Primary Sources & Lesson Plans
Traditionally, it was the job of the community to take care of its old, infirm, and poor. Neighbors and extended families provided mutual aid in harsh times. By 1800, the first phases of industrialization in the United States had created a separation between home and work, and many people migrated from the countryside to cities in search of paid labor. Individuals who came to cities often lost their networks of mutual support, while the prevalence of disease and high mortality rates in urban areas resulted in increased need for long-term care for orphans.
1. Whom do these rules affect within the Orphan Society?
2. What different jobs are identified in the document? What responsibility does everyone affiliated with the orphanage share?
3. What did the organizers of Orphan Society expect the children to learn?
4. What is absent from the orphans curriculum? Why might these subjects have been omitted?
5. Is this a religious institution?
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