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N. Louise Young manuscript collection

Identifier: MS 3137


Collection of manuscript items related to Dr. N. Louise Young (1907-1997), Maryland’s first practicing African-American female physician, and her family. The collection includes correspondence, materials related to Dr. Young’s tenure at Provident Hospital in Baltimore, and an assortment of citations and awards presented to Dr. Young for her professional and charitable work.


  • 1898-1999


Conditions Governing Access

The 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.

Biographical Note

Dr. N. Louise Young

The only daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Howard Young, N. (Nellie) Louise Young (1907-1997) holds the distinction of being Maryland’s first practicing African-American female physician. After completing her undergraduate studies at Howard University in just three years, she advanced to the School of Medicine and gained her degree in 1930. After completing her internship at Freedmen’s Hospital in 1931 and her residency at Provident Hospital in obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Young was appointed staff physician at the Maryland Training School for Girls from 1933 to 1940. She also served, for various later periods, as the physician at Morgan State University and Douglass High School.

At Baltimore’s Provident Hospital, she served as a member of the staff from 1940-1950, and also served on the executive committee. She was assistant chief of obstetrics from 1945-1950; chief of obstetrics from 1950-1952; and chairperson of the Provident committee from 1948-1949. This committee raised over $9,000 from the Elks fraternal organization to open the Elks Blood Bank at Provident Hospital.

Dr. Young, like her parents, also supported the right of individuals. She served as a member of the Mayor of Baltimore’s Task Force on Civil Rights. During the Administration of Mayor Theodore McKeldin, she sat on the city’s Hospital Integration Subcommittee. Dr. Young also acted as Maryland’s chairperson of the Committee to Prevent Passage of Voluntary Sterilization Laws, laws similar to what had been enacted against the Jewish population in Nazi Germany

Alfred Young

The patriarch of the family, Reverend Young was born enslaved in Cambridge, Maryland. Emancipated at seventeen in 1864, Young moved to Baltimore where he soon married Emma Jane Carpenter Sorrell. The couple had fourteen children, ten boys and four girls. Notes from a family history recount that “three of the boys became pharmacists, and seven were musicians. Two of the girls became teachers.”

After an initial period of training, in 1876 Young became a licensed Methodist Episcopal preacher. He would later graduate with a theology degree from Howard Univeristy. Reverend Young served at numerous churches throughout Maryland – from Reisterstown and Lutherville in Baltimore County to Sandy Springs in Montgomery County. His most prestigious appointment, however, was in Baltimore City where he presided over the Sharp Street Memorial Church for two years.

Howard E. Young

The fourth child of Reverend and Mrs. Young, Howard E. Young’s early schooling occurred “wherever his father’s pastorate required.” In 1893 he entered the School of Pharmacy at Howard University and graduated with the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy several years later. Initially working in Washington, D. C., Dr. Young, “with…a loan of $100 – and with determination and faith” opened Baltimore’s first African-American owned and operated pharmacy in May of 1900. In 1905 he married Estelle Hall. The couple had three children.

Dr. and Mrs. Young were actively involved in the fight for human rights in Maryland. Dr. Young served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Niagara Movement in Maryland, a precursor organization to the NAACP. Mrs. Young acted as President of Baltimore’s Colored Women’s Suffrage Association.

Estelle Hall Young

Mrs. Young, a native of Georgia, attended Spelman College and the Atlanta University. Though originally trained as a schoolteacher, she put aside the profession after her marriage. Estelle Young devoted herself to civic causes in the Baltimore area. According to a biographical sketch, she established the first African-American women’s suffrage club in the United States. As part of this organization’s work, classes were held at Baltimore’s “Colored” YWCA to teach African-American women the political processes involved with voting.


0.8 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Related Materials

PP 0283, N. Louise Young photograph collection, circa 1890-1981

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of two boxes of manuscript items related to Dr. N. Louise Young and her family. There are a number of certificates and awards presented to Dr. Young for both her professional and her charitable work. Also included are ephemera and other items related to Dr. Young’s career at Provident Hospital. There are also materials related to Howard E. Young and Alfred Young.

Guide to the N. Louise Young manuscript collection
Under Revision
Damon Talbot
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-03-18: 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