The Orphans’ Friend newspaper is now available on DigitalNC!

Orphans' Friend, April 4, 1877

Orphans’ Friend, April 4, 1877

Over one hundred issues of the Orphans’ Friend newspaper from 1876 and 1877 are available online now. A publication of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina, Orphans’ Friend was distributed to children at the “Orphan Asylum,” or orphanage, in Oxford, North Carolina. The newspaper was established in 1875 and is still published by the Grand Lodge today. It was initially published to draw attention to childcare needs across North Carolina after the Civil War left many orphaned.

These issues are often mostly comprised of stories, recommendations and lessons, and frequently include news from around North Carolina.

Some issues begin with poems:

"Good Nature and Slander," February 14, 1877

“Good Nature and Slander,” February 14, 1877

Some recommend healthy habits:

"About Eating Fruit," August 8, 1977

“About Eating Fruit,” August 8, 1977

Some include simple facts and whimsical ruminations:

On cheese and flowers, July 5, 1876

On cheese and flowers, July 5, 1876

To browse all issues of Orphans’ Friend on DigitalNC, click here. To learn more about the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina, visit their partner page here or their website here. We are thankful for their partnership in making these newspapers available online.

DigitalNC hosts other materials about the Oxford Orphan Asylum as well, including this scrapbook from 1940 to 1957 and records from the Sallie Mae Ligon Museum & Archives & Masonic Home for Children at Oxford. To browse all of our holdings from Oxford, click here.


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This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features the latest news and highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from organizations across North Carolina.

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