Issues

As the number of entries on the Web site have increased it seemed practical to fold a number of them into sub-categories to facilitate their availability for the user. Currently the sub-categories include: Blind, Deaf and Dumb, Disability, Discrimination, Idiots/Feebleminded/Mental Retarded, Immigration, Insanity, Mental Illness, Poverty, Unemployment.

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  • A Brief History of Government Charity in New York (1603 - 1900)This entry describes the history of legislative actions taken by the New York State Government for the poor in New York State from 1603 to 1900. Derived from the research of Linda S. Stuhler.
  • A Chapter on Idiots (1854)The wearing uncertainty of many years succeeds the infancy. The ignorant notions of idiocy that prevailed before we knew even the little that we yet know of the brain, prevent the parents recognizing the state of the case. The old legal accounts of idiocy, and the old suppositions of what it is, are very unlike what they see. The child ought not, according to legal definition, to know his own name, but he certainly does; for when his own plate or cup is declared to be ready, be rushes to it. He ought not to be able, by law, "to know letters;" yet he can read, and even write, perhaps, although nobody can tell how he learned, for he never seemed to attend when taught. It was just as if his fingers and tongue went of themselves, while his mind was in the moon. Again, the law declared any body an idiot "who could not count twenty pence;" whereas this boy seems, in some unaccountable way, to know more about sums (of money and of every thing else) than any body in the family. He does not want to learn figures, his arithmetic is strong without them, and always instantaneously ready...
  • A Hard Life (1893)And now a pitiful yet inspiring story of another unfortunate child comes to us. She was born in Texas, and when fifteen months old had learned only two words -- mamma and papa. Then she had a serious illness, by which she lost eyesight and hearing, and was doomed to a life of imprisonment, into which no sound or ray of light could penetrate.
  • Acts And Resolves Relating To The Institution For The Blind (1870)A Report from the Thirty-Eighth Annual Report Of The Trustees Of The Perkins Institution And Massachusetts Asylum For The Blind,1870. "These acts and resolves illustrate the changing population and goals of the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind during the mid-nineteenth century."
  • African Union SocietyWritten by Michael Barga. "In 1780, The African Union Society (AUS) was created in Newport, Rhode Island. While most blacks from Rhode Island were free by 1807, strong prejudice and oppression were present before and after that date. The AUS developed partly in response to these difficulties, as well as a forum for black cultural discussion. The society is considered one of the first formal organizations founded by free blacks in the United States."
  • After Care for the Insane: New York State 1906After Care for the Insane was another much needed service that was introduced, organized and came to fruition in 1906 by Miss Louisa Lee Schuyler. When inmates were discharged from the state hospitals, many had no where to go. They had no home, no job, no friends or relatives willing to help them and many had children that had been separated from them during their incarceration. Miss Schuyler and her league of volunteers of The State Charities Aid Association helped these people to re-enter society with a helping hand by working in co-operation with the superintendents of the state hospitals.
  • Alexander Graham Bell and His Role in Oral EducationWritten by Brian H. Greenwald, Ph.D., Gallaudet University. "The promise of a more homogeneous society allowed oralism to emerge as the most attractive option to educate deaf people. Such strategies paralleled the general assimilation movement through the supposed uplifting of the deaf community by halting sign language use, reducing the importance of residential schools, and decreasing intermarriage among deaf partners."
  • American Foundation for the BlindThe American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit organization that expands possibilities for the more than 25 million people with vision loss in the U.S. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources.
  • American Immigration and Citizenship ConferenceThe American Immigration and Citizenship Conference (AICC) and its predecessors, the National Council on Naturalization and Citizenship (NCNC) and the American Immigration Conference (AIC), shared information with and coordinated the activities of organizations and agencies concerned with a more humane, nondiscriminatory immigration and naturalization policy.The National Council on Naturalization and Citizenship was formed in 1930 as an association of organizations and individuals who sought to reform naturalization laws and regulations. The Council advocated policies and procedures that were humane, uniform, and simple. Among its prominent leaders were Ruth Z. Murphy, Read Lewis, Abram Orlow, and Frank Orlow.
  • AmericanizationUntil the start of the 20th century, Americans typically believed in the power of the “melting pot” to create a common culture out of the various groups coming to America. However, this surge in immigration led to the creation of Americanization programs.
  • An Apology For Going To College (1905)At times Helen Keller found her college experience frustrating and exhausting, but she gloried in the knowledge she gained. Perhaps even more satisfying to Keller were the new social roles claimed by college-educated women. In this excerpt, Keller discusses the benefits of attending college—an opportunity that had only recently become available to women.
  • Anne Sullivan's Valedictory Address To The Perkins Institution (1886)We have spent years in the endeavor to acquire the moral and intellectual discipline, by which we are enabled to distinguish truth from falsehood, receive higher and broader views of duty, and apply general principles to the diversified details of life. And now we are going out into the busy world, to take our share in life’s burdens, and do our little to make that world better, wiser and happier....
  • Annual Report Of The Trustees Of The New-England Institution For The Education Of The Blind, 1834Annual reports to state legislatures were one of the key methods by which trustees and superintendents of schools for disabled children argued for additional government funding. In this report, the trustees of the New-England Institution for the Education of the Blind tried to appeal to legislators’ sympathies by stating that the asylum served primarily poor children, documenting the school’s extensive public support, and describing the ways in which pupils were prepared to support themselves after graduation.
  • Are We Retarding The Retarded? (1960)In striking contrast to the vigorous and determined leadership of the early pioneers of our movement who pursued their course of action in the face of seemingly unconquerable odds, there is too much readiness in our midst today to accept the limitations others set to our work, and indeed increasingly one hears the comments "We are tired" and "We do the best we can." Surely a vital organization should not be tired after just ten years of existence. And just as our early leaders were not content when officials or agencies assured them in those days that they did "the best they could do," but demanded the best possible for the retarded, we, as local, state, and national association, must apply the same measuring stick to our own present efforts.
  • Assistance for the Disabled (1931)"Program of Assistance for the Crippled:" Radio address by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1931. "I want to talk, of course, about the big human side of relieving distress and helping people to get on their feet, but at the same time I think there is another phase of the broad question of looking after cripples to which some people have never given much thought--the financial side."
  • Asylum for the Deaf and DumbWritten by John Crowley/ The Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons, the first permanent school for deaf Americans, opened in 1817. At that time, “dumb” meant only “unable to speak” but in early America almost all those who were born deaf never learned to communicate with others except by home-made signs, and deaf people were often regarded as cognitively impaired as well.
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  • Beauty Of Silence: by Helen Keller (1935)...However that may be, I know that silence is essential to the happy development of the human being. In the Montessori schools the period of quiet is a part of the curriculum. Every child sits tranquilly at his task for a certain length of time. When they become obstreperous and interfere with each other's orderly conduct, they are isolated until they regain their composure.
  • Because A Father Cared (1960)Article by Margaret McDonald, appearing in The Rotarian, 1956. "But when this fine couple -- this Rotary couple, as you would call them -- found that their pretty little girl would never develop mentally, they felt that their heartache was unique, and they soon discovered that few can fathom the grief of those whose loved ones are condemned to the land of the living dead."
  • Berry Picking and Relief (1935)Public relief affords no real security. The family on relief cannot meet its actual minimum needs. If private employment can offer more, we send it men. But we can hardly abandon our people to industry or agriculture which offers them less than relief. Employers will have no difficulty in getting or keeping labor if they can guarantee a certain and adequate wage and decent conditions. The relief client and his family are not lolling on the fat of the land on $7.50 a week.
  • Big Morgue (1939)What happens to a steel town, and to steel workers, when modern technology sweeps old methods aside? Whatever the long range gain through efficiency, the first effect, according to this researcher, is a lot of dead jobs, gone forever in the big new continuous production mills.
