Portsmouth Asylum
A Committee's Report 1840

  A Visit to the Poor Farm: A Committee's Report 1:
Portsmouth, April 18, 1840

The committee apointed to visit the Asylum to asertain the situation of the inmates make the following Report:
Testimony of the keeper Richard R. Northup, Mens fare, the fare for breakfast is bread and milk or milk poridge for about four weeks they have had water poridge when we was without milk they always have as much bread as they want. Diner, bread meat and sause, bread and saused as much as they want. Meat I cut off a large slice and put it into each dish which for the most part is as much as they want. Benjamin Brownell and Joseph Hall 1 think would eat more if they could get it. Supper the same as breakfast.

Womens fare for breakfast. They have tea or coffee with bread and butter and molasses they have as much bread as they want. Butter we cut off a piece and put into each plate, they have good bread. Diner the same as the men. Supper the same as breakfast. never had any orders from the committee from what it was when I first came here. Mrs. Northups Testimony, about the same as her husbands.

Thomas Cornells testimony. Been here two years 13th last January. I know no difference in the fare from what it was when I first came here have enough to eat and that is good. I feel satisfied with the fare, I should be glad to have something a little better sometimes.

Lydia Alen, I have been here about two years I have enough to eat and good enough, Treated very well no reason to complain.

Lydie Lawton been here eight years, fare is very well no reason to complain.

Elizabeth Brownell. I have been here 7 years last June fare the same that I did before Mr. Northup came here.

The committee on vewing the House found it in good order considering the inmates of such a dweling, the beds and other furniture appear good and clean. The lodgeing rooms in the garet are in a bad state owing to the roof, for the want of shingling. Your committee think it nessesary that there should be some repairs imediately on the roof of the House. The cube in the seller apears to be a decent room we should not think it a very suitable place to put a person a long time in. Your committee think there is not much cause for complaint.
Fees three dollars

- Sylvester Hathaway
Committee - George Faulkner     
- Samuel S. Peckham

[1] John T. Pierce Sr., Historical Tracts of the Town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, 1991: Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Hamilton Printing Company.


Portsmouth Asylum Links
  Historical Context
  Act Establishing (1832)
  Inventory Report (1833)
  Rules & Regulations (1838)
  Committee Report (1840)
  Committee Report (1857)
  The Portsmouth Cripple (1848)
  Produce Sold (1849)
  Meat Sold (1849)
  Town Council Excerpts
  1865 Census Excerpts
  1875 Census Excerpts
  1892 Account Book
  Committal Letters (1867)
  Oakum and Idle Hands
  Newport Daily News Clips (1851)
  Site Mapping (10/5/01)
  NPR Interview

Historical Texts:
  Report on Poor & Insane (1851)
  Fales Memoir (1851)
  Peterson's History (1853)

Selected Biographies
  Thomas R. Hazard -1
  Thomas R. Hazard -2
  Seth R. Anthony
  William R. Fales

Fun and Games
A Day at the Portsmouth Asylum

Other Poorhouse Links
The Poorhouse Story

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