Jun 12, 2019 the orphan train movement transported orphaned and homeless children from crowded eastern cities of the united states to foster homes located in rural areas of the midwest. Wisconsin orphan train rider biographies, research queries, and lists and dates of orphan trains stopping in wisconsin. Discussions pertaining to anything related to these children, circumstances, finding their families, history of these trains, etc. Fouryearold howard engert rode the train with his older brother fred in 1925. Many arkansans can trace their roots to children who were relocated to arkansas. Brace considered a number of factors about the children who were involved in the orphan train program. Feb 08, 2001 the first half of this book is the most interesting.
As an adult, winefred lorraine williams learned that she was placed in a new york city orphanage soon after her birth in 1922. They had opportunities they would not have had if they stayed where they were. The aid institutions developed a program that placed homeless children into homes throughout the country. New york state, where the the era of the orphan trains began and from where 273,000 children were transported by rail, has yet to memorialize the childrens journey. Children of the orphan trains picture the american past. Placing out in america bison book kindle edition by holt, marilyn irvin. Orphan train children joe aillet john green brady andrew h.
Kansas state historical society in the beginning of the orphan train movement, the trains that took children across country were little better than cattle cars and only had makeshift bathroom facilities. Although it had its pitfalls, orphan trains and other children s aid initiatives led to a host of child welfare reforms, including child labor laws, adoption, and the establishment of foster care services. Easytoread, compelling text explores the history of the childrens aid society and the development of the brace school, lodging houses, and industrial schools, the conditions that led to child abandonment in the 1800s, problems with institutional care and child labor laws, the roles the civil war, the great. Setting aside our presentday romantic notions about orphan trains, holts book sheds valuable new light on the phenomenon by putting it in the context of nineteenthcentury ideals about childhood, the roles of social reformers, the changing theories of relief and welfare for the poor, western development, and rail expansion. In real life, orphan trains were intended to save children from the streets, but. The orphan train movement in america was a unique experiment in child welfare. Us history, american history, canadian history, old pictures, old photos, time. International origins of the orphan trains springerlink. The orphan train saga follows the story of the six kelly children, whose widowed mother has sent them west from new york city in 1856 because she realizes she cannot give them the life they deserve. Between 1854 and 1929, an estimated 200,000 or more homeless and. The orphan train and the children who rode them new england. Children were placed on orphan trains that stopped at more than 45 states across the country, as well as canada and mexico.
The national orphan train complex opened in 2007 in concordia, kansas and is dedicated to preserving the history. John jackson, who at five years old walked off after a marching band and never found his way home again. At the peak of the orphan train movement, 3,0004,000 children a year were traveling west. The children ranged in age from about six to 18 and were homeless or neglected. National orphan train complex genealogy familysearch wiki. Between the years of 1853 and 1929, an estimated 250,000 orphans were relocated from major east coast cities such as new york city, to new homes throughout the united states and canada. The orphan train that brought kids around the country. Today, states like kansas and oklahoma have begun tracing the lives of train orphans in an attempt to connect them with longlost family. It is said that 2,000,000 americans are descended from orphan train riders. Apr 11, 20 after tragedy, young girl shipped west on orphan train christina baker klines new novel incorporates a true piece of american history. Orphan train riders, from the riders on the orphan train multimedia performance at union depot in st. Orphan train research person for this site is clark kidder author of emily s story. But though many children did ride to better lives on orphan trains, others did not.
Download it once and read it on your kindle device, pc, phones or tablets. Kidder is considered to be one of the leading authorities on americas orphan train movement. Holts book focuses on the placing out systemfrom its creation to its demiseinstituted by the children s aid society of new york. The orphan trains are among the most famous episodes in adoption history. Rebecca langstongeorge chapter book 9 14 years this story, written by an elementary school teacher, tells about seven orphans who were placed throughout the midwest by the childrens aid society. The orphan train and the children who rode them the first orphan train. The national orphan train complex in concordia, ks is a museum and research center dedicated to the orphan train movement, the various institutions that participated, and the children and agents who rode the trains. Orphan train research person for this site is clark kidder author of emilys story. Children of the orphan trains picture the american past littlefield, holly on. Foundling hospital records new york city orphan train records. Orphan train research helps find foster children between 1853 and 1930 who rode trains from new york city, boston, or chicago to new homes in other states or canada. From 1853 to about 1929, more than 200,000 children and several thousand adults were sent west on orphan trains, leaving crowded urban areas on the east coast behind. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading the orphan trains. They were all written up in the same record books and, on the whole, managed by the same people.
