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The History of Orphans and Orphanages in the United States By E. Wayne Carp During the American colonial period (1607–1763), local poor-law officials “placed out” or removed five- to six-year-old children from destitute and motherless homes and placed them with other families. They also indentured or apprenticed children over the age of seven by contract to work for other families in return for board, clothing, training, and education. Responding to the inadequacy and expense of outdoor relief and the hostility to the poor, town officials built almshouses and committed families, paupers, the infirm, and the mentally ill, as well as law-breakers and alcoholics. During the 1850s and 1860s, investigation of almshouses by child welfare reformers revealed children living in overcrowded, mismanaged, and squalid conditions. As a result of these observations, reformers’ preference for the care of dependent children shifted from almshouses to private, sectarian (the vast majority), and public orphan asylums. Orphan asylums grew from thirty-three before 1833 to nearly two hundred by 1860; six hundred by 1890; 972 by 1910; and 1,321 by 1933. The vast majority of the children were not orphans; ninety percent had one parent living and most were white and poor. Thenextgenerationofchildwelfarereformerswouldlaterinaccurately accuse orphanages of removing children from their families, placing them in large congregate institutions, a practice that they claimed resulted in regimented routines that turned the youngsters into robots. By the first quarter of the twentieth century, however, many orphan asylum managers, “downsized” and turned to the “cottage system”: small groups of children who lived together in family-like settings run by their own matrons. Nevertheless, in spite of the criticism and the reforms, orphanages continued to thrive through the 1930s when more than 1,600 orphanages existed nationwide, housing approximately 144,000 children; not until the 1950s did foster care and adoption become the dominant form of care for dependent children in the United States. The suitability of the orphanage for dependent children continues to attract attention. In the mid-1990s, political controversy Adoption & Culture Vol. 4 (2014) 44 erupted, instigated by Senator Newt Gingrich (R-GA),when he advocated a social policy to “bring back the orphanage.” The following bibliography represents published historical sources that reflect this social welfare history of orphans and orphanages in the United States. Over the past twenty years, I have collected these readings from a variety of sources: book reviews, book catalogs, books for sale at history or socialworkconferences,adsinhistoricalandsocialworkjournals,articlesand monographs from the bibliographies appended to monographs, footnotes in articles, and historical databases such as JSTOR. I have not included “outcome studies” of institutionalized orphans simply because there are so many; these studies are quite numerous because the vast majority focus on internationally adopted orphans. Pacific Lutheran University Allen, Barton S., and James S. Vacca. “Bring Back Orphanages—An Alternative to Foster Care?” Children and Youth Services Review 33.7 (July 2011): 1067–72. Print. Ananbaum, Susan L. “Childcare Dilemmas: Religious Discourse and Services Among Jewish and Christian ‘Orphanages.’” Jewish Culture and History 12.1/2 (Summer/Autumn 2011): 159–74. Print. Ashby, LeRoy. Endangered Children: Dependency, Neglect, and Abuse in American History. New York: Twayne, 1997. Print. ---. Saving the Waifs: Reformers and Dependent Children, 1890–1917. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1984. Print. Bair, Sarah D. “Making Good on a Promise: The Education of Civil War Orphans in Pennsylvania, 1863–1893.” History of Education Quarterly 51.4 (Nov. 2011): 460–85. Print. Barber, E. Susan. “Anxious Care and Constant Struggle: The Female Humane Association and Richmond’s White Civil War Orphans.” Before the New Deal: Social Welfare in the South, 1830–1930. Ed. Elna C. Green. Athens: U of Georgia P, 1999. 20–137. Print Bogen, Hyman. The Luckiest Orphans: A History of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1992. Print. Brown, Dorothy M., and Elizabeth McKeown. The Poor Belong to Us: Catholic Charities and American Welfare. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1997. Print. Carp, “Orphans” 45 Callahan, Kathryn. “Sisters of the Holy Cross and Kearns-St. Ann’s Orphanage.” Utah Historical Quarterly 78.3 (Summer 2010): 254– 74. Print. Carp, E. Wayne. “Orphanages: The Strength and Weakness of a Macroscopic View.” Reviews in American History 27.1...