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Maryland Societies (103 societies)


Association for the Improvement of the condition of the Poor

Founded 1849

See: Records 1849-1907 at Johns Hopkins University MS360. L. Margaretta Culver, 'A History of the Baltimore Association for the Improvement of the Condition of the Poor' (MA Thesis, Johns Hopkins, 1923).

Association to Carry on the Manufacture and Sale of Cotton Jeans and Velvets on a Small Scale

Mutual aid society founded in 1789.


Baltimore Almshouse

State funded poorhouse founded in 1773.

See: Minutes 1833-42 in Maryland Historical Society, MS 2474 & 1866; By-Laws of the Trustees and Rules for the Governmnt of the Poor-House of Baltimore County. (Baltimore: P. & R.W.Edes, 1818). Report of the Trustees of the Alms-House for Baltimore city and county, 1827 (Baltimore, 1827)


Baltimore Bethel Society of the Young Men of Color

A male free black mutual aid society founded in 1821 


Baltimore Benevolent Society

Founded before 1796 as a mutal aid society providing assistance towards medical care and burial costs under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Baltimore

See: Rules and Orders of the Baltimore Benevolent Society (Baltimore: Samuel Sower, 1796)

Baltimore City Marine Hospital

Founded in 1808 as the successor to the Public Hospital, mainly for the mentally ill. Succeeded by the Maryland Hospital

See: Records 1850 onwards in Maryland State Archives.


Baltimore Carpenter's School

Founded 1815


Baltimore Dispensary

Founded in 1816 to provide medicine to the poor of eastern Baltimore.


Baltimore Economical Soup Society

Founded in 1819 to provide soup and bread to the poor.


Baltimore Female Association for the Relief of Distressed Objects

Founded before 1808.

See: Constitution of the Baltimore Female Association for the Relief of Distressed Objects (Baltimore, 1808)


Baltimore Female Humane Association

Founded in 1798, opens a Charity School in 1800 and incorporated in 1801. School reincorporated as the Orphaline School in 1808, and as the Baltimore Female Orphan Asylum in 1827. Renamed Baltimore Orphan Asylum in 1849.

See: Board Minutes 1819-1857 in Maryland State Archives; A Brief Account of the Female Humane Association, (Baltimore: Warner & Hanna, 1803). Click here for extracts. Click here for the charter of incorporation of the Orphaline School.


Baltimore General Dispensary

Founded in 1801 to provide free medicine to the poor, serving 38,000 people in the first twenty years of operation. Funds were provided by Archbishop John Carroll and Elisha Tyson. Perhaps also known as the Society for Free Medical Relief.

See: One hundred years of history of the Baltimore General Dispensary. (Baltimore, 1901)


Baltimore Infirmary

Founded to provide free medical care in 1830


Baltimore Manual Labor School

Founded on a farm outside Baltimore in 1840 to provide education and training for indigent boys.

See: Fourth Report of the Baltimore Manual Labor School for Indigent Boys (Baltimore: John D. Toy, 1849). Tenth Report of the Baltimore Manual Labor School for Indigent Boys (Baltimore: John W. Woods, 1855).


Baltimore Public Hospital

Founded in 1798, cared to 130 patients in 1800. Successor to the 'Retreat'.


Baltimore Second Almshouse

Founded in 1816, closed in 1866. Housed 800 inmates in 1865.

Baltimore society for the encouragement of industry

Founded in 1822


Baltimore Society to Protect Free Negroes

Founded 1810


Benevolent Society of the City and County of Baltimore

Founded by womenon Feb 26th, 1800 to assist female orphans after an initial proposal by a woman in 1799. Incorporated in 1800 with female managers and male trustees. Main income from sermons and collections, though some stock held in 1811.

Click here for the charter of incorporation.