Winner of the national indie excellence award in history for her book extra. The orphan train heritage society of america was founded in 1986 by. Charles loring brace founded the children s aid society in order to help these children. Apr 09, 2019 orphan trains were the brainchild of charles loring brace, a minister who was troubled by the large number of homeless and impoverished children in new york. This book illustrates that effect by looking at the fates of orphan train riders in aggregate, and by telling the stories of particular children. Their own stories on the subject, capturing the individual stories of many orphans. While the book is ostensibly specifically about charles loring brace and orphan trains its really a history of how children are viewed and treated, and those who live in poverty, are viewed and treated, from the late 18th century through the early 20th century in america, mostly new york city. Three years after that first orphan train left boston, charles loring brace began sending more than 300 children a year on orphan trains from new york city.
After tragedy, young girl shipped west on orphan train. Most had lived in new york citys streets and slums with little or no hope of a successful future. This story, written by an elementary school teacher, tells about seven orphans who were placed throughout the midwest by the childrens aid society. From 1854 to 1929, more than 200,000 children traveled by train from the east coast to seek new homes in nearly every state in the continental united states. One of the books protagonists, an irish orphan, is packed onto a train and sent to the midwest. The orphan train movement was a supervised welfare program that transported orphaned and homeless children from crowded eastern cities of the united states to foster homes located largely in rural areas of the midwest. For the discussion of the orphan trains that carried thousands of children to new homes in any and all states, and anything pertaining to them from the 1850s to 1930. She thoroughly enjoyed reading stories about these childrens experiences. During the orphan train movement from 1853 to 1929, an estimated 250,000 children were sent by train from large urban areas in the east to all 48 continental states. About clark kidder records of the new york juvenile asylum. The children were transported to their new homes on trains which were eventually labeled orphan trains. Knowing that many of these city youngsters would be expected to help on a farm or in a home, brace and his staff looked at each childs ability to adapt to a new environment and made careful selections.
One of the book s protagonists, an irish orphan, is packed. Minnesota historical society winning essayist awards. Below is a history of the orphan trains taken from dimenna childrens history museum curriculum. And over the 75 year span of the orphan train movement, it is estimated that between 150,000 and 200,000 orphan children were relocated to new homes via the orphan trains. See more ideas about orphan train, orphan, homeless children. Easytoread, compelling text explores the history of the children s aid society and the development of the brace school, lodging houses, and industrial schools, the conditions that led to child abandonment in the 1800s, problems with institutional care and child labor laws, the roles the civil war, the great depression, and people like charles. The genealogy of many of these 200,000 orphaned, abandoned, or homeless children can often be traced back to the childrens aid society, or the new york foundling hospital, among others. From helping them find homes in rural america through the famous orphan trains, to giving the newsboys of new york places to stay, the childrens aid society engaged in remarkable work. Warren also researched agents of the childrens aid society, and this book. When the orphan train movement began, in the mid19th century, it was estimated that approximately 30,000 abandoned children were living on the streets of new york.
Holt carefully analyzes the system, initially instituted by the new york childrens aid. The brave journey of an orphan train rider, which chronicles the true life story of his paternal grandmother an orphan train rider sent to. Back in the mid1800s, there were not a lot of options for poor, homeless, abused, andor neglected children other than orphanages or almshouses. The children, especially thirteenyearold frances mary, feel an overwhelming sense of betrayal and abandonment. The demand for labor on this land is beyond any present supply, brace wrote in his memoir. This period of mass relocation of children in the united states is widely recognized as the beginning of documented foster care in america. Jul 23, 2017 the orphan train heritage society of america continued to hold reunions in different states.
