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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Private Women and the Public Good

Charity and State Formation in Hamilton, Ontario, 1846-93

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Private Women and the Public Good

Charity and State Formation in Hamilton, Ontario, 1846-93

In 1846, a group of women came together to form what would become one of Hamilton’s most important social welfare institutions. Through the Ladies Benevolent Society and Hamilton Orphan Asylum, they managed and administered a charitable visiting society, orphan asylum, and aged women’s home. In Private Women and the Public Good, Carmen J. Nielson explores the tension inherent in nineteenth-century women’s charitable work, nominally private because it was voluntary and female, but also sustained by public monies, legitimated by law, and serving the so-called public good.

176 pages


Table of Contents

Introduction: Gender and the Public Sphere

1 Hamilton, Upper Canada, to 1846

2 A “sufficiently extensive and efficient instrumentality”

3 A Mixed Social Economy

4 The City and the Ladies

5 Public Acts and Private Lives

6 Institutionalization, Adoption, and Apprenticeship

7 Continuity and Change, 1870-93

Conclusion: A Career in Christian Charity

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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