Angeline Head

Angeline Head

1761 – 1882

Angeline Head arrived at Town Farm, Little Compton’s poor house, in 1831. Three years later the voting men of Little Compton resolved “that the keeper of our poor house lock Angeline Head up in a room by herself when they don’t want her labour…in order to keep her from bad company as she has had two Bastard Children since there.”

We do not know the name or the fate of Angeline’s first child, though the Town Selectmen ordered a group of unnamed children at Town Farm placed with local families in 1838. Angeline named the child she had in 1834 Clarissa. When Clarissa was about seven, Town Meeting voters placed her with Joseph Gray’s family until she was 16 and required that she had three months of schooling each year.

Angeline stayed at the Town Farm for at least 30 years under the supervision of various “Keepers” and their wives. She had a third child, George, in 1841. By 1865 Angeline had left Town Farm and by 1880 was she was living with Clarissa and her family in New Bedford. Two years later Angeline was back in a poor house, the New Bedford Alms House, where she died of paralysis at age 74.

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Outdoor exhibit panel from the 2020 special exhibition, The Little Compton Women’s History Project.
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