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and unprincipled, there is no opening here for them. In our large towns, there are temptations to vice; and they will not remain in the country when sent there. Their aggregation in masses, for long periods, has developed evil traits and disseminated vice, and now they need dispersion. Let us not make more like them, but save the younger children from the same fate, by removing them from institution life before they are spoiled by it.

It is encouraging to find so many persons willing to work in this field. It requires, of course, self-sacrifice and patient labor; but can there be a more truly useful and hopeful work? Much can be done if women who possess intelligence and some leisure will enter fully into it. To those who refuse on the ground that they have no leisure, we would suggest that many things which are regarded as important duties to one's self and family, are only the multiplying of luxuries and the gratification of vanity and social ambition. By simplifying dress and amusements, by cutting off a little here and a little there from our luxuries, we may change the whole current of many human lives. Our good deeds and our evil and selfish ones, they are like stones dropped in still water, spreading ever increasing circles, - endless results from small causes.

We find already the beneficial effect of a wide-spread acquaintance with our own people, of contact with good people in other towns and other religious denominations. We foresee the breaking-down of barriers of sect, of class, and of neighborhood, and the growth of Christian sympathy and brotherhood through this and kindred charitable work. The interest in the welfare of children is more universal than any other form of benevolence. Every one also sees the value of home-training and family influence, always provided that the family be carefully selected.

A strong opposition has arisen in the Roman Catholic Church to placing Catholic children in Protestant families. The fear is that it will lead to the conversion of children to Protestantism. It will be very difficult, therefore, to provide for some of those children who most need to be separated from the life they are now living. Comparatively few Catholic families in New England are yet sufficiently intelligent and prosperous to adopt or to train the children who need homes; and, as they usually have large families of their own, it is difficult to find among them homes to be compared with those freely offered by Americans and Protestants. The Catholic clergy offer asylums of their own faith to indigent children; but here we encounter the very thing we seek to avoid, -institution training,

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which, in the end, leads to nothing very hopeful when the child grows older. It is only right and just to respect the religious faith of a people, and to concede to them all that we conscientiously can. The law of the State of New York requires that the religious faith of parents be considered in boarding children in private asylums by overseers of the poor. It is, however, stated by persons familiar with the operation of that law, that children remain under it too long in a state of dependence, and do not readily find their way into self-support. The problem which we must solve is a very difficult one. The foreign Catholic population is very large. It furnishes a great proportion of our dependent and criminal class. It also furnishes us with voters and tax-payers in great numbers, and embraces many excellent and conscientious citizens. The opposition by Catholics to Protestant influence is based on real religious scruples, and must be met in a spirit of tolerance, and not by blind opposition. That which is real and enduring in the Catholic faith should be respected; and Protestants should remember how much they hold in common with Catholics, in the great doctrines of Christianity and its requirements of pure and upright life. The true way to deal with Catholic children in Protestant families would be to permit them to practise their own form of worship, to be silent in regard to their peculiar doctrines, and to inculcate a life of piety and good works. The Catholic clergy will be very ready to acquiesce in this mode of dealing by Protestant families, and to perceive a real toleration. I believe that if our people could be led to deal fairly with Catholics, many poor children might receive the benefit of a good family training, who are shut out from it by the fear of proselytism which their parents and clergy now feel.

It is my design that this paper should be exceedingly brief, and I have given only the outlines of what I believe to be a practicable plan for bringing destitute children into family homes. I have spoken only of our new-born "Hampden County Children's Aid Association" by way of illustration. It has yet only achieved a beginning, and has developed only great probabilities. The law to which I have alluded as having been secured by it was, so far as it goes, a copy of the New-York law, chapter 173 of Acts of 1875. The Association received important and indispensable aid in bringing their petition before the legislature from Mr. Moses Kimball, Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of State Charities; from Mr. Frank B. Sanborn; from two ladies who are overseers

of the poor in Brookline, Mass., - Mrs. Cabot and Mrs. Codman ; and from other benevolent ladies in Boston.

We cannot claim any originality in our plan, as it has been suggested for many years past by the Massachusetts Board of State Charities in their Annual Reports. Dr. Howe and Mr. Sanborn, in the earlier reports of this Board, have dwelt upon the need of bringing children early into family life, and also upon the need of voluntary co-operation with officials by benevolent women in visitation of dependent children in private families. The later reports of the Board, especially the fifteenth and last, further urge the same necessity for voluntary aid.

