is a description of an orphan train
sponsored by the New England Home for Little Wanderers. The excerpt,
which quotes missionary agent Reverend S.S. Cummings, illustrates
that this method of child placement was not limited to the New York
Children's Aid Society or its famous leader, Charles
There is system and order about it as there should be about every
good work. These homes are not engaged beforehand as some have supposed.
It is surprising to some that we will start off with a company of
thirty or forty children, not knowing where we shall find a home
for them. The process is simple. We look over the map of the country,
and line of railroads, and decide on some town to make our first
point, and then write to the pastors of the churches that we will
be there at a given time, generally arriving on Saturday, and ask
them to make arrangements for our holding services in their churches
on the Sabbath. . .
The children at the church in the presence of the people and an
appropriate talk of our duty to provide for, and take care of, orphan
children, brings our work and the object of our visit before the
public preparatory for the work of adoption on Monday. We invite
the people to meet us on Monday and see the children and make a
selection if desirable. Meantime, we form a brief acquaintance with
the pastor and a few good reliable citizens, that are always ready
to give any information desirable as to the fitness of families
to become responsible for the charge of the children.
The terms or conditions of taking the children and the references
required soon decide the question of applicants. We seldom fail
of doing a good day’s work in the line of adoption, after
thus spending a Sabbath with the people.