Alfred Whitney Webb

When Alfred Whitney Webb was born on July 3, 1813, in Unity, Maine, his father, John, was 27 and his mother, Abigail, was 33. He married Mercy Susan Hodsdon, Webb on April 15, 1834, in Castine, Maine. They had nine children in 26 years. He died on October 31, 1893, in San Francisco, California, having lived a long life of 80 years.

Alfred Whitney Webb

HISTORICAL INSIGHTSEstablishment of County Poorhouses

Establishment of County Poorhouses

“Going to the poorhouse” was not just a fear for many 19th-century Americans, it was a reality.
Alfred Whitney Webb

Alfred Whitney Webb, 1813–1893, 3rd great grandfather

Alfred Whitney Webb may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

OTHER RELATIVES

15 lived near a poorhouse, or almshouse, in New England or the Mid-Atlantic states during the second half of the 19th century.

Margaret V. Webb may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Margaret V. Webb,1837–, 2nd great grand aunt

Fannie W. Webb, Sanderson, Day, Harrison may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Fannie W Webb, Sanderson, Day, Harrison,1851–1925, 2nd great grand aunt

Mercy Susan Hodsdon, Webb may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Mercy Susan Hodsdon, Webb,1815–1887,3rd great grandmother

Arthur Edwin Webb may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Arthur Edwin Webb,1851–1930, 2nd great grand uncle

Abigail Rich, Webb may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Abigail Rich, Webb,1780–1868, 4th great grandmother

Amelia A. Webb, Conner may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Amelia A. Webb, Conner,1835–1897, 2nd great grand aunt

Francette H. “Frances” WEBB, Leveridge may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Francette H “Frances” WEBB, Leveridge,1840–1930,2nd great grand aunt

Lucien Bonepart (Capt.) Webb may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Lucien Bonaparte (Capt.) Webb,1843–1872, 2nd great grand uncle

Barbara Webb, Whitaker may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Barbara Webb, Whitaker,1809–1895,3rd great grand aunt

Joel Rich may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Joel Rich,1747–1838, 5th great grandfather

Frank Eugene Foss may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Frank Eugene Foss,1853–1905, husband of the 2nd great grandmother

Deborah B. Webb, gross may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Deborah B Webb, gross,1884–1936,1st cousin 3x removed

Ruth Goodwin BLAKE, Hodsdon may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Ruth Goodwin BLAKE, Hodsdon,1791–1849,4th great grandmother

Lucy Saunders Hatch, Gallagher, Webb may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Lucy Saunders Hatch, Gallagher, Webb,1859–1964, wife of 2nd great grand uncle

Harold Arthur Webb may have lived near a state-run “poorhouse” and witnessed what it was like to slip into poverty during the 19th century.

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  • Harold Arthur Webb, 1888–1936,1st cousin 3x removed

 

America was not the land of milk and honey for everyone during the Industrial Revolution. Countless thousands of people were forced into poverty and homelessness. Such unfortunates could even be sold at public auction to provide labor in exchange for room and board, a system called “outdoor relief.” Often, homeless Americans suffered from mental illnesses or disabilities that prevented them from working. With no public support, they relied on charity. Officials hoped that the creation of a tax-supported poorhouse, also known as almshouses or “poor farms,” would be a more humane—and cheaper—alternative. Most New England towns had at least one poorhouse, while cities such as Boston had several. The Massachusetts state almshouse sheltered almost one thousand people. One report found that the residences “are not at present well adapted to modern ideas of comfort and convenience,” and reports of meager food and conditions were not uncommon.

 

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