Dealing with ‘the destitute and the wretched’: The Protestant House of Industry and Refuge in Nineteenth-Century Montreal

Type of resource
Author/collaborator
Title
Dealing with ‘the destitute and the wretched’: The Protestant House of Industry and Refuge in Nineteenth-Century Montreal
Abstract
An examination of the evolving responses of Montreal’s Anglophone elite to poverty and homelessness during the second half of the nineteenth century. The author studies the Montreal Protestant House of Industry and Refuge, a privately managed and privately funded institution, from its opening in 1863 to 1900. Influenced by the emerging liberal ideology that interpreted charity as moral weakness, the author points out that the Board of Directors of this private charity imposed a work test to restrict aid and to “reform” recipients, and provided minimal living conditions in its shelters. As they gained experience in relief provision, the author notes that the Directors grappled with the contradictions raised by their moral condemnation of the unemployed and the reality of unemployment and homelessness. Ultimately, she argues, the Directors humanitarianism and Christian spirit prevented them from allowing their fellow citizens to starve on the streets.
Publication
Journal of the Canadian Historical Association/Revue de la Société historique du Canada
Volume
New Series, Vol. 12
Pages
73-94
Date
2001
Language
en
URL
Citation
Harvey, Janice. “Dealing with ‘the Destitute and the Wretched’: The Protestant House of Industry and Refuge in Nineteenth-Century Montreal.” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association/Revue de la Société historique du Canada New Series, Vol. 12 (2001): 73–94. https://www.erudit.org/en/journals/jcha/2001-v12-n1-jcha1008/031142ar.pdf.
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