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Children and Youth during the Civil War Era$
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James Marten

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814796078

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814796078.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 29 May 2022

Reconstructing Social Obligation

Reconstructing Social Obligation

White Orphan Asylums in Post-emancipation Richmond

(p.173) 11 Reconstructing Social Obligation
Children and Youth during the Civil War Era

Catherine A. Jones

NYU Press

This chapter discusses how the disposition of orphans in the postwar context became an ethically charged problem in Virginia. White Virginians used race to shape understandings of ethical obligation among the state's citizens. The Richmond Female Humane Association (RFHA) and the Richmond Male Orphan Asylum (RMOA), expanded their missions to serve more children, reduced the length of children's stays in the asylum through placing out, and confronted disagreement about what constituted appropriate care for white orphans in the wake of the Civil War. The nineteenth-century definition of orphans as fatherless children tightened the association between orphaned white children and fallen Confederate soldiers, which in turn helped the advocates of Richmond's orphan asylums recast the bonds of Confederate loyalty into an explicitly racialized and historicized understanding of social obligation.

Keywords:   children, youth, white orphans, Virginia, ethical obligations, social obligation, race, orphan asylums, Confederate loyalty

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