  • Bridgman, Laura DeweyHalf a century before Helen Keller, the "Original Helen Keller," Laura Dewey Bridgman, became the first deaf and blind person to learn a language. By the time that Helen Keller became famous in the early twentieth century, Bridgman's story had faded and been forgotten -- but like Keller, Bridgman moved souls around the world by triumphing over her multiple disabilities.
  • Bridgman, Laura: Early EducationSamuel Gridley Howe had multiple goals for his work with Laura Bridgman. On the one hand, he wanted to provide her with a thorough education. On the other hand, he hoped to use her as a means of revealing the process of human development and the true nature of humanity. Howe thought that because he could control much of Bridgman's sensory input, he would be able to better understand how people learned language, developed religious sensibilities, and other characteristic human abilities....
  • Brigham, AmariahIn the summer of 1842, Dr. Brigham was appointed Superintendent of the New York State Lunatic Asylum, at Utica. The institution was opened on the 16th of January, 1843. From this time, until the period of his death, he was unceasing in his devotion to the great cause of humanity in which he was engaged....Dr. Brigham was not only desirous of establishing an institution which should be creditable to the State, but, in order that our citizens should avail themselves of its advantages, he labored to diffuse a more extended knowledge of the subject of insanity. This he did by popular lectures, and by embodying in his reports details of the causes, the early symptoms, and means of prevention.
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  • Can Intelligence Be Measured?We are told that there is a mental quality known as "natural intelligence" and that it is possible to develop mental reflexes which are called "acquired intelligence." The sum of the two is intellectual power. Here an interesting question enters: Do psychologists measure intelligence or something else ? Added to this is a practical question: Is it wise to proclaim broadcast that this mental quality is intelligence? Is it common sense to say that there is such a thing as natural intelligence and another thing known as acquired intelligence?
  • Caraway, Hattie Wyatt (1878 - 1950)Hattie Wyatt Caraway served for 14 years in the U.S. Senate and established a number of "firsts," including her 1932 feat of winning election to the upper chamber of Congress in her own right. Drawing principally from the power of the widow's mandate and the personal relationships she cultivated with a wide cross–section of her constituency, "Silent Hattie" was a faithful, if staid, supporter of New Deal reforms, which aided her largely agricultural state.
  • Care And Training Of Feeble-Minded Children (1887)The superintendents of American institutions for feeble-minded persons, in their session of I878, submitted the following: "Idiocy and imbecility are conditions in which there is a want of natural or harmonious development of the mental, active, and moral powers of the individual affected, usually associated with some visible defect or infirmity of the physical organization or with functional anomalies, expressed in various forms and degrees of disordered vital action. There is frequently defect or absence of one or more of the special senses, always irregular or uncertain volition, and dulness or absence of sensibility and perception."
  • Care of the Filthy Cases of Insane: 1885Written by Stephen Smith, M.D., State Commissioner of Lunacy, New York City. "The care of these patients is all that can be desired. Each of these hospitals has a regular day and night service, so organized that the filthy are trained, if possible, to habits of personal care and cleanliness. They are not only promptly changed when found to be soiled; but, as far as practicable, their necessities are anticipated, and they are required to protect and care for themselves."
  • Care Of The Insane In New York (1736 - 1912)Written by Linda S. Stuhler. "...the hospital was an institution of great public utility and humanity, and that the general interests of the state required that fit and adequate provision be made for the support of an infirmary for sick and insane persons."
  • Caring for Paupers in 1881The class which suffers at all our almshouses is the class for whom almshouses are presumed to be maintained, the unfortunate and self-respecting poor. A more horrible existence than a modest woman must endure at very many of our almshouses it is impossible to imagine. She lives amid unclean disorder and constant bickering; she is always hearing oaths and vile talk, the ravings of madmen and the uncouth gibberings of idiots; she is always seeing scarred and blotched faces and distorted limbs, hideous shapes such as one encounters in the narrow streets of Italian towns, but which, here, we hide in our almshouses. She is exposed to a hundred petty wrongs; Mrs. Jens's case, already described, may give the reader an inkling of their nature. Often she is treated with absolute cruelty; in some almshouses she cannot protect herself from the grossest insults.
  • Carrots from California (1939)"How much is stoop labor paid in a day?""Almost everything is piece rate here. A Mex, working ten hours, can make $2 at pulling and tying carrots, but he has to go like hell. In the pea fields it's a penny a pound. A white man is good if he can pick more than two hundred pounds a day. Other wages are about the same.
  • Chapin, John B., M.D., LL.D.John Chapin, M.D., LL.D. (1829 – 1918) — Advocate for the Chronic Insane of New York, and the Removal of All Insane Persons from the County Almshouse. This 1918 Obit was copied with permission and derived from the blog researched and developed by Linda S. Stuhler.
  • Citizenship Survey (1914)"A Citizenship Survey in Chicago," by Philip L. Seman for the Chicago Hebrew Institute (1914). "In accordance with the original suggestion made two years ago at the Baltimore conference, the Chicago Hebrew Institute began a house-to-house survey, the object being to ascertain the citizenship status of the residents as well as their literacy, particularly with reference to English."
  • Classifications Of Idiocy (1877)It should be borne in mind that the essential fact of idiocy is the mental deficiency. That the point of interest for us is the degree to which this condition can be obviated. Furthermore, it is dependent upon physical conditions, whether physiological or pathological, that are chronic or organic, -- slowly produced structural changes, when pathological, -- and so, as a rule, beyond the reach of remedial means. The sphere of these, when used in the treatment, is almost exclusively confined to ameliorating the accessory maladies.
  • Clerc, Monsieur LaurentThomas Gallaudet had come to England to learn about education for the deaf in hopes of setting up a school in Connecticut. At Sicard's invitation, Gallaudet accompanied the Frenchmen back to Paris, where he spent some months at the Institution. When he grew homesick for Hartford, Laurent Clerc agreed to return with him and help him set up a school and be its first teacher.
  • Cohen, Wilbur J.: Mental Retardation LegislationOn mental retardation legislation, the second major sustained effort of the Kennedy years, Cohen operated as the servant of others. Cohen worked hard on this matter, and that was because Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who was an extraordinarily driven and dedicated woman, wanted him to do so.
  • Colony For Epileptics (1914)"From the inception of public care of the insane in New York State epileptics were undoubtedly provided for from time to time, but no special provision was existent beyond a separate ward in the various hospitals. In 1873 Dr. Ordroneaux mentioned special provision for the epileptic on Blackwell’s Island." This entry was copied with permission and derived from the blog researched and developed by Linda S. Stuhler.
  • Committee Of The Connecticut Asylum For The Education And Instruction Of Deaf And Dumb Persons (1817)The founders of the Connecticut Asylum—like most educators of the deaf during the antebellum years—saw their primary goal as saving the souls of deaf children. This goal reflected the influence of the Second Great Awakening and, in particular, religious reformers’ hope that social reforms would help to bring about the Millennium. This is an Abridged Text of the Report.
  • Congress of Racial EqualityThe Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) pioneered direct nonviolent action in the 1940s before playing a major part in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Founded by an interracial group of pacifists at the University of Chicago in 1942, CORE used nonviolent tactics to challenge segregation in Northern cities during the 1940s. Members staged sit-ins at Chicago area restaurants and challenged restrictive housing covenants. Early expansion beyond the University of Chicago brought students from across the Midwest into the organization, and whites made up a majority of the membership into the early 1960s.
  • Contract Between Thomas Gallaudet And Laurent Clerc (1816)Thomas Gallaudet, a Congregationalist minister, and Laurent Clerc, a French Roman Catholic, formed a partnership to establish an institution of deaf education. This partnership was formalized in the following contract, written before Clerc traversed the Atlantic with Gallaudet. One important aspect of their contract pertained to their religious differences.
