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American Passage: The History of Ellis Island

American Passage: The History of Ellis Island

For most of New York's early history, Ellis Island had been an obscure little island that barely held itself above high tide. Today the small island stands alongside Plymouth Rock in our nation's founding mythology as the place where many of our ancestors first touched American soil. Ellis Island's heyday—from 1892 to 1924—coincided with one of the greatest mass movements of individuals the world has ever seen, with some twelve million immigrants inspected at its gates.


Part I - Before the Deluge

Chapter 1. Island

Chapter 2. Castle Garden

Part II - The Sifting Begins

Chapter 3. A Proper Sieve

Chapter 4. Peril at the Portals

Chapter 5. Brahmins

Chapter 6. Feud

Part III - Reform and Regulation

Chapter 7. Cleaning House

Chapter 8. Fighting Back

Chapter 9. The Roosevelt Straddle

Chapter 10. Likely to Become a Public Charge

Chapter 11. “Czar Williams”

Chapter 12. Intelligence

Chapter 13. Moral Turpitude

Part IV - Disillusion and Restriction

Chapter 14. War

Chapter 15. Revolution

Chapter 16. Quotas

Chapter 17. Prison

Part V - Memory

Chapter 18. Decline

Chapter 19. The New Plymouth Rock