Colored Orphan Asylum

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NYPL ID number: 805108




Picture Collection, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
Founded in 1834 by two Quaker women, Anna Shotwell and Mary Murray, to care for orphaned and destitute children, the Colored Orphan asylum was an important institution in the black community. By the early 1840s it occupied a substantial building on Fifth Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets. Initially staffed only by whites, by the early 1860s several other African American men and women had been added to the staff.



“Colored Orphan Asylum,” Black Gotham Archive, accessed July 10, 2018,