Arriving in the New World

First sighting.
Checking in at port.
Ellis Island.
The big city. Crowded streets.

Preparing for the Journey

The Trip Across the Ocean
The Next Part of the Journey

The Trip To a New Home

1. The Statue of Liberty

First Sighting

Since 1886, immigrants to the United States have eagerly waited for the first sign of the new promised land by searching out the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty has been a symbol of freedom and hope for hundreds of thousands of immigrants to the United States. The Statue of Liberty was rededicated on its 100th birthday, July 4, 1986. Visitors can now climb up the inside of the statue, up a winding staircase to the torch and view the harbor that many of their ancestors saw only from the water.

 

Checking In At Port

Each person entering the United States from a foreign country needed to be checked before being allowed past the port. Ports up and down the coast of the eastern United States had checkpoints where immigrants were checked for who they were, why they were coming to the United States, and above all, whether they were healthy.

2. Medical examination

While the excitement of finally arriving in the new country kept their hearts beating, many were anxious about being examined by the doctors. Many had never even seen a real doctor. Many had developed illnesses over the weeks spent on the ship. After weeks at sea, many people were sent back home, saddened that they had illnesses which prevented them from going on to the "promised land".

 

Ellis Island

3. Bird's Eye View of Ellis Island

From 1892 until 1943 Ellis Island was the place where thousands of immigrants first stepped on American soil. It was here that many immigrants first smelled the air of freedom and hope.

 

The big city. Crowded streets.

 

4. The Bowery - New York City

Many immigrants came from small, rural towns in the old country. Even if they came from a larger city, very few cities in the old country were as wondrous as the big cities in America. The big cities, especially New York City, amazed the immigrants with their noises, smells, tall buildings and differently dressed people. Many were amazed at the technology they saw, the automobiles, the streetcars, and the elevated trains.

Activity: Your task is to interview someone someone who moved here from another place. Your interview questions should include:

When did you leave your old home to move here?
Why did you have to leave your old home?
How did you feel leaving your old friends?
Was there anything special you had to leave behind?
Was it hard getting used to living in a new place?
Preparing for the Journey
The Trip Across the Ocean
 

Arriving in the New World

 

The Next Part of the Journey

The Trip To a New Home

 

Back to Home Page

Picture Credits:

1. The Statue of Liberty
© Lower School. Our "Immigration" to Ellis Island
http://www.rockyhill.org/Lower/ellisisland/ellisisland.html
 

2. Medical Examination

© Queensbury Middle School: Welcome to the Virtual Ellis Island Tour
(used with permission)
http://www.capital.net/~alta/index.htm
 
3. Bird's Eye View of Ellis Island
© Lower School. Our "Immigration" to Ellis Island
http://www.rockyhill.org/Lower/ellisisland/ellisisland.html

 

4. The Bowery - New York City
© 1997-1998 Jason R. DeCesare: Images of Old New York
http://www.quuxuum.org/~miles/oldpix/index.html