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The Poorhouse Story      NEWSLETTER   08/29/2002 
               
(Seventeenth issue)

     "True compassion is more than flinging a coin at a beggar; 
      it comes to see that an edifice which produces  beggars needs restructuring."-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

 
Greetings!

Here's a story those of you who know me or who have heard my poorhouse presentations may appreciate.  Dan Gunderson, the producer of the wonderful poorhouse radio documentary described below, was gracious enough to ask, "And would you be interested in writing a commentary of 200-300 words that could be posted on our web site? I'm thinking of something re: why you think Poorhouse history is important." 

Would I ?! Ha!  My son nearly rolled on the floor laughing when I told him about the request. He said he only hoped Dan had a lot of red pencils. (Meaning, of course, that once I get started on that topic I can't stop.) I hate it when he laughs at me -- and he's right. The first draft was 800 words!  

Well, Dan didn't have to do too much editing after I finished gnashing my teeth (and my own red pencils) to distill my passion for poorhouse history down to a few choice words.  So I will let the article serve as my "Reflections" for this issue of the newsletter. (Hey!  I'm going on vacation next week.  I deserve a rest.  And I need to take shortcuts to get ready.) 

Have a great Labor Day weekend!


Linda 

REFLECTIONS
(Ooops -- Actually, we do have one item to reflect upon.)
It's another:
SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE!

Recently The New York Times has carried a couple of articles criticizing the new practice of housing the homeless in an old jail. 
[Honest. I do not make these things up!  PHL ]

METROPOLITAN DESK | August 12, 2002, Monday
Jail Reopens As a Shelter For Families
By MICHAEL COOPER

"With more homeless families applying for shelter than the city has been able to find space for each night, the Bloomberg administration reopened an old jail in the Bronx yesterday as a temporary shelter for homeless people and their children.

The doors of the former jail, the Bronx House of Detention for Men, just south of Yankee Stadium on River Avenue, were thrown open last night to homeless families who had gone to seek shelter at the city's only homeless intake center, the Emergency Assistance Unit, which is a few blocks away on 151st Street.   ...  "

In 1896 Theodore Roosevelt (then Commission of Police for NYC) forbade the lodging of paupers in police station houses and effected the change of the law of the city to remove the clause giving care of vagrants to the police.

Read about 

HOUSING OF THE POOR in New York City POLICE STATIONS

EXCERPT FROM:

 In the Shadow of the Poorhouse: A Social History of Welfare in America
In the Shadow of the Poorhouse: A Social History of Welfare in America

 

 

Table of STATISTICS and NEW ITEMS ADDED to The PHS Website

E-mail Subscribers to Monthly Newsletter
as of  07/01/2002 -- 780 
as of  08/29/2002 -- 822 (42 new)

Visits to The POORHOUSE STORY 
-- since last newsletter's stats (ended 6/29/2002)  
44,114  (700/day)
-- Total (as of 8/24/2002) since 5/8/2000 -- 411,088

 
MEET THE PRESS 

 

Well, the MPR radio documentary has come and gone 
...
  and a great time was had by all !!!

But WAIT!  It's not entirely gone!
You can still see and/or hear a lot of  it.
 

RealPlayer is required to hear the audio tape.

Note: The tape link on the documentary website does not include the Q & A
(in which Mary Bakeman & the PHL
responded to the questions)

To hear the documentary 
plus the Q & A

click here on the archived Midday show
and click on that audio link



Click here to go to the excellent webpage   
published by Minnesota Public Radio
to accompany the documentary
which aired on July 29, 2002

             Be sure to check out all the sidebars and links!

  • interviews

  • songs & poems

  • photos

  • commentary

These audio tapes are presented here in RealPlayer format.  If you do not have RealPlayer, click this logo to go to their website to download the necessary software.  The "Basic" version of the software is free and all that you need.  It is not necessary to purchase the "Plus" version.  You will have to look closely to find the Basic version, but it is there! 
Click on the upper right link where it says 
"Free RealOne Player" PHL

 

  
FEATURED PROJECTS

mass_salem_overseers_fullcover.jpg (50658 bytes)

This 132 year old ledger will be coming home to Salem in September 2002 

Salem Overseers of the Poor
Clerk's Ledger

Volume 17  (January 1870 - February 1879)

The Poorhouse Lady will be donating this book 
to the Phillips Library 
Peabody Essex Museum

For more information about the contents of this important historic ledger, click on the image of the book to the left.

Don't miss this!  

