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Exhibition Join In: Voluntary Assocations in America

The Constitution and By-laws of the Orphan Asylum Society of the City of New-York, April, 1823. New York: James Oram, 1823. General Collections, Library of Congress (038.00.00)
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The Constitution and By-laws of the Orphan Asylum Society of the City of New-York, April, 1823. New York: James Oram, 1823. General Collections, Library of Congress (038.00.00)
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D.T. Valentine (1801–1869). Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York for 1852. New York: McSpedon & Baker, 1852. General Collections, Library of Congress (039.00.00)
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The Orphan Asylum Society of the City of New York

By the early nineteenth century, middle- and upper-class White women found a space to form their own voluntary associations through which to practice leadership and participate in public life. One such association was the Orphan Asylum Society of the City of New York, founded in 1807 by Isabella Marshall Graham (1742–1814) and other elite New York women to rescue, shelter, and educate orphaned or abandoned children. Alexander Hamilton’s widow, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton (1757–1854), was among the Society’s founders and served as director in 1821. Now known as Graham Windham, this association still serves the New York’s needy children and families.