Monday, March 26, 2018

Pandora's Safe #9: "She Seems to be ignorant and orphaned" - Just a Few More Files until we get there

We are almost to the part where I tell you what I found in the New York Almshouse archives this weekend.

What I found will make more sense after we look at a few more admissions to New York asylums (Albany and Blackwell Island) from 1885 to 1890.

Katy Dillon, 19 - pregnant. The person with the super posh swirly  script  - was it the questioner or a clerk sitting by the side? - wrote, "This person was seduced by one Mich McLaughlin of  230 Jefferson Street. She says he is the father of the child."



Mary Doe - July 14: The mother if this child is dead and was abandoned by it's father whose whereabouts are unknown.

Brought her by the aunt whose husband would not allow her to keep him. (Hmm, I have no way to truth-test that one, but hmmmm)

July  15: Taken by Aunt for adoption.

(I bet you one drink at EPCOT that the Aunt is the Mom but we can discuss that later*)


Ann Brady-  55, an Ireland-born widow, admitted for "insanity."

 This one shocked me.

 Under remarks it says, "This woman committed suicide."



I sat quietly for a little while, fearful of what the next click would bring.

Susan Tappin, 35, born in  Ireland. The notes say that her husband has a very violent temper and it is impossible for to live with him.  Please note it shows she has 6 kids -- 5 are at the orphanage and then the youngest is with her at the asylum.  What a brave woman --  I hope they all found safety.


Beth O'Neill, 22 Under comments it says: This woman is the mother of Edward O'Neill inmate record No 1576; she seems to be ignorant and orphaned; this will be the second child born out of wedlock and of different fathers. 


It is among hundreds of stories about servant women and widows and maidens that the word "writer" caught my eye on a particular admission record.

Under the prognosis it wrote: Future doubtful.

I giggled at that and then looked  up to see what was written for the parents.

It said that her father was also a writer.

 I held my breath and looked up at her name.

Oh heck yes. Hello.

 The dates of her age and her condition match up with what I know about her father, his writing and his decline.

 She wasn't like any of these other women; by her last name and her father's occupation I knew right away that Deborah was homeless and destitute because she had been raised in an American utopian experiment.

(continued)