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Boston Female Asylum 1881

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Partial transcript of [https://archive.org/details/bostonfemaleasyl00bost_0/page/n0 Board of Managers: Proceedings and Annual Reports] of the Boston Female Asylum, year of 1881:


January 25, 1881

An application had been received to admit a little girl named Pierce, who had been brought to the Asylum by Mr. Crosby of the Children's Mission. The child had been neglected in the Brookfield almshouse, was afterwards adopted by people who now objected to keeping her because her eyes were crossed and could not be cured. The child was reported good and intelligent and it was possible that another family might adopt her. Voted That this child be admitted into the Asylum if another application be made.

The ladies who took Edith Wells and Mary Bowdoin had written expressing themselves well pleased with the children, but wishing more information about their parents. Voted That their inquiries be answered and in case of their still wishing to adopt the children that the proper adoption papers be made out. Also Voted That the First and Second Directresses or some other two Managers be authorized to sign these papers relinquishing the right of the Asylum to these children.

An application to adopt Edith Gibson had been received from Mr. & Mrs. Sellon of East Boston. The Committee had visited the house of Mr. & Mrs. Sellon and were favorably impressed in some respects; on the whole however they could not recommend the place as a desirable one. It was accordingly Voted That this request be refused.

Mrs. Bourne had married again; her husband whose name was Ford, had been sixteen years in the employ of the Boston and Providence Rail Road. There were some doubts as to the character of this woman who was again very anxious to take her daughter Amy and the matter was left to the Committee for the next month for investigation.

Mrs. Lindsay wished to take her daughter Maggie whom she thought herself now able to support. As Mrs. Lindsay was known to be a respectable, hard-working woman it was Voted That her request be granted.

Lily Byers was still in Miss Robbins's Hospital. She was well enough to leave, but as she had been exposed to measles it was thought best for her to remain for the present.

Miss Paine reported that Mary Ann Trout had come to Boston under charge of a missionary who had been sent on to meet her, the trial for which she had been retained as witness having come to an end. Part of the money which she had received as a witness had been used for the necessary expenses of the journey. The girl was now in the Refuge on Rutland St. where they would keep her for some time, expecting the Asylum to pay her clothes.

Miss Paine also reported that Maria Noyes was very ill; that Mrs. Davenport was willing to take care of her provided the Dr.'s bill could be paid as well as the wages of the person hired to do Maria's work. It was accordingly Voted That these expenses be paid.

February 22, 1881

The Committee reported that Lily Byers had now returned from the Hospital. That the child for whose admission Mr. Crosby had applied was detained in the Children's Mission by measles.

Mr. Angus Martin applied for the admission of his four little girls, whose mother had lately died. His earnings as a plasterer were not large enough and he could not afford either to pay for their board, or to hire a proper person to take care of them. He was very anxious that the sisters should not be separated. The case seemed a pressing one and it was Voted That Laurie Harriet, Annie Fox, Charlotte Tryphena and Margaret Mary Alex Martin be admitted.

Application was made for the admission of a little girl six years old named Margaret Mitchell. The mother had no husband and had lately come from Scotland. She was at service at low wages and appeared not very strong. As it seemed possible that she might earn higher wages and support herself and her child the matter was left for the Committee of the next month to decide.

Mrs. Myers, a woman who had been deserted by her husband, had applied for the admission of her two little girls. She was about to be confined and the case had seemed so pressing that the Committee had with the approval of the First Directress admitted the children. One was in the Asylum, the other not yet three years old was at board. Voted That the act of the Committee in admitting Grace Ella and Mabel Frances Myers is approved by the Board.

Application was also made for the admission of Helen Gibson, the younger sister of the two children already in the Asylum. Voted That the request be granted.

Mrs. Bourne's references not having proved satisfactory it was Voted That her request to take her daughter Amy be refused.

Miss Paine reported that a place had been found for Ellen Trout with Mrs. Sharon of N. Woodstock, N.H.

Three applications to take girls were refused, the supply of older girls not being large.

Margaret Lindsay had been taken by her mother.

Miss Palmer complained of the bad conduct of Emma Kransinsky and Amy Bourne.

Miss Brown reported that Almina Bowdoin was now very well in health and much improved in other respects. Her year with Miss Pierce was nearly at an end. Miss Pierce would be willing to keep her for $3.50 a week, but not for less. Voted That Almina Bowdoin remain on these terms for the present.

