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Author Event: “The Orphan Trains” & Children in 19th c. Albany & America

  • Dates: October 14, 2023
  • Time: 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
  • Price: Reception free. ACHA members free, adults $5 for author talk.
  • Overview

    Meet the author of a fascinating new novel based on real events of the 1850s affecting a mother and her children - and learn about the connection to Albany NY.

    Based on the author’s research into her grandfather’s past as an adopted child, and the surprising discovery of his family of origin and how he came to be adopted, novelist Julia Park Tracey has created a mesmerizing work of historical fiction illuminating the darkest side of the Orphan Trains The Orphan Trains were a Civil War-era effort to place orphaned children - and some who were not - with new adoptive families. These infamous "Orphan Trains" had a stop in Albany NY.

    Copies of The Bereaved available for purchase during the event and a portion of the sales will support the Ten Broeck Mansion.

    4-5 pm, meet the author for a reception and book-signing in the Ten Broeck Mansion gardens. Concurrently, join free walk-through tours of the Ten Broeck Mansion and a presentation by ACHA Executive Director Kathryn Kosto on 19th century Pre-Raphaelite art related to 19th c. orphans on exhibit in the Ten Broeck Mansion.

    5-6 pm, join author Julia Park Tracey in the Ten Broeck Mansion for a reading from her novel The Bereaved. Learn about The Orphan Train and how it impacted poor families in 1850s. She'll discuss finding a train transport receipt that led to her discovery of her great grandfather's adoption and lost family and how she fashioned that history into a bestselling novel. Her main character, Martha (her great, great grandmother) lost four children to The Orphan Train in a time when women had no property rights, body rights, or rights to their children. Park Tracey will be appearing in the mourning outfit donned by widows. Albany NY is on the historic Orphan Train route.

    Ticketing is separate for the reception and talk - please register for either or both as space is limited. We are not able to offer refunds.

    About the author:

    Author Julia Park Tracey’s ancestors and their stories have given her a trail to follow from New York and New England to the deep south and the Pacific Coast. Park Tracey has three counties in California who claim her for their own: Sonoma County where she was raised; Alameda County where she was a columnist, journalist, and Poet Laureate; and Nevada County where she currently resides. She is the author or editor of six books, including two collected diaries of her aunt, a teen flapper in the Roaring Twenties. She has written for Redbook, HuffPost, The Sun, Salon, and for Redbook, HuffPost, The Sun, Salon, and Babble. She is also a partner and the Executive Editor at Sibylline Books.

    Image captions: book cover, The Bereaved (detail), author Julia Park Tracey, courtesy Sibylline Press sibyllinepress.com.

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