Orphanage: An institution for the housing and care of children who are bereft of parents because of death, desertion, poverty or other compelling conditions.

Widows and Waifs: New York City and the American Way to Welfare, 1913-1916

By June Hopkins, Ph. D.
Associate Professor, Armstrong Atlantic State University

(Note: This essay investigates the connections between the child-saving movement to reform orphanages and the widows’ pension movement in New York City during the Progressive Era.)

In New York City, during the early decades of the 20th century, progressive reformers made deliberate use of the child-saving impulse to initiate a new welfare methodology. This had a decided impact on the development of America’s welfare system during the 1930s. From about 1913 to 1916, heated debates raged across the state’s charity landscape over two interrelated issues: the New York City subsidy system whereby private child-caring institutions under the supervision of state agencies were supported by city money; and public pensions paid to poor, single mothers so their children could remain at home and out of these institutions. The former, a highly dramatic and well-publicized controversy among the state’s philanthropic community, has been largely ignored by historians. The latter, a dispute over public outdoor relief, took place largely outside of the public’s eye but has recently excited the interest of scholars investigating the roots of welfare in America.1 When the dust settled in 1916, a new approach to poverty and dependence reflected a shift from private to public agencies, from voluntarism to professionalism, from religious to secular, and from institutionalism to home relief. Concern for removing children from public almshouses evolved into a debate over the manner in which private agencies spent public money. Concern for the well-being of dependent children blended into concern for the behavior of dependent mothers.

Social workers brought these welfare initiatives to Washington during the Great Depression. Widows’ pensions became a template for Aid to Dependent Children. An aversion to the subsidy system was manifest in a preference for federal employees over locals in New Deal work programs. Therefore, a clarification of the connections between these debates can increase our understanding of the nature and evolution of the American welfare system. The particular cultural attitudes that animated these debates—a commitment to the work ethic, conflicting ideals of woman’s proper place in society, a national predilection for voluntarism, and a persistent tendency to blame poverty on the individual—remain with us today and invigorated the dismantling of the nation’s welfare system in 1996.

In the early twentieth century, statistical analyses of casework records taken by urban social workers indicated that families became destitute for a variety of reasons: illness, death, desertion, industrial accident, unemployment, insufficient wages. In many cases, poverty forced families to place children in institutions.2 Replacing the family’s income would remedy the situation but private charitable agencies were unable to generate enough donations to meet the growing need of the poor in New York City. Public funds raised by taxation could possibly meet the need. However, New York City had been legally prohibited from using public money to provide outdoor relief since 1874. Ironically, it could and did subsidize private orphan asylums and foster care, under what was known as the New York System. Yet the city was legally barred from giving these funds to a child’s own mother, even though this was known to be a cheaper and more humane system. Many progressive reformers found this situation intolerable.

The New York City experience carried special significance because of the sheer size of the problem. The city had both the legal right to support private institutions with public money (which the state did not have) and the legal obligation to remove children from the public almshouses.3 By the end of the nineteenth century there were about 110,000 children in 1200 private orphan asylums in the United States; 23,397 of these children, 21 percent of the national total, were cared for in New York City institutions which received city subsidies amounting to approximately $5 million annually. Moreover, Catholic institutions housed a large majority of these children–almost 16,000–and obviously had a vested interest in the perpetuation of a system that not only had become an entrenched part of the city’s charitable landscape, but provided them with huge sums of money for their charitable work.4

The New York System led to an awkward and potentially adversarial relationship between the city and the state. Those institutions receiving public funds were, of course, supposed to be in compliance with the rules and regulations issued by the New York State Board of Charities, led by Robert W. Hebberd. The New York City Commissioner of Public Charities, John A. Kingsbury, had the responsibility for committing dependent children to private institutions as public charges and authorizing payments to such institutions. Because it was left up to the State Board to certify that the institution complied with its rules and regulations, the city only had to ensure that the child was a proper public ward. However, problems soon arose over the actual supervision of the private orphanages receiving city funds. Because of a lack of investigators, the State Board of Charities had been accepting the institutions’ own affidavits that they were indeed conforming to state standards, a situation reminiscent of the fox watching the henhouse and one which would eventually give rise to enormous dissension.5 This situation eventually led to the demise of the New York System, but only after an extremely divisive and mean-spirited controversy pitted Catholics against non-Catholics, city against state, and professional against voluntary child-savers.

