Date of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


American Studies

First Advisor

Karen Li Miller


This project examines orphan trains and the movement's reverberating effects on the United States more closely. Founded by Reverend Charles Loring Brace, the orphan train program aimed to challenge the “greatest evil[s] of our city life” – migration, overpopulation, and poverty - through removing at risk youth from their urban residences.[1] Focused solely on impoverished and orphaned youths, the orphan train progam assisted in approximately 200,000 placements between 1853 and 1929, making it the largest child resettlement initiative in American history.[2]

[1] Thomas Bender. Towards an Urban Vision.(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982), 151.

[2] Stephen O'Connor, Orphan Trains: The Story of Charles Loring Brace and the Children He Saved and Failed (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2001), 106.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in American Studies.