  • Cretins And Idiots (1858)Of those not affected by epilepsy, who are brought under instruction in childhood, from one third to one fourth may be so far improved as to become capable of performing the ordinary duties of life with tolerable fidelity and ability. They may acquire sufficient knowledge to be able to read, to write, to understand the elementary facts of geography, history, and arithmetic; they may be capable of writing a passable letter; they may acquire a sufficient knowledge of farming, or of the mechanic arts, to be able to work well and faithfully under appropriate supervision; they may attain a sufficient knowledge of the government and laws under which they live, to be qualified to exercise the electoral franchise quite as well as many of those who do exercise it; they may make such advances in morals, as to act with justice and honor toward their fellow-men, and exhibit the influence of Christianity in changing their degraded and wayward natures to purity, chastity, and holiness.
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  • Declaration of Independence - July 4th, 1776The delegates wanted the world to understand what they were doing, and why. So they appointed a committee to write a document giving the reasons for their actions. One member of the committee was the Virginian, Thomas Jefferson. He had already written a report criticizing the British form of government. So the other committee members asked him to prepare the new document. They said he was the best writer in the group. They were right. It took him seventeen days to complete the document that the delegates approved on July fourth, 1776. It was America's Declaration of Independence.
  • Defective Classes (1891)I propose the following classification of the defective classes, depending upon the three divisions of the mental faculties which are generally accepted by psychologists. Insanity and idiocy are different forms of defective intellect. Crime and vice are caused by defect of the emotions or passions. And pauperism is caused by defect of the will. Blindness and deaf-mutism are defects of the senses, requiring special forms of education, but are not defects of the mind any more than the loss of an arm or a leg. Blind or deaf people properly educated are not a burden or a danger to society, as are criminals, insane persons, or paupers. Their defects are physical, not mental, and they should not be classed with persons who have these mental defects.
  • Deportation of the Insane Aliens: 1907The present course taken by the United States Government in deporting insane aliens who have been in this country for some time is characterized by unnecessary harshness and even injustice. The purpose of deportation is to save this country the expense of maintaining a dependent person. The great majority of the aliens who are deported are persons who entered the country in perfectly good faith, with the intention and desire of earning a living, and in the vigor of youth, the average age of those deported being thirty years. It is not altogether their own fault that such aliens find themselves surrounded by economic and social conditions so unfavorable to their mental and physical health that they break down under the strain of competing with those who are better adapted to the conditions of life in this country.
  • Developing Patterns For Aid To The Aging Retarded And Their Families (1960)It is important to note in the context of our discussion here that, notwithstanding this marked trend, in most of our institutions residents of all ages are still referred to as "boys" and "girls." Yet one of the most important of the "Developing Patterns for Aid to the Aging Retarded and Their Families" I am to discuss with you tonight is the beginning recognition that the older retardate is entitled to adult status.This new insight, stemming largely from the more progressive work in community facilities for the retarded, reflects a rejection of the old cliche which termed a twenty-year-old mongoloid with an I.Q. of 40 as a "child at heart." Today we recognize that such a person is an adult with a severe mental handicap, but one who may well be capable of performing tasks of reasoning and expressing feelings considerably beyond those of the child whose "mental age" he presumably possesses....
  • Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American HistoryNot only has disability justified the inequality of disabled people but of other groups as well. In the three great citizenship debates of the 19th century and early 20th centuries: women’s suffrage, African American freedom, and immigration restriction, disability played a substantive role.
  • Disability Rights & Universal DesignDisability rights originated in Boston, Massachusetts in 1846 with Samuel Gridley Howe. Howe was an advocate for education of the blind, and a supporter of the "feeble-minded."
  • Disease of Mendicancy (1877)Leprosy is not more incurable than mendicancy. When the disease has once fastened itself upon a man, -- when, through long months or years, he has willingly and gladly lived on the industry of others, and roamed around without a home, -- he becomes a hopeless case, and nothing but the strong arm of the law can make him a self-supporting man.
  • Dybwad, Gunnar (1909 – 2001)Dr. Gunnar Dybwad was a nationally recognized authority on retardation, autism, cerebral palsy and other disabilities. He is credited with being one of the first professionals to frame mental disability as an issue of civil rights, rather than as a medical or social work problem.
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  • Education Of The Blind (1833)"It has long been to us a matter of surprise that the blind have been so much neglected. Our age, compared with those that have passed away, is truly a humane one; never has more attention been paid to individual man than now; never has the imperative duty of society to provide for the wants of those whom nature or accident has thrown upon its charity, been more deeply felt, or more conscientiously discharged...."
  • Education Of The Deaf (1912)I was about six years old before any of the specialists whom my parents consulted was brave enough to tell them that I should never see or hear. It was Doctor Chisholm of Baltimore who told them my true condition. "But," said he, "she can be educated," and he advised my father to take me to Washington and consult Doctor Alexander Graham Bell as to the best method of having me taught. Doctor Chisholm did exactly the right thing. My father followed his advice at once, and within a month I had a teacher, and my education was begun. From that intelligent doctor's office I passed from darkness to light, from isolation to friendship, companionship, knowledge. The parent who brings his child to your office, to your hospitals, should find in you, not a teacher, perhaps, but one who understands how far it is possible to right the disaster of deafness....
  • Effect of Economic Conditions Upon the Living Standards of Negroes (1928)Presentation by Forrester B. Washington, Director, Atlanta School of Social Work, given at the 55th Meeting of the National Conference on Social Welfare, 1928. "The problems which I will discuss are health, education, delinquency, crime and family disorganization. They follow logically those discussed by Mr. Thomas. In addition, I will attempt to summarize his paper and my own and present our combined recommendations."
  • Eighth Report Of The Directors Of The American Asylum For The Education And Instruction Of The Deaf And Dumb (1824)"During the first half of the nineteenth century, deaf educators saw their primary goal as ensuring that deaf students learned the Christian gospel. Like educators of blind children and those labeled as idiotic, teachers of deaf children had several other goals, including teaching basic academic skills and providing vocational training. This report also discusses some of the challenges faced by educators of deaf children and their counterparts at schools for blind and idiotic children..."
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  • Family Life Of The Negro In The Small Town-- 1926Even the briefest account of the family life of the Negro must include a consideration of the history back of the present Negro family. This history naturally divides itself into three periods: Africa, slavery, and freedom. While the African period, it must be remembered, does not claim our attention because an unbroken social tradition still affects the present formation of the Negro family -although traces of the African tradition were detected in marriage ceremonies near the opening of the present century —it is necessary to call attention to this period because of subsequent events. In Africa the Negro lived under regulated sex relations which were adapted to his social and physical environment. It was through the destruction in America of these institutionalized sex relations that slavery was able to bring about complete subordination.
  • Farmville Protests of 1963Written by Kate Agnelli, MSW. "One of the most well-known Supreme Court decisions in U.S. history, Brown v. Board of Education declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. One of the provisions of the decision was that public schools in the United States were to integrate 'with all deliberate speed,' but in many places, local and state governments resisted for months and years."
  • Federal-State Public Welfare ProgramsThe Social Security Act of 1935 initially authorized federal financial participation in three state administered cash assistance programs: Title I: Grants to States for Old-Age Assistance (OAA); Title IV: Grants to States for Aid to Dependent Children (ADC); and Title X: Grants to States for Aid for the Blind (AB). The framers of the Act also recognized that certain groups of people had needs for particular services which cash assistance alone could not or should not provide. To meet these needs small formula grants for the states were authorized in relation to: Maternal and Child Health, Crippled Children, Child Welfare, and medical assistance for the aged. A fourth program of public assistance -- Aid to the Disabled (AD) -- was added in 1950.
  • First Annual Report Of The Trustees Of (Mass.) State Lunatic Hospital: 1833Other institutions, both in Europe and America, which have exhibited the most remarkable proportion of cures, have discriminated in their admissions, receiving the more hopeful cases only. The inmates at Worcester have been a more select class than were ever before assembled together; but unfortunately for success in regard to cures, it has been a selection of the most deplorable cases in the whole community. Of the one hundred and sixty-four individuals received, considerably more than one half came from jails, almshouses and houses of correction, and about one third of the whole number had suffered confinement for periods varying from ten to thirty-two years.
