Scope and Contents
This collection consists primarily of minutes and financial records. In its early years, the Committee met often, concerning itself with the affairs of its public schools. Common entries consist of lists of the numbers of attenders at a particular school and a judgement of the teacher. Also included in the collection are annual reports from 1821 and 1824. In 1889, a proposal was approved to limit meetings to once yearly. Most reports from the twentieth century list simply the names of members and their chosen charities. A useful historical synopsis of the association to 1981 is included in the collection.
Copyright and Rights Information
Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.
Biographical / Historical
Established to give relief to sick poor non-Friends, the New York Female Association first provided aid to sufferers of Yellow Fever. In 1800, following a proposal to open free schools for poor children who lacked other means of obtaining an education, the NYFA opened New York's first public school for female students; Theresa Garvan was employed as the teacher. Until 1845, when it turned its school interests entirely over to the Free School Society, established in 1805 by Quaker men, the NYFA worked in conjunction with the FSS, and by 1825, 750 girls were attending several schools and learning reading, writing, arithmetic, and needle-work. Three years later, however, the schools for girls were dropped due to under-enrollment and the students began attending FSS coeducational schools. The same year, the Association opened a new infant school in the basement a Lutheran church, which it ran until 1845. That year, the association turned over its school affairs entirely to the FSS and since has contented itself with small gifts to public and private charities. In 1853, the Government of the City of New York assumed full responsibility for the educational system.
In 1915, the New York Female Association commissioned the Lindley Murray Fund, a charity organization formed to provide aid to black and native Americans, to manage its funds. It continues as of 1988 as a gift- giving committee consisting of six Quaker members. Although the association has never been affiliated strictly with either the Hicksite or Orthodox meetings, in 1828, the committee was primarily if not entirely Orthodox, and by 1901 the organization was composed entirely of Hicksites.