The reform administration of fusion mayor, John Purroy Mitchel, an Irish Catholic, anti-Tammany attorney who held office from 1913 to 1917, played a central role in what soon turned into a municipal morality play. When Mitchel was inaugurated mayor in 1914, he almost immediately sought to ameliorate what he considered substandard conditions in the city’s orphanages. To this end, he appointed Kingsbury as his Commissioner of Public Charities and instructed him to oversee the allocation of the $5 million given each year by the city to private institutions. Mitchel reported that almost immediately there began “a subterranean opposition . . . to obtain undue control over the Department of Public Charities, and failing that, to wreck its administration and the administration of the Mayor.”

Kingsbury was exactly the type of Progressive reformer the Catholics resented. Kingsbury had been General Director of the New York Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor (AICP) since 1910 and before that he had been Assistant Secretary of the State Charities Aid Association (SCAA).6 He believed that poverty could be prevented through the modern methods of scientific philanthropy. Stating that “impulsive benevolence is selfish, indolent, indiscriminating and generally produces evil,” Kingsbury wanted to discover and eliminate the causes of poverty, whether illness, irresponsibility, unemployment, or widowhood.7 As far as Kingsbury was concerned, there was no religious issue involved. He insisted that investigating the city’s subsidy system was not meant as an attack on Catholic institutions. He said he believed that they were doing valuable work in the community. Yet a series of events made it impossible to avoid the religious issue.

Despite claims on the part of Mayor Mitchel and Commissioner Kingsbury that they were not “out to get the State Board of Charities” and were only interested in improving the conditions in orphanages,8 evidence indicates that the investigation was launched by the reform administration for political reasons and carried out by social welfare professionals for ideological reasons. Both groups had the same agenda: to end the domination of the Catholics in the charitable arena. For the political reformers, this meant a blow against Tammany Hall; for the social reformers this meant the domination of modern social welfare practices and elimination of any charitable impulse “tainted” by religion. While the reformers protested that no religious bias lay behind their activities, it is indisputable that their targets were mainly Catholic institutions and their supporters. And if their bias had no theological or doctrinal basis, it nevertheless was aimed in the direction of the church.

In 1914 Kingsbury appointed an Advisory Committee to inspect the institutions and report back to him. It consisted of Dr. R.R. Reeder, a Protestant and Superintendent of the New York Orphan Asylum at Hastings-on-Hudson, Dr. Ludwig V. Bernstein of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society, Reverend Brother Barnabas of the New York Catholic Protectory, and, at the helm, William J. Doherty, Second Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Charities and former Secretary of the Catholic Home Bureau. All were opposed to the New York System. The investigations, furthermore, implied that the State Board of Charities, officially responsible for the regulation and certification of private agencies caring for children with public funds, had not been doing its job.9

Kingsbury’s Advisory Committee inspected thirty-eight child-caring institutions receiving public funds and under the supervision of the State Board of Charities and found that twenty-six of them were substandard. Of those institutions placed on the controverted (substandard) list, fourteen were Protestant and twelve were Catholic. Kingsbury’s Final Report cited “serious defects affecting the physical, moral and mental welfare of the inmates of New York City institutions” and noted: “Naturally, when we found on the certified list of the State Board institutions in which the beds were alive with vermin, in which antiquated methods of punishment prevailed, and in which the children were given little else save religious instruction, we found it necessary to decline to commit children to these institutions and to discontinue to accept as reliable the official reports of the Board.” Three days later, on November 18, the governor appointed his old friend, Charles H. Strong, whose credentials included a law degree form Harvard Law School in 1890 and a background of civic and social work in New York City, to head up a commission to investigate the activities of state agencies having to do with charitable institutions and to make recommendations for changes.10

