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What was life like for an orphan in an orphanage in the 1840s? What chores did they do? Did they have school all day? Need help with this for my historical fiction.  Thanks in advance.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not finding much help. I did find this, which isn't any help, but it explains why it's hard to find help on this subject.

 

https://stlouis.genealogyvillage.com/greenwood.htm

 

This is a list of links to orphanages, but you might glean something from the references at the bottom of each orphanage.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Orphanages_in_the_United_States

Edited by carolinamtne
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2 hours ago, lynnmosher said:

I wasn't sure either so my links are for USA.

Sorry! USA, 1840s. 

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Not primary sources, but there's a trend of displaying orphanages/the lives of orphans of the Victorian, Edwardian, and Depression eras as pretty bleak. Check out Jane Eyre, A Little Princess, Annie, Oliver Twist (like @William D'Andrea mentioned) and even the American Girl books for kids - Nellie's arc in the Samantha series is pretty awful. 

 

Since this trend is so widespread across many genres of fiction, I expect it's because there's truth to it. 

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