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the Immigrants of Ellis Island

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Author Topic: the Immigrants of Ellis Island  (Read 782 times)
Trina Demario
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« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2008, 12:26:35 am »



Russian peasants
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Trina Demario
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« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2008, 12:27:28 am »



Slav immigrants
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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2008, 12:32:10 am »



Island of Hope - Island of Tears
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« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2008, 12:33:48 am »



Location of Ellis Island in New York City
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Trina Demario
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« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2008, 12:35:05 am »

Originally called Little Oyster Island, Ellis Island acquired its name from Samuel Ellis, a colonial New Yorker, possibly from Wales.

Quote
TO BE SOLD
It was to be sold by Samuel Ellis, no. 1, Greenwich Street, at the north river near the Jewish Market, That pleasant situated Island called Oyster Island, lying in New Bay, near Powle’s Hook, together with all its improvements which are considerable; also, two lots of ground, one at the lower end of Queen street, joining Luke’s wharf, the other in Greenwich street, between Petition and Dey streets, and a parcel of spars for masts, yards, brooms, bowsprits, & c. and a parcel of timber fit for pumps and buildings of docks; and a few barrels of excellent shad and herrings, and others of an inferior quality fit for shipping; and a few thousand of red herring of his own curing, that he will warrant to keep good in carrying to any part of the world, and a quantity of twine which he sell very low, which is the best sort of twine, for tyke nets. Also a large Pleasure Sleigh, almost new.

—Samuel Ellis advertising in London New York-Packet, 1778


The Ellis Island Immigrant Station was designed by architects Edward Lippincott Tilton and William Alciphron Boring. They received a gold medal at the 1900 Paris Exposition for the building's design. The architecture competition was the second under the Tarsney Act which had permitted private architects rather than government architects in the Office of the Supervising Architect to design federal buildings.

The federal immigration station opened on January 1, 1892 and was closed on November 12, 1954, but not before 12 million immigrants were inspected there by the US Bureau of Immigration (Immigration and Naturalization Service). In the 35 years before Ellis Island opened, over 8 million immigrants had been processed locally by New York State officials at Castle Garden Immigration Depot in Manhattan.

1907 was the peak year for immigration at Ellis Island with 1,004,756 immigrants processed. The all-time daily high also occurred this year on April 17 which saw a total of 11,747 immigrants arrive.

« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 12:35:50 am by Trina Demario » Report Spam   Logged
Trina Demario
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« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2008, 12:36:55 am »

Those with visible health problems or diseases were sent home or held in the island's hospital facilities for long periods of time. Then they were asked 29 questions including name, occupation, and the amount of money they carried with them. Generally those immigrants who were approved spent from three to five hours at Ellis Island. However more than three thousand would-be immigrants died on Ellis Island while being held in the hospital facilities. Some unskilled workers and immigrants were rejected outright because they were considered "likely to become a public charge." About 2 percent were denied admission to the U.S. and sent back to their countries of origin for reasons such as chronic contagious disease, criminal background, or insanity. Ellis island was sometimes known as "The Island of Tears" or "Heartbreak Island" because of those 2% who were not admitted after the long transatlantic voyage.

Writer Louis Adamic came to America from Slovenia in southeastern Europe in 1913. Adamic described the night he spent on Ellis Island. He and many other immigrants slept on bunk beds in a huge hall. Lacking a warm blanket, the young man "shivered, sleepless, all night, listening to snores" and dreams "in perhaps a dozen different languages". The facility was so large that the dining room could seat 1,000 people.

During World War I, the German sabotage of the Black Tom Wharf ammunition depot damaged buildings on Ellis Island. The repairs included the current barrel-vaulted ceiling of the Main Hall. During the war, Ellis Island was used to intern German merchant mariners and enemy aliens as well as a processing center for returning sick and wounded U.S. soldiers. Ellis Island still managed to process ten of thousands of immigrants a year during this time, but much fewer than the hundreds of thousands a year who arrived before the war. After the war immigration rapidly returned to earlier levels
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Trina Demario
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« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2008, 12:38:11 am »

Mass processing of immigrants at Ellis Island ended in 1924 after the Immigration Act of 1924 greatly restricted immigration and allowed processing at overseas embassies. After this time Ellis Island became primarily a detention and deportation processing center.

During and immediately following World War II, Ellis Island served as Coast Guard training base and as an internment camp for enemy aliens - American civilians or immigrants detained for fear of spying, sabotage, etc. Some 7,000 Germans, Italians and Japanese would be detained at Ellis Island.

The Internal Security Act of 1950 barred members of Communist or Fascist organizations from immigrating to the U.S. Ellis Island saw detention peak at 1,500 but by 1952, after changes to immigration law and policies, only 30 detainees were present. In November 1954, Ellis Island was closed and unsuccessful attempts to redevelop the site began until its landmark status was established.

As with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, Ellis Island, along with Statue of Liberty, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.

Today Ellis Island houses a museum reachable by ferry from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey and from the southern tip of Manhattan in New York City. The Statue of Liberty, sometimes thought to be on Ellis Island because of its symbolism as a welcome to immigrants, is actually on nearby Liberty Island, which is about 1/2 mile to the south.

