This paper draws on the daily schedule and institutional records of two institutions for abandoned children in Dijon, France, to describe the lives of the boys of the Bonnets Rouges and the girls of Sainte-Anne from 1706 to 1754. These institutions served as a respite for families who found it difficult to provide for their children. I argue that families in need used the institution to better their children's chances of survival since admission to an institution gave the children opportunities for education and training as well as shelter, food, and clothing. The situation in eighteenth-century Dijon provides an excellent case study of how the provincial and city governments provided poor relief. The study of these institutions can provide us not only with clues about social attitudes toward the poor during this time period and insights into the various social and economic pressures that caused some families to abandon their children but also enable us to assess the roles gender and age played in abandonment.


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pp. 116-135
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