Fine Heirloom Sewing, Smocking and Hand Embroidery

"Baby will be well and smiling in little garments made by Mother, Auntie, Grannie and loving friends!"

Please join me as I teach the old fashioned techniques and skills needed to sew baby clothes. You will find lessons that start at the very beginning and take you step by step as we sew little baby clothes together. May you find much joy and pleasure in making them.
It's easy and it's fun!!

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Friday, December 10

Ellis Island - Foundlings.

The Foundling Cradle
Mothers who could not care for their infants could place them in the cradle to be left.

Part of the third floor of Ellis Island had alot of information about different Societies that were formed to help the new immigrants. The Foundling Asylum was one of them.

The Foundling Asylum (1869–1881)

A wave of immigration into New York City and the turmoil remaining from the Civil War were among the many social conditions that led to an epidemic of infanticide during the late 1800s. In reaction, Sister Irene Fitzgibbons, Founding Sister of The New York Foundling, placed a white wicker cradle on the doorstep of a small rented house she called "The Foundling Asylum" at 17 East 12th Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, with the goal of receiving and caring for unwanted children and those whose parents could not properly care for them. The first abandoned baby arrived on October 11, 1869, and 45 more babies followed in that first month. The need for this type of service was confirmed by the 126 babies that were left by January 1, 1870. After two years, The Foundling had accepted 2,500 babies.  From Wikipedia

"On a fall night in 1869, three sisters found a baby girl on their doorstep.  Sarah H. became the first of several hundred thousand children cared for by the New york Foundling Hospital, established by the Sisters of Charity of New York.  Now, in the 21st century, the New York Foundling continues its mission to shelter children and help families in crisis."

Click to enlarge.
"This baby will be called for and some clothing and money will be sent to keep him comfortable each month.  For God's sake, the baby's and mine, Dear Sisters, watch over him with a mother's care and when called for, the mate of this little pin [evidently, she included a pin with the letter] will be presented, William Lannon is this child's name."

"N.Y. April 1, 1877
I, the undersigned, being the mother of this male child, born March 30, 1877, do give up all right and claim to this child to the Sisters of Charity, not having money to support him. I choose you, merciful Sisters as guardians to the child.  He has been baptized. Please call him Ernest Otto Smittz.  Respectfully, Grace Smittz"

I wonder how many women made the trip to America at the insistence  of their husbands.

Jesus said to them,
 "Let the little children come to me, 
and do not hinder them...."  
And he took the 
children in His arms, 
put his hands on them and blessed them.
Mark 10:14,16

All Designs Are Copyright Protected copyright 2010 Jeannie Baumeister


Piper said...

Wow! I am floored by this epidemic and the strength of a mother who would have to write such a letter and give up her child. These poor immigrants and the sacrafices they had to make to even survive. Thanks for this history lesson. I am enjoying seeing these thru your eyes.

Elaine said...

Leaving the baby in the care of another for whatever reason has now been replaced with abortion (the child not having a chance to live).
Even though it's sad, it's so much better than killing your baby.

Jan said...

Those notes for the sisters who ran the home is just heartbreaking! But I'm happy that they were able to help so many babies who would otherwise had not a chance.

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