The orphan train and the children who rode them new. The orphan train movement was a supervised welfare program that transported orphaned and homeless children from crowded eastern cities of the united states to foster. The orphan trains were a series of social service programs that relocated poor and homeless city children. The term orphan train was avoided because less than half of the children were truly orphans. The orphan train movement was the largest mass migration of children in united states history. This book concentrates on the cas orphan trains, not only because the society placed considerably more children over a much longer period than any other agency, but because charles loring brace almost single handedly forged the philosophical foundations of the movement, and of many other efforts on behalf of poor children, and remains to this. The orphan trains operated between 1853 and 1929, relocating about 200,000 orphaned, abandoned, or homeless children. Orphan trains were the brainchild of charles loring brace, a minister who was troubled by the large number of. It seems incomprehensible that there was a time in americas notsodistant past that nearly 200,000 children could be loaded on trains in large cities on our. The genealogy of many of these 200,000 orphaned, abandoned, or homeless children can often be traced back to the children s aid society, or the new york foundling hospital, among. These children traveled on what became popularly called orphan trains. After discovering his paternal grandmother, emily reese kidder, was placed on an orphan train by the new york childrens aid society and sent to the midwest in 1906, he began researching the subject and his grandmothers life. Winner of the moonbeam children s book award in history for her book charlies.
Setting aside our presentday romantic notions about orphan trains, holts book sheds valuable new light on the phenomenon by putting it in the context of nineteenthcentury ideals about childhood, the roles of social reformers, the changing theories of relief and welfare. The first orphan train left boston in 1850 and carried 30 homeless waifs to new hampshire and. A quarter million children rode the orphan trains from 1854 to 1929. Placing out in america bison book holt, marilyn irvin on. The orphan train society of america was founded in 1986 and still hosts reunions. Information shows that orphans were brought to mishawakasouth bend by catholic charities such as the new york foundling asylum and new york home bureau for dependent children. Renee wendinger is from minnesota and is the youngest of five children. On the other hand, for at least half, it was a good experience.
Othsafounded in 1986 in springdale washington and benton countiespreserves the history of the orphan train era, a period when thousands of children were relocated across the country. From helping them find homes in rural america through the famous orphan trains, to giving the newsboys of new york places to stay, the children s aid society engaged in remarkable work. More than 200,000 homeless children were sent west on the trains. This placing out, an attempt to find homes for the urban poor, was best known by the orphan trains that carried the children. Between 1854 and 1929, as many as 250,000 children from new york and other eastern cities were sent by train to towns in midwestern and western states, as well as canada and mexico. Jul 18, 2018 he conceived of the orphan trains as a winwin for the children and their foster families. A fictional picture book by eve bunting 2000, train to somewhere.
Jul 20, 2018 these children were mostly firstgeneration americans born to european immigrants or were immigrants themselves. Although it had its pitfalls, orphan trains and other childrens aid initiatives led to a host of child welfare reforms, including child labor laws, adoption, and. The orphan trains operated until 1929, bringing an estimated 250,000 parentless children to the west. Orphan train speaker authenticated by the national orphan train speakers bureau. We invite you to read it here and to explore additional lesson materials in the curriculum, which can be found by clicking the link on. Jan 05, 2018 the childrens aid society department that was responsible for sending children to be adopted was first called the emigration department, or homefinding department, and later it changed its name to department of foster care. From 1850 to 1930 america witnessed a unique emigration and resettlement of at least 200,000 children and several thousand adults, primarily from the east coast to the west. Mary ellen wrote a series of books called orphan train riders. Winner of the moonbeam childrens book award in history for her book charlies. Holt carefully analyzes the system, initially instituted by the new york childrens aid society in 1853, tracking its imitators as well as the reasons for its creation and demise.89 584 1202 598 653 897 568 853 694 191 1636 465 516 163 139 1180 334 1217 1334 103 757 107 103 1151 931 525 606 1486 707 912 1026 646 1057 652 475 692 1088 874 363