In Her Own Right

The Female Association of Philadelphia for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances

Date range 1800 – 1999
Creator The Female Association of Philadelphia for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances
Abstract The records of a women's charitable Quaker organization based in Philadelphia spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, which provided money to needy women and children while building assets with which to accomplish their work. The records include: A history of the association; correspondence, 1800-1955, including letters of officers of the Female Association: Hannah Boudinot, Susan Bradford, Gladys Connelly, Mary Hodge, Margaret Stocker; also Elias Boudinot, Benjamin Chew, Benjamin Rush, and James Vanuxem; Board of Directors reports, 1804-1830s and undated; Committee reports, 1810-1812; Legal papers, 1802-1972, including agreement of account with Pennsylvania Company, amendments to charter and by-laws and articles of incorporation; Financial accounts, 1801-1967; and a line cut seal of incorporation designed by Thomas Sully, 1811.
Description Most of the records of this organization, which employed women in spinning, are administrative, dealing with donations, changes to the constitution and by-laws, etc. Correspondence is all incoming; in addition to the members listed earlier, some of it is addressed to early member and prominent Philadelphia philanthropist Rebecca Gratz. Meeting minutes are also administrative, dealing with the election of officers, finances, committee reports, facilities, and more.
Research interest Scattered observations do reveal what members of this organization believed about the causes of poverty and the role of women. Members remained tied to an individual rather than structural understanding of poverty, believing it was connected to sin and immorality. Thus, they aimed to help the "worthy" poor—widows in particular, or, as they put it, "real widows" (emphasis theirs). Nonetheless, they saw their activism as proof that women could exercise influence outside of the household "to a certain extent" (emphasis theirs) without adversely affecting their domestic duties.
Size 4 lf.
Full collection description Home repository description for The Female Association of Philadelphia for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances
View full item http://library.haverford.edu/file-id-938
Contributing institution Haverford College Library, Quaker & Special Collections
Digital materials View items from the The Female Association of Philadelphia for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances