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History > Late 19th, early 20th century > USA > Immigration > Ellis Island > Timeline in pictures

 

 

 

By Brown Brothers, ca. 1908

Immigrant children, Ellis Island, New York.

 

Photograph:

Vintage print.

Records of the Public Health Service.

(90-G-125-29)

https://www.archives.gov/files/press/press-kits/
picturing-the-century-photos/immigrant-children-ellis-island.jpg

 

Picturing the Century:

One Hundred Years of Photography from the National Archives

Eight Portfolios from Part II

https://www.archives.gov/press/press-kits/1930-census-photos/photos-2.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italian family in the baggage room,

Ellis Island, 1905

 

Hine is often called a ‘social photographer’,

and when he worked

at the Ethical Culture School in New York City

one of his assignments was to document

immigrants arriving at Ellis Island.

 

He hoped the work would make viewers

have ‘the same regard for contemporary immigrants

as they have for pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock’

 

The photos that changed America:

celebrating the work of Lewis Hine

G

Thu 15 Feb 2018    07.00 GMT

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2018/feb/15/
lewis-hine-photographs-child-labor-ellis-island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italian family on the ferry boat landing

at Ellis Island, 1905

 

Hine photographed immigrants at Ellis Island

from 1904 to 1909,

taking some 200 photographs in all.

 

The work has drawn comparisons

to that of Jacob Riis,

the Danish-American social photographer and journalist

who chronicled the lives of impoverished people

on New York City’s Lower East Side.

 

The photos that changed America:

celebrating the work of Lewis Hine

G

Thu 15 Feb 2018    07.00 GMT

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2018/feb/15/
lewis-hine-photographs-child-labor-ellis-island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newly arrived Italians waiting to be processed

at Ellis Island around 1905.

 

Photograph by Lewis Hine,

via Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

 

How Italians Became ‘White’

By Brent Staples Mr. Staples is a member of the editorial board.

NYT

Oct. 12, 2019

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/12/
opinion/columbus-day-italian-american-racism.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TITLE: New York - Welcome to the land of freedom -

An ocean steamer passing the Statue of Liberty:

Scene on the steerage deck / from a sketch by a staff artist.

CALL NUMBER: Illus. in AP2.L52 1881 (Case Y) [P&P]

SUMMARY: Immigrants on deck of steamer "Germanic."

MEDIUM: 1 print (2 pages) : wood engraving.

CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1887.

Illus. in:

Frank Leslie's illustrated newspaper,

1887 July 2,

pp. 324-325.

 

Repository:

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

 

Digital ID: cph 3c13735

Source: b&w film copy neg.

http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/070_immi.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TITLE: Emigrants coming to the "Land of Promise"

MEDIUM: 1 photographic print on stereo card : stereograph.

CREATED/PUBLISHED: c1902.

 

NOTES: Copyright by William H. Rau. No. 4580.

REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

DIGITAL ID: (b&w film copy neg. of left half stereo) cph 3a09957

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a09957

http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?pp/ils:@bandnot(@FIELD(NUMBER+3a09957)@FIELD(COLLID+cphx))

Digital ID: cph 3a09957 Source: b&w film copy neg. of left half stereo

Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-7307 (b&w film copy neg. of left half stereo)

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ellis Island

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/12/
opinion/columbus-day-italian-american-racism.html

 

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/17/
528813842/this-simple-puzzle-test-sealed-the-fate-of-immigrants-at-ellis-island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Documentaire

 

Ellis Island,

une histoire du rêve américain

 

105 min,

Réalisation: Michaël Prazan

 

 

En 1892,

Ellis Island,

dans la baie de New York,

devient la principale

porte d’entrée aux États-Unis

pour les immigrants

qui arrivent de plus

en plus nombreux d’Europe.

 

Inauguré en 1900,

après un incendie qui a ravagé

les anciens bâtiments,

l’immense centre

aujourd’hui transformé

en musée va voir passer,

jusqu’à sa fermeture,

quelque 12 millions de personnes.