The general sentiment of the more educated portion of the community is against the aggregation of children in large numbers for a long time in institutions, and is in favor of family-homes, under careful restrictions. Many judicious philanthropists also favor the placing out in families of juvenile delinquents of a certain class. I believe that a good number of the latter would improve in an orderly family, and find the best training and reformation there. Juvenile delinquents come, for the most part, from wretched and ill-governed homes. Their aggregation in large numbers only increases their evil propensities. They need dispersion even more than merely dependent children do.

To sum up,

1. Institution life, both public and private, should be recognized only as a temporary make-shift or stepping-stone to a family-life.

2. The younger the child when it enters the family, the more hopeful will be its future in life. The longer the child remains in the institution, the greater will be the prospect that it will be a public burden always.

3. In order to bring dependent children at an early age into family-life, it will be necessary to pay a small sum for their maintenance for a time, in many cases.

4. To prevent the neglect or abuse of children by mercenary or unprincipled persons, who take them only for gain, careful supervision and visitation are indispensable.

5. Official visitation alone will never be found effectual. It must be supplemented by voluntary visitation from suitable and authorized persons, actuated by benevolent motives.

6. Local committees will be most efficient in performing this visitation, because they will have better facilities for knowing what

occurs in their own neighborhood, and will avoid the expense of travel.

7. A central board for the association, whether it be of a county or state, is necessary, to receive reports, and to see that rules are obeyed. Also to furnish a bureau of registration and reference.

8. A small sum may be paid for board; but families who will take children without payment should always be carefully sought. The payment should cease as early as practicable, and the spirit of gain in the whole matter should be carefully guarded against.

9. Religious toleration and concession must be practised, in order to make the work adequate to the needs of the time.

SPRINGFIELD, MASS., May 26th, 1879.

CLARA T. Leonard.



If we look back in the history of our nation a hundred, fifty, or even twenty-five years, and consider the condition of the poor, more especially the dependent children, we can see a great advance. Still there is much, very much, to be done. Public sentiment is to be aroused and interest excited; and I know of no way in which the great mass of the people can be reached so effectually, as by the publication of the results attained in conventions of philanthropists, and students of social science. Discussions of this nature are not only awaking a wide-spread and deep interest among men, but women also, arousing from their extreme conservatism, are realizing that here is a work for them to do, as well as for their fathers, husbands, and brothers.

A very large amount of time and labor, as well as money, has been expended in attempts to counteract the effects of evil, while almost nothing has been done to remove the primary cause; the policy of philanthropists and social-scientists has seemed to be, to care for and reclaim the confirmed criminal, rather than to prevent crime. In doing even this, the world moves, and men and women have waked to the consciousness that each is in an important sense his brother's keeper.

What are the history and characteristics of pauperism? Who are paupers, and from whom do they descend? It has been found that a very large proportion of this class are the direct descendants of paupers. The parents, grandparents, and even great-grand

parents, have been inmates of the same or other poorhouses, workhouses, or prisons, and the females inmates of dens of pollution reaching the lowest depths of degradation. Is this strange in regard to women, when we consider how much harder it is for a woman than for a man to resist contaminating influences?

There is a large number of dependent children, whose circumstances of birth, parentage, and want of good home-influences, are such as to deprive them of the advantages of our public schools, particularly in those states where there is no law of compulsory education, and who are rapidly preparing to fill our prisons, workhouses, poorhouses, and, more deplorable still, the houses of ill-fame.

Who has not seen the tender and delicate features of childhood marred by neglect and dirt, with bare feet, clothing ragged and filthy, - not the sort of a child one loves to take in one's arms and kiss; and yet even your delicate child, proud father or tender mother, deprived of your protecting care, might have descended to so low and dreadful a condition: for many of these poor children have no father or mother, not even a brother or sister. Home is a meaningless word to them: their days are passed in the streets and alleys, their bed at night is an empty box or hatchway, their food is gathered from the refuse of the shops, their companions are degraded and vicious. Such are the conditions which, as certainly as spring brings the bursting of the bud, or as grain follows seed-time and harvest, will make of these poor children vagrants and outcasts at seven years of age, thieves at ten, ruffians at twelve, and inmates of penal institutions or houses of prostitution at fifteen or earlier. Who has not seen them, with pinched, livid, starved faces, begrimed with dirt, and in a condition which renders them entirely unfit to associate with more fortunate children, their language showing their mental and moral to be no better than their bodily condition? and who, seeing them, has not felt his heart swell with pity, and asked himself what hope is there for them if they are not cared for and removed from such associations and influences before it is too late?

Does it seem that society could have any more pressing Chris-. tian or moral duty, or one of greater importance in an economical point of view, than to care for these waifs and outcasts? It is sure to have this to do in the end, at a much greater cost, in its jails and workhouses. Is it not best to do it in the beginning, while

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