Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Entering the New World: When the Immigrants Land"

The Museum presents to you an interesting article published in the Sunday Magazine of the New-York Tribune in July of 1904 entitled "Entering the New World: When the Immigrants Land." It begins:

"The big ship is coming into the harbor. There are gay crowds on the wharf. There are smartly dressed women waving handkerchiefs and parasols, and men are flourishing canes and hats. Lined against the rails on the decks of the ship are tourists in all costumes. Three thousand miles they have sailed across the sea. Those who have come back to their native land look with longing eyes, and those who are strangers with wondering. The home-comers search in the crowds on the pier for the faces of loved ones, and cheery greetings are exchanged as the ship is being warped in by the busy tugs.

She is rubbing against the buffers now. The gangplanks are down. The tourists are streaming forth like an army of ants. Men and women are throwing themselves into one another's arms. Stevedores are driving in and out from the bowels of the leviathan, bringing to light steamer trunks, big chests, casks, boxes, bundles and bales of all sorts and sizes, which are being sorted rapidly, tapped and opened by keen-eyed and keen-witted customs inspectors."

There are numerous examples here of interactions between the inspectors in Ellis Island and the prospective immigrants. You might find this an interesting read.

The article can be found within the Museum's current exhibition "Castle Garden and Ellis Island: Ports of Immigration." The link to the article is

1 comment:

  1. Interesting that the passengers are referred to as tourists. That, to me, was unexpected.