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Hannah Kinney

Image of Hannah Kinney

Image courtesy of the New Jersey Historical Society, Newark, NJ Kinney Family Papers, MG 785, Box 1, record books. The History of the Newark Female Charitable Society. Newark, NJ: Newark Female Charitable Society, 1903.

Hannah Kinney (1761-1833) was one of the first six managers of The Newark Female Charitable Society.

Founded in 1803, the society “devise some means for caring for the poor and distressed persons in the village.” Kinney kept notes of her visits and records of the supplies she purchased for the needy. It was her responsibility to decide who in her district needed help and whether they were “worthy” of the aid of the Society. She found families in the winter without wood for heating and without the barest essentials of life. Firewood and fabrics for clothing (such as drugget, a woolen fabric, and bird’s eye, a cotton fabric) were the most common supplies she provided. The entries in Kinney’s record book give a very bleak picture of the living and health conditions for the poor at the beginning of the 19th century.






United States. 1848. Hannah Kinney, widow of Amos Kinney. Washington: [publisher not identified]. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1053211063 

Kinney, Hannah. 2009. A review of the principal events of the last ten years in the life of Mrs. Hannah Kinney: together with some comments upon the late trial. [Buffalo, NY]: William S. Hein & Co. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/808313518 

Questions to Explore

How were Kinney’s notes and records helpful in the Newark Female Charitable Society?

How did Kinney decide who in her district needed help and whether or not they were “worthy”?

Additional Resources

Witham Ward and Hannah Kinney. 1842. A Brief Notice of the Life of Mrs. Hannah Kinney for Twenty Years. Boston?: Ward Witham. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/MMLT?af=RN&ae=Q4201762344&srchtp=a&ste=14&q=prin77918