RECIEVED INTO THE ALSMHOUSE
Autograph Manuscript Order, Signed “Edwd Edes Overseer” to Samuel Whitwell requesting that he “receive Polly Ballard into the Almshouse on the Towns Account.”.
Boston: 2, October 1791.
1p., pen and ink on paper. 8 x 4 inches. RECIEVED INTO THE ALSMHOUSE. Old folds, some chipping to right hand corners affecting date and text identifying ward number, two small holes in center not affecting text, else VG Item #308540
Between 1758 and 1800 the Boston Overseers of the Poor admitted around 7,200 persons into the almshouse. Polly Ballard would have been sent to the almshouse at the corner of Beacon and Park streets, in Boston, established in 1696, to replace the city’s original almshouse, which had been destroyed in a fire. The site also included a prison, added in 1723, and a separate workhouse built in 1739. The “Almshouse Keeper” was Samuel Whitwell, who had served as an overseer of the poor for 21 years.
Overseer of the Poor, Edward Edes (1745-1803) was a Boston baker, who baked, among other items, ships bread. He was also half-owner of the brigantine merchant ship, “Olive Branch.” He was the son of Thomas Edes (1719-1794) and Sarah Larabee (1719-1791). He married his half-cousin, Elizabeth Edes in 1768, and had two sons.