 

Parmi elles,

l’actrice Pola Negri

ou le producteur de cinéma

Sam Goldwyn,

venus de Pologne,

l’écrivain tchèque

George Voskovec,

le gamin sicilien

Salvatore Lucania,

qui deviendra

le chef suprême de la mafia

sous le nom de Lucky Luciano,

l’Irlandais William O'Dwyer,

futur maire de New York...

 

Comme les autres,

ils ont traversé l'Atlantique

pour fuir une existence misérable,

persécutée ou incertaine en Europe,

vers une nouvelle Terre promise

qui ne les accueille pas toujours

à bras ouverts.

 

En tirant les fils de ces quelques

destinées exemplaires, qui font écho

à d’autres voix anonymes,

ce documentaire montre combien,

face aux drames européens

de la première moitié du XXe siècle,

l’Amérique fut ambivalente.

 

Mais il explique aussi pourquoi

ces parias irlandais,

juifs et italiens brocardés

par les xénophobes

vont renouveler et incarner

le " rêve américain ".

 

Des archives,

souvent poignantes,

tissent avec fluidité

les souvenirs des émigrants

et la parole des historiens

pour un voyage passionnant

dans la mémoire complexe

du melting-pot américain.

http://www.arte.tv/guide/fr/048326-000/ellis-island-une-histoire-du-reve-americain

 

 

http://www.arte.tv/guide/fr/048326-000/
ellis-island-une-histoire-du-reve-americain - broken URL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York: A Documentary Film

 

an eight-part, 17½ hour,

American documentary film

on the history of New York City

 

Director: Ric Burns        USA,1999

 

 

A critically acclaimed,

Emmy and duPont-Columbia

award-winning series

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/newyork/

 

 

 

This seven part television event

explores

New York City’s rich history

as a premier laboratory

of modern life.

 

A sweeping narrative

covering nearly 400 years

and 400 square miles,

it reveals a complex

and dynamic city

that has played

and unparalleled role

in shaping the nation

and reflecting its ideals.

 

 

 

The Country and the City.

 

Beginning in 1609,

episode one chronicles

the arrival of the Dutch,

the impact of the English,

the horrors of colonial slavery,

and New York’s critical role

in the American Revolution.

 

 

 

Order and Disorder.

 

Episode two

looks at New York’s rise

as a burgeoning cultural center

and multi-ethnic port,

concluding with the Civil War Draft Riots

— America’s bloodiest civil disturbance.

 

 

 

Sunshine and Shadow.

 

Episode three

turns the spotlight on the period

when greed and wealth

fueled an expanding metropolis,

even as politics and poverty

defined it.

 

 

 

The Power and the People.

 

Episode four

follows New York

into a new century,

examining the interplay

of capitalism, democracy,

and transformation,

in the wake of an extraordinary

wave of immigration

and the birth of the skyscraper.

 

 

 

Cosmopolis.

 

In episode five,

the post-war economic boom,

the rise of consumer culture,

and the birth

of new mass-media industries

fuel the convergence

of an incredible array

of human and cultural energies,

ending with the Crash of 1929

and the construction

of the Empire State Building.

 

 

 

The City of Tomorrow.

 

The sixth episode chronicles

the dramatic events

that followed the Crash of ’29,

as the greatest depression

in American history plunged

the city and the nation

into economic gloom.

 

 

 

The City and the World.

 

Episode seven

charts the turbulent

and often harrowing years

from 1945 to the present.

 

Emerging

from the Depression

and the Second World War

as the most powerful

metropolis on earth.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/new-york-a-documentary-film/

 

 

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/new-york-a-documentary-film/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L'histoire de New York

 

Série documentaire en huit épisodes

(5 x 52 cm)       

 

Réalisateur : Ric Burns        USA, 1999

 

Diffusion en France sur Arte

en novembre 2012

 

 

Big Apple se raconte

dans une passionnante

fresque historique en cinq volets

nourrie d'archives,

de littérature, d'interviews

d'historiens et d'urbanistes.

 

 

 

1. Campagne et ville (1624 – 1811)

 

De la colonisation

hollandaise

à l’indépendance.

