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How to Use
the Readings


Inquiry Question

Historical Context


Reading 1
Document 2
Reading 2
Reading 3



Table of

Determining the Facts

Document 1: The Taft Household from 1860-1880

June 1860
Name Age Occupation Where Born
Alphonso Taft 49 Attorney Vermont
Louise Taft 32 Housewife Massachusetts
Peter Rawson Taft 78 Gentleman Massachusetts
Sylvia Howard Taft 68 Vermont
Charles P. Taft 16 Student Ohio
Peter Rawson (Rossy) Taft 14 Student Ohio
William Howard Taft 2 Ohio
Henry Waters Taft 1 Ohio
Anna Torrey 19 Massachusetts
Margaret Mulligan 28 Cook Ireland
Rosa Mulligan 20 Nurse Ireland
Edward Mulligan 22 Hired Man Ireland

June 1870
Name Age Occupation Where Born
Alphonso Taft 59 Judge of Superior Court Vermont
Louise Taft 42 Housewife Massachusetts
Charles P. Taft 26 Attorney Ohio
William H. Taft 12 Student Ohio
Henry W. Taft 11 Student Ohio
Horace D. Taft 8 Student Ohio
Fanny L. Taft 4 Ohio
Mary Farrell 30 Servant Ireland
Mary Conner 23 Servant Ireland
John McGrath 19 Hired Man Ireland
Peter R. (Rossy) Taft 24 Law Student in Europe Ohio

June 1880
Name Age Occupation Where Born
Alphonso Taft 69 Lawyer Vermont
Louise Taft 52 Housewife Massachusetts
Peter R. Taft 34 Lawyer Ohio
William Howard Taft 22 Lawyer Ohio
Henry W. Taft 21 At College Ohio
Horace D. Taft 18 At College Ohio
Fanny L. Taft 14 Ohio
Mary O'Connell 30 Servant Ireland
Mary Vale 28 Servant Ireland
Mary Devany 29 Servant Ireland
(U.S. Census Data)

Document 1 lists the residents and occupations of those in the Taft household during a 20-year period. It provides information on what life was like for an upper middle-class family from 1860 to 1880.

Questions for Document 1

1. Does the Taft household look like what is now called an extended family? Why do you think the older boys continued to live with their parents? Do you have grandparents or grown siblings living in your house? If so, do you think the reasons are the same now as they were in the 19th century?

2. How might Anna Torrey have been connected to the Taft family? (You may want to refer back to Reading 1 for a clue.) Why might she have been living with the family?

3. Why do you think the "occupation" column is blank for Sylvia Howard Taft, Anna Torrey, and Fanny Taft?

4. Note the place of birth of the servants. How did they reflect immigration patterns of the time?



Comments or Questions

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