Thursday, March 13,2008, 5:30–7:00 p.m.
Down But Not Out: Poverty in a Time of Scarcity Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1730-1820
Angela L. Keysor, University of Iowa
This paper will take the reader through unchartered territory: the eighteenth-century world of poor relief in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Our guides will be the needy themselves. Through the letters and petitions of desperate women and men, we will see the channels and pathways that those in need of aid travelled. The experiences of the needy reveal that there was a dynamic care system, based on a communal web of relationships that existed in Charlestown during this time period. The very instability of life ensured the vitality of this system of care. Everyone in Charlestown had a vested interest in the success or failure of the town’s relief network.By following individual journeys through this network, we will begin to see the world of poverty through the eyes of the poor themselves.
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminarin person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Jenny Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org, orcall (312) 255-3524.
The Newberry Library Seminar in Early American History and Culture is co-sponsored by the University of Chicago,DePaul University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northern Illinois University, and Northwestern University
The Newberry Library
Dr. William M. Scholl Center for
Family and Community History
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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