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The Cambridge Hospital.

Dr. Morrill Wyman.
Cambridge has not been wanting in its charities even in its earliest times. The Church, which was then the State, charged itself with the care of the sick poor. Some were aided, in a small way to be sure, in their own houses. Dr. Paige in his history gives us a list of charges, quaintly expressed, from which it appears that Brother Towne has £ 1 toward his expenses in sickness; Sister Banbrick, being sick, ‘had a breast of mutton;’ Sister Albone 7lbs. of venison, some physic, and a bottle of sack, and brother Sill four quarts of sack for his refreshment in times of ‘fayntness.’ Others were ‘aided in supply of their manifold necessyties.’ About 1663 the care of the poor passed into the hands of the town, and for a hundred years after the poor were cared for by the selectmen in private families. In 1779 the first workhouse and almshouse was opened on the corner of Boylston and South streets. This proving unsatisfactory, soon another was built on the corner of North Avenue and Cedar Street, and called the Poor's House. Here, for the first time, were appointed overseers of the poor, distinct from the selectmen, who were charged with providing everything necessary for the support of the poor, and the appointment of a physician. This served the purpose till 1818, when a third was built in the square bounded by Harvard, Norfolk, Austin, and Prospect streets. In 1836 this last was burned with one of its wretched inmates. Then followed a larger and much better building of brick on the banks of Charles River, where the Riverside Press now stands. It was well arranged and well managed, and some parts of the building still remain. This beautiful spot was abandoned in 1849 for the present stone structure in the northwest corner of the city, adjoining the Somerville line.

Besides the public provisions for the sick poor, other charities

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