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Recollections - Social Welfare History Project




This section includes articles written from a variety of points of view, and some personal recollections relevant to the history of American social welfare programs, issues, and personalities.

  • NCSW Part 6: A Century of Concern 1873-1973: Provision and Management of Social ServicesImagine a network of rural villages and surrounding farms -- populations of 2,000 are large. Slow transportation makes them physically isolated and economically and socially self-sufficient. Most citizens are called yeoman farmers: they own and work their land. They are militant Protestants, likely to be of a single denomination and congregated in a single church. They are democrats, proud of their revolution, jealous of their rights, scorning the pretensions of European aristocracy. They are said to be friendly and gener­ous with neighbors and strangers, but acquisitive and zealous for the main chance. Such communities were most clearly realized in the New England towns that Alexis de Tocqueville described in 1835 and in the settlements of religious groups, such as the Mormons. In many places settlers were too few and scattered to establish close ties, but where they could they did.
  • NCSW Part 7: A Century of Concern 1873-1973: Societal ProblemsThis paper will trace certain con­tinuities in the responses to poverty and social problems in America over the past cen­tury. It will show that despite the emphasis on "novelty," "discovery," and "invention," there have been continuities in the treatment of dependency and poverty in America, which have affected the development of the social welfare system, especially where the traditional attitudes have handicapped creative responses to social problems.
  • NCSW Part 8: A Century of Concern 1873-1973: BibliographyThis bibliography was an important part of the pamphlet published by the National Conference of Social Welfare on the occasion of its 100th Anniversary. The bibliography covers the Introduction written by Clarke Chambers as well as the six essays written by leaders in the field of social welfare.
  • Over The Hill To The Poor-House (1872)A Poem Written in 1897 Over the hill to the poor-house I'm trudgin' my weary way -- I, a woman of seventy, and only a trifle gray -- I, who am smart an' chipper, for all the years I've told, As many another woman that's only half as old.
More Than Sixty Years With Social Group Work: A Personal and Professional History

Personal history is not Truth with a capital T. It is the way the past was experienced and the way the teller sees it. I will try to share with you more than 6o years of group work history that I have been a part of and perhaps a party to.

Daniel Coit Gilman: Unrecognized Social Work Pioneer

Daniel Coit Gilman is most known for his contributions to American higher education. This paper presents information which shows that he developed practice principles that are still valid, opened Johns Hopkins University to a wide range of social welfare education and activities, and educated several of the most important founders of professional social work.