Miss Ellis reported that a place in Portsmouth, N.H. had been found for Mary Griffiths, and a very good report from her was read.

The Treasurer reported that the fifty dollars due to Mary Ida Harvey for service during her apprenticeship had remained for some years unpaid by Mr. F. W. de Rochemont. It was accordingly Voted That unless immediate payment be made the matter be put into a lawyer's hands.

March 29, 1881

The Committee reported that Mr. Martin had brought only his two older children to the Asylum, having made some other arrangement for the younger ones. Mrs. Fanny Smith, a very respectable woman, wished admittance for the three children of a niece who had lately died in Nova Scotia. The children were still in Nova Scotia, although their father had come to Boston in search of work. Voted That this application must be refused.

Application had been made for the admission of a little girl named Lucy Woods. The mother was dead and the father had deserted his family; an older sister had worked in a shop, but was now in consumption and would probably be taken into the Consumptive's Home. The little girl was temporarily cared for at the Children's Mission. It was Voted That if another application for the admission of Lucy Woods be made she be received.

There had been one mild case of diptheria early in the month and since then several cases of measles and chicken pox.

Mrs. Blazo had at last taken her daughter Ellen. Emma Krazinsky, Sarah Martin and Fanny Chapman had all been exceedingly troublesome during the month. Emma was thought to be the ringleader and Miss Brown recommended that she should be removed from the Asylum. It seemed on the whole best that she should be sent to her family. There was also talk of sending Sarah Martin to her Mother. The three children came before the Managers and received a reprimand from the First Directress; they seemed penitent and it was decided to give them a little further trial.

Mrs. Lyman reported that Margaret Mitchell could be taken for a year into the Church Home; this arrangement had seemed better than taking her into the Asylum, as it threw more responsibility for her support on her mother.

The Treasurer reported that a letter had been written to Mr. de Rochemont and that twenty of the forty dollars due to Mary Ida Harvey had been paid.

April 26, 1881

Emma Krazinski had been taken out of school and did very well in the house. Fanny Chapman also had been kept more out of school and behaved much better. Sarah Martin had also improved.

Lucy Woods had not been brought to the Asylum. Emma Pierce had come, but Mr. Cutler thought it doubtful whether she ought to remain on account of her physical infirmities; she would therefore remain on trial for the present, on the understanding that the Children's Mission should receive her again, if she should not prove a suitable subject for the Asylum.

Application had been made for the admission of two little girls named Hazlitt. Their mother was dead and their father in the Consumptive's Home. They were in the care of aunts who could not afford to support them. Voted That these two children be admitted.

Gilbert Haynes, whose wife had deserted him, applied for the admission of his little girl. The case was not thought to be a suitable one and it was Voted To refuse the request and to recommend Mr. Haynes to apply at the Dorchester Industrial School.

Grace Johnstone had come into the Asylum from Mrs. Murray's and Mabel Myers had taken her place.

The Committee thought that Mary Curtis would do much better at a place.

Application for a girl was made by Mrs. Caldwell of Newton. The matter was at first left to the Committee with full powers, but it was afterwards decided to refuse the request.

May 31, 1881

The Committee reported that Mrs. Carney had married again and wished to take her daughter Ellen. Her husband was a cabinet maker in good work and the references of both were good. It was therefore Voted That Ellen Carney be given up to her mother and stepfather, Mr. & Mrs. Riley.

The Mother of Margaret and Martha Collon had remarried and applied for her children. Her husband Mr. Durgin had good references and was said to be well able to support his wife's children. It was Voted That Mrs. Durgin's request be granted.

Mrs. Wade of Rockland, Mass. wished to take her niece Mary Curtis. This matter was referred to the Committee of the month with full power to give up Mary Curtis to her aunt in case the references are satisfactory.

Application was made for the admission of Lorty Hovenden, a child about nine years old, without parents or near relations. The person who now had charge of her could keep her no longer. Voted That this child be admitted.

The report of Emma Krasinski was not good and it was Voted That her father be informed that he must remove her from the Asylum.

Mrs. Sears had received from Mrs. Turnbull an account of Sophia Barker so bad that the Managers felt that the girl ought no longer to remain in her place, but should be sent to Lancaster. The matter was left in the hands of Mrs. Sears.

