Film, Video Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth Century New York City

About this Item

Title
Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth Century New York City
Summary
In the 19th century, foundlings -- children abandoned by their desperately poor, typically unmarried mothers, usually shortly after birth -- were commonplace in European society. There were asylums in every major city to house abandoned babies, and writers made them the heroes of their fiction, most notably Charles Dickens in "Oliver Twist." In American cities before the Civil War the situation was different, with foundlings relegated to the poorhouse instead of institutions designed specifically for their care. By the eve of the Civil War, New York City in particular had an epidemic of foundlings on its hands due to the rapid and often interlinked phenomena of urban development, population growth, immigration and mass poverty. Only then did the city's leaders begin to worry about the welfare and future of its abandoned children. In her book, Julie Miller offers a fascinating, frustrating and often heartbreaking history of a once devastating, now forgotten social problem that wracked America's biggest metropolis, New York City.
Event Date
December 09, 2009
Notes
-  Julie Miller is the early-American specialist in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress.
Related Resources
Center for the Book: http://www.read.gov/cfb/
Join the Discussion of this Webcast on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=116926901435&topic=11534 External
Running Time
1 hours, 2 minutes, 11 seconds
Language
English
Online Format
video

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Credit Line: Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth Century New York City. 2009. Video. https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-4836/.

APA citation style:

(2009) Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth Century New York City. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-4836/.

MLA citation style:

Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth Century New York City. 2009. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/webcast-4836/>.