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Trina Demario
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« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2008, 12:39:13 am »



Radicals awaiting deportation, 1920
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« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2008, 12:40:08 am »

The following is a list of the station's commissioners:

1890-1893 Colonel John B. Weber (Republican)
1893-1897 Dr. Joseph H. Senner (Democrat)
1897-1902 Thomas Fitchie (Republican)
1902-1905 William C. Williams (Republican)
1905-1909 Robert Watchorn (Republican)
1909-1913 William C. Williams (Republican)
1914-1919 Dr. Frederic C. Howe (Democrat)
1920-1921 Frederick A. Wallis (Democrat)
1921-1923 Robert E. Tod (Republican)
1923-1926 Henry C. Curran (Republican)
1926-1931 Benjamin M. Day (Republican)
1931-1934 Edward Corsi (Republican)
1934-1940 Rudolph Reimer (Democrat)
1940-1942 Byron H. Uhl
1942-1949 W. Frank Watkins
1949-1954 Edward J. Shaughnessy
Other notable officials at Ellis Island included Edward F. McSweeney (assistant commissioner), Joseph E. Murray (assistant commissioner), Dr. George W. Stoner (chief surgeon), Augustus Frederick Sherman (chief clerk), Dr. Victor Heiser (surgeon), Thomas W. Salmon (surgeon), Howard Knox (surgeon), Antonio Frabasilis (interpreter), Peter Mikolainis (interpreter), Maud Mosher (matron), Fiorello H. La Guardia (interpreter), and Philip Cowen (immigrant inspector).

Prominent amongst the missionaries and immigrant aid workers were Rev. Michael J. Henry and Rev. Anthony J. Grogan (Irish Catholics), Rev. Gaspare Moretto (Italian Catholic), Alma E. Mathews (Methodist), Rev. Georg Doring (German Lutheran), Rev. Reuben Breed (Episcopalian), Michael Lodsin (Baptist), Brigadier Thomas Johnson (Salvation Army), Ludmila K. Foxlee (YWCA), Athena Marmaroff (Women's Christian Temperance Union), Alexander Harkavy (HIAS), Cecilia Greenstone and Cecilia Razovsky (National Council of Jewish Women).

Noted entertainers that performed for detained aliens and US and allied servicemen at the island included Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Enrico Caruso, Rudy Vallee, Jimmy Durante, Bob Hope, and Lionel Hampton and his orchestra
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« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2008, 12:41:01 am »



Immigrants being processed, 1904
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« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2008, 12:43:02 am »

More than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. The first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island was Annie Moore, a 15-year-old girl from County Cork, Ireland, on January 1, 1892. She and her two brothers were coming to America to meet their parents, who had moved to New York two years prior. She received a greeting from officials and a $10.00 gold piece. The last person to pass through Ellis Island was a Norwegian merchant seaman by the name of Arne Peterssen in 1954. After 1924 when the National Origins Act was passed, the only immigrants to pass through there were displaced persons or war refugees. Today, over 100 million Americans can trace their ancestry to the immigrants who first arrived in America through the island before dispersing to points all over the country.

An inaccurate myth persists that government officials on Ellis Island compelled immigrants to take new names against their wishes. In fact, no historical records bear this out. Federal immigration inspectors were under strict bureaucratic supervision and were more interested in preventing inadmissible aliens from entering the country (which they were held accountable for) rather than assisting them in trivial personal matters such as altering their names. In addition, the inspectors used the passenger lists given to them by the steamship companies to process each foreigner. These were the sole immigration records for entering the country and were prepared not by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration but by steamship companies such as the Cunard Line, the White Star Line (which owned the Titanic), the North German Lloyd Line, the Hamburg-Amerika Line, the Italian Steam Navigation Company, the Red Star Line, the Holland America Line, the Austro-American Line, and so forth.

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« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2008, 12:49:10 am »



Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, 1902
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« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2008, 12:50:10 am »

Medical inspections

The symbols below were chalked on the clothing of potentially sick immigrants following the six-second medical examination. The doctors would look at them as they climbed the stairs from the baggage area up to the Great Hall. Immigrants' behavior would be studied for difficulties in getting up the staircase. Some only entered the country by surreptitiously wiping the chalk marks off or by turning their clothes inside out.

B - Back
C - Conjunctivitis
CT - Trachoma
E - Eyes
F - Face
FT - Feet
G - Goiter
H - Heart
K - Hernia
L - Lameness
N - Neck
P - Physical and Lungs
PG - Pregnancy
S - Senility
SC - Scalp (Favus)
SI - Special Inquiry
X - Suspected Mental defect
X (circled) - Definite signs of Mental defec
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Trina Demario
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« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2008, 12:51:24 am »



Dormitory room for detained immigrants
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« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2008, 12:52:22 am »

Notable immigrants

Ellis Island immigrants attaining success in America include: Lucky Luciano, Bob Hope, Irving Berlin, Knute Rockne, Ben Shahn, Arshile Gorky, Pola Negri, Anna Q. Nilsson, Claudette Colbert, Chef Boyardee (Ettore Boiardi), Erich von Stroheim, Bela Lugosi, Karl Dane, Antonio Moreno, Felix Frankfurter, Father Flanagan, Joseph Stella, Jule Styne, Irène Bordoni, Charles Atlas, Isaac Asimov, Rafaela Ottiano, the Trapp Family Singers, Ezio Pinza, Ludwig Bemelmans, John Kluge, Annie Moore, Hubert Julian, Anzia Yezierska, Sig Ruman, Michael Romanoff, Arthur Murray and Max Factor.
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