Miss Paine reported that Maria Noyes had been sick and it had been necessary to send her to the Mass. Gen. Hospital for treatment. She had now returned to Mrs. Davenport's, but Mrs. Davenport did not think she could keep her in case of a return of the illness.

June 28, 1881

The Committee reported that Mary Curtis had gone to her aunt Mrs. Wade of whom a good account had been received. The little girl named Pierce for whom admission had first been requested by the Children's Mission last January had at last been brought to the Asylum. She was troubled with a humor which seemed likely to spread a little among the other children.

Mrs. Cunningham and Mrs. Constantine sisters both applied to take their children, one eleven the other ten years old. Mrs. Cunningham brought a recommendation from Miss Matilda Goddard and it was Voted That her request be granted. Mrs. Constantine brought no recommendation and her request was referred to the Committee for the month with full powers. The Sisters were keeping a boarding house in Kneeland St. together.

Application for the admission of a child came from Dr. J. S. Bean of Chelsea. She was the youngest of three children, who after their parents' death had been much neglected and had finally been taken in charge by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Dr. Bean had been legally appointed her guardian and she had lived in his family. His wife was in delicate health, the little girl, whom one record made to be ten, another nine years old, was somewhat troublesome, and he did not wish to keep her. Some of the Managers feared the influence of a girl as old as this who had been found troublesome and it was Voted To refuse the application.

Another application was received from Mr. Geo. F. Crocket of Mansfield, Mass. to take the youngest of his three children, not yet two years old and now under the care of the Mass. Infant Asylum. The two older children were under the care of their grandmother to whom the father paid their board. He could not afford to pay any board for the third child, who would be two years old next September. Letters had been written to the grandmother and to Miss Clapp, but no answers had yet been received. The matter was left to the Committee of the month with full power to promise the admission of the child in September, if they shall think best.

An invitation from Mrs. Warren Lamprey to Mary Barker to spend some time in Laconia was received and accepted.

Miss Ellis reported that Mary Griffiths had been obliged to leave her place and had gone to New Bedford to live with Mrs. Paige, who was recommended as a very good woman, though a spiritualist.

Miss Ellis had received an application for a girl to live in a farmer's family in Middleboro. The place seemed promising and Miss Ellis was requested to write to the people and see if they would like to take Nelly Livery. Miss Ellis was to report to the Committee, who were empowered to act as they should think best.

July 26, 1881

The Committee had decided to take Sarah Frances Crockett in September. Also to send Nelly Livery on trial to Mr. and [Mrs.] Marcy in Middleboro, of both of whom good reports had been received.

They also thought it best that Harriet Constantine should go to her mother at the end of the summer vacation.

The mother of Dolenia McCauley, who was insane when he child was admitted, had now recovered her health and applied to take the little girl. She appeared very well, but it seemed necessary to make particular investigations, as the father had been reported to be a worthless man. It was therefore Voted To leave this matter to the Committee of the month with full powers.

It seemed very desirable that Amy Bourne should go to a place, as her behavior in the Asylum was not satisfactory.

Sophia Barker was still with Mrs. Turnbull who had undertaken to watch her closely.

August 30, 1881

The committee had made inquiries concerning the father of Dolenia McAulay, and heard good accounts of him from the place where he worked. The committee had therefore given up the child to her parents.

The references of Mr. & Mrs. Trambolt, of Charlestown, the grandfather and grandmother of Sadie Martin, having proved satisfactory, Sadie had gone to her grandparents.

Grace Johnson had been very ill with dysentery, and the committee had taken the responsibility of sending her out to Mrs. Folsom's. Voted That the action of the committee be confirmed, and that the child remain as long as the committee for September shall think best.

Mrs. De Rochemont had been about to return Maggie Lambect to the Asylum, on account of her sullen and intractable disposition, but as Maggie had repented, and promised amendment, Mrs. De Rochemont was to keep her for the present.

Mrs. Abercrombie had send a very bad account of Annie Matthews, and Miss Storer were to see her. She found that matters were in a very unsatisfactory state and decided to take her away. She took her immediately to the Children's Mission, where a place had been found for her with Mrs. Haynes of Dorchester. A good account of Mrs. H. had been received from Miss Harriet Ware of Milton.

