Incurable Defects: Physical Disability and the Philadelphia Outdoor Relief System, 1790-1840

Nicole Schroeder
"Incurable Defects" offers a reading of 19th century American welfare debates using a disability studies lens. Providing data analysis on welfare pensioners in the city of Philadelphia throughout the 1820s, this paper rewrites disabled individuals into the history of the city. I argue that disabled individuals shaped the emerging medico-welfare system alongside influences from citizen taxpayers, doctors, and government officials. I offer a complicated narrative that helps to trace the history of ableism in American...
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