Annual Report of the Refuge in the City of Boston and the Bethesda Society, 1912 [selected pages]



Annual Report of the Refuge in the City of Boston and the Bethesda Society, 1912 [selected pages]


This document details information regarding the Refuge's and the Bethesda Society’s yearly financial expenses, donations, and membership, while also documenting the number of “refugees” under their care.
Additionally, this annual report and the annual report of 1911 (also available in the Image Portal), display the mission statements of the two societies and explain how, though being two separate organizations, their specific goals function in harmony with one another. 

A "Time Schedule" (p. 12) outlines daily activities by day of the week, including sewing, school, gymnastics  and recreation.

p. 17 "However beset with difficulties any human life may be, whether from evil inheritance or corrupt surroundings, we believe there is no human being who with the grace of God cannot be reformed, if that grace be accompanied by human forces. This belief must always be the foundation stone of all successful efforts against evil in this world, and it is nowhere more needed than in just the work we are trying to do here." 
"The great motive of all our efforts is to reform the transgressor, not to punish."

p. 18 "We offer them first of all a cheerful, comfortable and refined home, and bring them under the influence of kind and judicious matrons....Here are combined the influences of a home, a school, a church--the three great forces of changing character."

p. 20 "During their sewing hours, and often in the evening, the matrons read aloud to the girls from books which are received from the Pulic Library Deposit Station--fifty books of suitable reading matter being left at a time, that the girls may be supplied with desirable books which they can read during their leisure hours."

pp. 20-21 "To secure the best results, it is considered necessary for the girls to remain with us at least two years and then, unless relatives or friends have provided for them they are not allowed to leave our home until desirable situations are found for them where they can still be under our watchful care."


Refuge and Bethesda Society




Simmons University Library



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Learn more: 
Guide to the The Orchard Home School (Boston, Mass.) records, 1828-1948, Simmons University Library 
Penitent Females' Refuge and Bethesda Societies publications, Google Books 
Fallen Women. A Directory of the Charitable and Beneficient Organizations of Boston, 1886, HathiTrust


Refuge and Bethesda Society, “Annual Report of the Refuge in the City of Boston and the Bethesda Society, 1912 [selected pages],” Social Welfare History Image Portal, accessed May 13, 2021,