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tani reviewed The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction on
People interested in the relationship of Anglos and Mexicans in the early years of this century, as well as people interested in sociology, should find this book interesting.
It is a true story and well-researched. Fifty-seven orphans from the New York Foundling Hospital, run by the Sisters of Charity, were--as had been many others--sent out by train to new homes, with numbers on them so they could be picked up by their new families, who had also been given these numbers.
This particular trainload was destined for the mining town of Clifton-Morenci in southern Arizona, and the families waiting for them were, by and large, Mexican. (I read the book some time ago, so I may remember a few details incorrectly.) But not long after the children were placed in their new families, some Anglos began agitating to take these Caucasian children away and place them with Anglo families. And that is what happened--truly a kidnapping of sorts, though it was rationalized as being best for the children. I felt both sad and very angry while reading this book.
The last paragraph in Chapter 7 contains a poignant truth:
"Do not, then, convict George High without more evidence. But even a rumor can remind us of a vital truth: It is difficult to be sure who will be a good parent, and heaven knows that prosperity, white skin, and political power do not guarantee it."