NLEN Drents Archief


On this page, you can see a selection of the more than five thousand description cards that were made of the beggars in Veenhuizen. The cards consist of two photographs and identifications based on body measurements, invented by the Frenchman Alphonse Bertillon. By clicking on the images, you can see the complete description card and the data that belongs to the person.

Of course, these men were not the only inhabitants of Veenhuizen or the colonies. Numerous different groups of people were involved in the Society of Benevolence. In the free colonies Frederiksoord, Willemsoord and Wilhelminaoord free colonist families lived, as well as classified people and staff members or civil servants. Free settler families each had their farm with a piece of land. Classified people were parents or orphans who lived with the families. In the unfree colonies, the outside of the asylums was inhabited by working families, veterans and civil servants. On the inside lived orphans, beggars and penal colonists. So called trainees lived in the 'Institute for Agricultural Education’ in Wateren, belonging to the colonies.