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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, Maryland; 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 Howard E. and Estelle Hall Young, Nellie Louise Young (1907-1997) holds the distinction of being Maryland’s first practicing African American female physician. Her father's business--Young's Pharmacy located at Druid Hill Avenue and Hoffman Street in West Baltimore, Maryland--was the city's first African American owned and operated pharmacy. Dr. Young attended the Colored High and Training School (now Frederick Douglass High School) and following her graduation in 1924, she enrolled in Howard University. After completing her undergraduate studies in just three years, she advanced to the University's School of Medicine and obtained her medical degree in 1930. After completing her internship at Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. in 1931, Dr. Young opened her own practice in offices above her father's business in West Baltimore. She was appointed staff physician at the Maryland Training School for Colored Girls from 1933 to 1940.

Initially, Dr. Young's medical specialization was pediatrics but she switched to gynecology and became the only African American physician to receive training in birth control at the Baltimore Birth Control Clinic. In 1938, she opened a Planned Parenthood Clinic with funding from the Baltimore Birth Control Clinic at 1523 McCulloh Street. It was one of only three such clinics then staffed entirely by African Americans in the entire country. Dr. Young was granted a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Provident Hospital in 1948 and beginning in 1950 she served as chief of the hospital’s obstetrics department until 1963. During her 52 years of medical practice, she also served on numerous city and state medical committees as well as worked at several other Baltimore hospitals until her retirement in 1984.

Dr. Young, like her parents, was a supporter of civil rights. 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.

Reverend Alfred Young

Born enslaved in Cambridge, Maryland, Alfred Young (1850-1928) was emancipated in 1864. Young moved to Baltimore where he 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.”

In 1876, Young became a licensed Methodist Episcopal preacher and later graduated 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 Alfred and Emma Young, Howard E. Young (1871-1945) was the first African American licensed as a pharmacist in Maryland. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland and attended M Street High School in Washington, D.C. After receiving a degree in pharmacy from Howard University, Young returned to Baltimore in 1895. In 1900, he opened Baltimore’s first African American owned and operated pharmacy--Young's Pharmacy--located at Druid Hill Avenue and Hoffman Street. Young married Estelle Hall in 1905 and the couple had three children.

The Youngs were actively involved in the fight for civil rights. Howard Young served as the Secretary-Treasurer of Maryland's Niagara Movement, which was a precursor organization to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Estelle Young established a Colored Women's Suffrage Club in West Baltimore and became its first president in 1915.

Estelle Hall Young

A native of Georgia, Estelle Hall (1884-1938) trained to be a teacher at Spelman College--where she studied under W.E.B. DuBois--and the Atlanta University. She taught in Atlanta until she moved to Baltimore in 1905 and married Howard E. Young.

Estelle Young devoted herself to civic causes in the Baltimore area. She founded a Colored Women's Suffrage Club, also known as the Progressive Suffrage Club, in West Baltimore and became its first president in 1915. She was also an active member of the DuBois Circle and hosted meetings at her home.


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
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