According to Wikipedia, Deborah Samson Gannett impersonated a man to serve in the American Revolution. She served under the name Robert Shurtlift for 17 months. She served in the 4th Massacusetts Regiment and took part in the battle of Tarrytown, New York. She will later marry a man named Benjamin Gannett and they will have four children (one by adoption). Not sure why her name came up on the tour. I have no pictures to go with this tale.
The group walked to Battery Park to board the boat to Ellis Island. Along the way we came across a Roman Catholic shrine to Elizabeth Ann Seton. She was the first American-born saint. Elizabeth Ann Seton was born in New York City on August 28, 1774. She married William Magee Seton in 1794 and together they had five children. William died in 1803 and she never remarried. In 1810, she created the St. Joseph's Academy and Free School in which Catholic girls could receive an education. (This was the first Catholic school in the nation) She also founded the first American congregation of Religious Sisters. She died on January 4, 1821 of tuberculosis. She was only 46 years old. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Ann_Seton
Here is a picture that Ms. Edwards took of the Shrine to Elizabeth Ann Seton. It is also known as the James Watson House. James Watson was the first speaker of the New York State Assembly. The house was built in 1793.
To get to Ellis Island we had to take a ferry out of Battery Park. Battery Park consists of 25 acres that is located at the southern tip of Manhattan Island. Within the park are several statues and monuments. One statue is called the Sphere. This statue once stood at the center of the plaza of the World Trade Center. It statue was moved to the park and an eternal flame was added to honor those who have died.
Within Battery Park is Castle Clinton. Construction began on the structure in 1808 and it was completed in 1811. It was originally known as West Battery but was renamed in honor of New York City mayor Dewitt Clinton. Before Ellis Island was built it was used as an immigration processing location from August 1, 1855 to April 18, 1890. It is estimated that over 8 million immigrants came through Castle Clinton.
Within the Castle is a museum. There are three pictures that showed the growth of lower Manhattan.
We took a ferry to Ellis Island with a stop over at Liberty Island. We were not able to get off the ferry. It appears that things have changed at Liberty Island since Ms. Edwards and I were last in New York. I heard something about timed tickets to go up the Statue of Liberty. The last time I was on Liberty Island was when Ms. Edwards and Mr. Rowley brought some students to Washington and New York City. We were not able to climb the statue due to the fact that we were not scheduled to stay on the island for a long period of time. Below you will find a picture of me on the ferry and a picture of the Statue of Liberty.
Facts about the Statue of Liberty
- Actual name is Liberty Enlightening the World
- The statue was designed by Frederic Bartholdi
- Libertas - was the Roman Goddess of freedom
- On the tablet is the date July 4, 1776
- Joseph Pultizer was instrumental in the funding of the pedestal. He announced that he would publish the names of anyone who donated money in his newspaper World. Over 120,000 people contributed.
- New York Cities first ticker-tape parade marked the dedication of the statue.
- President Grover Cleveland presided over the dedication on October 28, 1886. (He was the former New York Governor)
- The original name of the island was Bedloe's Island.
- After September 11 the statue and Liberty Island were closed to the public. They reopened the island at the end of 2001.
- They reopened the statue on July 4, 2009 for a limited number of people per day.
- October 29, 2011 - the statue was closed down because they want to install new elevators and staircases.
- The statue is 151 ft 1 in tall
- With the base the statue is 305 ft 1 in tall
We had the opportunity to spend several hours on Ellis Island. We were first given a mini lesson about the island and the immigrants who traveled through in by Ed O'Donnell.
- The average person spend 3-5 hours on Ellis Island.
- There were four reasons why a person would be refused entrances into the United States
- Criminal Record
- 2% of all people who passed through Ellis Island were sent back to their homeland.
- If you were believed to be unfit they would put a white chalk mark on you and send you to see a doctor.
- Ellis Island opened in 1892
- 1815 there was a mass migration movement
- 1820 - 200,000 people came over
- 1850 - 1 million people entered the United States. They mostly came from Northern and Western Europe.
- 1840 - Carnegie entered the country. He was the son of a weaver who made the American dream come true for himself.
- 1880 - People from South and East Europe entered. (1 in every 25 was Irish)
- Between 1880-1920 - 1/3 of the worlds Jews entered the United States
- 1921 - 1924 - Immigration restrictions were put in place. It was the post WWI climate, Scopes Trial, KKK. A quote system was put in place per ethnic group. This lasted until the 1960s.
- People were considered to be cargo.
- No names were changed at Ellis Island. The names could have been shortened in Europe before leaving port.
- Fiorello La Guardia served as an interpreter on Ellis Island from 1907-1910. He would later become the mayor of New York from 1934 to 1945.
- Ellis Island was like a little city. People could get a meal, exchange money, and purchase railroad tickets on the island.
Ms. Edwards and I attend a presentation on the Titanic while on Ellis Island. I didn't realize that the passengers on the Titanic who were not American citizens would have to pass through Ellis Island. I also learned the following interesting facts from the presentation:
- People were considered to be part of the cargo at this time period
- Non-Immigrant Aliens were people who were visiting the United States with no plans to stay.
- The nationalities that were on the ship were the British, Irish, Swedish, Syrian, Finnish, Austrian-Hungarian, Bulgarian, Norwegian, Belgian, and Russian
- On the C deck were common rooms, a recreation room and the men's smoking parlor.
- On the D deck in an open air area
- On the F deck were cabins as well as the Dining room
- Ladies had access to a reading room
- Another name for third class is steerage
- 3rd class passengers stayed in cabins with 2, 4, or 6 beds
US Non-Immigration Alien Immigration
First Class 222 96 6
Second Class 65 93 125
Third Class 21 50 637
Total 308 239 768
Total number of people who survived.
Women Children Men
First Class 113 (97%) 6 (86%) 55 (34%)
Second Class 78 (86%) 25 (100%) 13 (8%)
Third Class 88 (49%) 25 (31%) 59 (13%)
Total 304 (72%) 56 (50%) 129 (18%)
It was really cool to be on Ellis Island around the anniversary of the Titanic's sinking. We were informed that the survivors of the sinking were not required to go through Ellis Island because the people of Ellis Island went to them. They were cleared while on the boat in the harbor because people felt that they had already gone through too much. Everyone who was seeking a home in the United States was allowed to enter the country. Normally about 2% of each ship was sent home.