Henry W. Hale family letters 1887-1928 (bulk 1894-1902)
The Young Ladies Union Society of Danbury, Conn., which had been established around 1817, was a benevolent society primarily comprised of unmarried women, but several young married women and three gentlemen were also members. The society, governed by elected officers (including a librarian), met on a rather irregular basis and sewed things they would then sell, donating the profits to various worthy causes. Gentlemen would typically only appear at the meetings to buy the articles the women had made and escort the ladies home. Thirteen members at a meeting was considered "unusually large," and the average was probably between six and eight attendees. Often the women did not meet as frequently as they intended, due to the weather, a paucity of available members, or the distraction of other town events. Occasionally when they had an order to fill, the members, often assisted by non-members, would meet more often. By the 1840s, the young women were devoting themselves to local benevolent work, and concentrated on helping the poor children of Danbury. Although this filled volume ends in 1842, it is likely the Union Society continued to exist.