoholism, and problems arising in pregnancies or as results of abortions.

Guide to the Almshouse medical records
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Revision Statements

  • 2020-02-20: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Sandra Glascock

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States