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From: Elvin Pettet <>
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Orphan Train Article
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2003 01:03:29 -0600

I believe the recent post about the Orphan Train children, is from a book written by Andrea Warren,

About two years ago she wrote, "We Rode The Orphan Trains"
The book is published by Houghton Mifflin Company, 222 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116. Price about $18.00.

It is a moving story, based on several actual "Orphan Train" riders stories. It really happened folks! The trains ran from about 1854 to 1929, and carried an estimated 200,000 children from the streets of New York, and other eastern cities, to new lives all over the country. Many were sent to small towns in the midwest, and some went to families in the south, that needed help picking cotton. Some as young as five or six, came to good new homes, and some were treated as servants. Some were treated well, and some were mistreated. Everyone should read this book! It is available from almost any book store, and many libraries.

This is the second book she has written on the Orphan Trains. About six years ago, Andrea Warren wrote, "Orphan Train Rider, One Boys True Story". It chronicles the journey of 9 year old Lee Nailing. She said she never intended to write another one on the subject, but the stories haunted her, and she decided she had to write more on the subject. Both of these books are written for age 10 and up, but I could not put them down, after I started reading!

The agents riding with the children, didn't tell them where, or why they were going, only that they were going to take a trip. Andrea's writing brings out the excitement of the children about the trip, and then the sheer terror of some of the children, when being seperated from brothers and sisters. The gripping stories, just grab you in the pit of your stomach, and won't let go! As sad as some of the stories are, most riders had a better chance at a "normal" life, than being homeless on the streets of the big cities. A must read for anyone interested in history or genealogy! It could even be the answer to your own "brick wall"!

The Orphan Train Society, in Springdale, Arkansas, can be reached at 501-756-2780. It promotes their memory and stories, sponsers reunions of the orphan train riders. The riders alive today, are at least 80 years old.

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