out is a 19th century term for getting abandoned and homeless children
off the streets. They were sometimes gathered by police. Some
of the kids came voluntarily. they all were brought to local aid societies.
If they weren’t wanted at home they were brought there by relatives or
parents. They all were cleaned up and given new clothes and taken
out west in large groups on a train. Three times a month about 30
kids were put into groups. Sometimes they were given a suitcase if
they had personal belongings. They had assigned seats on the train.
Most of trains left on Tuesday. They were given bibles to comfort
them. Sometimes they sang songs on the train. They journey usually
lasted 3-4 days. The kids were not allowed to leave the trains only
to change trains and to pass time during a layover. When they neared
the destination they changed into good clothes and washed up. When
they got there they all lined up in a line on a stage. Then an agent
gave a brief account on each and explained the rules for placement.
The rules were, placement are on a trial basic, and legal adoption is not
acquired but the foster parents are supposed to treat them like their own
family. Many children were shoved, pushed, and pulled about as people
tried to make a decision if they should take anyone home. After all the
stops and they were still left on the train they went back to New York.
Many orphanages lead pleasant lives when they grew up
1853-the train started
American history for kids Cobblestone; Orphan Trains April 1998