The Orphan Trains
By Aliya Rouine
Who were the orphan riders?
Children and babies who were left and abandoned in cities like New York, Boston, and other Eastern cities. They were either left because
- parental death
- neglect, abandonment, prostitution.
- massive overpopulation in the New York area due to extensive immigration in the mid 19th century.
- a general attitude among the "higher society" that those in the "lower
- classes" didn't deserve the help.
Here are a few of the orphan riders
How were the orphans treated?
The children were not treated with total respect. When they were getting chosen to be with their new families, perspective parents might poke them or choose them by strength so they could help in the fields. They would not be chosen by character. Some lived fine lives and went on to be successful, others may have suffered abuses.