Boston Almshouse Admissions, 1758-1800: Black, Mulatto, Indian, Foreign-Born

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We’re proud to announce the completion of  our database of Black, Mulatto, Indian, Foreign-Born, Male and Female admissions to the Boston Almshouse from 1758-1800. The manuscript records of the Boston Overseers of the Poor, which the Massachusetts Historical Society obtained from the City of Boston in 1957, were transcribed in The Eighteenth Century Records of the Boston Overseers of the Poor, edited by Eric G. Nellis and Anne Decker Cecere.

We have added to the accessibility of this invaluable resource by providing a searchable database of admissions to the Boston Almshouse, as well as records of Children Bound Out.

The admissions records raise some interesting questions for historians to consider. How did the end of slavery in the 1780’s impact the economic conditions of the recently freed slaves? Did foreign immigration shut down during the Revolutionary War Years  1775-1783 (the fighting actually ended in 1781)? During this time period were more ‘Blacks’, ‘Mulattos’ and ‘Indians’ admitted because for whatever reason they were marginalized by the war?    In what time period does immigration spike, and why ?

Check out this infographic for some highlights.


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