Exeter Girls: Letters From a Feeble-Minded School

Mother, Don't Let The Sun Set On You Here

How the childbearing age was made a sin and a shame in the Jane Crow era.

In the first half of the last century, feeble-mindedness was widely accepted as a scourge to society and civilization. And though hereditary diseases or disorders of the mind and body were often factors in its diagnosis, morality and sexuality were believed equally as important and just as inheritable by birth.

For this reason, hundreds of girls and young women from broken homes, orphanages, jails, hospitals, convents, and shelters across Rhode Island were accused of being a danger to themselves and society and legally committed to an institution for the feeble-minded.

Exeter Girls is a collection of notes and letters following the true stories of three women — Evelyn, Cora, and Dorothy — whose harrowing journeys through this gauntlet of institutionalization will astonish you with confessions of injustice, tragedy, and despair.


Exeter Girls: Letters From a Feeble-Minded School

By Jason R. Carpenter

The true stories of the lives and trials of three women committed to the Rhode Island School for the Feeble-Minded in the early 1900s — as told through their letters.

Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble
Paperback: 264 pages
Classification: Non-Fiction, History
Published: 2014
ISBN: 978-0982504932

Unlock the secrets of the Ladd School's
mysterious past.


More to Discover

Books | Non-Fiction

True stories from the Ladd School

Collections | Historical

Over 2,000 collected materials

History | Learn More

About the Ladd School