1899 Annapolis Junction MD, National Junior Republic $1 Aluminum Trade Token

Obverse: NATIONAL JUNIOR REPUBLIC / 1.00 / 1899


Exerpt Washington Post article:

At Annapolis Junction in Anne Arundel County, near the line with Prince George's and Howard counties, lies an abandoned residential reform school called Cedar Knoll, which is still owned by the D.C. Department of Human Services.

Most people know nothing about the history of this property, but given the present brouhaha about the revival of orphanages for neglected and delinquent children, that history may have new relevance.

On June 1, 1899, a group of philanthropic citizens of Baltimore and Washington secured a charter from Maryland as well as land at Annapolis Junction for the establishment of what they called the National Junior Republic, a private reform school for delinquent and potentially delinquent boys and girls ages 14 to 21.

The good citizens modeled their institution on William R. George's "George Junior Republic" in Freeville, N.Y., and they believed it would be an answer to the problem of delinquent children in the slums of Baltimore and Washington. Annapolis Junction's proximity to Washington led them to envision their institution as a prototype for similar centers throughout the nation and as a center for training staff in the policies and principles of education and rehabilitation.

Under the National Republic system, boys and a few girls at Annapolis Junction lived in boarding houses. They paid for their lodging and food with specially issued tin coins and, like their counterparts in Freeville, worked at jobs that ranged from ditch-digging and road-building to skilled trades such as farming, carpentry, masonry and printing. The few girls were cooks, housekeepers and laundresses.

Particularly enterprising citizens of the National Junior Republic could secure concessions for producing, buying and selling goods and services. Schoolwork also was done under contract and reimbursed. Those earning more of the republic's currency could afford to live in the more desirable boarding houses, eat better food and buy nicer clothes.

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