From the 1850s to the 1920s, orphan trains
brought about 200,000 children from the East Coast to homes in the Midwest.
Omaha, NE, October 10, 2011 --(PR.com)-- Coffey first came to know Teresa after she received a letter from the orphan train
rider asking how Marilyn could speak about them when she had never heard Teresa's story, thus sparking the book.
After a tenement fire claims the lives of her Irish-immigrant parents and she and her siblings Mattie and Molly are sent west for adoption on the infamous Orphan Train
. Having promised her father to "look after the wee ones" Maelle is deeply disappointed when they are indiscriminately separated.
Wildflowers: The First Story in the Orphan Train
The chapters in Part II of the book are original documents, including letters from children placed by parents or farm parents who took in children of the orphan trains
, the first adoption law, the Child Welfare League of America 1938 standards for adoptions, and the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoptions of 1993.
You can click on "Orphan Trains
" to reach a nice discussion of the trains that carried thousands of orphans from crowded orphanages in the Northeast to live with Midwestern farm families.
The children selected to ride the orphan trains
left behind lives of abandonment, crime, disease, starvation, and a pervasive environment of physical and mental cruelty.
There've been plenty of books published selecting Orphan Train
children as the protagonists, but relatively few stand-alone volumes consider the origins and social implications of the American child welfare system which emerged in mid-19th century New York to handle to dearth of orphans and runaways on the New York City streets.
; the story of Charles Loring Brace and the children he saved and failed.
The orphan trains
have become a footnote in America's history, even though trains went to every one of the lower 48 states.
: The Story of Charles Loring Brace and the
He preached, established schools, and opened lodging houses, but he is best remembered for the creation of orphan trains