The Strong Commission held hearings in New York City from January 31 to April 24, 1916.11 It immediately faced a barrage of criticism. Catholics, including Monsignor James J. Higgins, Secretary of Brooklyn’s Catholic Charities, accused Mayor Mitchel and Commissioner Kingsbury of writing “fiction” in reporting on the condition of children in institutions, claiming that the Mayor merely sought to improve his own political position by discrediting private religious institutions caring for children. An article in the August 1916 Nativity Mentor asserted that the Strong Commission was out to “get” Board member Hebberd because he believed strongly in the New York System and was outspoken in his opposition to professional philanthropists. The article accused the Strong Commission of bias and partiality and cited political issues behind the appointment of John Kingsbury, “a renegade Jew,” and his deputy , “a thing named Doherty.”12 As the hearings progressed, emotions boiled over and the press gave the combatants ample and often inflammatory coverage, with the New York City papers supporting the administration and the Brooklyn papers supporting the Catholics.13

The hearings outraged those supporters of the New York subsidy system. Father William B. Farrell, a Brooklyn priest who was a vigorous defender of the independence of Catholic charitable institutions, wrote an open letter to the governor charging that bias and prejudice against Catholics and their institutions lay at the bottom of the inquiry. This letter, published on February 16 as a pamphlet entitled “A Public Scandal: Being an Analysis of Men and Motives Underlying the Investigation of the Charitable Institutions”, led to what can only be referred to as an incredibly mean-spirited pamphlet war which lasted from about mid-February to mid-March of 1916. Accusing the Advisory Committee of anti-Catholic bias the pamphlet charged that “the habit of these ‘experts’ in endorsing each other is one of the farcical features and joys of professional philanthropy.” The pamphlet summed up the author’s (and the Catholic) attitude: “The Department of Charities, to gratify its hatred of the State Board, under the advice of the ‘Charity Trust,’ has used the institutions for its own purposes, and the earmarks of conspiracy stick out all over the proceedings. . . The exploitation of Doherty’s Committee, with its abusive and violent descriptive adjectives, is an unseemly farce. The whole thing should come to an immediate end . . .”14 This first pamphlet was quickly followed by several more including “How the Strong Commission discredited Itself,” “Charity For Revenue,” and “Priest Baiting in 1916.” These pamphlets, all lambasting the city investigation and the testimony of the Advisory Committee, were printed by the hundreds and distributed in churches all over the greater metropolitan area.15

There was the expected angry response from the city. Edward Moree, who did publicity work for the SCAA, produced an anonymous, twenty-four page pamphlet consisting of a montage of newspaper headlines and copies of articles, editorials and testimony.16 Especially prominent on the cover of the pamphlet was the headline from the New York Herald which asserted that at the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin at Mount Loreto, a Catholic institution on Staten Island, pigs and orphans were fed from the same receptacle. It was wholly untrue. Moree later admitted that this newspaper report was indeed a “misrepresentation of the evidence” but justified his actions by declaring that the pamphlet had already been printed when he found this out and that he did not think it was important enough to worry about. Catholic Charities called the Moree Pamphlet “craven, dishonorable and despicable.”17

Another unfortunate result of the divisiveness of the Strong hearings and a direct outgrowth of the pamphlets was Kingsbury’s request to tap the telephones of three of the Strong Commission witness. It had been the practice of the New York City police to use wiretaps to establish facts in criminal cases, with the consent of the New York Telephone Company. Mitchel and Kingsbury both claimed that “perjury, criminal libel, conspiracy to utter a criminal libel, and conspiracy to obstruct the administration of the law” were being committed.18 Consequently, from March 18 to March 30, 1916, police officers on the wiretapping squad listened in on the telephones of Father Farrell, Daniel C. Potter, and his son, Dean Potter. William Hotchkiss, attorney for the city, then received the transcriptions of the conversations overheard by the officers and used them in his questioning of witnesses during the Strong hearings.19 This led to an indictment against John Kingsbury and his attorney William Hotchkiss for unlawfully and willfully tapping the telephone of Father Farrell. The defense attempted to justify the wiretap on the grounds that both Kingsbury and Hotchkiss had reason to believe that crimes were being committed and that therefore “they were immune from prosecution.”20

