The Little Immigrants is a tale of compassion and courage and a vivid account of a deep and moving part of Canadian heritage. In the early years after Confederation, the rising nation needed workers that could take advantage of the abundant resources. Until the time of the Depression, 100,000 impoverished children from the British Isles were sent overseas by well-meaning philanthropists to solve the colony's farm-labour shortage. They were known as the "home children," and they were lonely and frightened youngsters to whom a new life in Canada meant only hardship and abuse. This is an extraordinary but almost forgotten odyssey that the Calgary Herald has called, "One of the finest pieces of Canadian social history ever to be written." Kenneth Bagnell tells "an affecting tale of Dickensian pathos" (Vancouver Sun) that is "excellent ... well organized, logical, clearly written, [and] suspenseful" (The Edmonton Journal).… (more)
Annie Macpherson, according to the memories that pass among her descendants, was above all else a woman with a sense of destiny.
Prologue: On a grey and chilly day in June some years ago, very early in the morning, a boy named Horace Weir-eleven years old, with eyes that were quick and dark-stood on the deck of an old steamer, the Franconia, and watched the coast of Nova Scotia rise beyond a curtain of fog.
Author's Note: This is the story of a special group of children, over eighty thousand of them.