Angel Island Immigration Station

The picture on the left hand side was about several Chinese immigrants getting detention and interrogation at Angel Island, San Francisco Bay and the right hand side one was a picture of a barrack the Chinese were lived during that time. The immigration station station in Angel Island was established in 1910, the immigration officers detained the Chinese and asked them quetions about Chinese villages and family histories, they also were forced to prove they had a husband or father who was a U. S. citizen, if they could not answer quesions correctly or provide evidences, they would get deported. Unlike Ellis Island in NY, which usually processed immigrants in a day, the Chinese immigrants at Angel Island were detained in the immigration station for weeks, months or even years. Many Chinese still recalled the hardships of detention after many years later. A museum later was established at Angel Island in Los Angeles, CA.


From A to B

Barges transported immigrants from their steamship company’s dock to Ellis Island. Immigrants then walked from the barges to the main building on Ellis Island. In the background is a hospital where ill passengers were dispatched.

Credited: 1902 William H. Rau. Library of Congress

Additional buildings used by the U.S. government to quarantine immigrants with contagious diseases.

Credit: Created 1902 Unidentified photographer. Library of Congress

Both of the pics differ for one is depicting the immigrants coming off their original boats and into the new ports on Ellis Island. The other one is the actual additional buildings. The style is the different because they are by different authors but yet they are both from the Library of Congress.


No Exemption without Inspection!

Doctor’s Examination at Ellis Island

Final Discharge from Ellis Island

The top picture depicts a doctor’s examination office in Ellis Island where a man is stopped from passing because he’s suspected of defective eyesight. He was detained for further examination to determine if the defect will prevent him from earning a living. This picture was published in 1902. Millions of immigrants passed through Ellis Island where they were examined for disease or other undesirable attributes.

The second picture shows the final discharge area from Ellis Island. This must have been a relief for most immigrants were probably anxious about passing the physical exams. After passing that aisle, they are in America, where they could start anew. This picture was also published in 1902.


The Struggle to and in America

Crowded ship

The S.S. Batavia carried 2,584 immigrants to Ellis Island on June 8, 1903. This ship set a record for the greatest number of passengers to arrive at New York City at one time.

Chinese immigrants

Although America was said to be the land of great opportunity, many immigrants had to endure many hardships. For example the Chinese immigrants in the photo above had to cramp into small rooms and call it home.

The first photo gives a clear image of how crowded immigrant ships were during the early 1900s. Lucky for these people, they were able to pass inspections and literacy exams that ultimately allowed them access to American. However, their struggles for a better life didn’t end there. In the second photo, chinese immigrants who were lucky enough to pass through Ellis Island had to live in cramped spaces. Often times immigrants of all ethnicity came to American with little to no money, which forced immigrants to share small tenements with others. The tenements were often dirty and crowded making it very difficult to even find a place to sleep. By comparing the two images, it is clear the different struggles immigrants had to live through coming to and living in America.


Immigration To The New World

These two images portray the lives of Italian immigrants in the early 1900s. Both images depict their living conditions in the 1900s. The image on the left shows the bedroom of an Italian family. Judging from the image, the family may be from a lower class because their living condition seems poor, cramped and unsanitary. However comparing this image to the one on the right, they are complete opposites from one another. The image on the right shows a much well off family probably in the middle class. The breadwinner in this family may have been a scholar, allowing him to have a higher paying job compared to other immigrant families with low education back then.


Immigrants at the Turn of the Century…

Immigrants’ Landing, Ellis Island, N.Y. Detroit Publishing Company.

Depicts a group of Chinese men who have recently arrived in America. Wave Publishing Company, Dec. 1901

The beauty and symmetry of the Ellis Island architecture represents a false facade of organization, wealth and cleanliness while the street scene on the bottom represents the harsh reality of the turn of the century New York streets. Also, the top photograph is taken from afar and shows the people as tiny objects moving toward some level of the Ellis Island process while the bottom picture shows the anguish and emotion on the faces of the Chinese immigrants as they move their street car up the hill i thing in lower Manhattan.


Inhumane Inspections

After the Mexican revolution of 1910, many Mexican’s began immigrating to America. With this influx, a new prejudice against Mexicans developed regarding their use marijuana.

In the 1900s, immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island were inspected by doctors, and those that were infected, were treated. However if the disease was untreatable, the immigrants would be sent back.