Six weeks later, in mid-July, William Doherty appeared before Justice Samuel Greenbaum of the Manhattan Supreme Court and signed a complaint against Father Farrell, Monsignor John J. Dunn, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York, Potter, and Hebberd, charging them with crimes against the city, including libel, obstruction of justice, and perjury based on information obtained through the wiretaps. Greenbaum took testimony from the principals to determine if there was sufficient evidence to present to a Grand Jury. Defense counsel argued that the records proved that the phonograms were incomplete and inaccurate.21 22

On July 26, 1916, Kennel, distraught and close to mental and physical collapse, made his way to an office at 50 Church Street, the venue where the wiretapping had taken place, drew his service revolver and shot himself in the chest. The next day, headlines on the front page of The New York Times reported “Shunned, Wire Spy Tries to End Life—crazed by criticism he brought upon himself as a witness in the wiretapping proceedings.” Colleagues reported that he had indeed been devastated by his “botched” testimony in the courtroom, testimony called by the press a “fiasco” which only weakened the city’s case. Rushed to the hospital in critical condition and in extreme pain, the barely conscious Kennel insisted that he had told the truth but could no longer endure “the criticism and the jeers inspired by his failure to prove the accuracy of phonograms.” Even more than his remorse over having brought discredit on the city, he said, “he could not stand the resentment of his coreligionists who snubbed him because he, a Catholic, had taken the stand as a witness against two Catholic priests.”23 The emotional despair that led to Kennel’s attempted suicide points to the vehemence of the controversy which permeated the city’s administration.

The charges against Kingsbury and Hotchkiss were dropped by the Kings County Grand Jury. All charges against Farrell and Hebberd pending in the Manhattan Supreme Court were likewise dropped.24 Judge Greenbaum declared that truth was a defense of libel, that no malicious intent was proved and that, in any case, criticism of public officials rarely could be deemed libel.25 Everyone seemed to be satisfied with the results, except, of course, the unfortunate Detective Kennel.

In late October of 1916, Commissioner Strong issued his long-awaited report. It criticized the effectiveness of the State Board in carrying out its duties and obligations and declared that the “failure on the part of the state Board to demand proper compliance with its advice can only serve to breed disrespect for the State Board.” Remarking that one result of the controversy attendant upon the hearings was “to arouse public interest as never before in the welfare of dependent children,” Strong recommended that a new Bureau for Dependent Children be created within the State Board of Charities in order to select children out of institutions and place them in homes, with the municipality paying for their cost and maintenance.26 Strong made very clear his position on the issue of church and state and clearly stated that “the state must dominate the partnership between it and private institutions, and that “private charity is a public trust and should be amenable to reasonable state supervision.”27 The State Board protested against Strong’s criticisms and claimed that the job of managing and inspecting should fall to the city. It adamantly denied any negligence in the discharge of its responsibilities and appealed to Governor Whitman for recourse “from the unwarranted and often erroneous findings of Commissioner Charles H. Strong.”28

If Kingsbury and Mitchel, of course, felt vindicated, the Catholics had a different reaction. The journal, America, printed an article asserting that the Strong hearings “found Catholic Charities refusing to pay tribute to the modern pagan philanthropy.”29 It also ran an article, written by Robert Hebberd, which stated that the recommendations of the Strong Report would allow for more political manipulation by making the Board “more responsible to dictation from self-seeking representatives of certain private organizations, representative of organized charity which “had completely fallen down in its attempt to provide adequate help for such children.”30 While the Catholics felt that the investigation was fueled by religious bias, Survey, a journal dedicated to modern philanthropic methods and therefore reflecting the feelings of the city and professional social workers, claimed that the charities investigation was not really about public subsidies to private institutions, that it was not a religious issue but rather an issue of whether or not children were better off in institutions or in homes.31

In April of 1917, Senator Ogden Mills introduced a bill to translate into law the recommendations of the Strong Report. Kingsbury called this bill the most important measure to come before the Legislature in the past 25 years and social work professionals lent their wholehearted support. However, by this time the European war monopolized the public’s attention. Welfare professionals who had been embroiled in the controversy complained that “the twenty-three thousand helpless children in private institutions have been forgotten. No organized effort is being made at Albany to see to it that the recommendations made by Commissioner Strong are translated into law. Unless some such effort is made immediately and in earnest, all the work, the sacrifice, the anxiety, the bitter controversy, the public interest, and the official courage which attended the progress of Mr. Strong’s investigation will have proved futile. . . “32 Although the efforts of the social work community did not lead to child welfare legislation in 1916, in the long run they were certainly not futile.

