The Orphan Trains : Feeling Small

887 Words4 Pages
The Orphan Trains: Feeling Small
Traveling up to 60 miles per hour in a chain of iron boxes weighing several hundred tons altogether can make you feel quite small; and even smaller if you didn’t have any control of the destination. It was a tight fit in each train car due to the thirty to forty other orphans packed in together with two to three adults. There was a strain on all orphans involved in this program. The orphan trains were a bitterly imperative movement put in place to disperse the population, as well as put “future criminals” in what was supposed to be loving homes. (Web)
The orphan trains started in the United States by the government’s authority to create more living space for the citizens. Between 1841 and 1860, America permitted 4.3 million newcomers, a large portion of which were immigrants migrating to the United States. There was an average of ten people per room in the houses of the port cities. As a result, the port cities became overpopulated causing work to be harder to find and labor to be cheaper.
The transportation methods seemed like methods used to transport cattle, but the placement of many children turned out for the better. Before they were made to relocate, many orphans lived in the streets or temporary shelters. Due to this program referred to as the “placing-out” program many were placed in homes generally to work for a place to stay. The orphan trains were a necessity at the time, though it could have been implemented better the
Open Document