Les premières ébauches

d’un plan d’urbanisation

apparaissent

sous forme de damier.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Ordre et désordre (1825 – 1865)

 

La première moitié troublée

du XIXe siècle.

 

L’élection d’Abraham Lincoln

en 1861.

 

Le début de la guerre de Sécession.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Soleil et ombre (1865 – 1898)

 

Le fossé

entre les riches et les pauvres

se creuse à la fin du XIXe siècle.

 

Après l’intégration

des quartiers du Bronx, de Brooklyn

et de Staten Island,

New York devient

la plus grande ville au monde

après Londres,

avec 3,5 millions d’habitants.

 

(...)

 

On parle même de deux villes :

celle "au soleil"

et celle "à l'ombre".

 

En 1873,

une crise financière provoque

la fermeture de la Bourse

et marque les débuts

de la grande dépression.

 

Mais l'ouverture

du pont de Brooklyn, en 1883,

redore le blason de la ville,

qui attire des fortunes nouvelles.

 

Les quartiers  du Bronx,

de Brooklyn  et de Staten Island

sont intégrés dans la communauté

urbaine de New York,

qui devient la plus grande ville

au monde après Londres,

avec 3,5 millions d'habitants.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Pouvoir et peuple (1898 – 1911)

 

Nouvelle vague d’immigration.

Les conditions de vie

et de travail très difficiles

provoquent des grèves

et des manifestations.

Les débuts d’une politique sociale.

 

(...)

 

Episode 4 - Pouvoir et peuple

 

Venus en majorité

d'Europe du Sud et d'Ukraine,

plus d'un million d'immigrants

déferlent sur New York.

Des extraits de leurs lettres

témoignent

des conditions de la traversée

et des premières impressions,

parfois traumatisantes...

 

 

 

 

 

5. Cosmopolis (1919 – 1930)

 

Les années 20 et l’avènement

de la consommation de masse

au rythme du jazz,

puis le krach et la crise de 1929.

http://www.arte.tv/fr/programmes/242,day=2,dayPeriod=afternoon,week=45,year=2012.html#anchor_6996902

 

 

https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/new-york-a-documentary-film/

http://www.arte.tv/fr/histoire-de-new-york/4084104.html - broken link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antwerp to Ellis Island: Journey of a Lifetime

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/28/
arts/design/antwerp-to-ellis-island-journey-of-a-lifetime.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ellis Island        Augustus F. Sherman portraits

 

 

 

A photograph from Augustus F. Sherman Ellis Island Portraits

 

Newcomers like the Glerum family,

including young Frank, sixth from left,

whose son viewed the show

at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

 

Courtesy of the Statue of Liberty National Monument,

the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the Aperture Foundation
 

When Old and New World Met in a Camera Flash

NYT

6.8.2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/06/arts/design/06elli.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A photograph from Augustus F. Sherman Ellis Island Portraits        1905-1920

 

Courtesy of the Statue of Liberty National Monument,

the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the Aperture Foundation

PHOTOGRAPH BY AUGUSTUS F. SHERMAN
 

When Old and New World Met in a Camera Flash        NYT        6.8.2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/06/arts/design/06elli.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immigrants who posed for Sherman's camera

included a Ruthenian, from Ukraine.

 

Courtesy of the Statue of Liberty National Monument,

the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the Aperture Foundation
 

When Old and New World Met in a Camera Flash        NYT        6.8.2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/06/arts/design/06elli.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A photograph
 

from "Augustus F. Sherman: Ellis Island Portraits 1905-1920."

When Old and New World Met in a Camera Flash

NYT        6.82005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/06/arts/design/06elli.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Romanian piper

 

Courtesy of the Statue of Liberty National Monument,

the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the Aperture Foundation.

When Old and New World Met in a Camera Flash

NYT        6.8.2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/06/arts/design/06elli.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Hungarian child

Courtesy of the Statue of Liberty National Monument,

the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the Aperture Foundation

When Old and New World Met in a Camera Flash

NYT        6.8.2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/06/arts/design/06elli.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A woman from The Netherlands

Courtesy of the Statue of Liberty National Monument,

the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the Aperture Foundation

When Old and New World Met in a Camera Flash

NYT        6.8.2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/06/arts/design/06elli.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROMANIAN SHEPHERDS

PHOTOGRAPH BY AUGUSTUS F. SHERMAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BORANA IMMIGRANTS FROM SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA

PHOTOGRAPH BY AUGUSTUS F. SHERMAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A photograph

from "Augustus F. Sherman: Ellis Island Portraits 1905-1920."

