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The New Britain Times Mine Collapse Shocks Oakland Family Published: May 26, 1874 By VIVIAN VAN DERLIST “Since the day we were born I thought that my brother and I would never be separated.” said Timothy Oakland

out of breathe as he stared back at the collapsed mine.

Timothy Oakland, a 12 year old boy was very shocked when he lost his brother in a coal mine collapse accident 2 days ago, May 24th. Timothy and Matthew Oakland were doing their daily duties down in the coal mine when one of the walls between the two boys collapsed. Matthew’s exit to his brother and the elevator was blocked. There was no escape; all around him was hard muddy walls and coal. Timothy attempted to push away the rocks and rescue his brother but the rocks were too heavy. Matthew yelled for help and could

Dull morning at the coal mine before the collapse occurred.

He had no other choice but to leave his brother behind, so he did, and stepped into the crowded metal lift and slowly surfaced back to earth.

be heard, but no one could help him and the fumes were starting to weaken him and made it hard for him to breath. “I could hear him begging for help. Yelling until his voice became hoarse” said Timothy with a worried look on his face. Timothy was desperate to get to his brother but he knew that nothing could be done. All the other workers, adults and children, started to evacuate towards the lift. Timothy had to follow the crowd of scared workers or else his fate would be the same as his brothers.

When talking to Timothy he did not seem at easeand constantly apologized for the smallest things. Now that Britain is well into the Industrial Revolution, children at such young agesare having a hard time. Children are being mishandled all over the country and come home to a quiet and dull home with barely enough food to feed the family. Timothy said in a worried voice “I walked home with my mom that evening… faces black, covered in coal. We knew that when we got home another challenge

started. My mom and I now had to live off

the coal mine becausethe minor wall

of each other and earn enough money to

collapse caused the entire colliery to

keep us going.” The reason why children

become weak. “Now that I can no longer

need to work at factories to begin with is

work at the coal mine I have to find

becausethey’re parents don’t earn enough

someplace else to work. My mom has to

money to sustain the family. The children

find someplace else as well since we both

are taken out of education so that they can

worked at the same coal mine.” said

work at factories and earn money for the

Timothy. Since cheap labor is in great

family. Since the children aren’t given an

demand it was not hard for a small boy

education they won’t be able to get a better

with little fingers like his to find a job at a

job than working in a factory. Hence, later

textile factory. However, Timothy’s

on in life they will get children and their

mother, who was starting to grey, could not

children will have to be taken out of

find a factory or any work place that would

education and work at a factory as well.

take her. So she started to beg on the roads

This cycle will continue until a child steps

and steal food from bakeries and other

up and does something that will gain

stores that would provide food. The

money; like some of our industrial

Oakland family was truly desperate to keep

inventors, who brought something to our

their little dilapidated home by earning

world that amazed our people.

enough money only through Timothy and to find enough food to survive.

Factories are meant to provide us with luxuries and improve the way in which we

Working at the textile factory takes a lot of

live. However, it comes at a high cost; there

effort. Timothy has to work 6 days a week

are in fact people who suffer. All the hard

for 14 hours each day. He worked such long

work gets put on the shoulders of the lower

hours when he worked at the coal mine as

class; they are the factory workers that

well, but since he is new to the textile

work all day with the new machinery to

factory, the days seem longer. When he

produce products for the middle and upper

worked at the coal mine he used his pick

class. Working in a factory can be very

axe all day and brought coal up to the

dangerous for a human being, especially

surface. He now has to work with little

children. Timothy could no longer work at

machines, which he did not use before

when he worked at the coal mine.

they do not grow hungry or lose their

“Working with the machines is really

house. In some casesworking children do

challenging. Every time I do something

not even have a home, so they have to sleep

wrong this scary man comes up to me and

on the streets.

yells at me. He has this rope in his right hand that he usesto hit the other workers.”

Timothy continues to work at the textile

said Timothy. Adult overseers whip

mill and earns just enough money to keep

children that fall asleep from exhaustion or

him and his mother alive. He continues to

who constantly make mistakes. However,

learn how to use the new machines and is

even though factories may seem like a

able to work quicker without being

place where children are being tortured

whipped by the overseer. “I’m happy to

there is always a plus point to everything.

work at the textile factory and be able to

The children are working for a reason; they

help my mom. I can tell that she is having a

earn money. By earning money they can

hard time and I don’t want her to worry

sustain their family and make sure that

any longer.” said Timothy as I walked away.

Bibliography McDougal Littell Modern World History Textbook - pgs. 252, 258, 259, 260, 262, 271 Primary Source – The Dark Side of Industrialization Primary Source - Life in a New England Factory

Mine Collapse Shocks Oakland Family  

Industrial Revolution Article ~ Child Labor