The idea put forth, justifying the shipping the children across the country on so-called Orphan Trains, was for children without family and without means to be placed in the protective care of an adoptive family. Many of the children ended up as indentured laborers in a forced labor situation, in which there was really no escape until they became of age. In her article, "Orphan Trains: The Illinois Apprenticeship Agent
," Judy Rosella Edwards give a brief history of the New York Juvenile Asylum and recounts the placement of children "apprenticed" through the organization's Chicago branch, some 4, 557 children.
Labels: Illinois, orphan trains, orphanages