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[p. 74] two of soup, two of fish, or pudding with milk or molasses, and one of boiled victuals. Breakfasts and suppers: once a week tea, or coffee of peas, rye, or barley; all the rest, pudding with milk or molasses, or milk porridge, one third milk. In 1829, Deacon Galen James, a strong total abstinence advocate, became chairman of the board, and stringent rules were laid down concerning strong waters, which many of the occupants of the poorhouse craved. The overseers of the poor of Medford were always chosen from her most prominent citizens, and they doubtless administered affairs in their charge in as fair a manner as their resources and the customs of the day warranted; but, nevertheless, the workhouse was a nightmare in those days to many a poor soul battling with poverty. There was only one deeper abyss of misery, and that was imprisonment for debt in the common gaol.
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