Ellis Island has fantastic shows about immigration to America going again to the land bridge; although it itself was solely used from 1892- 1924. Though it didn’t shut till 1954, in these later years it was solely used for distinctive circumstances, since screening was accomplished on the different finish. This took place because of the elevated restrictions on immigration (see record on the finish of this text), most significantly the Nationwide Origins Act of 1924. Click on right here for the historical past of Ellis Island and click on right here for the BBC sequence of articles “The Open Door coverage and immigration to 1928.”
The shows at Ellis Island have pictures and letters and recorded voices however what struck me probably the most was the very fact that there have been so many anti-immigrant demonstrations again within the nineteenth century. I realized about them from an exhibit on the 2nd ground and thus realized that that form of sentiment shouldn’t be new. First it was the Irish immigrants, then the Chinese language, then the Southern Europeans, and so forth. There was the No Nothing celebration and the Nativists within the mid 1800s (click on right here for an article on the Know Nothings). I don’t keep in mind a lot of this from my highschool American historical past lessons. Was it even coated to the extent proven on these partitions?
One other proven fact that I had not recognized is why the most affordable passage space that my Norwegian ancestors had been in was known as steering. Right here is that wall show from Ellis Island.
My Munson grandfather wrote my father a sequence of letters throughout WWII describing his household’s immigration from Norway. I believe that these letters are a real household historical past treasure. Click on right here to learn my transcription of them.
I’m so grateful that I lastly visited Ellis Island. My excuse was that I couldn’t discover the manifest for a selected ship on-line anyplace. I wanted it for a shopper case and I had the arrival date and ship identify so I used to be assured I may discover it at Ellis Island. On the museum’s household historical past heart I paid a small price for 20 minutes with their computer systems. The search app is excellent, so I discovered that passenger record. Now that I’ve it, perhaps I can work out how I may need discovered it on-line. A subject for an additional weblog put up!