Answer: The Magdalen Society of Philadelphia
The Magdalen Society of Philadelphia, founded in 1800, was formed to rescue and reform “fallen women” and was the first organization of its kind in the United States. Under the leadership of Episcopal Bishop William White and a number of other clergymen and concerned citizens, the Magdalen Society, through dedication and successful fundraising, began an asylum to reform prostitutes and other wayward women. The asylum eventually became focused on preventing delinquency and providing education to girls. In 1918, the Magdalen Society became the White-Williams Foundation for Girls. This organization became White-Williams Scholars, which served both male and female high school students in the Philadelphia Public Schools. In 2011, White-Williams merged with Philadelphia Futures.
HSP holds collections of records from the Magdalen Society of Philadelphia (#2016), as well as its successor organization, White-Williams Scholars (#3025). The Magdalen Society records include minutes, lists of women admitted and discharged from the asylum, matron’s diaries chronicling daily events, applications received, photographs of the asylum, and other papers.