See: Joseph G L Bend, An address to the members of the Protestant Episcopal Church (Baltimore: Joseph Robinson, 1811);  The past history and present condition of the institution of St. Paul's Parish, originally incorporated under the title of the Benevolent Society of the City and County of Baltimore (Baltimore, 1860)


Baptist Orphanage and dispensary of the nursury and child's hospital


Boys School of St Paul's Parish

Founded in 1846


Charitable Marine Society

Founded in 1796

See:Federal Gazette & Baltimore Daily Advertiser, August 15, 1796



Children's Aid Society

Founded in 1860 as an offshoot of the Association for the Improvement of the Condition of the Poor.

See: Records from 1860 in Johns Hopkins University Library.


Children's Home of Baltimore

Founded in 1798, linked to the Baltimore Female Orphan Asylum, perhaps another name for the Orphaline Society asylum.

Christchurch Asylum for Female Children

Founded in 1840


Corporation for the relief of the widows and children of the clergy of the protestant episcopal church in Maryland

Founded in 1785


Church Home and Hospital

Ecumenical female benevolent society founded in 1855 for the benefit of the sick, the poor, the unemployed and strangers (in that order). Funding mainly from church collections.

See: The second annual report of the rector and managers of the Church Home. (Baltimore: Joseph Robinson, 1857).


Dorcas Society

Founded in 1840 to provide food, clothing and fuel to the poor. 'The circumstances of distress and moral character' were assessed by a visiting committee.

See: Second Annual Report of the Dorcas Benevolent Society of West Balitmore Station, March 1842. (Baltimore: Richard J. Matchett, 1842)


Female Infirmary
Female Orphan Asylum
Female Penitents Refuge Society


French Benevolent Society

Founded in 1854


German Society of Maryland

Formed in 1783 as a mutual aid organisation. Chartered in 1817

See: Louis P. Henninghausen, History of the German Society of Maryland (Balitmore, 1909)


Handelian Charitable Society

Founded in 1803 it used the proceeds from Oratorio performances to fund the charitable activities of others.

See: Constitution of the Handelian Charitable Society (Baltimore: J. Robinson, 1817)


Hebrew Benevolent Society

Founded in 1856


Hibernian Free School

Founded in 1824.


Hibernian Society of Baltimore aka Benevolent Hibernian Society

Founded by Irish immigrants in 1803 as Benevolent Hibernian Society, incorporated and changed its name in 1818.

See: Harold A. Williams, History of the Hibernian Society of Baltimore, 1803-1957 (Baltimore, 1957). Act of Incorporation and By-Laws of the Hibernian Society of Baltimore (Baltimore: E. John Schmitz, 1960).


House of the Good Shepherd

Founded in 1844.


House of Industry

Founded in Baltimore in 1854 to provide indoor relief for indigent girls, aka Home for the Friendless of Balitmore City and the Home for Friendless Vagrant Girls.

See: Annual Reports 1854-1928; Constitution and By-laws 1859 in Maryland State Archives, Woodbourne Collection SC740, Film No M1166.


House of Refuge

Founded in Balitmore in 1812 as the House of Industry, name changed in 1831 to House of Refuge for Juvenile Delinquents, aiming to reform poor children and then apprentice them.

See: Report and Proceedings on the subject of a House of Refuge. (Baltimore: Benjamin Edes, 1830).


Humane Impartial Society for Poor and Needy Women

Founded in 1802 for the relief of widows. Operates schools for female and male children, helps to find needlework for adult women and founds an aged women's home in 1850. Click here for the charter of incorporation.

See: Republican (Baltimore), Jan. 25, 1802; Annual reports for 1852, 1853, 1854, 1856, and 1859 are in the Maryland Historical Society. The Baltimore Humane Impartial Society and Aged Women's Home: Acts of Incorporation and By-Laws of the society and rules for the government of the Aged Women's home (Baltimore: James Young, 1851)

Humane Society, Baltimore

Founded in 1790 to provide emergency medical treatment, merged with the Baltimore Dispensary in 1804.