By comparing these two pictures, one of an inspection of Mexican immigrants, and the other of European immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, the two peoples were treated very differently based on prejudices. Although taken around the same time, you could see that the first picture is much more personal and invoking. Furthermore the setting of the pictures, although similar, is vastly different. The second picture seems staged, and is formal, whereas the first picture is more exploratory and gives us much more insight into the stereotypes and attitudes of those times.


From China To US

This is a bunch of working class Chinese immigrants who came to California looking for gold.

This is a family who came to American during the 1890s. They look different from the previous picture because they look like they were ready to settle in American and they don’t look like they going to dig for gold or anything. In the first picture of how people dressed, we can see that they still keep some of their Chinese dressing style as well as the second picture. The first picture also shows that 5 people staying in one big room, maybe they will be sharing this room for their stay in America, showing the hard living environment in America during the immigration period.


Immigrants and Ellis Island

Medical examination Ellis Island, 1910, from Library of Congress


Ellis Island, 1911, from Library of Congress

The pictures are from the Library of Congress. Although both pictures depict the immigrants in Ellis Island around the same time, the pictures are taken under different circumstances. The first one was taken while the officers were giving medical examinations to the immigrants, so the photographer can record a natural depiction of the scene. On the other hand, the second picture was taken while everyone was aware of the photographer, so most of the people in the second picture was looking straight to the camera. Despite of the different atmosphere in the photographs, both pictures convey a sense of weariness. This is reasonable because the long and tedious immigration processes could only wear out the liveliness of the immigrants and officers.


Traveling to America

The map of the United States compose of all different races of immigrants in the nation.

A political cartoon of illegal U.S. immigrants.

The two images above both associate with the immigration of the United States. The ability of seeking opportunities and many other advantages such as freedom of religion and free education etc…attracted many people all over to world to a new country. Some enter the country risking all costs, even if it’s an unlawful way of doing it. Illegal immigration one of the nation’s main concern over many decades. Above all the diversity of  races shapes many aspect of the nation. The U.S. is to like melting pot to many cultures and  people of  varieties of interests.



Left are German immigrants, Quebec City 1911. Right are Italian farm family pick berries, 1910. The different between these two pictures is one see like a middle class and one are lower class. People from the lower class need to work hard in order to support their children.


Journey to America.

Picture of Japanese brides coming to U.S. to help Japanese men find a wife. Early 1900s

These two documents were taken from two different sites. The first picture is black and white which shows a larger portrait of the place and the womens migrating. This helped Japanese men that were already in U.S find their overseas wives. The picture shows up clearer than the second one. The second one has colors  but it isn’t as clear as the first one. The second picture was after the Gentlemen’s agreement.


Detained immigrants on Ellis Island, New York harbor. Drawn by M. Colin. 1893 Aug. 26.

Immigrants at Battery Park, New York, N.Y. Byron (Firm : New York, N.Y.), photographer. 1900.

These two primary documents were taken from The Libabry of Congress.  The first one was drawn by a painter M.Colin for “Harper’s weekly” newspaper. The second one was taken by an employee of The Byron Company, which is a New York City photography studio in Manhattan that was founded in 1892. The quality of the photo is much better compared to others taken at that time. I also think that people from that photo are from the middle or even upper class, whereas people from the first image appear to be from the lower class. There is also a time difference: the images were created 7  years apart.


Immigration in the early generations

The difference between these two pictures is that one picture displays Ellis Island which was where all foreigner’s entering through the East Coast had to pass through.  It was rough as people had to stay there for days, weeks, and sometimes even months to get cleared to pass.  The other picture is different as it shows chinese fisherman working in the West Coast.  In the early 1900’s the Fishermen in the U.S. where from China, as they brought talent and were known for being great at what they did.


Assignment due 2/23

1) Reading: Foner, Chapter 18
2) Post: Locate and insert into your post two photographs originally produced between 1890 and 1916 depicting some aspect of the immigrant experience.  Both images should be new to the blog.
Recommended sources for images: http://guides.newman.baruch.cuny.edu/aecontent.php?pid=88593
Write a one sentence caption for each indicating basic information such as date, photographer (if known), and the person, place, or event portrayed.
Write 1-2 paragraphs explaining differences between the images.  This can include the subjects portrayed, the style of image, the date of the image, etc.