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Fates of Orphans: Poor Children in Antebellum Charleston

John E. Murray
The Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Vol. 33, No. 4 (Spring, 2003), pp. 519-545
Published by: The MIT Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3656270
Page Count: 27
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Abstract

The circumstances of children upon leaving the Charleston Orphan House were strongly influenced by their circumstances upon arriving. Most of these children were bound out as apprentices after a few years; a large, and growing, minority of them returned to their families; and others died or ran away from the institution. Those with widowed mothers who maintained close ties with them-as evidenced by the children's literacy-were most likely to resume family life after their mothers remarried. Those who had been delivered to the orphanage by other family members or by public officials tended not to be so fortunate.

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