Outgoing correspondence, 1848-1875

Massachusetts School for Idiotic and Feeble-Minded Youth


4 v. (partial record center carton).
Series consists of transcripts of outgoing correspondence from the period of Samuel Gridley Howe's association with the school, and includes references to noted educator Edward Seguin's residence in early 1852 -- Some letters are signed by other officials of the school, including Alex McDonald, Edward Jarvis, matron Margaret McDonald, and George Howard Malcolm Rowe. Many are addressed to parents of students or potential students, with topics including patient accounts and applications, vacation arrangements, need for clothes, general reports on health and progress, and requests for information and annual reports. Contents: (1) letterbook Oct. 2, 1848-Sept. 7, 1858, first letters numbered 1-50; (2) letterbook 1858-1867: volume was used as a scrapbook with pictures clipped from 1900-1910 newspapers pasted on many of the earlier pages--other pages are missing; (3) letterbook 1857-1870, bulk 1867-1870; (4) letterbook 1860-1875, bulk 1870-1875, in letterpress format. Subsequent outgoing letterbook volumes appear to have been disassembled and scattered during a Work Projects Administration (WPA) project in 1941.
For incoming correspondence see: Massachusetts School for the Feeble-Minded. Incoming correspondence, 1848-1886 ((M-Ar)2643X). For later correspondence see: Walter E. Fernald State School. Superintendent's correspondence, 1887-1975 ((M-Ar)869X).
Massachusetts Resolves 1846, c 117 appointed Commissioners on Idiocy to inquire on: the condition of idiots in the commonwealth and if anything can be done for them. The commission's report, written by Samuel Gridley Howe of the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind, led to the establishment by Resolves 1848, c 65 of the Experimental School for Teaching and Training Idiotic Children, located at the Perkins Institution. The school was incorporated as the Massachusetts School for Idiotic and Feeble-Minded Youth (St 1850, c 150), located near Perkins in South Boston, with Howe serving as president until his death in 1876. It was renamed the Massachusetts School for the Feeble-Minded by St 1883, c 239, reflecting the establishment of a separate asylum department for those beyond school age or not capable of being helped by the school's instruction. Funds for the construction of a new facility in Waltham were provided by Resolves 1888, c 82, and occupation of the new site began in 1890, with the South Boston facility closing in 1892. St 1925, c 293 renamed the institution the Walter E. Fernald State School, in honor of the superintendent of the school, 1887-1924. A 2003 gubernatorial initiative to close the Fernald School (known as the Walter E. Fernald Developmental Center since 1993) by 2007 was contested during the subsequent decade, until the institution was shut down permanently in Nov. 2014.
Mental retardation client information restricted by statutory provision; for conditions of access consult repository;.
Agency history record (CStRLIN)MASVAH0049-A/(OCoLC)122297682 describes the history and functions of the Walter E. Fernald State School, an agency successor to the Massachusetts School for Idiotic and Feeble-Minded Youth.

Related Resources

View this description in WorldCat: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/904289045