Whatever the true intentions of the progressive reformers, the investigations they instigated, the ensuing trials, the wiretappings, and the pamphlets all combined to foster changes in New York City’s welfare system. The creation of the Children’s Home Bureau and the Children’s Clearing House in late 1916 marked an increased commitment on the part of all of those concerned with the welfare of dependent children—Protestants, Catholic, and Jew—to place them in carefully selected homes. By mid-1917, city authorities were convinced that it was clearly possible to adopt this more progressive method of child-care and that the Children’s Home Bureau was no longer an experiment but a demonstrated success. The city, therefore, took over the work of finding homes for children as part of the recognized activities of the Department of Public Charities and applied scientific methods to ensure that the children received proper care.33 The Catholics also redoubled their efforts at placing-out children from their institutions, making sure that they were placed in approved Catholic homes, heeding the warning of Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, that they “must not allow our children to be smuggled out of the Church.”34

From 1913 to 1916 another effort on the part of the child savers stirred up the philanthropic community in New York. The widows’ pension movement shared issues and actors with the charities controversy. Although New York City spent millions to support children in institutions, it could not spend public funds to help poor women support their children in their own homes. Reformers in New York City mounted an effort to change this and took a radical step in the direction of public outdoor relief.

The widows’ pension movement and the charities controversy both took place against the background of an austerity budget for New York City. The need for economy impelled John Kingsbury, as New York City’s Commissioner of Public Charities, to make sure that every dollar the city spent, was spent wisely. The campaign to remove children kept in private institutions at city expense undoubtedly served both the economic and political ends of Mitchel’s fusion administration. Nevertheless, the national attention given to the importance of home life and the sanctity of the family added a significant impetus to efforts to deinstitutionalize children.

Continued in Orphanage Part II

1 See Linda Gordon, Barbara Nelson, and Theda Skocpol on widows’ pensions. On the charities controversy, see Dorothy Brown and Elizabeth McKeown, “Saving New York’s Children,” U.S. Catholic Historian Summer, 1995): 77-95 and their The Poor Belong to Us: Catholic Charities and American Welfare, Harvard University Press.
2 In 1912 a total of 2,283 children were put into orphan asylums merely because a parent was too poor to take care of them. NYS Archives, Albany, NY. A3106-78, Reel 4, Folder 32, unpaginated. According to Frederick E. Bauer, Superintendent of the Children’s Bureau in Manhattan, for the year 1912 the following number of children in Manhattan were committed to institutions:


Cause Father Mother Both Total
Illness of 188 916* 67 1171
Death of 430 546 95 1071
Desertion of 464 104 73 641

