Raised on a farm, Tabitha Salt, the daughter of Irish immigrants, leads a bucolic and sheltered existence. When tragedy strikes the family, Tabitha and her mother are forced to move to the notorious Five Points District in New York City, known for its brothels, gangs, gambling halls, corrupt politicians, and thieves. As they struggle to survive in their new living conditions, tragedy strikes again. Young Tabitha resorts to life alone on the streets of New York, dreaming of a happier future.
The Sisters of Charity are taking orphans off the streets with promises of a new life. Children are to forget their pasts, their religious beliefs, families, and names. They offer Tabitha a choice: stay in Five Points or board the orphan train and go west in search of a new life.
The harrowing journey and the decision to leave everything behind launches Tabitha on a path from which she can never return.
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