The year is 1870. Three people: an English woman about thirty years old, her daughter, ten, and her son, a boy of twelve. They are standing on the quay in Liverpool. The quay is packed with people surrounded by bundles and boxes. Children are crying, and shouting in a dozen or more languages. This is the exit port for America.
The woman is nervous. She is pacing back and forth near their luggage. Her husband, a shoemaker, had left her five years earlier; it was then she determined that she would go to America. After her husband left, she convinced the Boss that she could do the work herself.
"How're ya gonna work with the waxed thread, Lizbeth?" he'd asked.
"I can do it. I'm strong enough." She stared him in the eye and he saw her determination. He laughed.