Lawrence City Mission

ThanksgivingThe collection includes annual reports and some ephemera.

The Lawrence City Mission came into being on February 26, 1859 at a regular meeting of the Lawrence Provident Association (an organization already 5 years old with an aim towards relieving the destitute).  The association resolved to form a committee composed of two individuals from every [Protestant] religious society in the city as well as 2 from the association to consider the creation of such a body.  A meeting of 26 delegates was held March 3 of that year with Charles S. Storrow as chairman.  This organization was established to be free of bias for the purpose of “friendly council, encouragement and material aide to the poor and friendless, is a measure that promises results of a most beneficial character not only to those who are to be particularly the objects of the labors of the Mission, but also to those who, by joining in its support whatever may be their peculiarities of religious opinion, thereby create and strengthen between themselves that bond of true Christian fellowship which unites all who co-operate in a good work”.

The group formed a plan to establish said mission by appointing George P. Wilson as Missionary with his salary paid by voluntary subscription.  All the churches would collect a relief fund and these monies would be placed in the hands of the Missionary for charitable purposes.  The City Mission set right to work ministering to the “poor and erring” by giving material and spiritual aid, “guarding against giving too much, lest the incentive for constant exertion be taken away.”  These activities included gathering the poor into the houses of God, Sabbath Schools, day and evening schools and furnishing clothing, employments, and Bibles.  The Mission also visited the sick, the jail and the almshouse.  By 1885, the City Mission had become a bureau of charities with a central office and a systematic register.  It was clearing house for charitable activities.  Their aim remained to assist the deserving poor, raise the needy above the need for relief, prevent begging, and diminish pauperism. (206 Essex Street)

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