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Immigration to the U. S July 5, 1885 Hi my name is Said Barnum. I live in Italy in the city of Bormio in the European country. My life in the Bormio is a life of poverty, despair, pain, and hunger. The city of Bormio is a big city and it is scarce of jobs, but I am fortunate to have one, but not a well paying one. I work at a cotton mill and I get paid 50 cents an hour, so life is really tough.
But the toughest thing of all about my life is that I have a family, a wife Domino and a son Eric who is 12 years old and works by helping people out with side jobs. The streets of Bormio are rat and filth invested, with narrow streets and lots of tenements and a few houses, duplexes, and mansions. Since our country is ruled by a monarchy the political machines that helps run the government with the king is horrible. The political machines are the secret police that are these under cover police working for the King to make it so that people couldnt speak out against the King and if so they would get shot or put away in jail for years at a time, so not many people spoke out against the monarchy for the republic. And most of the people of Italy wanted a republic but the politics and some upper class opposed that idea.
The main 3 reason I want to leave this country is the political freedom. And the political freedom here is very restricted because they dont let you vote or speak your mind and they restrict what you know and learn. The 2 nd reason is life opportunity. I want a country that you can move up in rank in social and economic status and to own your own land. And the last reason I want to leave is because of my son position in life. In this country you have to at age 16, join the army for 5 years or more and my son does not get education because of the cost and my social status.
July 6, 1885 Today I was talking to my friend Luigi and he told me of America and its economic and social prosperity. And he told me there are large amount of land that you can call your own. Also he said if you dont get a good job you could live of the land and own livestock to feed and live off of. So after I heard that, I heard enough, so I talked to my wife about it and she was ecstatic. So we sold all the possession and got 25 dollars to enter the US, plus an extra 10 like recommended by my friend. July 7 1885 So we went to Estrada port and we went on the Bertha steam boat to Ellis Island which is on the eastern part of the U.
S, and they only take immigrants from the eastern part of America. My friend told me about one other immigrant port that help immigrants and processed them. It was Angel Island which is on the western part of the United States, but he told me I wouldnt go there because only westerners get to go, like China. So my wife, child, and I took our 15 mile walk to the port. We took a few articles of clothing, the clothing on our back, 35 dollars to call our own, and passports. The reason I brought so little items because Luigi told us that if we brought to many items that they, the people on the boat, would make us leave it behind or discard it, so I sold my items to get a self profit which included my wifes necklace my sons toys and other items that I saved up for.
So after 2 hours of walking we finally made it to port Estrada. I have been here once before. When I was a kid my dad brought me to this small port to go fishing and that was 14 years ago so I really didnt remember how to get their so Luigi came with us to show us where to go and just to say his goodbyes. Since he walked with us and kept us company I gave him 50 cents and wished him good luck which he did for us too. So we waited at the port for about three hours and the steam boat finally came.
The boat was red, white, and blue with an American flag tagged on the side, it was nice and a relief. So we got onto the boat paid a 7. 50 fee and went on with about 40 other people and sailed off to another port in Italy which the captain told us was port Somoza. It was nice and a comforting ride there because we did not have a lot people on the steam boat. The thing is that I am hoping that when we go to Port Somoza the boat wouldnt get to over crowded with people. July 8, 1885 We arrived to a very nice port compared to our port and we picked up a 100 more people. I thought to my self this is going to be a hell of a 2 plus week trip.
My wife and kid started to groan and whine and I did also but in the inside. So I started to comfort them. The trip their, was really lousy, sickening, disheartening, saddening, and really painful. First of all there were 140 people on this small boat that was not really supposed to have that many people on it so the amount of space was really limited.
Also there are only 3 bathrooms and no showers so the bathrooms are always filled up, filthy, and have an extremely distasteful smell. Since we didnt have any showers in the boat the whole entire boat practically smelled like the bathrooms. My family was not too happy. July 15, 1885 This older gentlemen on the boat had a cold and it spread like a plague in the boat and about 90 % of the boat got it and about 3 people died because of it. The only benefit that we had on the boat was that they fed us 3 meals instead of 1 or 2 that I thought they were going to give us. At night time the kids and women and some men would sleep on the bunk beds, while the rest of us sleep on the ground.
A week into the trip the captain said that we were 3 / 4 th there and I wasnt to happy because my son and wife are sick and there are human waste products from people that are to sick to hold it in, so it isnt look to good. To make matters worse there was a huge rain and thunder storm and the place that we were taking refuge, which was down stairs which we slept was getting damp and moist. July 15 1885 Finally we reached our destination, America. We saw the Statue of Liberty and that was the most amazing sight I ever saw. It was such a relief after all this time on the boat I was so excited, and so was my family to get off. It was an amazing feeling, one of the most amazing feelings that I had encountered in my 35 years of living.
The smile that came from my family touched my heart and soul. I hope this feeling last a long time and the United States doesnt disappoint or so I hope. So we walked off and the ship and into an unknown territory. There were thousands upon thousands of people walking around crying and some kids were crying just trying to find their mothers, but that was not going to dishearten me I had a plan for my self and my family, which was to live the American Dream. This is going to be an exciting adventure, but a tough one. So we walked to the building that looked the place to go to get accepted into the US.
As we were going toward the building, which was an alright looking building but looked fairly new, it seemed like a melting pot because there were tons of different ethnic groups from the eastern hemisphere. We reached the inside by pushing and shoving our way in and this translator told us to go to the window and get a ticket and told us to wait. So I did what he said and I picked up a number that said 12000 ptc. So we sat down leaning against a wall and slept. When we woke up I was panicked because I thought they called our number and we were sleeping so I got up and asked one of the people in the name tags whether they called our number and he said no, but your number should be coming up shortly and sure enough 30 minutes later they called our number.
So we walked over to the window and told us that we had to pay the 25 dollars, which we did and then he asked us to show him our passports which we showed him. After that he sent us to one of the several doctors to examine us. So we went and the physician and he checked us and passed us thank goodness. This lady that I was talking to earlier in the boat that we were in got turned down because of TB so she was hysterical but I tried to calm her, but it was no use she was still hysterical. How could you blame her, she went all of this way for nothing. So my family and I gave her a fair well and wished her good luck on her life.
That was a sad sight. After that we were sent to the interrogation room which was not that bad. All they did was ask us questions about why we came to America, any criminal offenses, and they gave my wife and I this pretty easy test to prove our mental competence. We of course passed the test. So they gave us this certificate and told us bring it to one of the windows so they could give us another certificate saying that we were official American citizens. This was a big relief.
So after waiting in line for a couple of long hours we got up to the window and they handed us an official certificate saying that we were official. Now we felt like an American citizen. After they gave us the certificate they gave us a mass transit to a train stating that we were to go on Elizabeth to go to New York to go on a train to Illinois. The trip only took 45 minutes and it much more relaxing then the trip to the US.
So we got New York and it was one amazing place with tall buildings and lavish shopping centers and entertainment and it was also urbanized. But as we took a wagon to the train I noticed that New York was sort of like my city in some ways because it has it poor and some of the streets were just as dirty as my hometown. So we finally reached the train and we took it to Illinois to the city of Chicago. This city looks like New York with tall buildings and a lot of tenements and a few houses.
So we got off the train and the natural born citizens looked at us with shunning eyes. So my son asked why and I said it has to do with nativism which they believe in. I went on to explain that these people dont believe that the U. S should...
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