Poverty, Motherhood, and Childhood in 19th-Century San Francisco

Author(s): Teresa Bulger

Year: 2015


Popular images of the maritime industry in places like San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Cove often focus on men — whether working on docks or ships, or on land at iron works and carpenter’s shops. Less visible in the historical record of these spaces are the women and children also living, and often working, along the waterfront. Historical research on the neighborhood that bordered Yerba Buena Cove in the late-19th-century suggests that most residences were occupied by families, rather than by single men. This paper will examine the experiences of mothers and children within households along the 19th-century shoreline of Yerba Buena Cove where poverty, hard work, and poor living conditions were the reality of everyday life. Domestic assemblages from William Self Associates’ 2013 excavations at Block 6 and 201 Folsom Street will be used to address these questions.

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Cite this Record

Poverty, Motherhood, and Childhood in 19th-Century San Francisco. Teresa Bulger. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396841)


Geographic Keywords
North America - California

Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;