Following are some items that were mentioned during the 15 November 2012 Fieldstone Common interview with Heli Meltsner, author of The Poorhouses of Massachusetts.
Heli Meltsner is a board member and curator with the Cambridge Historical Society. Feel free to contact Heli through the society. The Cambridge Historical Society is a very active dynamic group. They have a Facebook page that is updated nearly daily. During the interview Heli mentioned that the society is working on a book about the Cambridge Historical Commission’s 50 years of service to the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. We will look forward to seeing that published in November 2013.
The Poorhouses of Massachusetts was published by McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers and copies are available for sale through Amazon.com and other booksellers.
Some of the concepts of poor law (ie settlement law) that were discussed in the interview include:
- Warning outs
- Towns suing other towns for support
- Indentured servitude for both children and adults
- Vendue – selling the poor to the lowest bidder
In Massachusetts many records about the poor can be found at the town level in town record books or in town reports. For states outside of New England you should probably check county-level records.
Fieldstone listeners can also take 15 percent off the purchase of your entire order, including registry stickers and brass plates — which make attaching a registration number to your heirlooms even easier — by using the coupon code “FIELDSTONE.”
McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers, the publisher of The Poorhouses of Massachusetts, donated two copies of the book that are being given as a “door prizes”.