  • Franklin Pierce's 1854 VetoThe legislation advocated by Dorothea Dix -- and passed by the House and Senate -- was not unprecedented. At a time when there was no federal income tax, public land represented the largest potential financial resource available to the federal government. Federal lands had already been used to promote the construction of railroads, and there were discussions in 1854 of a homestead act that would provide free land to settlers who were willing to move to the West.
  • Franklin Pierce's Veto Is ChallengedWilliam Seward was one of the most powerful statesmen of the 1850s. Under Abraham Lincoln, with whom he vied for the 1860 Republican Presidential nomination, he was Secretary of State. In 1854, as a Senator from New York, he was a supporter of the Dorthea Dix bill that passed both the House and Senate. Here he provided his rationale for opposing the veto message given by President Pierce. The effort to override the veto failed.
  • Freedom: Promise of Fact: 1943In a comparatively short period of time the slaves have become free men—free men, that is, as far as a proclamation can make them so. There now remains much work to be done to see that freedom becomes a fact and not just a promise for my people. Eleanor Roosevelt, an article in the Negro Digest, 1943.
  • From Bohemia: Ma and Pa Karas (1940)Two years ago Louis Adamic, author of "My America" and editor of Common Ground, undertook one of the most ambitious writing projects of our time—an analysis of America's great melting-pot experiment, based upon 9,500 questionnaires, 20,000 letters of inquiry, 38,000 miles of travel, with the assistance of the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations. This chapter, abridged from the resultant book, "From Many Lands" (to be brought out by Harper & Brothers) affords a wholesome sidelight upon the traditional American resolution of some of Europe's individual minority problems of a generation ago.
  • From the Ground Up: 1936An informal description of demonstration projects of the Resettlement Administration on the West Coast during the Great Depression.
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  • Gallaudet, Rev. Thomas Gallaudet met a young deaf girl named Alice Cogswell, the daughter of his neighbor, an eminent surgeon named Mason Fitch Cogswell. Gallaudet attempted to teach Alice to read, but his limited success was frustrating. Alice's father was actively trying to establish a school in Connecticut for deaf children. The best-known educators of deaf people at the time were the Braidwood family, who had schools in London and Edinburgh, where they charged high fees for their instruction. A small number of well-to-do American children had gone to England to study with the Braidwoods, and Cogswell persuaded Gallaudet to go to Britain and investigate their educational methods
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  • Hamilton-Madison House: Reaching the Hard Core of Poverty This entry was copied from the original document. It is both a history of settlement work on the Lower East Side of New York City and an excellent example of community organization in a racially diverse neighborhood. This proposal was written in the first year that Community Action grants were being awarded as part of the War on Poverty.
  • Harvest and Relief: 1935"No work, no eat" has been the slogan in many communities as fruit and grain ripened for harvest and relief clients held back from farm jobs. In other areas, shortage of domestic help has been reported. What is the workers' side of the story? The taxpayers'? What is the policy of federal and state relief officials? Here an informed Washington writer goes behind the headlines to kind the facts and what they mean.
  • Helen Keller. A Second Laura Bridgman (1888)Michael Anagnos, the superintendent of the Perkins Institution and Samuel Gridley Howe’s son-in-law, played a major role in turning Hellen Keller and Anne Sullivan into celebrities. In this annual report from the Perkins Institution, Anagnos reflects on Bridgman’s education and compares her work with Keller’s startlingly quick progress under Sullivan’s tutelage.
  • Hindrances To The Welfare And Progress Of State Institutions (1883)Presentation at the Ninth Annual Conference of Charities and Corrections 1883 by Michael Anagnos. "...public institutions for the poor and the perverse, the halt and the criminals, the blind and the deaf, the idiots and the insane, are established by law, and are supported by means raised by general taxation. This policy, admirable and beneficial as it evidently is in most respects, is not free from grave disadvantages and certain dangers..."
  • Home Missionary Society of PhiladelphiaWhile some children required long-term placement, assistance was often temporary. One worker describes a case below which particularly displays the “uplift” mentality of the Society:"After a meeting, I called on a widow with four children. She is sick. To secure daily bread, her boy, twelve years of age, sells papers. He called to see me, asking for a situation in the city, whereby he might help his mother. I knew a man of business who wanted a boy, took him with me and secured the place. He has been with him three weeks, and gives such good satisfaction that his wages have been raised, and he is promised permanent employment with a knowledge of the trade. When the mother had sufficiently recovered she came to thank me for the interest I had taken in her son. In this case it was not the money given which called forth her gratitude, but the fact that I had helped the family to help themselves."
  • Howe, Samuel Gridley...In 1831, the trustees of Massachusett’s newly chartered school for the blind, the first of its kind in the nation, appointed Howe as their director. Not long thereafter Howe sailed to Europe to observe schools for the blind, returning in 1832 to open the blind school in Boston. First gaining regional fame by exhibiting his educated pupils throughout New England, Howe extended his own notoriety and that of his school to a worldwide audience after a blind and deaf girl, Laura Bridgman, entered the school in 1837. Under his direction, Laura learned to communicate through finger spelling and writing. The 1842 observations of Charles Dickens that he recorded in his American Notes only added to Bridgman’s fame and to the fame of her educator. Before long, the Perkins Institution, the name that the blind school acquired after a bequest from the Boston merchant, Thomas H. Perkins, became a place that thousands of Americans and Europeans were likely to visit.
  • Hoyt, Dr. Charles S.Dr. Charles S. Hoyt (1822-1898): Superintendent of New York State and Alien Poor, in the Service of the State Board of Charities. This 1898 Memorial to Dr. Charles S. Hoyt was copied with permission and derived from the blog researched and developed by Linda S. Stuhler.
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  • Immigration: A Report in 1875Mr. Kapp has tersely stated the rule which governs the movement of emigration to the United States: " Bad times in Europe regularly increase and bad times in America invariably diminish immigration." In the present instance, certainly, there can be no doubt that "' bad times in America " have led to the diminished numbers. However serious the great failures of the autumn of 1873, and the general depression of trade throughout the country subsequently, have been felt to be by those at home, they have seemed much.
  • Indian Policy In Its Relations To Crime And Pauperism (1892)Failure to recognize rights which belong to the Indians, and white rapacity and villany, are largely responsible both for pauperism and crime among the Indians. Here in Colorado, with the eloquent grave of the author of "Ramona," so near to the place where we meet, it can hardly be necessary to revive the incidents recited in her remarkable book entitled "The Century of Dishonor," some of them incidents of which this very State has been a witness. Nor should it be needful to condemn in a more enlightened day the barbarisms of which white men have been found capable in the past. And yet what will not avarice do in the way of stifling the sentiments of Christian humanity? The depravity of the human heart is unfathomable....Many, perhaps most, of the barbarities and wars and massacres lie at the doors of white reprobates, whose responsibility is heightened by the Christian lessons of their childhood. The most barbarous of the Indians have not been more savagely cruel than some men of our own race.
  • Indoor And Outdoor Relief (1890)A Report of the Committee by F. B. Sanborn, Chairman, at the Seventeenth Annual Session of the National Conference of Charities And Correction, 1890. "Both indoor relief...and family aid, or outdoor relief, as properly practiced, are both indispensable in any comprehensive plan of public charity. Wherever and whenever one of these methods has been wholly given up, accidentally or purposely, evils have followed which only the introduction of the omitted method could wholly remove."
  • Insanity in the Middle States: 1876This entry is from the Proceedings of the third Conference of Charities held at Saratoga, New York, September 6, 1876. by Mr. Sanborn. "Insanity is, in the middle states, as in the other states, increasing disproportionately to the increase of population..."
  • Instruction Of Idiots (1849)This article written by J. G. W. appeared in a Philadelphia Quaker periodical as efforts to educate children with cognitive disabilities first started in the United States.
  • Insuring DemocracyArticle by Eleanor Roosevelt, appearing in Collier's 105, 1940. "If you have this feeling about your own children, you should have it about all children, and for that reason I have always been interested in the problems of the children in our communities."
