1 / 42

Ellis Island & Immigration

Ellis Island & Immigration. The Trip Across the Ocean. Always terrible Shipping-line ads promised a six-day trip on a fine ship, “including a plentiful supply of cooked provisions.” But often a week or more passed before the ship managed to labor halfway across the Atlantic.

Télécharger la présentation

Ellis Island & Immigration

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author. Content is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only. Download presentation by click this link. While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server. During download, if you can't get a presentation, the file might be deleted by the publisher.


Presentation Transcript

  1. Ellis Island & Immigration

  2. The Trip Across the Ocean • Always terrible • Shipping-line ads promised a six-day trip on a fine ship, “including a plentiful supply of cooked provisions.” • But often a week or more passed before the ship managed to labor halfway across the Atlantic.

  3. “Cooked provisions” were barely edible. • Soggy rye bread and a barrel of herring for the Slavs, Swedes, Germans, and Jews traveling on the northern routes • Sardines and soggy wheat bread for the Italians, Greeks, and Armenians who came via the Mediterranean.

  4. Wise immigrants packed sausages and loaves of brown bread for themselves, not relying on the ship’s food. • As on Hungarian immigrant later recalled, “We brought a whicker basket with roast chicken and cookies and apple strudel.”

  5. The Cost • One ticket to America was around $35.00 • This price paid for steerage quarters • Immigrants could not afford anything better • Children paid half-price • Infants traveled free

  6. Steerage Quarters • Steerage quarters below deck were horribly crowded • Not portholes and little ventilation • Skimpy and carelessly maintained toilet facilities • Most passengers didn’t wash, those who did had to brave the freezing ocean water that ran from faucets in the steerage washroom

  7. Many passengers believed that garlic (eaten) on bread warded off seasickness. • Even on easy passages – and most journeys took place in the calm spring and summer months – many were seasick.

  8. “I couldn’t lift my head for days,” A Czech immigrant later recalled. “I thought I would never see the United States.”

  9. In good weather, children were allowed to play on deck, running among the young people who sat there singing and flirting with each other. • But when, as so often was the case, the weather turned bad and the immigrants were indeed “tempest-tost”, they were unable to get up onto the deck to vomit overboard.

  10. Stormy Weather • In stormy weather, the steerage hatchway door was locked and then tied shut, to make sure that no passenger reach the deck and got swept overboard. • Since the only drinking water available was on deck, stormy weather brought thirst as well as seasickness.

  11. Sleeping in Steerage • 2 or 3 tiers of bunks, equipped with meager mattresses and populated by lice. • Featherbedding brought from home made the bunks a little more comfortable. • Women traveling with babies, made sure they got a lower bunk. • It was difficult to sleep at all. Directly beneath them, the noisy engine was constantly pounding.

  12. Arriving in New York Harbor!

  13. Eventually, the water calmed as the ship steamed into New York harbor. • To prepare for landing, steerage passengers got dressed in their finest clothes. • From the harbor, the steamship sailed up the Hudson to a pier where first and second-class passengers, usually natives returning home, debarked.

  14. Their passage through immigration was quick and courteous. • While these passengers where being cleared off the boat, steerage passengers were kept waiting.

  15. Working a 12-hour day, Ellis Island employees could process 5,000 immigrants. • But some days, 2 or 3 times that many arrived and had to wait on board the ships that they traveled in.

  16. Finally Debarking • Immigrants were harshly commanded to hurry. • Bulky in their layers of clothing, carrying infants, bedding, pots and pans, even cuttings from a home vineyard to plant in America, they scrambled from the ship. • “Good Riddance – Glad to leave it!!!”

  17. “My mother had to try and keep track of us and tied us all together so that we would stay together. And that’s the way we came off the boat.” - Gertrude Schneider Smith, a Swiss immigrant in 1921.

  18. “Getting off on Ellis Island, my mother was dressed up. She had been making this suit for a year to land in. And I was dressed up with handmade lace and all. It was jam-packed with mostly Europeans. And most of these people were dirty, actually dirty. I was terrified.” -Ayleen Watts James, a Panamanian immigrant in 1923

  19. They boarded the ferry that would transport them to Ellis Island. • Before the ferry moved, however, they were required to wait again. • An enormous crowd of them waiting 1 hour, 2 hours, or even much longer. • Standing without food or water, sometimes in the rain, sometimes in the sun during one of New York’s terrible heat waves.

  20. Worrying • During all the hours they were waiting on the ferry, there was plenty of time to worry: • Will I get in? • Will all of us get in? • Even the child who keeps rubbing her eyes? • Will we find a place to live? • Will I find work?

  21. When immigrants were not obsessed with such worries, they had plenty of time to rehearse their answers to the questions they knew would soon be asked of them. • “I am a tailor.” • “I am a carpenter.” • “My husband will meet me.” • “No, I do not have a job waiting for me.” • “I have 23 rubles with me.” • “No, I did not buy my own ticket myself, my uncle sent it to me. My uncle lives in Chicago.”

