Boston (Mass.) Overseers of the Poor Indentures, 1734-1805
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Brief Description: This collection contains 1,212 indentures that document the Overseers of the Poor of the City of Boston efforts to manage the children of the poor by placing them in house-holds where these children would have food, clothing, and shelter and receive a basic education in exchange for their labor. While the majority of the children were bound out to do housework, including knitting and sewing and farmwork, the indentures also document the kinds of trades that were open to young males in the 18th century such as weaver, shoemaker, and blacksmith. In addition, the towns and families into which the children were put into service as well as the attitudes of child rearing and literacy are also documented. Finally, the indentures serve as a record of the influence of Puritan values on social welfare in Boston.
Held at:
Boston Public Library Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
Created by: Boston (Mass.) Overseers of the Poor
Volume: 1226.0 Items
Arrangement: Arranged chronologically.
Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.
Subject Index
Almshouses — Records — Massachusetts — Historical
Boston (Mass.). — Overseers of the Poor
Boston (Mass.). — Selectmen
Child Labor — Massachusetts — Boston — History
Children — Massachusetts — Poverty
Indentured Servants
Massachusetts — Social Life and Customs
Poor — Massachusetts — Boston
Public Welfare — Records — Massachusetts — Historical
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
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Related Materials: MS x Ch. A. 2.36   Memorandum to the General Court by Daniel Gookin concerning Indian children who were put into service to the English. The names and ages of the children, the names of their relations, the places where they belonged, and the names of the persons with whom they were placed are included. Dated  10 August 1675.