Courtesy of the Statue of Liberty National Monument,

the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the Aperture Foundation
 

When Old and New World Met in a Camera Flash

NYT

August 6, 2005

https://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/06/
arts/design/when-old-and-new-world-met-in-a-camera-flash.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BELGIAN STOWAWAYS

COLONEL HELEN R. BASTEDO AND OSMAN LEWIS, 1921

PHOTOGRAPH BY AUGUSTUS F. SHERMAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RUSSIAN-JEWISH ANARCHIST EMMA GOLDMAN

SITS FOR A PHOTOGRAPH BEFORE BEING DEPORTED

ON THE SS BUFORD, 1919

PHOTOGRAPH BY AUGUSTUS F. SHERMAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GERMAN STOWAWAYS, LATER DEPORTED, 1911

 

PHOTOGRAPH BY AUGUSTUS F. SHERMAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE GREAT HALL, ELLIS ISLAND, PRE-1916
 

PHOTOGRAPH BY AUGUSTUS F. SHERMAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RUSSIAN-GERMAN JAKOB MITTELSTADT

AND HIS FAMILY ADMITTED ENTRY, 1905

 

PHOTOGRAPH BY AUGUSTUS F. SHERMAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PETER MEYER, 57, FROM DENMARK, 1909

 

PHOTOGRAPH BY AUGUSTUS F. SHERMAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUADELOUPEAN WOMAN

Courtesy of the Statue of Liberty National Monument,

the Ellis Island Immigration Museum

and the Aperture Foundation
 

When Old and New World Met in a Camera Flash

NYT        6.8.2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/06/arts/design/06elli.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ellis Island Portraits    1905-1920

 

PHOTOGRAPHS

BY AUGUSTUS F. SHERMAN

 

 

 

Augustus Frederick Sherman,

an Ellis Island registry clerk and a photographer,

circa 1905.

 

Courtesy of the Statue of Liberty National Monument,

the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the Aperture Foundation.

The New York Times        6.8.2005
 

When Old and New World Met in a Camera Flash

NYT

August 6, 2005

https://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/06/
arts/design/when-old-and-new-world-met-in-a-camera-flash.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York's Ellis Island

was the primary U.S. immigration portal

between 1892 and 1954.

 

Of the countless photographs taken

as more than 12 million settlers

passed through America's "Golden Door,"

Augustus Frederick Sherman's portraits

stand out.

 

His body of work,

consisting of some 250 images,

is one of the most affecting portfolios

of that mass movement.

 

His subjects are rarely identified by name,

and are often wearing ethnic clothing

and posing in front of a plain backdrop,

making a compelling statement

about the individualism

that helped create America's melting pot.

 

Herewith,

a selection of Sherman's photographs

from the new book

Augustus F. Sherman:

Ellis Island Portraits 1905–1920 (Aperture).

(An accompanying exhibition will debut in June

at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.)

JESSICA FLINT, Vanity Fair, 23.5.2005,

http://www.vanityfair.com/features/portfolio/050523fepo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All photographs

courtesy of the Statue of Liberty National Monument (NM)

and Ellis Island Immigration Museum

 

Augustus F. Sherman:

Ellis Island Portraits 1904–1920

Photographs by Augustus F. Sherman

Essay by Peter MesenhöllerHardcover

115 duotone photographs

144 Pages

9.5" X 10.625"

ISBN: 1-931788-60-X

http://www.aperture.org/store/books-detail.aspx?ID=433

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Through Gates of Ellis Island,

She Was Lost.

Now She’s Found.

