Why is it an ESTIMATED 250,000 children?

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Although the Children’s Aid Society were the first to place out children using the “orphan train”, they were not the only organization to do so. The Children’s Aid Society partnered not only with their own orphanage but many in the area, from NYC, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago. Each orphanage that sent children through the CAS program kept its own record of their children. This number also includes the children placed out through the New York Foundling Hospital., which was a separate sending organization.

Over the 75 years of the Orphan Train Movement, there was no one recording system in use and over the 85 years since the last train, records could have been easily lost or destroyed. Even the period’s press could not agree on the numbers.  These numbers are at best an estiamte of all the children over the entire time period.

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