Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Mitchell, Mary N.

Second Advisor

Atkinson, Connie

Third Advisor

Powers, Madelon

Fourth Advisor

Ross, Michael


In the first few decades of the nineteenth century, Americans and immigrants moved to New Orleans hoping to take advantage of the opportunities the city offered. Many American citizens moved from cities like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Recognizing the lack of social welfare programs and assistance given to the poor, a group of women established the Female Orphan Society. From its creation, the Female Orphan Society worked in providing aid to indigent mothers and their children through providing religious, vocational, and educational training. In a short time, the FOS emerged as the only private, Protestant female refuge for immigrant families and their children in New Orleans. This involvement elevated the role of the asylum in the city and heightened the influence of an institution run by southern, upper-class white women.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.