 

September 14, 2006

The New York Times

By SAM ROBERTS

 

Annie Moore is memorialized by bronze statues in New York Harbor and Ireland and cited in story and song as the first of 12 million immigrants to arrive at Ellis Island. Her story, as it has been recounted for decades, is that she went west with her family to fulfill the American dream — eventually reaching Texas, where she married a descendant of the Irish liberator Daniel O’Connell and then died accidentally under the wheels of a streetcar at the age of 46.

The first part of the myth seems authentic enough.

Hustled ahead of a burly German by her two younger brothers and by an Irish longshoreman who shouted “Ladies first,” one Annie Moore from County Cork set foot on Ellis Island ahead of the other passengers from the steamship Nevada on Jan. 1, 1892, her 15th birthday. She was officially registered by the former private secretary to the secretary of the treasury and was presented with a $10 gold piece by the superintendent of immigration.

“She says she will never part with it, but will always keep it as a pleasant memento of the occasion,” The New York Times reported in describing the ceremonies inaugurating Ellis Island.

As for what happened next, though, history appears to have embraced the wrong Annie Moore.

“It’s a classic go-West-young-woman tale riddled with tragedy,” said Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, a professional genealogist. “If only it were true.”

In fact, according to Mrs. Smolenyak Smolenyak’s research, the Annie Moore of Ellis Island fame settled on the Lower East Side, married a bakery clerk and had 11 children. She lived a poor immigrant’s life, but her descendants multiplied and many prospered.

The story of the immigrant girl who went west, however, became so commonly accepted that even descendants of the Annie Moore who died in Texas came to believe it. Over the years, several have been invited to participate at ceremonies on Ellis Island and in Ireland.

It took some genealogical detective work to find the proper Annie. After offering a $1,000 reward on the Internet a few months ago for information about Annie Moore, Mrs. Smolenyak Smolenyak teamed up with New York City’s commissioner of records, Brian G. Andersson, and discovered the woman who they have concluded is, in fact, the iconic Annie Moore.

Joined by several of her descendants, they are scheduled to announce the results of their research tomorrow at the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society in Manhattan.

Mrs. Smolenyak Smolenyak (a genealogist’s dream: she’s a Smolenyak married to a previously unrelated Smolenyak) became interested in Annie Moore four years ago while researching a documentary film on immigration. Pursuing the paper trail, she found that the Annie who died instantly when struck by a streetcar near Fort Worth in 1923 was not an immigrant at all but was apparently born in Illinois. Moreover, she traced that Moore family to Texas as early as 1880.

“I realized it was the wrong Annie,” she recalled.

Then, what had happened to the Ellis Island Annie?

Mrs. Smolenyak Smolenyak made little progress for a few years, but her search was reinvigorated this year after she moved to southern New Jersey and visited a genealogical exhibition in Philadelphia featuring a 1910 photograph of the Texas Annie. (The photograph might also have been a model for Jeanne Rynhart’s two bronze sculptures, one of which is at Ellis Island.)

She posted a challenge on her blog for information about the immigrant Annie Moore. She also mentioned it to Mr. Andersson, who she knew was very interested in genealogy.

“With the power of the Internet and a handful of history geeks we cracked this baby in six weeks,” she said. “Brian found this one document, and we knew we had the right family. We had the smoking gun.”

What Mr. Andersson found was the naturalization certificate belonging to Annie’s brother Phillip, who arrived with her on the steamship. He was also listed in the 1930 census with a daughter, Anna. They found Anna in the Social Security death index. That identification led to her son, who is Annie Moore’s great-nephew.

On her first try, Mrs. Smolenyak Smolenyak was lucky enough to find the great-nephew listed in a directory. “As soon as I said ‘Annie Moore,’ he knew instantly — ‘That’s us,’ ” she said. “They had been overlooked, but they had sort of resigned themselves. I think they’re very happy to be found.”

Her $1,000 reward is to be split between Mr. Andersson, who is donating it, and Annie’s great-niece.

As for Edward P. Wood, a New Jersey plumbing contractor who is descended from the Texas Annie Moore and has been feted on Ellis Island, Mrs. Smolenyak Smolenyak said that when she told him of her findings, he said, “I’m disappointed, but I’m not heartbroken.”

