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Tables Show Chinese Labor Distribution and Wage Discrepancies in Late 19th Century San Francisco

This chart shows the numbers of Chinese immigrants employed in various occupations in San Francisco from 1860-1880. Although the data is incomplete, the chart shows that the vast majority of Chinese worked in menial jobs as laundry workers, [...]

Graph of Mid-19th Century Emigration from Ireland to New York

This graph shows the number of arrivals in New York City ports from Britain and Ireland from 1841-1855. Before 1847, records did not usually distinguish between immigrants from the two countries (Ireland remained a part of the United Kingdom until [...]

Bar Graph of the Growth of New York City's Population in the Nineteenth Century

New York City's population grew exponentially during the mid-nineteenth century, largely as a result of huge numbers of immigrants arriving from Ireland and Germany.

Table of Emigrant Savings Bank Account Records

This sample of account records from Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank provides evidence about the lives of immigrants living in New York City during the mid-nineteenth century. All account holders included in this sample lived in the Five Points [...]

A Senator Intends to "Shut the Door" on Immigration

America's reputation as a land of welcome for immigrants has often been compromised by periodic calls to "shut the door" on immigration. At the turn of the twentieth century, the arrival of unprecedented numbers of immigrants from Southern and [...]

Item Type: Speech
"Unguarded Gates" (Excerpt)

Thomas Bailey Aldrich was a well-known and regarded American poet of the late nineteenth century. In "Unguarded Gates," he expresses the anti-immigrant xenophobia and notions of Anglo-American superiority shared by many native-born Americans of the [...]

Chinese Immigrants Write Poems in the "Wooden Barracks"

At Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay, Chinese immigrants were detained for weeks or even months in the so-called "Wooden Barracks" as they awaited processing. Faced with poor conditions, humiliating treatment, and homesickness, [...]

"Goddess of Liberty, Answer"

This poem refers to the Statue of Liberty, and appears to be a response to Emma Lazarus's poem "The New Colossus." The location mentioned by the author, "Sandy Hook," is on the coast of New Jersey, and signifies the border of the U.S. beyond which [...]

"I Am the Little Irish Boy"

Henry David Thoreau is one of America's best-loved poets and authors, known especially for his work Walden, with its meditations on nature. In this 1850 poem, Thoreau turns his attentive eye to a "little Irish boy," destined for a life of manual [...]

President Cleveland Vetoes a Law Restricting Immigration

In 1897 President Grover Cleveland vetoed legislation requiring a literacy test for would-be immigrants proposed by Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, declaring, "I cannot believe that we would be protected against these [alleged evils of [...]

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