Click on  items                               >>>>>>>
listed to the right
to see SCANNED
IMAGES of  sample  pages.
Poor relief records contain much data of genealogical interest; however they also contain much historical information.

We find clues about:  community health problems (
epidemics of smallpox, etc.), 
economic
conditions (panics & depressions), 
natural disasters
(fires, floods, etc.)
 -- and even the weather!

From the CLERK'S BOOK

Reimbursement received from the State Board of Charities for a non-resident (born in Nova Scotia) -- who had lived in Salem for 12 years but was never naturalized and had paid no taxes -- who is ill.
Refusal
of outdoor relief (requiring almshouse residence instead) [This is a poor quality scan, but we have provided transcription.]
Tax Dispute
to determine qualification for "legal residence" in order to know which town is responsible for relief.
[And we thought "red tape" & paperwork were something new!]

Medical Claim
denial appealed
[And we though the hassles of  "managed health care" were also something recent!]

And much much more!

 
 FEATURED PROJECTS
 
(from material submitted by readers)
Don't Miss ...

The 
POORHOUSE  KEEPER'S  
FAMILY PHOTO ALBUM

Especially if you love those old-timey photos!

Submitted by:  Guess who!

Remember Corine's Christmas Letter ?

ND_RICHLAND_CORINE_child.jpg (10730 bytes)

ND_RICHLAND_Cousins.jpg (159958 bytes)












FEATURED PROJECTS
(We didnít create them; 
we just show them!)
We are really proud of our good friend, Richard Wilson.
And so is his community!  See the certificate he was awarded by 
the Washington County Board of Supervisors -- commending Richard for his work and offering support for the the publication of his wonderful book listing ALL of the people known to have died at the Washington County (NY) Poorhouse.

This is where it all started for me.  And I will be visiting there next week and hope to get an autographed copy of the book which should be hot off the presses then!  PHL

DEATHS AT THE WASHINGTON
COUNTY POORHOUSE

COMPILED AND EDITED BY
RICHARD M. WILSON

 

 
NEWS ALERTS          TWO VERY GOOD NEWS ITEMS! 

WISC_WAUKESHA_MemorialStone.jpg (107049 bytes)

WAUKESHA County Wisconsin --  
Northview Cemetery Park (formerly Pauper's Cemetery)


This community has done something really admirable by creating beautiful memorials with the names of those known to be buried there inscribed on the memorial stones! 
 <<<    click to enlarge         (with photos of the stones)                        

COLUMBIA County Pennsylvania ... thanks to the efforts of Eagle Scout Ben James ... has cleared and dedicated their old poorhouse cemetery and erected this memorial where the names of most of the interred are sadly not yet known. But there is an ongoing project to research the identity of these people.  
You can
read about it at this wonderful website.  
Kudos to the "Kids"!                                  
Of interest to researchers
in NEW YORK State

On the New York State page we have posted something new.
It is a survey for those people who have requested microfilms from the NY State Archives
to provide feedback for us to share with them in their attempts to continue providing this
service.

HONORED STATES previous Illinois/Kansas/Ohio/Pennsylvania/Tennessee
  current  
 Picture Postcards/Photos/Illustrations
    IA Boone
     MI Ogemaw/VanBuren
NH Merrimac
  NJ Passaic
    NY Oswego/Wyoming
     OH Perry/Summit
  PA Erie
  WI Manitowoc
Notes: from Readers/Local/Historical
  PA Clarion/Columbia
  WI Manitowoc/Waukesha
Poorhouse Records
     Don't miss these!    

            ...  and so it began     >>>>>>>

KY Monroe [terms of hire for a new Keeper in 1903]
KY Monroe [1872 announcement requiring all paupers --
               except the blind -- to report to poorhouse]
  VA Loudoun
  WI Waukesha
Cemetery Lists (or notes)
  IN Allen
  KY Monroe
  MI Shiawassee (with photos)
    NY Albany (cemetery list completed!)
  OH Lucas
  PA Columbia
  WI Manitowoc/Waukesha
Poorhouse Resident lists from CENSUS
(
new material or off-site links to the web)
  1880 KY Monroe
  1850 MA Essex (Haverhill)
   1920 MI Missaukee
   1880 NY St. Lawrence
  1860 NY Niagara
The Poorhouse in Literature
Didn't have any time to read any new books!   PHL
Other BOOKS
STATE ARCHIVES Holdings new  none added
  previous Delaware/Illinois/Michigan/Minnesota/Ohio/Oregon
New York/Pennsylvania
Thanks for your continued support.
Linda Crannell                                                        
(aka=The Poorhouse Lady)

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