The Black Laws in the Old Northwest: A Documentary History

By Stephen Middleton | Go to book overview

XI
Relief for the Poor

Ohio denied Africans the benefit of its welfare programs. State officials responsible for the poor could order indigent blacks to leave. Those so warned could not obtain public assistance, and, if they did not leave the state voluntarily, could be escorted out by local authorities. The state policy on welfare also made it easier for whites to resort to extralegal means to drive out African Americans. Race riots broke out sporadically. The welfare policy of Ohio also had a salutary effect on blacks, who formed self-help organizations. Lydia P. Mott, a Quaker-abolitionist from Pennsylvania, encouraged local leaders to provide special programs for African Americans, particularly black youths. In Cincinnati, prominent, black and white citizens such as Salmon P. Chase and Peter Clark, organized the Cincinnati Colored Orphan Asylum in 1847. This association provided relief for indigent black Americans into the 1980s. Currently, it offers scholarships for needy students seeking a college education.


NUMBER 1

An act to amend the act entitled "an act for the relief of the poor." Approved February 12, 1829, Laws of Ohio.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, That any person or persons, other than those hereinafter provided for, residing three years in any township in the State without being warned by the Overseer of the Poor for said township, to depart the same, shall be considered as having gained a legal settlement in such township: every indented servant or apprentice, legally brought into this State, shall obtain a legal settlement in the

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