When it came to orphans black lives mattered NYC

Orphans are often the forgotten minority. They were characterized in novels. Their lives were used for labor that no one else wanted to do. Either they were imprisoned or enslaved, orphans were parentless children that really didn’t matter. There were many orphan asylums for white children. What about Black orphans? New York City had an orphanage for Black orphans for over 100 years, proving that Black lives mattered.

After the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves were liberated. After the war there were many casualties. One was parentless children or orphans. Fine if you were white. What if you weren’t? There was an orphan asylum in New York City. For those unlucky orphans, they were modified slave replacements working the fields, the mines, and other things. But they had food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. No salaries. For whatever orphan asylums were bad, they were the better places for orphans. The Colored Orphans Asylum was one of the best places for Black orphans to grow and feel safe.

Orphans had many orphan asylums and orphanages for escape and care. The black community only had one in New York City. When it came to housing and caring for Black orphans, this was one orphanage for them in the USA from 1836 to 1946.

Slavery was abolished in New York in 1827. THE COLORED ORPHANS ASYLUM OF NEW YORK was a four-story home on 43rd Street and 5th Avenue, and was founded by 3 Quakers.. In 1836, when opened, most of New York City lived below 14th Street. New York had a segregationist policy that placed orphan, reform, and insane asylums in the farthest perimeter. At the time, the NYC reservoir shed hadn’t been constructed yet. It seemed rural.

It wasn’t until 1866 that a colored orphanage opened in Brooklyn. The Home for Freed Children and Others was founded in 1866 by black Presbyterian minister Henry M. Wilson, black widow Sarah A. Tillman, and white general Oliver Otis Howard. At the time, Brooklyn was not part of New York City. It was financially mismanaged. It opened in a Black area near Crown Heights called Weeksville.

The peak importance in New York was after the Emancipation Proclamation but orphans were still segregated. In 1866, just three years after the Emancipation Proclamation, freed Black women were travelling North with their children, many finding their way to New York City. Upon arriving they were hit with the reality that the families who would hire them for domestic work, often the only work available to them, would not allow them to keep their children. This provided a painful dilemma for these newly freed African American women who had come North seeking an improved life.

They had no choice but to work, often caring for the children of White families, but who would care for their children? Orphanages were one of the few available options at the time. However, orphanages, whether government or privately funded, refused to accept Black children. Black orphans often ended up in different forms of servitude—not far removed from slavery, living on the streets, or sometimes even housed in jails. However, one African American woman, recently widowed, decided to take matters into her own hands, and by 1866 Sarah Tillman was taking care of twenty Black children in her lower Manhattan home.

Homes for Freed orphans provided education and care. Yet these were small, financially starved, and poorly staffed.

The Colored Orphan Asylum, caring for hundreds of black children whose parents died or couldn’t raise them existed in North Bronx from 1903 to the 1950’s.It is the Hebrew Home for the Aged.

The first orphanage was established in the United States in 1729 to care for White children, orphaned by a conflict between Indians and Whites at Natchez, Mississippi. Some churches took care of orphans in the USA but only white orphans were accepted. Humane orphanages to house and feed orphans of color wasn’t even considered. The Mississippi legislature on November 22, 1865, passed “An Act to regulate the relation of master and apprentice, as relates to freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes.”

After the Emancipation, though, the south found a way to use black orphans. Though not required to pay a wage to the children they “hired,” the law did require white “employers” to pay a fee to the county for the apprentice arrangement. The law claimed to require white “masters” to provide their apprentices with education, medical care, food, and clothing, but it also reinstituted many of the more notorious features of slavery.

The Colored Orphan Asylum was burned down by Irish mobs on July 13, 1863, during the first day of the New York Draft Riots. A policeman was killed while leading the children out the back door to escape. Was it racism? The underlying cause was poverty…Irish poverty. The New York Irish were more easily drafted into the army. The wealthier and earlier USA immigrants were able to buy themselves out of army service. The Colored Orphans Asylum became the target of poor Irish living south of 14th Street, especially from the infamous area known as the Five Points.

The Asylum was rebuilt in 1867 at 143rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue, and in 1907 was relocated again to the Riverdale section of the Bronx. The former property. on a river front street was contributed by President Theodore Roosvelt. In 1944, the Association’s name was changed to the Riverdale Children’s Association. It is now the Hebrew Home for the Aged. A remnant of the building remains intact.

According to UNICEF (2015), there were 140 million orphans. Much gratitude should be given to those who have fostered and worked hard for orphans of all races and ethnicity. The history of the Colored People Orphan Asylum, over 100 years. should remain one of many examples how we can dissolve the boundary lines of racial altruism. This was a really good institution that parented thousands of Black and other children over a century.

Financial support for orphan asylums and Freed-Man groups came from local and private endowment sources. Charities to poor varied from State to State in USA, New York being very responsive from 1600 to 1900. When it came to orphans, many were subjected to child labor, outside of orphan asylums, such as Orphan Trains. Federal legislation, as recent as 2007, have worked to controlling child labor in the USA. Yet…orphans are often overlooked regardless of race. Jewish Philanthropies has been a leading organization funding orphans regardless of race and religion since early 1900’s AND was a sponsor of the Colored Orphan Asylum at the Bronx location.

U.S. orphanages have been replaced with an improved foster care system and private adoption agencies like American Adoptions. Not all orphan asylums were perfect but they saved children from the perils of living in the streets and seeking food. All lives matter. Black lives have been recognized.

