In Her Own Right

The Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor records

Date range 1795 – 1978
Creator The Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor
Abstract The collection includes mostly administrative records, as well as pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and photographs from major gatherings and events. The charter from the Female Society's incorporation in 1815 is also included. The collection dates from the Female Society's founding in 1795 until 1978. The administrative records include Minutes, 1795-1978; Treasurer's Books, 1795-1907; Resumes of Account, 1845-1914; Investments, 1845-1933; Legacies from 1816; Subscribers' Names, 1812-1894; Donations, 1904-1914; Record of Particular Cases from 1828; Standing Committee Minutes, 1838-1891; records from the Committee of Admission, 1868-1873; House of Industry Weekly Reports, 1830-1919; Names of Scholars; Cooperation with other Societies; Time Books, 1935-1943; Payroll Books, 1947-1949; Monthly Reports, 1940-1947; Budgets and Monthly Reports; and records of Women's Savings, 1923-1949. In addition, there are pamphlets, invitations, newspaper clippings, and some photographs from a reception held in 1889, the centennial celebration in 1895, and the sesquicentennial celebration. There is an account of Anne Parrish, silhouettes of Anne Parrish, a diagram of a quilt made by the women of the Female Society, and a notebook by Catharine W. Morris from 1802. There are also miscellaneous papers and images from throughout the Female Society's history.
Research interest Although this association had much in common with other charitable organizations—its members preferred providing work to aid whenever possible, and they were careful to distinguish between the "worthy" and "unworthy" poor, occasionally denying someone admittance for reasons like uncleanliness or intemperance—it also differed in ways that point to a diversity of strategies within Philadelphia's benevolent community. For instance, they aided men as well as women, providing clothing, coal, and groceries to the infirm. They also aided women of different races and ethnicities, mentioning interactions with "colour'd" and German aid recipients. This collection would be quite valuable for a study of the organization's day-to-day activities.
Size 6.25 lf
Full collection description Home repository description for The Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor records
View full item http://library.haverford.edu/file-id-895
Contributing institution Haverford College Library, Quaker & Special Collections
Digital materials View items from the The Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor records