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Social Welfare Developments, 1800-1850

in: Events

The first permanent Marine hospital is authorized to be built in Boston, Massachusetts.

The New York Society for the Prevention of Poverty is established.  The organization was to identify and eliminate the specific causes of poverty in New York City.

Gallaudet University for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the first free U.S. school for the deaf is founded in Hartford, CT.

Passage of the Revolutionary War Pension Act, a law which provided for financial payments to Revolutionary War veterans.

Secretary of War John C. Calhoun creates the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which is housed in the Department of War. Calhoun appointed Thomas McKenney as the bureau’s first head and instructed him to oversee treaty negotiations, manage Indian schools, and administer Indian trade, as well as handle all expenditures and correspondence concerning Indian affairs.

The House of Refuge, the first state-funded institution for juvenile delinquents, is founded in New York.

Passage of the New York State County Poorhouse Act, which established residential County Poorhouses for the poverty-stricken.

First trade union unemployment insurance plan in the United States is adopted.

Early trade unions propose state minimum age laws.  Union members at the National Trades’ Union Convention make the first formal public proposal recommending that states establish minimum ages for factory work.

First known law protecting children enacted in Massachusetts required children under 15 working in factories to attend school at least 3 months a year.

First attempt to measure the extent of mental illness and mental retardation in the United States occurred with the U.S. Census of 1840, which included the category “insane and idiotic.”  Using this data, Dorothea Dix crusaded for the establishment or enlargement of 32 mental hospitals (of which there were only 8 nationally at the time), and transfer of those with mental illness from almshouses and jails.

The state of Massachusetts limits children’s work days to 10 hours; other states soon pass similar laws, but most of these laws are not consistently enforced.

Sojourner Truth, an African-American woman who escaped from slavery, begins lecturing for abolitionism.

Robert Hartley and associates organize the New York Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, which later merges with the Charity Organization Society of New York to form the present Community Service Society.

Dorothea Dix, a pioneer in the care of the mentally ill, founds the first state asylum for mentally ill persons in Trenton, New Jersey.

The American Medical Association is founded and begins the formation of state and local societies.

The first Woman’s Rights Convention is held at Seneca Falls, N.Y. July 19-20. At the convention, A “Declaration of Sentiments,” a document that became a major root of the woman’s suffrage movement, was approved.

How to Cite this Article (APA Format): Social welfare developments, 1800-1850. (2011). Retrieved [date accessed] from /events/1800-1850/.