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North Carolina Board of Public Charities
Annual Report of the Board of Public Charities of North Carolina, 1908
Raleigh: E. M. Uzzell & Co., 1909.


The North Carolina Board of Public Charities Annual Report for 1908 provides a brief overview of the activities of state-sponsored and privately funded charitable institutions. The report is prefaced by a memorial for Edmund Burke Haywood, who served as the chairman of the newly reorganized board from 1889 to 1891. The report begins with a letter from the board, led by Chairman William A. Blair, that stresses the importance of more research into the causes of mental illness and prevention of behaviors such as alcohol abuse, which they believed led to mental health problems. The report also provides tabular data on the populations and expenditures at the schools, health facilities and hospitals, jails and prisons, and orphanages within the board's jurisdiction. The board includes its recommendations for improvements to facilities and care. Each institution provides detailed reports on its expenditures, population, living conditions, and other data, and each county provides data specific to its facilities. Several acts of the North Carolina General Assembly are appended to the report, including laws allowing members of the Board of Public Charities to authorize expenditures at facilities based on their inspections, establishing the segregation of white and African American prisoners, and instituting electrocution instead of hanging as the means of capital punishment. A detailed index at the end of the work is helpful for locating specific data within the report.

Monique Prince

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