Magdalen Society of Philadelphia register, 1878-1910



Magdalen Society of Philadelphia register, 1878-1910


The admission and discharge records trace the flow of inmates of the Magdalen Society. They also disclose detailed information about the lives of inmates and serve as a window to nineteenth century attitudes towards family and women. The manuscripts were fastidiously kept from 1836 until the Society’s transition to the White-Williams Foundation in 1917, and provide inmate names and dates of occupancy. Brief descriptions of discharge are often given. Many women were sent back to their families or simply left at their own volition, while others are noted to have “escaped” or were ejected for “improper conduct.” Women who died in the house are regularly indicated to have been interred in the yard of the property. Some accounts offer more substantive background information. The first entry of the Society’s register, for instance, recounts the admission of a young girl who was spurned by her family for being “seduced…by her father’s coachman.” Indeed, family member death or neglect are some of the most common remarks provided. The admission and discharge records are a boon to researchers interested in post-revolutionary philanthropic organizations and the history of women and society in general in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Pages 365 to 492 of this volume are blank.






Magdalen Society of Philadelphia

Date Created

1878-09-01 - 1910-07-28



Is Part Of

Magdalen Society of Philadelphia Records (2016)

Spatial Coverage

N 21st and Race St Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


House of the Good Shepherd (Philadelphia, Pa.) | House of Refuge (Philadelphia, Pa.) | Magdalen Society (Philadelphia, Pa.) | White, William, 1748-1836 | Charities--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia | Children--Institutional care | Evangelicalism | Institutional care | Juvenile delinquency | Poor women | Prostitution | Women--Institutional care


492 pages




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