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Photographic Gateways to History

Immigration in the Early 20th Century
Introduction | Immigration in the Early 1900s | Life in the City | A Tragic Fire

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Life in the City
Immigration in the Early 1900sA Tragic Fire

Immigrants who have successfully made it through their inspection at Ellis Island
wait for a boat to take them to Manhattan and the "Promised Land."
October 30, 1912

During the period from the mid-1890s to 1914 America witnessed an unprecedented wave of immigration to her shores. The majority of this influx came from Eastern and Southern Europe. Those who could not afford the cost of a first or second-class ticket for the passage to the New World were taken to screening centers such as Ellis Island in New York City's harbor. Those who suffered from a communicable disease or lacked sponsorship were turned away. Many who passed inspection made their way to the farms, mines, forests or other places of employment in America's heartland. The majority ended up in the cities along America's east coast.

These new arrivals have successfully navigated through Ellis Island's inspection process and are now experiencing the mixed emotions of exhilaration and trepidation as they prepare to face a new life in the "Promised Land."

Related EyeWitness Accounts:
Passage to America, 1750
Immigrating to America, 1905

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A Tragic Fire Immigration in the Early 1900s