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My Great Grandfather was SOLD into the Sweat shops of New York - 1848

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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:59 AM
Original message
My Great Grandfather was SOLD into the Sweat shops of New York - 1848
My Great Great Grandfather and his wife in Galway Ireland were exiled to the Penal Colony (Australia) and their 10 children were declared "Wards of the Court".

Shortly after their departure to Australia, the children were placed on a sailing ship which arrived in New York harbor in 1848. Of the 10 children ages ranging 2 years to 18 years of age, 5 were deemed "Old enough to Work" and forced to work in New York's Sweat Shops in order to PAY for their younger siblings care in one of New York's "Orphanages".

Finally in 1851, of the 10 children, 5 at the behest of their younger siblings who told them "As long as you keep paying them they will keep us in here", set out for California and the Gold Rush promises of fortune.

3 made it alive

This is why we have Labor Unions and Child Labor Laws



True Story !!
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
1. To state the obvious......
This is the vision that the GOP and Corporate oligarchs want to return to.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. If it increases profits, they are obligated to pursue it (we are told by their apologists).
Something to do with fiduciary duty. :eyes:
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
2. Indeed. I suspect my ancestors encountered much of the
same but they didn't discuss it with the youngers.

Union support and a strong sense of history seem to go hand-in-hand. :thumbsup:
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JitterbugPerfume Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
3. it is so sad
that Labor Unions are being so demonized by the right.The blood of Patriots was shed to give us Labor Unions, and they made our country great.
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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I wonder how the Parents felt never knowing what happened to their children
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
5. One must wonder how many of those exiled were simply poor, not criminals. nt/
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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Haven't you heard? Poor was/is a crime.
:sarcasm: just in case
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
22. It sure is. Are you familiar with the laws regarding Criminalization of the Homeless in your city
and state?
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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 05:04 AM
Response to Reply #22
26. No.
I am aware of the some of the history of the poor laws. Charles Dickens built a literary career using them as source material.

Also know about the Calvinistic belief that poverty was a sign of God's disfavor, ie not only a crime, a sin.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
8. that is also Rosie O'Donnell's story
The TV series "Who Do You Think You Are" features a celebrity each episode who searches for the story of a family member. She wanted to know about her Irish roots. And she found that her great grandparents had been wards of the state and eventually shipped to America. The researchers sent her to the institution in Ireland where her family members had been housed, separately, and made to work. It was exceptionally grim. I suggest that you watch that episode -- you can find it on the web.

New York tenements were grim, too, of course. There is a Tenement Museum -- I think you can find info about it on the Internet.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Link to Rosie O'Donnell's story "Who Do You Think You Are"
It runs about 45 minutes and is well worth watching.

http://www.nbc.com/who-do-you-think-you-are/video/rosie...

:dem: :kick:

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mrmpa Donating Member (707 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
9. in 1905, my grandmother aged 10 worked
12 hours a day in a candy bar factory. I know she told me how much she was paid, I think it was a nickel an hour. But that's just a guess. She worked 6 day a week, so this would have been a little less than $4 a week, $200 for the year.

She died in 1971, she was very sick and she wanted to see one thing and that was to see her first granson graduate from high school and then go off to college, she got that wish. She had 4 other grandsons older than him, none graduated from high school prior to this. Out of 6 children, she only had 2 graduate from high school.

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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. my grandfather worked in a plow factory in Ontario as a child
He vowed that no child of his would ever work in a factory, and none did. He took his family off to homestead on the prairie of Saskatchewan and that was misery too. Each generation has made it through difficulty. His great great grandson is a freshman at the University of Oregon, altho not the first family member to attend college.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. my grandpa had to quit school and support his mom and sisters.
it is a soul crushing thing to lose your dreams. I hope all the bosses burn in hell who would do this and consider themselves better.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
10. Sounds like the American dream. (sarcasm)
Interesting story. I've never heard of Irish children being sent here after their parents were shipped to Australia. I wonder how often that happened and whether it was done under the pretext of sending them to live with relatives. There were certainly plenty of Irish in New York at that time.

This country was very slow to adopt child labor laws. Having kids work for less wage than adults was of great benefit to the owners and of modest benefit to the families. Of course, there wasn't much time for education when there was a factory job to do. It was a perfect scheme for fattening the wallets of the wealthy and perpetuating income inequality, just as employing undocumented workers is today.

My male Galway ancestors joined unions as fast as they could because they knew that would be their ticket to decent wages and working conditions.
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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. Amazing thing the repigs did. Now we have to defend child labor laws! Imagine that. nt
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
13. Thanks for sharing that--I had no idea that kind of thing happened,
and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

"Of the 10 children ages ranging 2 years to 18 years of age, 5 were deemed "Old enough to Work" and forced to work in New York's Sweat Shops in order to PAY for their younger siblings care in one of New York's "Orphanages".

I wonder what your ancestors were sent to Australia for--something as heinous :sarcasm: as trying to steal food for their family?


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Zephie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
16. K&R. Powerful story.
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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Thanks
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
17. Direct descendant of an Irish "bond boy" checking in
:hi:

Fortunately, my ancestor ended up with a doctor, who allowed him to go to school. At some point, he was emancipated & had his own general store.

We've never found out who his parents were or what happened to his other siblings, if he had them.

dg
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liberal life Donating Member (187 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
18. I long for the old days
when we could have tarred and feathered the moron who suggested taking our society drastically backwards at the expense of poor people, working people and now children. :grr:



http://fucorporatemedia.com/
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
19. "Modern" people have not been taught about what children used to be
Until quite recently (in an evolutionary sense), children were little more than a byproduct/side effect of sex. They were chattal ........an extra mouth to feed, unless you were from royalty or an upper-crusty family.

They were "small" adults whose special skills .....small size, small hands, low-demands, physical vulnerability, made them "perfect" for exploiters.

Children raised themselves, and younger siblings because just staying alive meant that everyone in the household had to bring in money, or failing that, do their share of the work.

Fathers were mostly unavailable to the kids because they either went "on the road" looking for jobs, or worked outdoors from sun up to sundown. Mothers either worked outside the home during those same hours, or at home on a farm doing ALL the chores (which were pretty time-consuming), or doing piece-work at home.

Many people have NO idea that most of the "undeveloped-developing" world still has one foot in the world that did NOT worship children like we do.

Children are quite cute and lovable, but once they are out of toddlerhood, until recently, they were more liability than asset, since most families had more of them than they could afford.

Our public school system saved millions of children and families because it gave a place for children to BE during at least part of the day, and taught them skills that would protect them from workhouses, and made them want and expect more from life. Once schooled, children often became teachers of their own elders who may not have had proper schooling.

My own grandfather (family was Irish, from near Ulster) had a SECOND grade education, and he was considered a bit "uppity" since he married a woman who taught school..she had a SIXTH GRADE education.. Her family was displaced by some wacky war in Europe and made their way here (they were from Bohemia).

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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 07:17 AM
Response to Reply #19
27. The culture of "now" has wiped out a sense of roots or history
The same school system that saved millions of kids and led them to new opportunities also weakened the awareness of their own family's origins and of class struggles fought by their ancestors. There are writings of founders of education about the need to structure a school day in a way that prevents "excess fraternization" and the benefits of homework being to reduce the influence of parents over their children. Like so many institutions, the schools have been used for bible and ignoble goals.
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
21. thanks for sharing
:patriot:
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
23. K & R,
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 02:24 AM
Response to Original message
24. K & R
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Pooka Fey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 03:36 AM
Response to Original message
25. Thank you for sharing your story.
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