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  • Keepers of DemocracyIf you are in the South someone tells you solemnly that all the members of the Committee of Industrial Organization are Communists, or that the Negroes are all Communists. This last statement derives from the fact that, being for the most part unskilled labor, Negroes are more apt to be organized by the Committee for Industrial Organization. In another part of the country someone tells you solemnly that the schools of the country are menaced because they are all under the influence of Jewish teachers and that the Jews, forsooth, are all Communists. And so it goes, until finally you realize that people have reached a point where anything which will save them from Communism is a godsend; and if Fascism or Nazism promises more security than our own democracy we may even turn to them.
  • Keller, Helen -- Story of My Life: Part 1AS THE feat may seem almost incredible, it may be in order to say at the beginning that every word of this story as printed in THE JOURNAL has actually been written by Helen Keller herself -- not dictated, but first written in "Braille" (raised points); then transferred to the typewriter by the wonderful girl herself; next read to her by her teacher by means of the fingers; corrected; then read again to her, and in the proof finally read to her once more.
  • Keller, Helen -- Story of My Life: Part 2THE next important step in my education which I remember distinctly was learning to read. As soon as I could spell a few words my teacher gave me slips of cardboard on which were printed words in raised letters. I quickly learned that each printed word stood for an object, an act or a quality. I had a frame in which I could arrange the words so that they would make little sentences; but before I ever put sentences in the frame I used to make them with objects. I found the slips of paper which represented, for example, "doll," "is," "On," "bed," and placed each name on its object; then I put my doll on the bed with the words "is," "on," "bed" arranged beside the doll, thus making a sentence of the words, and, at the same time, carrying out the idea of the sentence with the things themselves....
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  • Keller, Helen -- Story of My Life: Part 3.THE next important event in my life was my visit to Boston, in June, 1888. As if it were yesterday I remember the preparations, the departure with my teacher and my mother, the journey, and finally the arrival in Boston. How different this journey was from the one I had made to Baltimore two years before! I was no longer a restless, excitable little creature, requiring the attention of everybody on the train to keep me amused. I sat quietly beside Miss Sullivan, taking in with eager interest all that she told me about what she saw out of the car window: the beautiful Tennessee River, the great cotton fields, the hills and woods, and the crowds of laughing negroes at the stations, who waved to the people on the train and occasionally brought delicious candy and popcorn balls through the car....
  • Keller, Helen -- Story of My Life: Part 4.Helen Keller was devastated by the charges of plagiarism, and by Michael Anagnos’s efforts to distance himself from her. She went into a months-long depression, as recounted in this excerpt from her autobiography.Keller also describes how she learned and how dependent she was on reading for knowledge of the outside world. Like many children, she found it hard to separate what she read from her own thoughts, and she drew heavily on her sources in her writing. Keller’s dependence on reading, moreover, reflected Sullivan’s realization that the best way to teach Keller idiomatic (everyday) English was to expose her to as many books as possible—even if she could not yet understand every word or phrase....
  • Keller, Helen -- Story of My Life: Part 5 My studies the first year were French, German, History, English Composition and English Literature. In the French course we read some of the works of Corneille, Moliere, Racine, Alfred de Musset and Sainte-Beuve, and in the German those of Goethe and Schiller. We reviewed rapidly the whole period of history from the fall of the Roman Empire to the close of the eighteenth century, and studied critically Milton's poems and the "Areopagitica."
  • Keller, Helen -- Story of My Life: Part 6I TRUST that the readers of THE LADIES' HOME JOURNAL have not concluded from the chapter on books in the preceding number of the magazine that reading is my only pleasure; for my pleasures and amusements are as varied as my moods.
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  • Life In The Asylum (1855)The Opal was published by the patients at the New York State Insane Asylum in Utica during the 1850s. It contained comments on current events, literary essays and book reviews, poetry, and descriptions of events at the asylum, including the dramatic and musical productions of the patients themselves.
  • Listening to Patients: The Opal as a Source The Opal, which was “dedicated to usefulness,” is a ten volume Journal that was written and edited by the patients of the Utica State Lunatic Asylum, (1851 – 1860). The more than 3,000 pages of material in The Opal includes political commentary, humor, advice, and theory on insanity in the form of articles, poetry, prose, cartoons, plays, and literature.
  • Long, HueyAs the Great Depression worsened, Long made impassioned speeches in the Senate charging a few powerful families with hoarding the nation’s wealth. He urged Congress to address the inequality that he believed to be the source of the mass suffering. How was a recovery possible when twelve men owned more wealth than 120 million people?....In 1934 Long unveiled a program of reforms he labeled “Share Our Wealth” designed to redistribute the nation’s wealth more fairly by capping personal fortunes at $50 million (later lowered to $5 - $8 million) and distributing the rest through government programs aimed at providing opportunity and a decent standard of living to all Americans. Long believed the programs he initiated in Louisiana were effective in lifting people out of poverty, and he wanted to implement this philosophy nationally.
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  • Massachusetts Report On Public Charities: 1876 As Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Health, Lunacy, and Charity, Franklin Benjamin Sanborn held the most powerful position on the board. This report to the National Conference of Charities illustrates Sanborn’s deep faith in the power of statistical research to illuminate the nature of social problems.
  • Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital: New York - 1891This is a lengthy "Letter to the Editor" of The New York Times written by "Index Medicus," a medical society and journal. If New York State was transferring patients out of their district to another state hospital, why couldn’t the State pay for the transportation of patients whose family and friends wanted them to receive homeopathic medical care as opposed to allopathic medical care?
  • Moral TreatmentWritten by Dr. James W. Trent, Jr., Gordon College. "Moral treatment was a product of the Enlightenment of the late eighteenth century. Before then people with psychiatric conditions, referred to as the insane, were usually treated in inhumane and brutal ways."
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  • National Council on Naturalization and CitizenshipThe National Council on Naturalization and Citizenship was formed in 1930 as an association of organizations and individuals who sought to reform naturalization laws and regulations. The Council advocated policies and procedures that were humane, uniform, and simple. Among its prominent leaders were Ruth Z. Murphy, Read Lewis, Abram Orlow, and Frank Orlow.
  • Naturalization Process in U.S.: Early HistoryWritten by Eilleen Bolger. The first naturalization act, passed by Congress on March 26, 1790, provided that any free, white, adult alien, male or female, who had resided within the limits and jurisdiction of the United States for a period of 2 years was eligible for citizenship.
  • New Deal and the Negro (1935)If the 2,500,000 Negroes in the North and the 9,500,000 in the South earned more they would buy more. The masses of Negroes have never purchased enough food, clothing, furniture, transportation, hospitalization, and the like. Twelve million people would greatly expand production if they were employed and paid according to their economic value rather than their social status.
  • New York State Care System For The Insane Completed: 1896"The Governor has approved the bill creating the Manhattan State Hospital and providing for the transfer of the lunatic asylums of this city and the care of their inmates to the State"
  • New York State's County Poor Houses: 1864In 1864, an investigation was made concerning the treatment of the “insane” confined in the county poor houses of New York State. Dr. Sylvester D. Willard’s Report was the instrument that persuaded the New York State Legislature to pass, on April 8, 1865, The Willard Act, “An Act to authorize the establishment of a State asylum for the chronic insane, and for the better care of the insane poor, to be known as The Willard Asylum for the Insane.” What follows is the original report to the New York State Legislature by Dr. Sylvester D. Willard, Secretary of the Medical Society.
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  • Old Age Assistance: A Brief History (1934)At the end of 1928, after six years of agitation, there were only six states and one territory which had made provision for their aged. They were Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Wisconsin and Alaska. All the state laws were of the optional type, i.e., they left the adoption or rejection of an old age assistance system to the discretion of the counties. For this reason these laws had very limited effect only.
