Foundlings in Nineteenth-century New York City


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Foundlings in Nineteenth-century New York City

by Julie Miller (Author)



ISBN: 9780814757260


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Offers a fascinating history of a once devastating social problem

Filled with anecdotes and personal stories, Miller traces the shift in attitudes toward foundlings from ignorance, apathy, and sometimes pity for the children and their mothers to that of recognition of the problem as a sign of urban moral decline and in need of systematic intervention. Assistance came from public officials and religious reformers who constructed four institutions: the Nursery and Child's Hospital's foundling asylum, the New York Infant Asylum, the New York Foundling Asylum, and the public Infant Hospital, located on Randall's Island in the East River. Ultimately, the foundling asylums were unable to significantly improve children's lives, and by the early twentieth century, three out of the four foundling asylums had closed, as adoption took the place of abandonment and foster care took the place of institutions. Today the word foundling has been largely forgotten. Fortunately, Abandoned rescues its history from obscurity.


ISBN 81475726
ISBN13 9780814757260
Publisher New York University Press
Format Paperback
Publication date 01/04/2008
Pages 336
Weight (grammes) 445
Published in United States
Height (mm) 227
Width (mm) 153

List of Tables Acknowledgments Abbreviations Introduction 1 "Children of Accident and Mystery": Foundlings in History and Literature2 "New York as a Nursing Mother": Foundlings in the Antebellum City 3 "The Murder of the Innocents": New York Discovers Its Foundlings 4 "The Basket at the Door": The Foundling Asylums Open 5 "Out-Heroding Herod": The Foundlings and the Revolutionary 6 The End of the Foundling Asylums 7 Conclusion: The Foundling Disappears-Almost Notes Index About the Author