  22. Landing on Ellis Island • Finally, landing on the island, immigrants were lined up in front of the main door, to stand under an enormous metal canopy that was about 50 ft. wide. • Manifest lists • Immigrants waiting to enter the building were formed into groups by manifest numbers.

  23. Directly inside the entrance there was a stairway. • Immigrants could leave heavy baggage on the ground floor while they went upstairs for questioning and processing. • They left their baggage with a prayer for its safety; robberies had been known to occur.

  24. Praying • A great many prayers were recited on that stairway, God, the Virgin Mary, and various saints were implored to: • Watch over the safety of their luggage • To blind officials to the immigrants’ flaws • To open their eyes to the immigrants’ virtues • To bring the immigrants to their final destinations.

  25. At the top of the stairway, they could see a cluster of officials. • After a slow and laborious climb, immigrants finally reached the Great Hall of Judgment. • 50 ft. high & thronged with people moving slowly ahead along aisles separated from each other by iron railings.

  26. Children and Babies • Babies could be carried, but if a child had reached the age of two, he/she had to walk by him/herself to prove that he/she they could. • Bored with waiting, children chinned themselves on the iron bars. • They ducked in and out under iron railings, despite orders not to.

  27. Children and babies had to undergo a scalp inspection. • Adolescents and adults had their eyes, ears, limbs checked for health. • Those who did not pass, received a big white “X” written in chalk on their chest. • They would go to a different section for further medical testing. • If they failed again, they were deported and ordered to return home that same day.

  28. “We were on Ellis Island 22 days. They took all us men to one section of the room, and they stripped us. They took all our clothes and they only left our papers in our hands. We went through something like a cattle booth. At all of these booths there was a doctor who examined you. If you were a sick person, they told you to wait. If you were alright, you continued with the rest of the examination. They looked at your whole body – the eyes, the heart, the teeth. They brought us

  29. into a big hall. All of a sudden they called your name and your clothes appeared. All clean and packed and smelling nice. Because, to tell you the truth, I’ve got to be honest about it, they deloused us. As I said, the ship we came over on wasn’t a clean ship. You couldn’t clean yourself anyway because even the water from the fountains was frozen. In order to drink some water we had to break the ice with something and melt it. So how can you keep yourself clean?” - Rocco Morelli, Italian immigrant at Ellis Island in 1907, age 12.

  30. The Dining Room • The food may have been plentiful, it may have tasted alright, but still, in those early years, it left much to be desired. • The dining room was filthy and dinner bowls were used again and again without being washed. • Finally, after 1901, Theodore Roosevelt reformed the island’s administration and conditions were greatly improved.

  31. “No charge for meals here” said a sign on the dining room wall. • That comforting message was translated into numerous languages. • After 1901, immigrants were fed well. • They were served white bread which was totally new to them, tapioca pudding, and most astonishing of all bananas which they had to be taught to peel.

  32. “So when I came to Ellis Island, my gosh, there was something I’ll never forget. The first impression – all kinds of nationalities. And the first meal we got, fish and milk. Big pitchers of milk and white bread, the first time I saw white bread and butter. There was so much milk and I drank it because we didn’t have enough milk in my country. And I said ‘my God, we’re going to have a good time here. We’re going to have plenty to eat.’” - Marta Forman, Czechoslovakian at Ellis Island, 1922

  33. Passing Inspection! • After leaving the primary inspection & answering all the questions as well as going through medical examinations, immigrants went back to the baggage room to pick up their belongings. • Then they proceeded to a room where a sign said “Money Exchange” in many different languages.

  34. With their papers stamped at the primary inspector’s desk, immigrants were now free to enter the United States. • At this point, some immigrants went outside the building to meet relatives who had been ferried over to the island.

  35. Or they themselves took a boat over to Manhattan where they could go directly to the subway.

  36. “When my father, who was 2 years old, arrived in Boston, the relative who met him and my grandmother, scooped off the European-style schoolboy’s cap he was wearing – only greenhorns dressed like that!- and flung it into Boston Harbor.” -the son of a Polish immigrant.

  37. Sometimes children were meeting a parent for the first time because he had come to America earlier: “I saw this man coming forward and he was beautiful. I didn’t know he was my father. Later on I realized why he looked so familiar to me. He looked exactly like I did. But that’s when I met him for the first time. And I fell in love with him and he with me.” - Katherine Beychok, a Russian Jewish immigrant in 1910.

  38. All Photographs & quotes courtesy of: Moreno, Barry. Encyclopedia of Ellis Island; 2004, Greenwood Publishing; New York, NY Sherman, Augustus F. Ellis Island Portraits, 1905 – 1920; 2005, Aperture Publishing; New York, NY The Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/070_immi.html

More Related