Indigent Female Asylum

In existence in 1831


Indigent Widows Aslyum

Founded in 1849


Infant Asylum

Catholic orphanage founded in 1856


Infant School Society

Founded in 1843


Male Free School

Founded in 1802 by male members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Click here for the charter of incorporation of 1807.

See: Isaac Parker Cook, Early history of Methodist Sabbath schools in Baltimore city and vicinity (Baltimore, 1817); Annual Report Daily National Journal, (Washington, DC) Friday, November 26, 1824


Male Free School of St. Peter's Church

Founded in 1817


Maria Marthian Society

Founded by Catholic women in 1827, but offered assistance to all denominations.


Maryland Hospital

Founded in 1834 as successor to the Balitmore City Hospital. Renamed as the Maryland Hospital for the Insane in 1852. Housed 130 patients in 1853

See: Minutes and Registers in Maryland State Archives.


Maryland Institution for the Instruction of the Blind

Free school for the blind established in 1852 by Benjamin F. Newcomer, incorporated in 1853 as Maryland School for the Blind.


McKim's Free School

Opened in 1822


Methodist Preachers' Aid Society of Baltimore

Founded in 1827

See: Constitution of the Methodist Preachers' Aid Society of Baltimore (Baltimore, 1827)


Mutual Instruction Society

Founded in 1845


Oblates Colored Boarding School

Founded by free black nuns c. 1830 for the education of free black children, some of whom were taught gratis.


Oliver Hibernian Free School

Founded in 1830 under the direction of the Hibernian Society and most probably an offshoot of (or the same institution as) the Hibernian Free School founded in 1824.


Protestant Union Infirmary

Founded in 1854



Founded in 1794 as a hospital for mariners. Succeeded by Baltimore Public Hospital.


Roman Catholic Free School

Founded in 1817


Seaman's Union Bethel Society

Founded in Baltimore in 1823


Shepherd Insane Asylum

Founded by Moses Shepherd in 1853.

Shepherd Asylum

Founded in 1854 by Moses Shepherd.


Society for the Education of the Hebrew Poor and Orphan Children

Founded in 1852.


Society for the prevention of pauperism in the city of Baltimore

Founded in March 1820 to prevent what it saw as the causes of pauperism such as alcohol abuse and gambling. Failed to gain widespread support and folded in 1822.

See: Views of the Society for the prevention of pauperism in the city of Baltimore (Baltimore, 1822) To the citizens of Baltimore (Baltimore, 1822); A warning to the citizens of Baltimore (Baltimore, 1821)


Society for the relief of aged and infirm ministers

Founded in 1828


Society for the relief of the indigent sick

Founded by women in Baltimore on February 3rd, 1824, incorporated in 1843.

See: Constitution of the Society for the relief of the indigent sick (Baltimore, 1825); Constitution and by-laws of the society for the relief of the indigent sick (Baltimore: J. F. Wiley, 1869).


Society for the relief of the poor of the Methodist Episcopal church of the city and precincts of Baltimore

Founded in January 1815 to provide food and fuel to members.

See: Constitution of the Society for the relief of the poor of the Methodist Episcopal church of the city and precincts of Baltimore (Baltimore, 1815); Act of Incorporation and Constitution of the Society for the Relief of the Poor of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Baltimore City Station.  (Baltimore: John W. Woods, 1853)


Society for the relief of widows and orphans of seamen

Founded c. 1823.


Society of St. George in Maryland

Founded in 1799 by English immigrants


Soup Kitchen

Founded by Mrs Thomas Winans in 1837 to provide free food to the poor, and quickly spread to several locations in the city.


St. Andrew's Society

Founded in 1806 by Scottish immigrants

See: The constitution of the St. Andrew's Society of Baltimore (Baltimore, 1825); Constitution and By-laws of the St. Andrew's Society of Baltimore (Baltimore: Sapp Bros, 1904).