When the Colored Orphan Asylum moved to the mansion-lined, most northwestern border of Bronx and Yonkers, it was renamed Riverdale Children’s Association. It remained an orphanage till 1946. It was converted to the Hebrew Home for the Aged.

The Colored Orphan Asylum was one of many such orphan asylums in mid-nineteenth-century New York City, one which served African American children who had lost at least one parent. Other orphanages had quota systems and could reject colored orphans. The Colored Orphan Asylum and Riverdale Children’s Association had no quotas. For over a century, Black orphans thrived from an idea of a group of Quaker women in New York City decided that Black orphans deserved golden glove treatment because they mattered. They created the first colored people orphan asylum that thrived and helped thousands of minority orphans for 120 years.

NY Colored Orphan Asylum 1836 to 1863

Pardon my political incorrectness! This is my entry for Black History Month, February 1018, about a unique part of African-American history yn New York City at the 19th Century – the 1800’s.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the city of New York used outer areas to house orphans, sick, and unwanted. It kept the peace stable. Most people lived in what is now the financial center and Tribeca. Farms gave way to establishing a city in lower Manhattan. One key question, how were “Negro” orphans treated in the segregated 19th century?

Orphans are and have been a reality for centuries. Churches have tried to camouflage it but there were orphanages in most western civilized societies. If you were black, Afro-American, or Negro in New York City’s 19th-century, and an orphan, you had a safe place to stay. The NY Colored Orphan Asylum was a secure, racist-free orphanage on Fifth Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Streets. The Colored Orphan Asylum provided home services for about 233 children.

The New York City Colored Orphan Asylum was at this location from 1836 to 1863. Actually, the idea began in 1834 when three Quakers decided to create a safe haven for negro orphans. In 1836 they purchased a house on 12th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The purchase was necessary because no property owner would lease to a group housing black children. With the house ready to receive orphans, three Quaker women headed to the almshouse. They rescued 11 children who were being housed in the cellar there.

In 1836, New York City barely resembled how it appears today. Most New York City residents lived south of 14th Street. Actually, south pf Canal Street. The infamous 5-Points neighborhood wasn’t built yet toward the now trendy lower east-side.

42nd Street and Fifth Avenue was undeveloped land and a socially acceptable area to build asylums, particularly a Colored Orphan Asylum. People didn’t need to see, hear, or think about the wayward, the sick, and the orphans. As a matter, one main reservoir from the original Croton Reservoir (1843) was on 42nd Street, where Bryant Park is today. That’s how remote the current midtown hub was in 1836. It remained there until 1863 when it was destroyed and burned.

White racism among the poor and immigrant people reacted to the Civil War military draft imposed by President Abraham Lincoln. A key problem focused that the advantaged wealthy were able to pay for exemption. The poor and new immigrants from Germany and Ireland would be drafted.

The poor Irish and German immigrants had a particular focal point at targeting the African-Americans of New York as scapegoats. The Irish usually had to compete with the “Negroes” for jobs and grunt labor, particularly in building tunnels, such as the water tunnels and sewage tunnels. In addition, “Negroes” were pretty much exempt from being drafted due to a lack of military opportunities.

The riots were a three-day orgy of violence towards Afro-American owned businesses, Afro-Americans, and Native Americans. They marched upwards to the shanty areas where those “minorities” lived. And, by the third day, the Colored Orphan Asylum was burned to the ground. Most of the children were rescued by the Fire and Police department.

The asylum would relocate to 144th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, in the new village of Harlem, at Sugar Hill. Later it moved to Riverdale in the Bronx. Though attractive, the Riverdale site was the most upper, out-of-the-way area of the Bronx, on West 261 Street bordering Yonkers. It was larger and considered one of the best orphanages in New York City. In the 1960’s, the site was sold to the Hebrew Home for the Aged.

Dr. James McCune Smith, an African-American physician, provided medical services for about 20 years to the orphans at Colored Orphan Asylum in New York. As there were absolutely no opportunities for Africans to enter medical schools in the United States, Dr. McCune received his medical education at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. In addition, he was the founder of the American Geographic Society.

It is difficult to put yourself in the shoes of those who are not seen as being on par with tour status. Many minorities are viewed under different scopes. This included blacks and the poor. The conceptualization of race (or gender) moved from the biological to the sociological sphere with the march of science. The atmosphere created by racial inferiority theories and stereotypes, 246 years of black chattel slavery, along with biased educational processes, almost inevitably led to medical and scientific abuse, unethical experimentation, and over-utilization of African-Americans as subjects for teaching and training purposes. Stricter ethical controls became issues only in the late 1970’s.

With no acceptance to the American Medical Society, most 19th-century African medical doctors received training in Africa, Europe, or very segregated schools in the Americas. Thus it is important to understand how influential the Quakers were in providing medical care to those residing at the New York City Colored Orphan Asylum.

In contrast to what happened in Manhattan in 1863, There was a Home for Colored Aged in Crown Heights in 1863, supported by many philanthropists of that area. These African Americans had lived in a Brooklyn area called Weeksville. This area had one of the largest (one of three) “Colored” communities.

Unwanted or orphaned children continues to be a society-wide dilemma, often debated. Fortunately, segregation is no longer legally valid. Despite strides toward the American Dream of equal opportunity, people are still separated by race, ethnic, religious and gender issues. As Senator Patrick Moynihan may have said, New York (and the USA) is less of a melting pot but more like a tossed salad. There are still many strides and challenges to overcome.