The Annie Moore who arrived in steerage and inaugurated Ellis Island initially joined her parents, who had arrived several years earlier, apparently in a five-story brick tenement at 32 Monroe Street in Manhattan. (One of many problems that complicated Mrs. Smolenyak Smolenyak’s search, she said, is there is also a 32 Monroe Street in Brooklyn.)

Records indicate that Annie Moore later moved to, among other places, a nearby apartment on New Chambers Street — near the Newsboys’ Lodging House and the Third Avenue El on the Bowery.

The area now includes the Alfred E. Smith Houses, a public project constructed in the early 1950’s and named for the governor who grew up nearby, and the Knickerbocker Village complex of rental apartments built in the 1930’s.

“She had the typical hardscrabble immigrant life,” Mrs. Smolenyak Smolenyak said. “She sacrificed herself for future generations.”

According to her latest research, Annie’s father was a longshoreman. She married a bakery clerk. They had at least 11 children. Five survived to adulthood and three had children of their own. She died of heart failure in 1924 at 47. Her brother Anthony, who arrived with Annie and Philip on the Nevada, died in his 20’s in the Bronx and was temporarily buried in potter’s field.

Annie lived and died within a few square blocks on the Lower East Side, where some of her descendants lived until just recently. She is buried with 6 of her 11 children (five infants and one who survived to 21) alongside the famous and forgotten in a Queens cemetery.

Her living descendants include great-grandchildren, the great-nephew and the great-niece. One of the descendants is an investment counselor and another a Ph.D.

Mrs. Smolenyak Smolenyak described them as “poster children” for immigrant America, with Irish, Jewish, Italian and Scandinavian surnames. “It’s an all-American family,” she said. “Annie would have been proud.”

So far, this turns out to be one of the few cases in which historical revisionism may have enhanced a legacy instead of subverting it. As one guidebook says: “Annie Moore came to America bearing little more than her dreams; she stayed to help build a country enriched by diversity.”

First Through Gates of Ellis Island, She Was Lost. Now She’s Found.,
NYT,
14.9.2006,
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/14/nyregion/14annie.html

 

 

 

 

 

When Old and New World

Met in a Camera Flash

 

August 6, 2005

The New York Times

By KATHRYN SHATTUCK

 

If Peter Mesenhöller expected to find the misery of the tired, the poor, the wretched emanating from a few photographs displayed in the Ellis Island Immigration Museum the day he first visited in 1996, he was in for a surprise. "I immediately got stunned by the dignity, the pride, the self-confidence," Mr. Mesenhöller, a cultural anthropologist specializing in early still photography and immigration studies, said by phone from his home in Cologne, Germany. "It was totally different from the usual image we have of the huddled masses."

Mr. Mesenhöller had alighted on the photography of Augustus Frederick Sherman, a registry clerk in Ellis Island's immigration division in the early 20th century. In the hours when he wasn't determining the fate of some of the thousands of immigrants disembarking daily in New York Harbor from foreign vessels, he was coaxing the hopeful to open their trunks, don their finest attire and level their gaze at his camera.

Some 75 photographs of these immigrants are on view at the Ellis Island museum in "Augustus Frederick Sherman: Ellis Island Portraits 1905-1920." Organized by Mr. Mesenhöller and Diana Edkins, director of exhibitions and limited-edition prints for the Aperture Foundation, a nonprofit photography organization, the show coincides with the group's publication of a book of the same title with 40 more images. The show continues through Sept. 6 before traveling to 16 sites in the United States and abroad.

Understanding Mr. Mesenhöller's fascination - obsession, really - requires no great stretch of the imagination. As they hover disconcertingly between art and artifact, Sherman's portraits are powerful in their directness yet almost antiseptic in their disaffection.

Dressed gallantly in their native costumes, solemn families and individuals announce themselves to their new world with no apologies. A Romanian shepherd sits with hand on hip, his decoratively embroidered sheepskin coat opened to reveal a lush pelt of curly wool. A Ruthenian, from Ukraine, stares out with pale eyes, her neck encircled by loops of iridescent beads above a peasant blouse and shearling vest. Two men from Borana, in Ethiopia, with sculptural hair ornaments sticking straight up from their heads display their shields; the woman between them hides her hair beneath a wrap.

