Monday, November 19, 2007

Before the OT...

I thought I'd share an excerpt of my OT article.
(It will be included in the novel.)

It’s been said that the word orphan is perhaps the loneliest word in the English language.

In 1853, the United States sent various forms of advertisements to the rest of the world in hopes of enticing settlers to come to the “land of milk and honey”. It worked. According to the World Book Encyclopedia, the US has received the largest number of immigrants in the world. Soon the port cities were flooded. Jobs were lacking, labor was cheap and food was scarce. And without the extended family to turn to, families fell apart. Even the youngest of children were expected to work to help support the family. They’d shine shoes or sell matches or newspapers…often in their bare feet. Many men were killed on the job as safety wasn’t a priority, leaving many women and children to fend for themselves.
When overworked mothers died from diseases obtained in unsanitary living conditions, orphanages were erected to care for only those children they could accommodate. If there was no parent to pay for the child’s care, he/she became a ward of the court and was left to the disposal of the social worker.

Photo of Sunderland Orphanage...
Sunderland's East End orphan asylum was founded in 1853, it was a purpose built building for the children of seafarers. With the help of the Bishop of Durham and the Freemen of Sunderland the orphanage was opened on Thursday 17th October 1861. The orphanage was equipped to take 40 boys at a time and despite the strict rules and regulations it was always full.

Until next week, happy reading!

Once A Rebel, by Angela Ashton, coming Jan. 2008

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