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How, exactly, did the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions come into existence? Historians may debate the issue but playwrights can imagine it. Here, Alan M. Chesney dares to go where doctors and historians may not. A one-act play, The Flowering of an Idea presents in four scenes "an imaginary conversation in which an idea is born." The dramatis personae include Johns Hopkins himself; the London-based banker George Peabody; Daniel Coit Gilman, founder of the Johns Hopkins University; John Garrett, president of the B&O Railroad; Elihu E. Jackson, governor of Maryland; and Robert C. Davidson, mayor of Baltimore.
Chesney used Helen Thom's definitive biography, Johns Hopkins: A Silhouette, as a source and wrote the play to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Alan M. Chesney (1888-1964) was dean of the Johns Hopkins Medical School and author of the three-volume The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine: A Chronicle.