After 1892, Immigrants who came to America from Europe and other
countries came through Ellis Island. Sometimes thousands of people
passed through Ellis Island in a single day! Immigrants were directed
through several stations before they were free to enter the country.
Step 1 - Take a Tour
Take an interactive
tour of Ellis Island. Be sure to explore each of the eight stops
in the journey through Ellis Island.
Step 2 - Explore Pictures and Videos
Then explore pictures
of immigrants in various parts of Ellis Island around 1900. Next
search and view the
following videos from American Memory Collections.
Hint: In the upper right-hand corner
is a search box. Type in the name of the video and click "Search."
Video 1: "Arrival of Immigrants at Ellis
Depicts scenes at the Immigration Depot and a nearby dock on Ellis
Island. Appears to show, first, a group of immigrants lined up to
board a vessel leaving the island, then another group arriving at
the island and being directed off of the dock and into the Depot
by a uniformed official.
Video 2: Emigrants [i.e. immigrants] landing at
Ellis Island / Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
The film opens with a view of the steam ferryboat "William
Myers," laden with passengers, approaching a dock at the Ellis
Island Immigration Station. The vessel is docked, the gangway is
placed, and the immigrant passengers are seen coming up the gangway
and onto the dock, where they cross in front of the camera.
Step 3 - Choose a Character
Become an immigrant by choosing a character from one of these pictures.
Be sure to read the caption so you learn as much about the picture
as you can.
Step 4 - Write a letter
Write a letter telling your family back home about your experience
passing through Ellis Island.
Describe all eight stops in your letter.
- Arrival at the large receiving building at Ellis Island
- The Baggage Room
- Stairway to the Great Hall
- Medical Examination
- The Great Hall
- The Legal Inspection
- Money Exchange
- The Journey’s End
Step 5 - Tell about Your Journey
Then tell about your journey from Ellis Island in New York to Waterloo.
How did you travel? What did you see? Who were you with?
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