Anna's Adventure to America
By: Jordan Perry
Dear Diary: May 25, 1892
My mother just told my younger brother, Alexei, and I that we are leaving Russia to go to the new land of America. My parents say the change will help improve our lives. Their reason is because they wanted to escape persecution and poverty. I feel like they won’t tell me the real reason we are leaving because I’m only sixteen years old. However I heard my neighbors say that that there is a huge cholera outbreak that is affecting many people and they were leaving in a week. If this is true I cannot wait to leave because I don’t want my family to get sick. Also America has many jobs, religious freedom, and many new opportunities, we are leaving in a few days so I need to gather my most important items. I’ll write more soon.-Anna
Dear Diary: June 3, 1892
We just arrived at Ellis Island. There were so many processes we has to go through. We had to get our eyes checked and make sure we were in good health. If we weren’t in good health we would have to go back to our country with all the other sick people. My parents were sent to get help for us to get started in America. We started walking around, meeting the natives and looking for a place to live with the little amount of money we had. We made many interactions with the natives. Some weren’t that nice, they kept telling us that we should go back to Russia and we shouldn’t be here, however that’s what all the natives say to the new immigrants. Dad said it’s because they think we are taking all the jobs. However we found where there is a Russian neighborhood and they treated us kindly and got us into a house. The houses are not the same as they were back home but I have a feeling we can adjust. I’ll write more soon.
Dear Diary: June 28, 1892
I know I have not written in a couple weeks. We have been getting adjusted to our new life. My dad found a job in a clothing factory, he does not like it that much but it pays well. My mother is trying to find work but it is very hard for her because woman do not usually work. We finally got settled in a house with other Russian families. We live in the lower east side of the city of New York, I’m not really sure of the name of it, I’m still trying to find my way around. When we go into the city the landscape is different than back home, it is very industrial. We use trains for transportation to get to the city, it contains many tall buildings that seem to be made of steel. This is all I will write today it was a long day.
Dear Diary: July 5, 1892
We have encountered a few issues. It is been over a month since we have been here. The house is starting to get crowded with so many more people coming to America so we are going to have to find a new place. But it is nice to have all these people to talk to about home. This would be a very lonely place if not for them. My neighbor’s house caught on fire due to the poor quality houses and the high amount of people and stuff in them. With so many people in each house it is also hard to keep them clean. The good thing is that my parents got there right to vote for the next president. To earn a little bit more money my family and I passed out flyers about voting for the local government. I will write more soon!
Dear Diary: July 13, 1892
I have been talking to my father and he is saying that work is getting tougher. He has been working long hours and has been complaining of the minimum pay he gets for it. Workers have been talking about forming a union to work less and make for money. However they have been having many arguments and fights about it. He said that other companies have been going on strike and they do not want it to happen here because many people have been hurt. He is not sure that it a good idea. Mother still has not found work but she is trying. I am going to start school here in a couple weeks so I won’t be writing for a while. America is different from what we thought it would be but it has changed our lives in a good way.