My Trip to the United States

My journey from Ireland to the U.S.

Reason of Departure

As you all know, I left my home of Ireland. I left because our country has been devastated by the potato famine and I had gone hungry and seen many family members and friends die due to this problem.

My Experience at Ellis Island

Ellis Island is the port, off the coast of New York, where I arrived on the ship from Ireland. Everyone who got off the ship was given an ID tag and as soon as we entered the building there, we had to undergo a medical inspection. I saw people who had walking disabilities or coughs get pulled aside for a more in depth examination. I underwent a quick physical exam and a short eye test. Some people were marked with disabilities and deported. After the examinations, everyone queued up and one by one we were interviewed by a legal inspector. I was asked 29 questions, mostly easy questions about myself, like my name or marital status, etc. There was a trick question asked by the inspector. It was "Do you have work waiting for you in the United States?" I knew to answer no because it was illegal for U.S. businesses to import immigrants as contract laborers. I know of some people who answered yes, and they were quickly detained. Lot's of people who came over on the ship with me weren't allowed to pass through. Many cried went they weren't able to enter the United States and it was a very sad time. I felt really bad for them, but I am happy to have passed.

My Life in America

After passing through Ellis Island into the U.S., I boarded a train and headed to Boston. It was a busy city with lot's of people. I had to find cheap living, so I roomed with some other people who came to America at the same time as I did. There are 4 of us squished into a small one bedroom tenement in the middle of Boston. There are many factories around our place of living and it tends to be very loud. I found work fairly quickly. I am currently working in a clothing factory. It is a lot of hard work and minimal pay, but it's all worth it. I would definitely rather be here than back in Ireland with hunger and death.