) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. A message from Colleen 3. In Memory of Riders, part I TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeefirstname.lastname@example.org>. A MESSAGE FROM COLLEEN Many of you have emailed me thinking you hadn't received your Sunday Coffee. There have been no Coffees for the past three weeks. I have been terrifically busy helping my daughter get her April, 2003 wedding together. From now until March, 2003 I will do Sunday Coffees as I'm able. From March until May, 2003 Coffees will temporarily be suspended. I believe (read the operative word, "believe") I'll be free for the next several Sundays. So, I've written a historical story/narration for you that will come out in several weekly parts. I hope you enjoy it. IN MEMORY OF RIDERS, Part I [NOTE: Although the following story could be (and just may have been) true, this story is a fictional one with factual narration in brackets.] [In 1618, 200 English boys were sent to Richmond, Virginia, to work on plantations, beginning Britain's history of ridding itself of surplus population, including children. They'd been "rescued" from family, the streets, and workhouses, then shipped to established colonies or planters' outposts in the New World. Many were exported to penal colonies for perceived misdemeanors such as stealing food. One 19th century government official noted that the problem was "that there were too many children in the streets of London" and elsewhere. At the time, there was no free education or meaningful intervention by the government to assist the poor. The Industrial Revolution shut thousands of people out of the workforce. When slavery was abolished, a new demand was created for the cheapest alternative labor force - children. The Great Famine swept all of Europe but was particularly severe in Ireland and simply exacerbated matters. Hundreds of thousands flocked to England's industrial centers which were ill-prepared to accommodate them. Slums and their attendant problems grew at a rapid rate. Child migration was seen as the cheapest way of saving children while easing a costly social economic, political and moral problem. In 1853, the United States began surveying railroad routes to the Pacific, mapping four different ones. Poster, flyers and advertisements went to Europe and the rest of the world extolling the virtues of coming to America and getting "free land." Many were led to believe America was the "land of opportunity," the "land of milk and honey," and the "land of a second chance" they so desperately wanted for themselves and their children. Many left their homelands because of poor harvests, famines, political unrest and revolutions.] May, 1852 It was an exciting time! Seeing the Statue of Liberty close-up relayed to everyone on the ship that they'd arrive in the golden land of opportunity ~ the United States! In these modern times it only took three months to make the crossing, though it wasn't always a smooth ride. He was glad they'd be reaching land soon. His parents and three sisters looked as eager as he felt. He'd gotten seasick only during the first storm they'd encountered, but Mother was ill during most of the voyage. Her skin was sallow and her eyes sunken with dark circles under them. She refused to stay below, wanting that first glimpse of Liberty herself. With Father's help, she was able to stand near the ship's railing and watch as Liberty came closer into view. "How beautiful ~ that majestic lady!" [Between 1841 and 1860, 4,311,465 immigrated to America. This heavy influx lead to overcrowding in port cities, even with temporary housing. Tenements sprang up, often housing ten or more persons to a room. Overcrowded conditions in these tight quarters led to disease and death. Jobs became scarce and labor was cheap.] August, 1852 He couldn't remember ever being so hungry! As a matter of fact, his whole family was hungry! Their living conditions were deplorable, certainly worse than when they lived in the old country. ...And he was tired, so tired. He and his 6- and 7-year old sisters worked in a mill to help his parents make ends meet. The 4-year old stayed with a neighbor until one of them came home. Even with four in the family working however, food and comfort had become words seemingly intended for the high class ~ the rich. At the age of 9, found working in the mill for 24 cents a day extremely hard. His sisters showed their own physical conditions through their tired, gaunt faces. With exception of his youngest sister, being able to play and have fun wasn't something the children experienced much of, anymore. [Without the extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles) to rely upon in times of need, young families fell apart. Children as young as six years old were working to help support the family. Food became scarce. Job safety was not a priority causing many men to be killed in accidents at sea and at other work places. This left women and children to make their own way living as best they could.] December, 1852 He knew it was coming ~ just knew it. Mother came off the ship still sick and though treated by the doctor at Ellis Island, never fully recovered. Then, late in November, she got pneumonia. His father had gone west in October, hoping to find a better job. "There just *had* to be something to all those glorious words we'd heard about living in America," his father had said. He'd gone to the frontier, looking for a way to make their lives better. Sadly, he hadn't been heard from since he left. In the meantime, Mother died. [Diseases from living in unsanitary quarters led to early deaths of overworked mothers. Orphanages were built to care for as many children as could possibly be taken in. Adults could pay for the care on a weekly or monthly basis but if the payments stopped, the child became a ward of the court and was "disposed" of as the social workers saw fit. They were alone now; all four of them. At least they had each other. But, they weren't the only ones without parents. Read the excerpts from letters dated... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [no date given] ".... This little child has suffered since she was born... My husband is dead and I have nobody to help me. ...Do not be afraid of the sores on its face; it is nothing but a ringworm. You'll remember this badge." [The mother was talking about a cloth ribbon from Ulysses S. Grant's re-election campaign which reads, "General Grant, our Next President"] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ November 23, 1869 "....I inform you that I am the mother of the child left on Thanksgiving night between the hours of 8 and 9 o'clock without even a slip of paper to tell you the name of the child left in your care, my heart aches so much I cannot tell. ...Although I have been unfortunate, I am neither low nor degraded and am in hopes of one day of claiming my child. Her name is Jane ... born on 5 of October 1869 between the hours of 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning ... she had a piece of canton-flannel tied around her head and ...little red and white socks on her feet..." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ December 10, 1869 "... It has been happily saved from being murdered this morning by his unfortunate mother. She told me that she gives up all claims on it...." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ July 1870 "...my darling boy. ...He is just from the breast, he has been sick with his bowels, they have not been right for a long time. I have cried and worried over him so much that I think my milk hurt him. ...He is 4 weeks old. Will you please remember his given name and if he is adopted, request that they not change his name; so that at some future day, if that name should be asked for, you will be able to tell what became of him or where he is. ...and if in years to come if I could hear that he had a home and kind friends, I could die in peace. On the other hand, if I should never hear, it would haunt me till the day of my death...." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ December 1, 1875 "Alone and deserted, I need to put my little one with you for a time. I would willingly work and take care of her but no one will have me and her too. ...She is only 3 weeks old and I have not had her christened or anything." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [The above excerpts are from letters tucked into five leather-bound albums at the New York Foundling Hospital's headquarters titled simply, "Letters Left on Babies by Their Mothers."] February, 1853 He and his sisters had tried to make it on their own, but their tender ages were against them. The kindly neighbor who originally watched just the 3-year old had attempted to help them. There were just too many children needing too much help, and not enough money or resources. In the end, he and his sisters were turned out to the streets to fend for themselves. They had become "half-orphans" ~ with no parents, no other family to look after them, they lived on the streets, slept in doorways, and got by with whatever means necessary. They roamed in search of money, food and shelter ~ prey to disease and crime. They sold matches, rags, or newspapers to survive. For protection against street violence, they banded together with other street waifs and formed gangs. [They weren't completely alone, however. In 1850, when New York City's population was 500,000, an estimated 20,000 children were homeless and roaming the streets at that same time. Many were sons and daughters of immigrants. Police, faced with a growing problem, were known to arrest vagrant children ~ some as young as five ~ locking them up with adult criminals.] "Mother, Father... I love you and I miss you." Next Week: "Into the System" To you October babies - the cousins and I wish you a very happy and exciting year ahead. Happy Birthday! You are loved! Family ... it's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. Happy All Hallows Eve, everyone! :) ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'