Roxbury, MA: 1849.
24.5 x 20 cm, half-fold manuscript report. A handwritten report by a committee member of the Roxbury almshouse to assess the complaint that there are “Paupers living so much better than other Paupers”. The report quality of houses in the Boston area, looking specifically at menus. A weekly menu for the Charlston, Cambridge, and Roxbury almshouses are outlined specifically, with the conclusion that “New Bedford is the best, South Boston next, and Salem next, Charlston, Cambridge and Roxbury so nearly a like, we make no difference.” Boston’s first almshouse was in operation by the mid-1660s. In 1744, Massachusetts provincial law ordered towns to establish poorhouses and by the late eighteenth century many towns experimented with building poorhouses as a cost-saving measure. Boston maintained a twelve-member board of overseers of the poor that was responsible for consigning the city’s most indigent residents to the almshouse. This report was submitted by a member (name is illegible) “for the Committee”, presumably the board of overseers of the poor for the city of Roxbury. Fold creases and some staining, otherwise very good.