Mary Griffiths was returned by Mrs. Page as she said she never could make a dress-maker of her, but she found no fault with her character. She was also taken to the Mission, where a place was found for her with Mrs. S. T. Hanis of Marblehead. As both these girls had been at the Mission, the former for a fortnight, and the latter for two or three days, it was Voted That $10.00 be sent to the Children's Mission as a donation.

Mr. Davenport had come bringing back Mary Noyes, and saying that the servants of his neighborhood had put such ideas into her head, that they could no longer keep her, she was so insubordinate. Miss Palmer had her taken at once to Mrs. Guething's, and sent word to Miss Painewho took her to the training school of the Christian Association, where a place had been found for her, with Mrs. S. E. Chipman of Dorchester on wages, Mary now being eighteen, according to our books. Miss Ayer of the Ch. Association will look after her, and find her another place, if she does not remain in this.

Mary Leach and Annie Cameron had hung by their hands from one of the upper windows over-looking the garden, once dressed, and once in their night-gowns. Miss Palmer had not yet punished them and it was Voted That Mrs. Goodwin speak to these girls, and that they should be deprived of the pleasure of going on an excursion, which had been planned for tomorrow afternoon.

Voted That it shall be a standing rule that the children shall not leave the house to spend the night with their relatives.

September 27, 1881

...Rev. Mr. Hale...baptized Emma Pierce and Charlotte Elizabeth Havenden.

...the First Directress distributed the prizes as follows:

  • To Annie B. Leach as the Most Deserving Girl $6.00
  • To Mary Jane Proctor for Usefulness $5.00
  • To Ida J. Swift for Improvement $5.00
  • To Emma E. Leach for Scholarship $5.00
  • To Grace A. Rhodes as Best Little Girl $5.00
  • To Ida S. Brenton for Improvement $5.00
  • To Elizabeth E. Broad for Improvement $5.00
  • To Alice Whitman for Good Conduct $5.00
  • To Elizabeth Ewer for Good Conduct $5.00

The Committee reported that Harriet Constantine had gone to her mother and aunt.

Annie Dennis had been unexpectedly returned to the Asylum, had been taken to the Children's Mission and had now gone to a place in Springfield.

The Children's Mission had asked for the admission of a child named Lillian Goodwin; it is however doubtful whether the mother would give the little girl up. In case the Mother should so decide it was Voted That the Committee for the month should decide as they think best.

Mr. & Mrs. Littlefield of Somerville wished to take Amy Bourne but asked to have her on trial for a week before signing the Indentures. Voted That this request be granted. Mrs. Arnold had invited Fanny Chapman to visit her at Abington.

Grace Johnson had been brought into the Asylum. Mrs. Robbins wished two of the delicate children to stay awhile longer at Mrs. Folsom's. This proposal met the approval of the Managers.

Mr. and Mrs. Adams of Brattleboro, Vermont, applied to take a girl from the Asylum. Voted That this matter be left to the Committee for the month.

Mrs. de Rochemont had decided that she could no longer keep Margaret Lambrecht and Miss Paine had arranged for her to go to the Children's Mission in the hope that she might get a place from there.

Two letters were read in regard to Caroline Warren, one from Mrs. Curtis & one from Mrs. Latta. Caroline had much improved under Mrs. Latta's influence and was now doing well at Northfield Academy. Fifty dollars were needed for her outfit and it was Voted To supply this sum from the funds of the Asylum.

Miss Storer had received a pleasant letter from Annie Matthews, who liked her new home very much.

Mrs. Sears reported that Sophia Barker had improved and Mrs. Turnbull thought she might be able to keep her.

Agnes Gajin had run away from Bridgewater and appeared at the Asylum; she had been sent to the Chardon St. Home.

Lily Rowen had come to the Anniversary meeting and appeared very well.

October 25, 1881

Mrs. & Mrs. Warren Lamprey of Laconia who had invited Mary Barker to visit them for several summers now wished to take her on Indenture. Voted That Mary Barker be bound to Mr. & Mrs. Warren Lamprey.

Application for Sarah Whiton had been made by her father, but as he had come to the Asylum intoxicated it was Voted That his application be refused.