3 The Children’s Law of 1875 mandated that all children between the ages of three and sixteen be removed from public almshouses, away from the dangerous influences of adult paupers and criminals, and placed either with families or in institutions exclusively for children. This law also required that “as far as practicable, a child shall be committed to an institution controlled by officers of the same religion as that of the parents of that child.” Charles H. Strong, “Report of Charles H. Strong to Governor Whitman,” October 24, 1916, 10. Tierney Collection, Georgetown University, Lauinger Library, Special Collections. (Hereinafter Tierney GUSC.)
4 “The Strong Report;” Thomas Mulry, “The Government in Charity” 1912; James J. Higgins to Mayor Mitchel, June 2, 1916. Tierney GUSC.
5 James J. Higgins, Letter, June 2, 1916. Tierney GUSC.
6 John Adams Kingsbury Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. (Hereinafter JAKP), A37 Folder: 251 Political; JAKP A1 Folder: AICP 1914-1916.
7 John Adams Kingsbury, “With reference to Family Welfare…” JAKP A30 Folder: 13-3.
8 William Hotchkiss, “Brief on Behalf of the Commissioner of Public Charities of the City of New York,” Tierney GUSC. 6.
9 Reeder, who asserted that New York was the “worst institution ridden state in the US,” had been accused of bigotry by the Catholics. He had claimed that private child-caring institutions “scrambled for children” because of the funds attached to their commitment. Doherty blamed the inadequacies of these institutions not on a lack of money but on “the attitude, spirit and underlying purpose of the institution.” JAKP A18 Folder Publicity 1914-1918; Letter to Kingsbury from AWT, January 7, 1914, JAKP A3a Folder: William J. Doherty 1914-1917; Tierney GUSC “Charities Investigation,” 5′ “Municipal Welfare Work,” Kingsbury speech, probably mid-1917. JAKP A30 Folder: 13-1; “A Study of the Results of Institutional Care,” 4-5, Tierney GUSC; Scrapbook, NY Charities Investigation, Tierney GUSC; Hotchkiss “Brief on Behalf…” 20-23, Tierney GUSC; Moree Pamphlet, 16-18, Tierney GUSC.
10 Letter from Secretary to the Deputy Commissioner to Lester Roth, October 23, 1917. JAKP A18 Folder: Private Child Caring Institutions 1914-1917, K-R. William H. Hotchkiss, “Brief on Behalf of the Commissioner of Public Charities of the city of New York,” 16, Tierney GUSC. “Report of Charles H. Strong to Governor Whitman,” 5-6. Tierney GUSC; Folks denies that he convinced Whitman to appoint Strong as commissioner claiming that he only had “informal conversation” with the Governor during which Strong’s name came up. Homer Folks, “The Strong Investigation and Certain Other Matters,” S.C.A.A. News III (June, 1916): 1, 4-5, 7. It is not clear from the documents whether or not the governor had created the Commission before he received Kingsbury’s report. However, given the time frame it seems likely that he had.
11 The Thompson Committee looking into the wiretap case showed “that there was an effort on the part of certain members of the Catholic hierarchy and certain laymen associated with them to block this investigation.” Outlook (June 17, 1916); “The Strong Investigation and Certain Other Matters,” S.C.A.A. News III (June, 1916): 6.
12 James J. Higgins, “New York Charities Investigation,” 3. Scrapbook, Tierney GUSC; Nativity Mentor XXI (June 1916): 7-8.
13 Doherty testified that he had found “shocking, almost incredible” conditions in state-certified sectarian institutions getting city money. The New York Times (February 2, 1916): 20; The New York Times (February 3, 1916): 20; The New York Times (February 1, 1916):8; The New York Times (February 3, 1916): 20; The New York Times (February 5, 1916): 9; The New York Times (February 6, 1916) VII, 9.
14 Rev. W.B. Farrell, “A Public Scandal,” February 18, 1916, passim. Tierney GUSC.
15 One in particular castigated Kingsbury. A section entitled “The Mayor’s ‘Best Man in the City’” asserted that “no public figure in the history of the city has offered the Catholic element in this community an insult so gratuitous, so outrageous, so contemptible” as to appoint William Doherty to head up the Advisory Committee. It accused Kingsbury of entering office as Commissioner of Public Charities “engaged for and determined to attack Catholic institutions.” In “Priestbaiting in 1916″ the author reiterated charges that the investigations were anti-Catholic and ended by accusing the Commission of causing the death of his friend and member of the State Board, Thomas Maurice Mulry, president of Emigrant and Industrial Savings Bank and prominent Catholic layman. William Farrell, S. J., “Priestbaiting in 1916,” 5-10. Tierney GUSC.