  • Old Age Assistance: An OverviewFrom the earliest colonial times, local villages and towns recognized an obligation to aid the needy when family effort and assistance provided by neighbors and friends were not sufficient. This aid was carried out through the poor relief system and almshouses or workhouses. Gradually, measures were adopted to provide aid on a more organized basis, usually through cash allowances to certain categories among the poor. Mothers’ pension laws, which made it possible for children without paternal support to live at home with their mothers rather than in institu­tions or foster homes, were adopted in a number of States even before World War I. In the mid-twenties, a few States began to experiment with old-age assistance and aid to the blind.
  • Old Age Pensions - Eleanor Roosevelt (1934)"...We can hardly be happy knowing that throughout this country so many fine citizens who have done all that they could for their young people must end their days divided--for they usually are divided in the poorhouse. Old people love their own things even more than young people do. It means so much to sit in the same old chair you sat in for a great many years, to see the same picture that you always looked at!And that is what an old age security law will do. It will allow the old people to end their days in happiness, and it will take the burden from the younger people who often have all the struggle that they can stand. It will end a bitter situation--bitter for the old people because they hate to be a burden on the young, and bitter for the young because they would like to give gladly but find themselves giving grudgingly and bitterly because it is taking away from what they need for the youth that is coming and is looking to them for support. For that reason I believe that this bill will be a model bill and pass without any opposition this year."
  • Old Age Pensions: A Brief History
  • Old Age Security: Abraham Epstein's View (1934)We all know, of course, that any program of social security will be complete if complete security is provided and the best kind of security. But I believe that since we are just imperfect human beings, and most of us are imperfect, we should confine ourselves for the present to one problem, at least try to solve one problem at a time, not 100 per cent, or even 90 per cent. If you can only get over that philosophy to the legislatures, I think that all of our problems on social security in this country will be solved.The reason that there is no perfect remedy for making old age absolutely secure, no matter what principle is adopted, no matter what legislation we enact, is that there will always be certain flaws to make it at least just below 100 per cent perfect, if for no other reason than the fact that the members of the Senate and House of Representatives are fallible people. Some may not believe that, but at least most of us agree on it. Therefore, we cannot expect infallible laws.
  • On The Duties And Advantages Of Affording Instruction To The Deaf And Dumb (1824)A sermon by Thomas Gallaudet, 1824. Gallaudet saw deaf education in general and sign language in particular as the means by which an evangelical vision could be universalized.
  • One Means Of Preventing Pauperism (1879)In 1876, Josephine Shaw Lowell (Mrs. C.R. Lowell) was appointed by Governor Tilden of New York State to be the first woman commissioner of the New York State Board of Charities. She served in this position until 1889, using her post to speak out, lobby, legislate, and advocate for people who were unable to do so themselves. Her investigations led to the establishment of the first custodial asylum for feeble minded women in the United States in 1885 and to the House of Refuge for Women (later the State Training School for Girls) in 1886.
  • Origin Of The Treatment And Training Of Idiots (1856)The idiot wishes for nothing, he wishes only to remain in his vacuity. To treat successfully this ill will, the physician wills that the idiot should act, and think himself, of himself and finally by himself. The incessant volition of the moral physician urges incessantly the idiot out of his idiocy into the sphere of activity, of thinking, of labor, of duty and of affectionate feelings; such is the moral treatment. The negative will of the idiot being overcome, scope and encouragement being given to his first indications of active volition, the immoral tendencies of this new power being repressed, his mixing with the busy and living word is to be urged on at every opportunity.
  • Our Jobless Youth: a Warning We have seen in our time the revolution of dispossessed youth in Europe, where anything seemed better—to live, and march, and die for—than existence without meaning. Can we give our young people a real stake in life before it is too late? This grave question is put to educators, and all responsible leaders in American life, by one of our best informed and most sympathetic younger writers.
  • Our New York State Charities: 1873"At present these petty criminals spend their time in complete idleness in the county jails, and go out worse than they entered. To improve this class there should be a separate department in the State work-houses proposed, and the criminal statutes should be changed, so that the magistrates could commit them to these, and for longer terms than is at present the custom."
  • Over The Hill To The Poor-House (1872)Poem written by Will Carleton in 1897.
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  • Pea-Pickers' Child (1935)Written by Lucretia Penny, appearing in Survey Graphic, 1935. "The death notice in the county paper was not more than two inches in depth but it had, nevertheless, its modest headline: PEA-PICKERS CHILD DIES. Already there had been three deaths in the pea-pickers' camp: a Mexican had been murdered, stabbed; a child had died of burns; a baby had died of what his young mother referred to as "a awful fever in his little stomach." And now the shallow headlines spoke of Zetilla Kane, the seventh child and only daughter of Joe and Jennie Bell Kane."
  • Perkins School for the BlindPerkins School for the Blind is located on a 38-acre campus on the Charles River in Watertown, Massachusetts, with partner programs in 65 countries. The school is committed to providing education and services that build productive, meaningful lives for children and adults around the world who are blind or deafblind, including those with additional disabilities.
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  • Poor House Conditions: Albany County, New York - 1864In 1824 the New York State legislature enacted the "County Poorhouse Act," a measure that called for one or more poorhouses to be built or established in each county. Thenceforth, all recipients of public assistance were to be sent to that institution. All expenses for building and maintaining the poorhouse(s) and supporting its inmates were to be defrayed by the county out of tax funds. The Act also created a new body of relief officials: County Superintendents of the Poor.
  • Poor Relief and the AlmshouseWritten by Dr. David Wagner, University of Southern Maine. "Poorhouses (almshouses were simply the same thing with the old English word “alms” for charity used) started out rather small, sometimes in private homes, and at first were scattered in America. But in the 1820s, when America ceased being a completely agricultural society and began to receive more immigration, reformers such as Josiah Quincy in Massachusetts and John Yates in New York led a drive to build almshouses or poorhouses in every town and city. Their purposes were deeply steeped in a desire to not only save money but also to deter the 'undeserving poor.”"
  • Poverty: An Anthropologist's View - 1961This means that we must give money in amounts generous enough to be really constructive, to people who have done nothing to earn or deserve it. This brings us back to the barrier of the relative values prevailing in our society. The necessary generosity will be forthcoming only when our society really accepts the premise that people are deserving simply because they are people; that is, because they are fellow human beings.To be realistic, this acceptance will not develop magically or through appeals to conscience. Power rests in the middle class. And we in the middle class are notoriously anxious and defensive in the presence of people whose way of life is more primitive and violent than our own. We are threatened, and hence our response is rejection, not acceptance.
  • Principles of The Universal Negro Improvement Association (Marcus Garvey, 1922)We of the Universal Negro Improvement Association are determined to unite the 400,000,000 Negroes of the world to give expression to their own feeling; we are determined to unite the 400,000,000 Negroes of the world for the purpose of building a civilization of their own. And in that effort we desire to bring together the 15,000,000 of the United States, the 180,000,000 in Asia, the West Indies and Central and South America, and the 200,000,000 in Africa. We are looking toward political freedom on the continent of Africa, the land of our fathers.
  • Program of Work for the Assimilation Of Negro Immigrants In Northern Cities (1917)Presentation by Forrester B. Washington, Director of the Detroit League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes, given at the 44th Meeting of the National Conference on Social Welfare, 1917. "The establishment of a bureau of investigations and information regarding housing comes next in importance. The character of the houses into which negro immigrants go has a direct effect on their health, their morals and their efficiency. The rents charged determine whether the higher wages received in the North are real or only apparent, whether the change in environment has been beneficial or detrimental. The tendency is to exploit the negro immigrant in this particular."
  • Public Aid For The Feeble-Minded (1889)This entry was a presentation by Mrs. George Brown at the Sixteenth Annual Session of The National Conference Of Charities And Correction, 1889. "In an assemblage like this Conference, it must be an axiomatic proposition that the State should educate all its dependent children. It is not charity: it is simply providing for those of its own household...The question, then, is, in what respects must this provision for the feeble-minded differ from that given to others?"
