Land of Dreams (Ellis Island)

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She has written over mystery books for young adults. Her works have earned her the honor of being the only writer to win four Edgar Allen Poe awards and in addition, two Spurs from Western Writers of America. She was a past President of the Mystery Writers of America.

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She died from complications of pancreatic cancer on June 28, , in Houston, Texas. She was Land of Dreams. Joan Lowery Nixon. Joan Lowery Nixon is the acclaimed author of more than a hundred fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults. Fewer arrivals were coming from northern and western Europe — Germany, Ireland, Britain and the Scandinavian countries — as more and more immigrants poured in from southern and eastern Europe. Among this new generation were Jews escaping from political and economic oppression in czarist Russia and eastern Europe some , arrived in alone and Italians escaping poverty in their country.

The reasons they left their homes in the Old World included war, drought, famine and religious persecution, and all had hopes for greater opportunity in the New World.

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Approximately 80 percent successfully passed through in a matter of hours, but others could be detained for days or weeks. Many immigrants remained in New York , while others traveled by barge to railroad stations in Hoboken or Jersey City, New Jersey , on their way to destinations across the country. Passage of the Immigrant Quota Act of and the National Origins Act of , which limited the number and nationality of immigrants allowed into the United States, effectively ended the era of mass immigration into New York. From to its closing in , only 2.

Ellis Island opened to the public in Today, visitors can tour the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration in the restored Main Arrivals Hall and trace their ancestors through millions of immigrant arrival records made available to the public in In the s, a Dutch man, Michael Paauw, acquires the island and renames it Oyster Island for the plentiful amounts of shellfish on its beaches.

During the s, it is known as Gibbet Island, for its gibbet, or gallows tree, used to hang men convicted of piracy. The U. War Department pays the state for the right to use Ellis Island to build military fortifications and store ammunition, beginning during the War of Half a decade later, Ellis Island is used as a munitions arsenal for the Union army during the Civil War.

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Meanwhile, the first federal immigration law, the Naturalization Act, is passed in ; it allows all white males living in the U. There is little regulation of immigration when the first great wave begins in Nearly 5 million people will arrive from northern and western Europe over the next 45 years. Castle Garden, one of the first state-run immigration depots, opens at the Battery in lower Manhattan in The Potato Famine that strikes Ireland leads to the immigration of over 1 million Irish alone in the next decade.

Concurrently, large numbers of Germans flee political and economic unrest. Rapid settlement of the West begins with the passing of the Homestead Act in Attracted by the opportunity to own land, more Europeans begin to immigrate. Beginning in , the United States forbids prostitutes and criminals from entering the country. The Chinese Exclusion Act is passed in Seven hundred immigrants passed through Ellis Island that day, and nearly , followed over the course of that first year.

Over the next five decades, more than 12 million people will pass through the island on their way into the United States. Though no one is killed, all Ellis Island records dating back to and the Castle Garden era are destroyed.

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The new fireproof facility is officially opened in December, and 2, people pass through on opening day. To prevent a similar situation from occurring again, President Theodore Roosevelt appoints a new commissioner of immigration, William Williams, who cleans house on Ellis Island in To eliminate corruption and abuse, Williams awards contracts based on merit and announces contracts will be revoked if any dishonesty is suspected.

Island Two houses the hospital administration and contagious diseases ward, while Island Three holds the psychiatric ward. By , Ellis Island has grown to more than 27 acres, from an original size of only three acres. Anarchists are denied admittance into the United States as of On April 17, , an all-time daily high of 11, immigrants received is reached; that year, Ellis Island experiences its highest number of immigrants received in a single year, with 1,, arrivals. A federal law is passed excluding persons with physical and mental disabilities, as well as children arriving without adults. Anti-immigrant sentiment increases after the U.

Starting in , Ellis Island operates as a hospital for the U.

Army, a way station for Navy personnel and a detention center for enemy aliens. By , the Army takes over most of Ellis Island and creates a makeshift way station to treat sick and wounded American servicemen. The literacy test is introduced at this time, and stays on the books until Those over the age of 16 who cannot read 30 to 40 test words in their native language are no longer admitted through Ellis Island.

Nearly all Asian immigrants are banned. Ellis Island is used to intern immigrant radicals accused of subversive activity; many of them are deported. Harding signs the Emergency Quota Act into law in According to the new law, annual immigration from any country cannot exceed 3 percent of the total number of U.

Census of The Immigration Act of goes even further, limiting total annual immigration to , and fixing quotas of immigrants from specific countries. The buildings on Ellis Island begin to fall into neglect and abandonment. America is experiencing the end of mass immigration.


By , the Great Depression has taken hold in the U. Coast Guard has taken over most of Ellis Island, using it for office and storage space. The passage of the Internal Security Act of excludes arriving immigrants with previous links to communist and fascist organizations.

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With this, Ellis Island experiences a brief resurgence in activity. Renovations and repairs are made in an effort to accommodate detainees, who sometimes number 1, at a time. The Immigration and Naturalization Act of also known as the McCarran—Walter Act , combined with a liberalized detention policy, causes the number of detainees on the island to plummet to fewer than 30 people.

In March , the federal government declares the island surplus property; it is subsequently placed under the jurisdiction of the General Services Administration. Ellis Island opens to the public in , featuring hour-long guided tours of the Main Arrivals Building. During this year, more than 50, people visit the island. Also in , President Johnson signs a the Immigration and Naturalization Act of , also known as the Hart-Celler Act, which abolishes the earlier quota system based on national origin and establishes the foundations for modern U.

The act allows more individuals from third-world countries to enter the U. By , when the restoration begins, the annual number of visitors to Ellis Island has reached 70, Since , some 30 million visitors have visited Ellis Island to trace the steps of their ancestors.