Research

Indenture agreements

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series consists of contractual agreements between reformatory managers, inmates, and employers (or "masters") to bind out inmates for vocational training until the age of twenty-one. In return for the inmate's labor, the master agreed to provide the inmate with clothing, room and board, medical care, and educational and vocational training. Each form includes inmate's name and age; master's name; residence; and type of vocational training, e.g. farming, shoemaking, chair making, house painting, carpentry, and brush making. Records are restricted.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
0.3 cu. ft. (1 volume)
Inclusive Dates:
1851-1860
Series Number:
A1902

Arrangement

Chronological by date of agreement.

Scope and Content Note

This volume contains copies of contractual agreements between the reformatory managers, inmates, and employers (or "masters") to bind out inmates for vocational training until the age of twenty-one. The indenture system, which was authorized by the law that established the Western House of Refuge, operated until 1871, when it was discontinued by Superintendent Levi Fulton. However, no indenture agreements are extant for the period after 1860.

The agreements are printed on standard forms. In return for the inmate's labor, the master agreed to provide the inmate with clothing, room and board, medical care, and educational and vocational training. In addition to signatures of the inmate, master, and the President of the Board of Managers, the following information is entered on each form: inmate's name and age; master's name and place of residence; and type of vocational training to be provided.

The most common entry for vocational training is farming. Other entries include shoemaking, chairmaking, housepainting, carpentry, and brushmaking.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Restricted in accordance with Executive Law, Section 501-c(1)(b), relating to confidentiality of individuals in custody of the Division for Youth (now Office of Children and Family Services).

Alternate Formats Available

A microform use copy of the series is available at the New York State Archives; however, the copy is not available for use because of access restrictions that apply to the records.

Access Terms

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