Newark Female Charitable Society,
Source: Newark Female Charitable
The History of the Newark Female Charitable Society, 1803-1903
THE HISTORY OF ONE
HUNDRED YEARS OF THE NEWARK FEMALE
WORK, AS TOLD BY ITS OWN RECORDS
...In 1836, Newark became a
city. In place of shady lanes were paved street, Churches
multiplied, and these began to care for their own needy.
With immigration came poverty and a multitude of
struggling poor. Orphan asylums and Homes for the aged and
afflicted were built, and all demanded a share in the
beneficence of the rich; yet the Female Charitable Society
kept on the even tenor of its way. A religious or
charitable occasion was sure to be well attended, for in
those days there were not the same time the relief for the
suffering poor in their homes, with personal Christ-like
|Brief Centennial History,
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|Charitable Society Building
305 Halsey Street, Newark
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In the early 20th century, women’s charitable
organizations in many cities provided guidance and instruction to poor and
immigrant women in child care and home management. Mothers’ meetings
sponsored by such organizations were occasions for instruction in
parenting skills, child care, sewing, and nutrition.
The Newark Female Charitable Society had a long history of charitable
work in Newark. It was founded in 1803 as the "Female Society for
the Relief of Poor and Distressed Persons in the Village of Newark"
and was perhaps the earliest female charitable society in New Jersey.
Over 100 years later it was sponsoring mothers’ meetings, lessons in the
most efficient way to do laundry, a cooking school, a noon-day meal
program, relief to needy women and families throughout the city, and a
"fresh air fund" to provide countryside visits for the aged,
infirm, and needy. Organizations such as this, as well as settlement
houses, were the predecessors of modern social service agencies.
The "Female Society for the Relief of Poor and Distressed Persons
Village of Newark" was organized and run by Rachel Bradford
Boudinot (1764-1805) in her home at 74 Park Place. Perhaps the earliest
charitable organization in the state, it was later renamed the
Charitable Society and continued to serve Newark residents.