POORHOUSE RULES & REGULATIONS
|Submitted by: Orange County Genealogical Society|
Note: Even though the start of this document is
rather dry and legalistic, keep reading ...
or scroll down ... to find more personal information about matters which affected the daily lives of inmates, etc. PHL
| Whereas a suitable and commodious house has
been erected by the Supervisors of said county for the reception and
accommodation of such persons as are entitled to a maintenance: --
We the Superintendents of the poor of the county aforesaid, do therefore, hereby, pursuant to the Revised Statutes, part first, chap. XX, of the Internal Police of this state, title 1st, "of the relief and support of indigent persons" do believe, that some good and convenient rules, regulations and by-laws be made for the direction, government and support of the poor and house aforesaid.
Be it therefore ordained and enacted, by the Superintendents of the poor and phoor house of the county of Orange, and sanctioned by a majority of the Judges of the county courts of said county. That
DUTIES OF THE FEMALE ASSISTANT.
| The Female Assistant shall observe
that due attention is paid to cleanliness in every respect, and that the
nurses and others employed under her direction, are to be faithful in the
discharge of their several duties, and behave to the sick and infirm
placed under their care, with the greatest degree of humanity and
attention.--She shall also see that the different apartments are well
ventilated, whenever the weather will permit, and especially those
appropriated to the reception of sick and invalid persons. That the
straw in the beds is to be changed at least once in ninety days, during
the summer season, & that the beds are preserved clear of
vermin. She shall take care that the victuals be well and seasonably
dressed, especially for the sick and helpless, which shall be prepared
according to the directions of the attending physician; that the rooms be
swept, and the beds made, every day, and that the house be cleaned as
often as shall be judged necessary; that the tables, linen, dishes,
&c. be kept clean, that the people be kept decent and neat in their
apparel. For this end, she shall see that every person have two
shirts or shifts marked with the initial letters of their name, or other
marks that shall, be known. These and all spare clothing belonging to
every person, she shall take into her custody, and cause them to be washed
and mended, and deliver out to each person clean shirts or shifts, and
receive from them their foul ones every sabbath morning.
When any person dies, she shall immediately take care of the clothes belonging to the deceased, cause them to be washed or cleansed, and if necessary mended, and deposit them in the place provided for clothing. For her assistance there shall be proper persons appointed by the superintendents, for these services. When any person dies, the nurse attending, shall immediately give notice to the keeper, who shall forthwith order a coffin to be sent, and the dead person being washed and laid out in a decent manner, shall without delay, be placed into the coffin and conveyed to the room appointed for that purpose, and from thence, in a proper time to the place of interment.
PERSONS ADMITTED INTO THE HOUSE.
No person shall be admitted into the said Poor House for their
maintenance, unless on an order from, or brought by, a proper officer,
duly authorized by law; and all persons upon their admission, shall be
examined, whether they are clear and free from foul distempers. Such
as shall not be found clean, and such as have any infectious or foul
disorder, shall be put in some particular apartment, until they are
cleansed and cured. All shall be obliged to keep themselves washed
and combed, and their clothes neat, and whole, and to change their shirts
or shifts once a week.
All persons admitted, who are capable of working, shall be employed, as well to inure them to labour, as to contribute to their support.
At the stated hours fixed by the superintendents, all persons who are capable of working, shall repair to their proper apartments or places allotted for them, where they shall work orderly, and at such business, and as many hours as the superintendents shall appoint.
They shall not curse, swear, strike, abuse, give ill language or be clamorous, but shall behave themselves soberly, decently and courteously towards each other, and respectfully to all, especially their keeper, and that due observance be paid to the sabbath and during divine service. When any children are received into the house, some suitable woman shall be appointed to take care of them, who is to take care that they be dressed, washed and combed every morning. At a suitable age they shall be taught to read, &c. at such hours, as shall be appointed by the superintendents, and the rest of their time shall be employed in such work as shall be assigned them.
When any person is taken sick, he shall be removed to the apartment provided for that purpose, that they may have the benefit of nursing and medical assistance.
EMPLOYMENT OF THE PEOPLE.
The bell shall be rung or other notice given every morning, to call the
family up, and such as are able shall repair to the several places
appointed for them, to work, and shall keep diligently at work, from such
hours in the morning, to such hours in the evening, as the superintendents
shall from time to time direct, excepting so much time as shall be
employed in husbandry, gardening &c, except when the weather is too
inclement to work out. They shall, at such times be employed in such
other suitable employ, as the keeper shall appoint, and excepting such as
shall be judged more profitable to employ at their trades.
Such women as are capable, shall be employed in spinning, knitting, sewing, &c, at the discretion of the superintendents.
|The superintendents shall from time to time, and as often as they shall think necessary, agree upon the diet of the house, to be continued till their further orders. At meal times, all those who are able to attend, shall, upon the ringing of the bell or other notice, meet at the place appointed, and eat together or in classes, as the superintendents shall direct, in an orderly manner, agreeable to rule second. None shall speak loud or whisper at table on pain of being removed and deprived of that meal. Such as shall not attend at the appointed time shall loose that meal, unless there be good reasons for their absence.|
GOVERNMENT OF THE HOUSE
All immoralities and disobedience to the government of the house, and
other misbehavior, shall be noted in a book by the keeper, and laid before
the superintendents, that such rudeness and immorality may be restrained,
and peace and good order maintained.
Whereas some slothful persons may pretend sickness or lameness to excuse themselves from labour, such persons shall be examined by the physician, and if it appear by his report and other concurring circumstances that those persons made false excuses, they shall be punished by confinement in a cell or some other solitary place, and fed on bread and water until they comply, or in some other legal way, as the superintendents shall determine.
Such as behave themselves soberly and decently, and observe the rules and orders of the house, and faithfully perform the tasks assigned them, shall receive some suitable
reward from the superintendents.
None shall presume to beg money or any other thing, directly or indirectly from any person who shall come to visit the house, on penalty of imprisonment not exceeding forty eight hours for each offence.
All who are hired by the superintendents or keeper and receive wages for their services in the house, shall conform to such laws, orders and regulations as shall be agreed on by the superintendents, on pain of being discharged.
If any persons shall neglect to repair to their proper place to work, or being there shall refuse to work, or shall loiter, be idle or shall not well perform the task of work wet them, or shall waste or spoil any of the materials or tools, or shall deface the walls, or break the windows, or shall disturb the house by clamorous quarrelling, fighting or abusive language, or shall bring any strong liquors into the house without leave, or shall behave disrespectfully to any, or shall be guilty of lying, or in any other respect act immorally, they shall be punished by withholding their regular means, not exceeding one days allowance, or by being confined in a cell, or some solitary place and supported on bread and water, at the discretion of the keeper, not exceeding seventy two hours: unless the board of superintendents order a longer confinement, or proceed against them before a justice of the peace, there to be dealt with according to law.
The foregoing rules and regulations were agreed to, at a meeting of the board of superintendents, held at the Orange County Poor house, on Monday the seventh of February one thousand eight hundred and thirty one.
|We the undersigned, Judges of the court of Common Pleas for said county, do hereby sanction the foregoing rules and regulations. Dated Feb. 24th 1831.|
JOHN B. BOOTH