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Removal of Children From Almshouses (1894)

Presentation by Homer Folks, Chairman, Secretary of the State Charities Aid Association of New York. This entry is one of three presentations by distinguished leaders of the era at the 1894 Annual Meeting of the National Conference on Social Welfare in a section of the meeting on “Child-Saving.” Together, the three entries describe the institutions, deplorable conditions and efforts to reform and improve the care of vulnerable children.Continue Reading »

Removal of Children From Almshouses in The State of New York (1894)

Presentation by the Hon. Wm. P. Letchworth, Member of the State Board of Charities Of New York. This entry is one of three presentations by distinguished leaders of the era at the 1894 Annual Meeting of the National Conference on Social Welfare in a section of the meeting on “Child-Saving.” Together, the three entries describe the institutions, deplorable conditions and efforts to reform and improve the care of vulnerable children.Continue Reading »

Boarding System For Neglected Children (1894)

Presentation by Miss C. H. Pemberton, Acting Superintendent of The Children’s Aid Society of Pennsylvania at the Twenty-First Annual Session of the National Conference of Charities And Correction, 1894. This is one of three presentations by distinguished leaders of the era in a section of the meeting on “Child-Saving.” Together, the three entries describe the institutions, deplorable conditions and efforts to reform and improve the care of vulnerable children.Continue Reading »

Technical Training And Industrial Employment Of The Blind In The United States (1908)

Written by S. M. Green, Superintendent of the Missouri School for the Blind: 1908. Most blind people became blind as adults, but most schools barred adults from attending. Sheltered workshops could employ only a small fraction of blind adults, leaving most without any recourses other than relying on relatives or entering a poorhouse.Continue Reading »

First Annual Report Of The Trustees Of (Mass.) State Lunatic Hospital: 1833

Other institutions, both in Europe and America, which have exhibited the most remarkable proportion of cures, have discriminated in their admissions, receiving the more hopeful cases only. The inmates at Worcester have been a more select class than were ever before assembled together; but unfortunately for success in regard to cures, it has been a selection of the most deplorable cases in the whole community. Of the one hundred and sixty-four individuals received, considerably more than one half came from jails, almshouses and houses of correction, and about one third of the whole number had suffered confinement for periods varying from ten to thirty-two years. Continue Reading »

One Means Of Preventing Pauperism (1879)

In 1876, Josephine Shaw Lowell (Mrs. C.R. Lowell) was appointed by Governor Tilden of New York State to be the first woman commissioner of the New York State Board of Charities. She served in this position until 1889, using her post to speak out, lobby, legislate, and advocate for people who were unable to do so themselves. Her investigations led to the establishment of the first custodial asylum for feeble minded women in the United States in 1885 and to the House of Refuge for Women (later the State Training School for Girls) in 1886. Continue Reading »

Management Of Almshouses In New England

Presentation by Frank B. Sanborn at the Eleventh Annual Session, National Conference Of Charities And Correction, 1884. In this paper for the NCCC, Sanborn reviews the basic structure of poorhouse care in Massachusetts and demonstrates reformers’ intense interest in controlling costs and removing able-bodied children from poorhouses.Continue Reading »

Massachusetts Report On Public Charities: 1876

As Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Health, Lunacy, and Charity, Franklin Benjamin Sanborn held the most powerful position on the board. This report to the National Conference of Charities illustrates Sanborn’s deep faith in the power of statistical research to illuminate the nature of social problems.Continue Reading »

Life In The Asylum (1855)

The Opal was published by the patients at the New York State Insane Asylum in Utica during the 1850s. It contained comments on current events, literary essays and book reviews, poetry, and descriptions of events at the asylum, including the dramatic and musical productions of the patients themselves.Continue Reading »

Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb

Written by John Crowley/ The Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons, the first permanent school for deaf Americans, opened in 1817. At that time, “dumb” meant only “unable to speak” but in early America almost all those who were born deaf never learned to communicate with others except by home-made signs, and deaf people were often regarded as cognitively impaired as well.Continue Reading »

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