Striking though they are, the portraits are only nominally personal, annotated occasionally by simple captions but mostly left unexplained: "Eleazar Kaminetzko - 26 - Russian Hebrew SS Hamburg June 23 - 1914. Vegetarian," Sherman wrote on the photograph of a young man with enormous eyes and long, glossy curls. Only a few details, like "Col. Helen R. Bastedo + Osman Lewis, 13, Belgian Stowaway," make up the 1921 caption for a boy with floppy hair and Sunday suit, his arm around the waist of an unrelated woman who protectively cups his hand. And then, with fedora, spectacles and pale smudge of mustache, there is Mary Johnson, 50, from Canada, who, Sherman wrote, "came as 'Frank Woodhull' " on Oct. 4, 1908, and "dressed 15 yrs in men's clothes."

Information on Sherman is nearly as scant. He was born on July 9, 1865, in Lynn, Pa., Mr. Mesenhöller said, and was a member of the Episcopal Church; he was hired by the executive division of the Bureau of Immigration at Ellis Island in 1892, eight years after moving to New York, and moved up through the ranks.

"We've been looking for personnel files throughout the United States with all the official records and didn't find anything," Mr. Mesenhöller said. "Up to now, Sherman is a question mark in a way."

Mr. Mesenhöller speculates that as a higher-level officer, Sherman had unfettered access to the island's detention area, where immigrants were held for a day, a week or a few months after routine questioning raised doubts about whether they should be allowed in the country.

"The technical procedures in those days were very difficult," he said. "You had these huge tripod cameras and the exposure took how many seconds, and you had to get the lighting just right and have your subjects sit perfectly still. And with an average of about 5,000 people each day coming through Ellis Island at peak times, it must have been quite an undertaking."

In an essay in the book, Mr. Mesenhöller writes that historians view these images as "one of the most substantial photographic records of that period of mass immigration."

Capturing his subjects against mostly plain backgrounds in the native finery they would soon discard for American clothing, Sherman simultaneously documented the richness of their heritage while labeling them specimens for anthropologic scrutiny. "Sherman considered these people as ethnic types, being representative of the new American species," said Mr. Mesenhöller, who called on a broad swath of colleagues to help him identify the origins of various costumes and discern the differences in, say, the headdresses of Protestant and Catholic women from the Netherlands.

In addition to Sherman's Dutch, Italian, Romanian, Moroccan and Finnish prototypes, there are also the "oddities" - the giants and dwarves, the microcephalics, the physically deformed - he cataloged in later years.

Still, the Aperture Foundation's Ms. Edkins said, the photographer "didn't impose his own feeling on these people. He really showed it in a very stripped-down documentarylike way."

Such images may hold particular interest today "because immigration is so much in our mind," she said. "You know, we shed those things, those differences. We're all jeans and Gap and now there's a commonality."

Roy Glerum of Totowa, N.J., the son of one of those Ellis Island immigrants, said the reality of the melting pot hit him at the exhibition's opening in June. There he saw his father's 12-year-old eyes peering out at him from Sherman's 1907 portrait of his Dutch grandparents and their 11 children. Pinned to their chests was the number of the ship that would take them back to the Netherlands if they failed to pass inspection.

Mr. Glerum's grandfather, Dingenis, had sold his lobster boat to finance the family's journey. Growing up in New Jersey, Mr. Glerum's father, François, soon known as Frank, took odd jobs running a bakery wagon before apprenticing as a shop boy at the Manhattan Rubber Company and working his way into an electrician's position, from which he retired 50 years later.

"My dad talked very, very little about earlier life," Mr. Glerum, 78, said. "He didn't want us to speak Dutch. He felt that being in America was the greatest thing and that we never needed to learn about the rest."

His recent museum visit was his first to Ellis Island, Mr. Glerum said. "I was really overwhelmed," he added. "Not knowing the language, giving up everything to come over here - I just thought they must have had great courage."

When Old and New World Met in a Camera Flash,
NYT,
August 6, 2005,
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/06/arts/design/06elli.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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