  • Public School Classes For Mentally Deficient Children (1904)Presentation by Lydia Gardiner Chase at the National Conference Of Charities And Correction, 1904. "Perhaps none have been more misunderstood than the mentally deficient. Through neglect, these children will degenerate into the ranks of the defectives and the delinquents; through individual training, some can be saved for the social body and the condition of all can be improved."
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  • Race, Religion and Prejudice (1942)Over and over again, I have stressed the rights of every citizen:Equality before the law. Equality of education. Equality to hold a job according to his ability. Equality of participation through the ballot in the government.
  • Rankin, Jeannette (1880–1973)Jeannette Rankin’s life was filled with extraordinary achievements: she was the first woman elected to Congress, one of the few suffragists elected to Congress, and the only Member of Congress to vote against U.S. participation in both World War I and World War II. “I may be the first woman member of Congress,” she observed upon her election in 1916. “But I won’t be the last.”1
  • Rehabilitation Of The Mentally And Physically Handicapped (1929)Further progress must of necessity depend on a deeper understanding on the part of every man and woman in the United States. Knowledge of the splendid results already accomplished is not widespread. You can go into thousands of farming districts in this State and you can go into thousands of closely populated wards in our great cities and find ignorance not only of what has been accomplished but of how to go about utilizing the facilities which we already have. There are literally hundreds of thousands of cases of boys and girls in the United States hidden away on the farm or in the city tenements, boys and girls who are mentally deficient or crippled or deaf or blind. Their parents would give anything in the world to have their mental or physical deficiencies cured, but their parents do not know how to go about it.
  • Remarks at Thanksgiving Day Party at Warm SpringsThe Birthday Party will give 70 percent of all funds raised to the care of infantile paralysis in the various localities throughout the country where they have Birthday Balls; the other 30 percent is going to be spent to do something we have always had in mind. It is going to further the cause of research. As I said this afternoon in the dedication of the two buildings, you must always remember that you who are here, those of us who are here under medical care, only represent a tiny fraction of the people throughout the land, grown-ups and children, who have infantile paralysis. Therefore, even if we were to double in size or quadruple in size, we could treat only a small fraction of the people of this country who need treatment.
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  • Schiff, Philip: A Political Campaign Speech - 1937"As a united progressive group we do not intend to let go of the tiger's tail until it has been twisted beyond recognition! A defeat for Tammany in the 1st Assembly District. means a death blow from Tammany in the city. What an opportunity for the American Labor Party and those in sympathy with its aims! For the sake of the thousands who reside in the 1st District., the city and the state, we must not permit it to slip out of our grasp!"The “Dooling way” is the path to loss of civic self-respect, an acknowledgment of defeat for obtaining the things we want most, an agreement to continue playing with a representative who is tied lock, stock and barrel to a system which has for years been “kidding” the public and is constantly under public scrutiny because of its many excursions into the public through for its own benefit.
  • School for Bums (1931)If you want to know how to make a bum out of a workingman who has had trade, home, security and ambition taken from him, talk to any of the young fellows on the breadline who have been in town long enough to have become experienced in misery. Say a man in this town goes to the Municipal Lodging House for his first night. Until lately, he would have been routed out at five in the morning. Now he can stay until six. He is given breakfast, then he must leave, blizzard or rain. He can go next to a Salvation Army shelter for a handout, and get down to the City Free Employment Bureau before it opens. Or he can find shelter in subways and mark the Want Ads in a morning paper.
  • Schools for New Citizens (1941)Article written by Viola Paradise appearing in Survey Graphic, 1941. "September . . . a new school term. Not only for America's millions of school children, but for some two and a half million adults, as well. Under the sponsorship of local school boards, WPA, settlements, unions, churches, they study subjects ranging from simple English to international relations, from Diesel-engine operators to dietetics."
  • Scientific Charity Movement and Charity Organization Societies“Scientific charity built on Americans’ notion of self-reliance, limited government, and economic freedom. Proponents of scientific charity shared the poorhouse advocates’ goals of cutting relief expenses and reducing the number of able-bodied who were receiving assistance, as well as the moral reformers’ goal of uplifting people from poverty through discipline and religious education via private charity. In this model, individuals responded to charity and the government stayed out of the economic sphere.
  • Social Darwinism and the PoorExtrapolations from Darwinism, with its emphasis on evolutionary progress, offered reason for hope that a new and better social order could emerge from the turbulence. At the same time, by highlighting competition and the survival of the fittest as the drivers of evolution, it seemed to explain both the emergence of the fittest -- fabulously wealthy elites and giant corporations, as well as the unfit -- the masses of poor in the teeming city slums.
  • Social Security: Old Age Survivors Insurance ProgramsSocial security is the term commonly used to describe the Old Age, Survivors Insurance program (OASI) created by Title II of the Social Security Act of 1935. The original OASDI legislation was developed as one part of the federal response to the economic vulnerabilities of workers and their families revealed by the Great Depression of the 1930s.
  • Some Abnormal Characteristics Of Idiots And The Methods Adopted In Obviating Them (1883)What is called idiocy is a mental state. This is true, no matter what our idea may be of the nature of mind. It is true, whatever may be the physiological or pathological conditions associated with it. Thus, when we speak of idiocy or imbecility, of fatuity or feeble-mindedness, we refer to grades and shades of mental states below the normal standard of human intelligence.
  • State Board of Charities of New York: Reports 1878-1884n the early years of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections, representatives of the states in attendance were invited to share reports on their experiences, problem areas and achievement in connection with the charities and institutions in their respective states. Below are reports from the New York representative at the conferences held from 1978 to 1884.
  • State Care of the Insane: New York 1901"Rise and Progress of New York State Care of the Insane: 1901" by Goodwin Brown, Ex-State Commissioner in Lunacy. "It is consonant with its destiny and greatness that the Empire State should have, of all States and countries in the world, the most complete, humane, and comprehensive system of caring for this most unfortunate class."
  • Suffrage in the South Part II: The One Party SystemIn a sequel to his study of the poll tax, this young southern writer further analyzes democracy in Dixie. His findings and his conclusions, carefully checked by southern researchers, are especially significant in this year of national elections.
  • Suffrage in the South: The Poll TaxIn the South, two thirds of the voting population are barred from the polls by a head tax which is a prerequisite to voting. What this "one third democracy for one sixth of the nation" means to the Democratic party, to the nation, and to the issues of the 1940 elections are revealed in the staggering facts and figures here presented in the first of two articles by a young southern writer.
  • Sullivan, AnneSullivan's mother died when Anne was about eight years old. Thomas Sullivan found it too difficult to raise a family by himself and soon abandoned his children. Anne and her younger brother Jimmie were sent to live in the "poor house" in Tewksbury.Conditions at the Tewksbury Almshouse were deplorable. Chronically underfunded, overcrowded and in disrepair, the Almshouse housed an average of 940 men, women and children during the years that Sullivan was there. The mortality rate was very high, and within three months of their arrival, Jimmie Sullivan died. The children had been close, and Sullivan felt the loss deeply.
  • Sunday School Libraries and LessonsWritten by Laurie Block, Disability History Museum Staff. "At the beginning of the 19th century, many Americans were concerned about the moral education of children. With the constitutional separation of Church and State, many asked: whose job is it to teach values?"
  • Syracuse State Institution For Feeble-Minded Children: (1916)"The State of New York thus became the first one in the United States to make separate and special provision for the feeble-minded. Two years later the Legislature provided funds for the erection of permanent buildings on a site in Syracuse donated by philanthropic citizens."
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  • Technical Training And Industrial Employment Of The Blind In The United States (1908)Written by S. M. Green, Superintendent of the Missouri School for the Blind: 1908. Most blind people became blind as adults, but most schools barred adults from attending. Sheltered workshops could employ only a small fraction of blind adults, leaving most without any recourses other than relying on relatives or entering a poorhouse.