The little girl named Crockett whom the Managers had agreed to take from the Infant Asylum when she should be two years old had now reached that age and would be placed at board with Mrs. Folsom. Her aunt was unwilling to have her in an institution and wished to take her herself. Her application was refused because Mr. Crockett strongly objected on account of her very delicate health.

Application for a girl ten years old was made by Mr. & Mrs. Adams. Such an arrangement did not seem desirable and it was Voted That the application be refused.

Mrs. Harmon, a widow, applied for the admission of her daughter Jessie, eight years old. The child had been cared for my Mrs. Harmon's sister who was unable to keep her any longer and the mother could find no good boarding place for her, for the sum which she could afford to pay. Voted That this child be admitted.

John Hampstead recommended as a steady man, whose wife had died and left him with six child, wished to put two little girls into the Asylum. Voted That Clara and Jessie Hampstead be admitted.

The father of Amy Bourne applied for his daughter; his request was refused.

It was thought that Mary Leach was kept too much in school and did too little housework and it was Voted That the Committee for the next month make some alteration in this respect.

Miss Storer reported that Annie Matthews had been mischievous in her place and had now gone to another place on a farm in Stratham, N.H. The accounts from her and from her new mistress were both satisfactory. Mrs. Lyman had a good report of Ida Matthews and Miss Brown an equally good one of Annie Dennis. Margaret Lambrecht had been returned by Mrs. de Rochemont and had been placed by Miss Paine with her aunt.

November 29, 1881

The Committee reported that Sarah Frances Crockett had been put to board with Mrs. Folsom. Jessie Harmon had been admitted & seemed very delicate. The Hampstead children had not come because there had been diphtheria at the Children's Mission and it was not considered safe to receive them. It was Voted That these two children should be placed at board with Mrs. Faye until such time as it should be thought safe to receive them into the Asylum.

As Clara Svenson was now over three years old it was Voted That she be taken into the Asylum.

Application was made for the admission of Madeline O'Mera. The father was an intemperate man, who had gone to the West and nod done nothing for his family for a long time. The mother was left with several children whom she could not support. Voted That this child be admitted.

As Amy Bourne's father objected to her being bound out on Indenture it was Voted That no Indenture for her be made for the present. Voted That the clause requiring the payment of $50 be struck out of Mary Barker's indentures.

Application to take Sophia Horst had been made by Mrs. Glidden, who lived in or near Lee, N.H. The Committee had been much pleased with Mrs. Glidden's appearance and her recommendations were very good; there was however a doubt about the respectability of the neighborhood and it was decided that further inquiries must be made. The matter was left to the decision of the Committee for the next month.

Mary Leach had been put into the kitchen and enjoyed the work.

The children had, nearly all of them, visited the Mechanics' Fair.

The subject of punishing the children was discussed and some of the methods employed were not approved by the Managers. It was Voted That Mrs. Goodwin shall let Miss Palmer know that the children are not to be deprived of their meals as a punishment.

December 27, 1881

The Committee reported that the mother of Madeline O'Mera had concluded not to place her in the Asylum.

Mrs. Surry applied to take her little girl as she was now quite able to support her. Mrs. Surry had a place at the State House, in consideration of injuries received by her husband in the war, by which she earned sixty dollars a month. Her sister would have the care of the child. Voted That Alice Gertrude Surry be given into the charge of her mother.

Very favorable reports had been received concerning the neighborhood in Lee, about which there had been some doubt, and Sophia Horst had therefore gone to live with Mrs. Glidden. Miss Palmer had received a letter from Sophia, who seemed to like her place very much. Voted That Miss Brown undertake the guardianship of Sophia Horst.

Mrs. Rice, a woman who had been deserted by her husband, wished to put her two little girls into the Asylum. Voted That Ellen and Katy Rice be admitted.

Ida Swift was not behaving well and was reported to have a bad influence on the younger children. Asa Ida had been kept in the Asylum much beyond the usual time and could not be sent to a place on account of her deficiencies it was Voted That her mother be notified that she must remove her from the Asylum and that if this cannot be done Ida must be given up to the care of the City or State.

Mrs. Lyman gave a good report of Sarah Teel. Mrs. Robbins offered to be at the expense of keeping Clara Svenson for one year at her country boarding place, as she thought her very delicate. Voted That Mrs. Robbins's kind offer be accepted.

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