icon for Home page
icon for Kid's Home page
icon for Digital Collection
icon for Activities
icon for Turns Exhibit
icon for In the Classroom
icon for Chronologies
icon for My Collection

Online Collection

PAUPERS IN MASSACHUSETTS.- From the official abstract of the returns of the Overseers of the Poor in Massachusetts, for the year 1849 prepared by the Secretary of State, we find that the whole number of persons relieved or supported during the year, is 24,892; of which number 8381 are town paupers, and 14,083 State paupers. The number of State paupers who are foreigners is 10,253; of which 9128 are from England and Ireland. The number of Alms Houses is 196, which during the year have relieved 11,556 persons at an average weekly cost of $1,06 1-2 each, while the average weekly cost of those supported out of the alms house has been $1,00 1-2. Number of insane relieved or supported 661; Idiots 351. The proportion of paupers, probably made so by intemperance in themselves or others, is 13,250. The number of foreign paupers who have come into the State within one year is 2043. The nett amount of expenses of supporting and relieving paupers, including the interest on Alms House establishments, is $441,675,40. The estimated value of alms house establishments is $1,185,438,27; number of acres land attached 19,378. Estimated value of labor performed by paupers $17,221,36. The number of paupers aided and supported out of the alms house is 12,061.

In this County, the returns are very imperfect. The following towns, only, have made returns. Ashfield has 9 paupers, Bernardston 8; Buckland, 7. Charlemont, 7; Deerfield, 26; Erving, 12; Gill, 8; Greenfield, 35; Heath, 11; Leyden, 9; Munroe, 1; Montague, 24; New Salem, 23; Northfield, 41; Orange, 17; Rowe, 6; Shelburne, 6; Shutesbury, 22; Sunderland, 2; Warwick, 14; Wendell, 9; Whately, 10.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Contact us for information about using this image.

label levels:

Paupers were a drain on town and state budgets, and were enumerated every year. Each town in Massachusetts had their own Overseers of the Poor officers who supervised and administered care of paupers. This report for 1849 lists the numbers of paupers in several categories. The total number for the year is 24,892 out of a total population of about 994,000, or about 2.5%. Costs of the almshouses are also reported, as is the value of the labor of the paupers who reside there. The numbers of paupers in each Franklin County town that filed a return are listed. The Gazette & Courier was the newspaper in Greenfield, Massachusetts, from July 20, 1841 until June 24, 1932. Before 1841 the newspaper's name changed quite frequently, with Gazette a frequent part of the title.


top of page

"Paupers in Massachusetts" article from the Gazette and Courier newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Gazette and Courier
date   Jan 28, 1850
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
height   8.0"
width   3.5"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L05.090

Look Closer icon My Collection icon Document Image icon Detailed info icon

ecard icon Send an e-Postcard of this object

See Also...

Indenture of Sarah Green

"Irish Immigration" article from the Greenfield Gazette and Franklin Herald newspaper

"Finance Report of the Town of Deerfield. 1860-61."

button for Side by Side Viewingbutton for Glossarybutton for Printing Helpbutton for How to Read Old Documents


Home | Online Collection | Things To Do | Turns Exhibit | Classroom | Chronologies | My Collection
About This Site | Site Index | Site Search | Feedback