St Anthony's German Catholic Orphan Society

Founded in 1854


St Anthony's Orphan Asylum

Founded in 1852


St Barnabus' Industrial School of Baltimore for Half-Orphan Boys

Founded by the City Mission of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1856.

See: First Report of the Industrial School of Baltimore (Baltimore: J. P. de Forges, 1857)


St Francis's Academy for Girls

Catholic school founded by Oblate Sisters of Providence black girls in 1828/9, later it became non-denominational. Income from school and needlework was used to subsidize an attached orphanage.


St Mary's Female Orphan Asylum

Founded in 1816, opened a school in 1818, run by the Sisters of Charity from 1821


St Patrick's Orphan Asylum

Founded in 1857


St Peter's Charity School

Founded in Baltimore in 1805 with a $10,000 bequest from Capt. Jeremiah Yellott.


St Vincent's infant asylum and maternity hospital

Founded in 1855


The Corporation for the Relief of the Poor and Distressed of Every Sect or Religious Denomination Whatsoever

Interdenominational voluntary society founded in 1792 to co-ordinate the distribution of outdoor relief


Tobias Society

Founded by 1829 by Catholics.


Union Female Society

Mutual society for free black women providing sick benefits and paying the funeral costs of subscribing members. Founded in 1821.


Union Protestant Infirmary

Founded by women to provide medical care in 1855.

See: Second Annual Report of the Union Protestant Infirmary of the City of Baltimore (Baltimore: Steam Press of W.M.Innes, 1857).


Walan's Orphan Home

Founded in 1847

Washington Society Charity School

Founded in 1810

See: Constitution of the Washington Society of Baltimore (Baltimore, 1810)



Academy of St Joseph

Founded in 1809 by Elizabeth Seton at Emmitsburg, but which originated in Baltimore in 1808, taken over by the Sisters of Charity in 1812.

All Saints Female Benevolent School


Founded in Frederick County in 1836


Benevolent Society of the United Brethren in Christ

Founded in Hagerstown in 1822.


Charitable Society of Easton

Founded in 1814


Charitable Society of the city of Annapolis

Out door relief society founded by men in 1810. Provided soup, clothing and medicine to the poor.

See: Maryland Gazette, (Annapolis, MD) Wednesday, December 19, 1810; Annual Report, Maryland Gazette and Political Intelligencer, (Annapolis, MD) Saturday, January 15, 1814


Charity Working School

Founded c.1750 by Thomas Bacon in Talbot County. See: Thomas Bacon, A sermon preached at the parish church of St. Peter's in Talbot County, Maryland on Sunday the 14th of October 1750, for the benefit of a charity working school to be set up in the said parish for the maintenance and education of orphans and other poor chidlren and Negroes. (London, 1751)


Charity Working School

Founded before 1768 by Thomas Bacon in Frederick County.


Charity School of the Eastern Shore

Founded in 1823


Egenton Female Orphan Asylum

Founded in 1801


Female Orphans' Society of Annapolis

Founded in 1828. Managed an asylum, supported by an annual fair.

See Annual Reports, Maryland Gazette, (Annapolis, MD), November 20, 1828, March 26, 1835, March 31, 1836, March 30, 1837, April 05, 1838


Hager's-Town Female Society for the instruction of poor children

Founded in Hagerstown, Washington County in either 1815 or 1819. Aka Hagerstown Charity School.


McDonough Charity Schools

Founded in 1807 in Charles County

Orphan House and Episcopal Free School Society of All Saints' Church, Fredericktown.


Founded a free school in 1833, followed by an orphanage in 1837. Run by women.


See: A history of the Orphan House and Episcopal Free School Society of All Saints' Church, Fredericktown, Maryland, 1838-1915. (np, nd)


St James Benevolent School

Founded in 1821 in Frederick County.


St John's Female Benevolent School

Sisters of Charity school founded in Frederick County in 1825


St Paul's Chapel Free School

Founded in Charles County in 1834.


Westminster Free School

Founded in 1846 in Frederick County