In 1869 a group of Roman Catholic nuns established the New York Foundling Hospital to help care for and place homeless infants. Following the example of the already established Children’s Aid Society, trains were used to transport children to new homes. These became known as Mercy Trains. People who wanted a child could request specific attributes of the children they wanted to adopt. This segment from the West by Orphan Train documentary includes archival photographs and interviews with Amanda Wahlmeier, former Curator at the National Orphan Train Complex; and Renée Wendinger, historian, author and daughter of an Orphan Train rider.
Check out the entire Experiences of Orphan Train Riders Collection.