  • Tewksbury Almshouse InvestigationAs can be seen in this excerpt from the Lowell Weekly Sun’s coverage of the Tewksbury investigation, people with disabilities made up a significant proportion of the population of poorhouses. By the 1860s, many states had established institutions to educate deaf, blind, and cognitively disabled children and people deemed temporarily insane. People with other impairments—and especially disabled adults—whose families could not support them had no recourse other than the poorhouse. Moreover, conditions within almshouses often proved disabling or even deadly.
  • The 1970's as Policy WatershedIn 1974 the expansive social policy system that had prevailed in the postwar era ended, and a more restrictive system that would characterize the rest of the seventies and the early eighties began to take its place.
  • The Duty Of The States Toward Their Insane Poor: 1874Presentation by Dr. J. B. Chapin of the Willard Asylum for the insane on "The Duty of the States toward their Insane Poor."
  • The Increase of Insanity (1895)It is within the observation of most physicians who have the care of the insane that the insanity of physical degeneration, resulting from syphilis, paralysis, intemperance, under-feeding, epilepsy, etc., is growing more and more common. These are the least hopeful forms of insanity; and it is their prevalence which seems to have caused a diminution in the rate of recoveries, almost everywhere noticed within the last twenty years. Cases really acute, and not complicated with these forms of disease and degeneracy, recover as easily and as fast as ever; and there is even a tendency to virtual recoveries of the chronic insane, which was not so much noted until recent years.
  • The Management Of Almshouses In New EnglandPresentation by Frank B. Sanborn at the Eleventh Annual Session, National Conference Of Charities And Correction, 1884. In this paper for the NCCC, Sanborn reviews the basic structure of poorhouse care in Massachusetts and demonstrates reformers’ intense interest in controlling costs and removing able-bodied children from poorhouses.
  • The Moral Treatment of the Insane: 1847That some cases of insanity require medical treatment we believe, but we also believe that a large majority of the patients in Lunatic Asylums do not. There is much analogy between many of the patients found in all such institutions, and the passionate, mischievous, and what are called bad boys in a school, and there is about as much propriety in following the example of Mrs. Squeers, and physicing and medicating the latter as the former, in order to cure them or to change their propensities. Rational hopes for the improvement of either, should we believe, be founded on moral management alone.
  • The Organization of Municipal Charities and Corrections - 1916Paper presented by L. A. Halbert, General Superintendent, Board of Public Welfare of Kansas City, Missouri at the National Conference Of Charities And Correction Held In Indianapolis, 1916. "If we were able to ascertain the activities of all incorporated towns and cities, it would show a tremendous volume of activity and an expenditure of many millions of dollars."
  • The Plan to End Poverty in California (EPIC)The nomination of an avowed socialist to head the Democratic party ticket was more than the California establishment could tolerate. Sinclair's radical candidacy was opposed by just about every establishment force in California. The media virtually demonized Sinclair through a concerted propaganda campaign based largely on smears and falsehoods. Sinclair's candidacy also set off a bitter political battle both within the Democratic party and with many groups who were opposed to various aspects of the EPIC plan. Sinclair was denounced as a "Red" and "crackpot" and the Democratic establishment sought to derail his candidacy. Despite all of this, Upton Sinclair was very nearly elected Governor of California in 1934.
  • The Refugees Here: 1940How are we going to help the refugees find a place in the life of the nation? How must such help be constructed, to interfere as little as possible with the economic situation and to help the American people benefit from the arrival of the refugee? These questions do not only concern the organizations which were formed to deal with the refugee problem. They are of great concern for the general public. Without its cooperation a policy concerning the refugee can neither be constructed, nor can it work. Without an adequate understanding on the part of the public, the efforts of these organizations will be greatly hampered.
  • The Treatment of the Insane: 1876The "Preface" is from the Proceedings for the third Conference of Charities held at Saratoga, New York, September 6, 1876. It is followed by a paper titled “The Treatment of the Insane” delivered paper by Dr. Nathan Allen, of Lowell, Mass.
  • The Willard Asylum for the Insane: Steward's Report 1900Steward's Report by Captain Morris J. Gilbert, 1900. According to Dr. Robert E. Doran, Jr., author of "History Of The Willard Asylum For The Insane And The Willard State Hospital," “...he was totally responsible for all purchasing as well as overseeing the farm and maintenance work.”
  • Three Years In A Mad House (1851)"Astounding Disclosures! Three Years In A Mad House," by Isaac H. Hunt, 1851. Hunt, a former patient at the Maine Insane Hospital published a scathing attack on his treatment by the institution’s attendants and doctors. Isaac Hunt describes all sorts of abuses and mistreatment. His account makes people wonder whether or not the asylum offered conditions better than those uncovered in local almshouses and jails by the investigative reports of Dorothea Dix. Out of Hunt’s complaints came an investigation by the Maine Legislature into conditions at the asylum.
  • Towle, Charlotte: A PerspectiveCharlotte Towle came into my work accidentally and peripherally. I saw her from a variety of standpoints she didn't share: as an historian, as a feminist, as a citizen of the Reagan era--although her experiences with McCarthyism would have given her some preparation for the last.
  • Training Schools - And Civilian Public Service (1944)Article by Stephen Angell in The Reporter, 1944. The Civilian Public Service (CPS) was set up to provide conscientious objectors in the United States an alternative service to military service during World War II.
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  • We Do Our Part--But... (1933)Article by Ira DeA. Reid in Opportunity, Journal of Negro Life (September, 1933). "Three million Negro workers, more than half of the total number of Negroes who must labor for their livelihood, will not be covered by the industrial codes now being formulated by the NRA!"
  • What Social Work Has To Offer In The Field Of Mental Retardation (1960)Social work is making a contribution to the field of mental retardation but social workers are not giving the substantial services which are needed and which they have the competence to give. Along with other professions and the general public, social work failed for many years to give focused attention to the mentally retarded as a group in the population which needed their services. Lacking knowledge of ways to help the severely and moderately retarded, the social workers helped parents place their children if that seemed the best solution at that time. Other social services were given, but often they were fragmentary and somewhat isolated. What amounted to neglect rose more from frustration and lack of knowledge than from indifference.
  • Whither Self-Help?: 1934What is happening to the self-helpers? Will they become true cooperators? Chiselers? Brown Shirts? And what about the Communists? In California, which has more self-help organizations than all the rest of the country, barter has been going on long enough to have a history and some policies and to refute the prophets who predicted it would die aborning.
  • Wilbur, Hervey B. - In Memoriam (1886)Wide as the institutional field is, it did not engross all his powers. Everything of a scientific nature, social or practical, was of interest to him, and the excellent library he gathered shows the breadth of his intellectual tastes. His sympathies embraced the wide field of humanity, and no human being was too lowly or degraded for his notice. To him the humblest of his neighbors came for advice and aid in their petty troubles, sure that he would accord them both.
  • Willard, Sylvester D.Sylvester David Willard, M.D., LL. D. (June 19, 1825 – April 2, 1865) — Volunteer Surgeon in Civil War, Founder of Willard Asylum for the Insane
  • Woman's Place After the War (1944)"Will women want to keep their jobs after the war is over?" When I asked Miss Mary Anderson of the Bureau of Women in Industry, she told me it all boils down to economic necessity. Married women usually keep their jobs only when they have real need for money at home. This, of course, does not mean that women who take up some kind of work as a career will not stay in that work if they like it, whether they are married or single.
  • Women In Politics - Eleanor Roosevelt (1940)We are about to have a collective coming of age! The women in the United States have been participants in government for nearly twenty years. I think it behooves us to look back on this period in which we have been serving our apprenticeship and decide what our accomplishments have been, how much good our education has done us, and whether we really are able to consider ourselves full-fledged citizens.
  • Women, Settlements and PovertyWritten by Jerry D. Marx, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire, Department of Social Work. This article uses primary source documents from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s to discuss women’s roles in the reconceptualization of poverty in America. It studies the belief drawn from colonial religion that poverty was a result of personal immorality and traces the changing public perception through the turn of the 20th century.