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Veteran House at Philadelphia

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

A gentleman, who lived some years in Philadelphia, in-forms us, that during all his residence in that city, he never saw a person begging in the streets. This happy circumstance is owing to the following wise and useful institution: There is a building near the city called the Veteran House, which he describes to be about the size of the London Foundling Hospital, with large gardens adjoining. Into this house, all persons not being able to procure employment, are received, and put to work at their respective trades, the house supplying them with tools, materials, and every other requisite. They are likewise found in lodging, clothes, provisions, &c., and paid the customary price for their work, one shilling a day being deducted out of their earnings for the support of the foundation. Those who through laziness do not earn the stipulated sum, receive proper punishment. Persons who cannot give an account how they maintain themselves are compelled to work in the Veteran House. Might not, says our correspondent, similar institutions in this kingdom, especially in London, where, notwithstanding the excessive heights of the poor’s rate, every street swarms with beggars, be attended with very happy consequences?1

 

1 Upcott, v. 123.