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The Records of the Boston Overseers of the Poor, 1735-95

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The Records of the Boston Overseers of the Poor, 1735-95

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The manuscript records of the Boston Overseers of the Poor are the most extensive collection of documents related to institutiona...

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The Eighteenth-Century Records of the Boston Overseers of the Poor constitutes the collection of the earliest and most complete set of records pertaining to poor relief in early America. In a substant... ial introduction, the editor, Eric Nellis describes the process by which the Overseers of the Poor, a board made up of generally wealthy merchants elected by the town meeting, attempted to distinguish between the deserving poor, eligible for outdoor relief in their homes, and the undeserving poor, who were remanded to the rigors of the workhouse. Because each Overseer knew personally the recipients of public charity, researchers will find here a wealth of detail about the nature of poverty and welfare in eighteenth-century America. This selection of records includes admissions records from 1758 to 1800, births and deaths from 1756 to 1771, a census and inventory of the almshouse, as well as fragmentary financial records from the period.
  • Format: Hardback
  • Publication Date: 31/12/1997
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Pages: 500
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  • Format:Hardback
  • Publication Date: 31/12/1997
  • Author:Eric Guest Nellis, Anne Decker Cecere

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