16 “Extraction of Minutes of March 14, 1916, Examination of Edward A. Moree,” 6845. Tierney GUSC. “Dismissal of Charges Against Respective Defendants of Wrongfully Obtaining Knowledge of Telephonic Messages, of Conspiracy in Perverting and Obstructing Justice, of Criminal Libel and Perjury,” 3. JAKP A16 Folder: Indictment 1917.
17 “Extraction of Minutes of March 14, 1916, Examination of Edward A. Moree,” 6278, 6735. Tierney GUSC. The Brooklyn Eagle (March 23 1916): 1. Catholic Charities and the Strong Commission,” America XV (May 6, 1916): 77. Even Homer Folks admitted that not all the headlines in the pamphlet were correct representations of conditions at institutions. Homer Folks, “The Strong Investigation and Certain Other Matters,” S.C.A.A. News III (June, 1916): 6.
18 Folks, “The Strong Investigation,” 6-7.
19 “Hotchkiss Deposition,” JAKP A16 Folder: Indictment 1917, 4-11. Nativity Mentor XXI (August 1916): 7. The New York City Police had earlier been charged with illegally using wiretaps to listen in on conversations of the Allied Printing Trades Council to determine dates of planned strikes. The Brooklyn Eagle (July 25, 1916). Tierney GUSC.
20 S.C.A.A. News (June 16, 1916) Tierney GUSC. The New York Times (July 13, 1916): 17.
21 The Brooklyn Standard, (July 18, 1916): 1. Tierney GUSC. “Examination of W. H. H.,” JAKP A11 Folder: State Board of Charities L-Z 1914-1917.
22 In one phonogram, an overheard conversation made reference to “his eminence” which was transcribed as “an ambulance.” On July 19, 1916, 105 phonograms were read into the record in an “exceedingly tedious and tiresome” portion of the testimony. In fact, the testimony was so boring that, as a Brooklyn paper reported, Potter fell asleep. The Brooklyn Eagle (July 19, 1916). The Brooklyn Eagle (July 24, 1916); New York Evening World (July 24, 1916); The Brooklyn Eagle (July 25, 1916). Tierney GUSC.
23 The New York Times (July 27, 1916): 1. The Brooklyn Eagle (July 20, 1916): 1; The New York American (July 20, 1916): 1; The New York Evening World (July 20, 1916): 1; The Daily Times (July 20, 1916: 1.
24 Daniel Potter, who had been accused of trying to leave the state to avoid a subpoena, had died earlier, “removed by the hand of death from all earthly jurisdictions” according to Justice Greenbaum” Dismissal of Charges. . .” State Charities Aid Association Press Release, undated. JAKP A16 Folder: Indictment 1917.
25 “Dismissal of Charges Against Respective Defendants …,” 1, 7-8. JAKP A16 Folder: Indictment 1917.
26 “The Strong Report,” 31-32, 82-87, 97. Box 321, Tierney GUSC
27 “The Strong Report,” 126, 134.
28 “The Answer to the Strong Report,” December 13, 1916, 1-2, 12, 22, 65-66, 78, 84, 90, 98-99. Box 321, Tierney GUSC.
29 “Catholic Charities and the Strong Commission,” XV (May 6, 1916): 77-79.
30 Robert W. Hebberd, “The Charities Investigation: Its Inspiration,” America XV (May 13, 1916): 101-102.
31 Survey (April 8, 1916. JAKP A11 Folder” State Board of Charities A-K 1914-1917.
32 John A. Kingsbury, Charities Bulletin I (April 1917):. JAKP A12 Folder: Strong Legislation and Report 1917 A-K. “What of the Strong Report?” JAKP A12 Folder: Strong Legislation and Report 1917 A-k.
33 Doherty reported that this signaled “a new chapter, brimful of progressiveness, added to the history of the development of publicly administered charities in the City of New York.” “Memorandum of Suggested Division of Child-Placing in the Department of Public Charity,” 1917. JAKP A2 Folder: Children’s Home Bureau, 1917 Prospectus; John Daniels, Director, “The New Children’s Home Bureau, Special Report to the Advisor Committee, Meeting, November 23, 1916,” 13-16. JAKP A2 Folder: Children’s Home Bureau, Advisory Board; William Doherty, “Brief Report of the Second Deputy Commissioner concerning the Work of the Children’s Home Bureau,” 1-2, JAKP, A2 Folder: Children’s Home Bureau Advisory Board 1916; “Resume of the Progress of the Work During the Four Month Period (July 1 to October 31, 1917,” JAKP A2 Folder: Children’s Home Bureau Advisory Board 1916.
34 John Cardinal Farley, Pastoral Letter February 2, 1917, Tierney GUSC.


One Response to Orphanage, Part 1

  1. […] first publicly funded orphanage was established in Charleston, South Carolina in 1790—one of the first public social services in […]

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