Home Collections Women and the Law Living in Poverty Paxton, Massachusetts, Town Records Collection
Paxton, Massachusetts, Town Records Collection
Catalog Record
Mss 926 1827-1852 P342
Volume 1

The town accounts for Paxton, Massachusetts, kept between 1827 and 1852, include payments to teachers and to support the town's poor.

The town cared for both male and female poor of all ages. However, the poor seem to be mainly the elderly, widows, and orphans. In the 1820s, the indigent were most often sent to a poorhouse, but later they were housed with individual families. Those who boarded the poor were given a fee from the town.

The account book of the selectman of Paxton also records payments to male and female teachers between 1827 and 1852. The women, in general, earned far less than the men. Most of the female teachers were single, although the account book does not always include their marital status. Very few of the teachers remained more than one season.

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