“Endangered” Children and the Montreal Ladies’ Benevolent Society Industrial School, 1883–1921
This chapter describes life in a privately run industrial school for children ‘at risk’ set up in Montreal inside a large child charity (the Montreal Ladies’ Benevolent Society). Even though institutions of this kind—particularly industrial schools—were part of the wider structure of social regulation set up to police families in the larger sense of the term, the school was run with a protective approach rather than a repressive one, within a logic that mixed both regulation and assistance. This was increasingly true as the municipality used the scope of the law to mould industrial schools into an early version of municipal assistance.
This research has benefited from the support of grants from FRQSC (Quebec) and SSHRC (Canada). I would like to thank Jean Trépanier, Xavier Rousseaux and the late Jean-Marie Fecteau for their comments and suggestions on earlier drafts. I would also like to extend my thanks to Historic Batshaw Youth and Family Services, now known as the Centre intégré universitaire de Santé et de Services sociaux de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, for granting me access to the papers of the institution under study. These are archived in the Library and Archives of Canada, Summerhill Homes Collection, MG28 I 388.