Ellis Island History Facts

 

Benjamin Harrison

Definition and Summary of the Ellis Island History Facts
Summary and Definition: Ellis Island was situated South West of Manhattan island in Jersey City, part of the New York metropolitan area. Ellis Island is the site of the former federal government immigration inspection station for immigrants from different countries in Europe. It has a land area of 27.5 acres and the immigration building is situated on the New Jersey side of Upper New York Bay. The first wood-built immigration center was opened on January 1, 1892 but was destroyed by fire on June 15, 1897 and the second building opened on January 1, 1902.  More than 15 million European immigrants were processed through the Immigration Station between 1892 and 1954. The Ellis Island Immigration Station closed on 12 November, 1954 and its functions were transferred to the Immigration Service's headquarters in New York City.

Ellis Island History Facts for kids
Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd American President who served in office from March 4, 1889 to March 4, 1893. One of the important events during his presidency was the opening of Ellis Island immigration center in New York Harbor.

Ellis Island History Facts for kids: Fast Fact Sheet
Fast, fun facts about Ellis Island immigration center:

Location: New Jersey side of Upper New York Bay, U.S.
 
When did it open? January 1, 1892
 
When did it close? 12 November, 1954
 
Who was the first immigrant to be processed? Annie Moore
 
How did it get its name? From a previous owner, Samuel Ellis
 
How big is it? 27.5 acres
 
How many immigrants were processed? 15 Million

First Ellis Island Building

The Ellis Island Building

Ellis Island History Facts for kids
Interesting facts about the Ellis Island History Facts are detailed below. The history of the Ellis Island History Facts is told in a factual sequence consisting of a series of short facts providing a simple method of relating the history and events of the Ellis Island History Facts. For additional information refer to the Ellis Island Immigration Process.

Ellis Island History Facts for kids

 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 1:It was originally a mud bank in Upper New York Bay in the 1600's. The Native American Indians called it Kioshk, or Gull Island, after the birds that nested there. The Dutch settlers called it Oyster Island, because of the surrounding oyster beds.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 2:In 1776, during the era of the American Revolution, the Island was owned by New York merchant, Samuel Ellis, who opened a small tavern on the island that was used by local fisherman.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 3:The heirs of Samuel Ellis sold the island to New York State in 1808. The same year, the Federal Government bought "Ellis Island" for $10,000.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 4:There were no immigration laws until 1820 when the US federal government started to regulate immigration by requiring each ship to submit a passenger list.  Passengers disembarked on any available dock and they were not inspected or recorded.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 5:In 1834 the small isle (that served as a weapons arsenal) and the neighboring Bedloe's Island (renamed Liberty Island in 1956, site of the Statue of Liberty) were declared part of New York State
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 6:Immigration History: The States had the responsibility of determining the admissibility of immigrants. Up until 1855, passengers were allowed to enter directly into New York City. New Yorkers started to complain about the type of immigrant that was entering their city and feared immigrants would become a financial burden on the city.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 7:Immigration History: On 1 August, 1855 New York State established an immigration processing station at Castle Garden off the tip of Manhattan, called the Emigrant Landing Depot
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 8:In the 1880's residents of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Jersey City were complaining about the close proximately of the Ellis Island arsenal, fearing explosion of the powder magazines.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 9:In the 1880's immigration to the United States during the 1880s reached a staggering 5.2 million. In 1882 Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first significant law to restrict immigration to the United States of America.  In 1890 the States turned over control of immigration to the Federal Government.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 10:

In 1890 Congress made the decision to build the first Federal immigration station on Ellis Island. $75,000 dollars were spent on the project which included doubling the size with landfill. The first immigration center was opened on January 1, 1892 but was destroyed by fire on June 15, 1897.

The Statue of Liberty became the iconic landmark for all European immigrants on the last leg of their journey from Europe to Ellis Island and a new life in the United States of America.

Iimmigrants arriving at Ellis Island see the Statue of Liberty

Continued...

Ellis Island History Facts for kids

Ellis Island History Facts for kids: US Immigration Laws
The article on US Immigration Laws History provides facts, immigration statistics and a timeline from 1800's to the present.

 

Presidential Seal

 

Ellis Island History Facts for kids
Interesting facts about the Ellis Island History Facts are continued below.

Ellis Island History Facts for kids

 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 11:

The picture shows the first building to house the Immigrant Center, which was opened on January 1, 1892.

Annie Moore, a 15 year old girl from County Cork in Ireland was the first to enter the first wooden immigration building on January 2, 1892. She was presented with a $10 gold piece to commemorate her role in U.S. history.

First Ellis Island Building

 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 12:

The Immigrant Center, which was opened on January 1, 1892, was built of wood and was completely destroyed by fire on June 15, 1897.

 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 13:It is estimated that 1.5 million immigrants were processed at the first wooden building during its 5 years of use. Most of the immigration records, dating from 1855, were destroyed in the fire.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 14:Temporary Immigration Center: After the fire, from April 19, 1890 - December 31, 1891, the old Barge Office on the Battery, Manhattan, New York was used as a temporary immigration station whilst a new immigration building was built.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 15:The second immigration building opened on January 1, 1902 and still stands today, it was one of the first fireproof buildings ever constructed.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 16:The Main Building is built of red brick with limestone trim in a French Renaissance design. The Great Hall was 200 feet long and 102 feet wide. The second building cost nearly $1.5 million dollars and was designed to process the 5,000 immigrants entering the Great Hall every day.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 17:Over the following years Ellis Island continued to grow in size and the buildings consisted of 33 structures. It was originally one island of only 3 1/2 acres. It developed into three islands of about 27.5 acres.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 18:In 1908 the Baggage and Dormitory Building was completed and the hospital was enlarged. A dining room for 1,000 people was built on the top floor of the kitchen and laundry Building.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 19:Immigration Process: Immigrants were subjected to medical and legal examinations during the Immigration Process. In 1910 the Angel Island Immigration Station opened.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 20:On July 30, 1916 New York harbor was rocked by the Black Tom Explosion (caused by saboteurs during WW1) and immigrants at the Ellis Island immigration center had to be evacuated to lower Manhattan.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 21:In November 1954 Ellis Island was closed and most would-be US citizens were free to enter the country without inspection on arrival. More than 15 million immigrants had passed through its doors.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 22:In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson declared Ellis Island a national monument.
 
Ellis Island History Facts Fact 23:

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation completed a major restoration program and the building was opened in September 1990 as an immigration museum and now receives almost two million visitors a year.

The photograph of the Statue of Liberty was taken in 1917.

Statue of Liberty photo taken in 1917

Ellis Island History Facts for kids

Ellis Island History Facts for kids: Immigration Acts
Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1882 which was the first comprehensive immigration law to restrict immigrants from Europe. This was followed by the Immigration Act of 1891 which regulated immigration even further.

Push and Pull Factors
For visitors interested in the subject of immigration refer to our website on Push and Pull Factors of Immigration which provides details of why people left their homes in various countries and moved to the United States.

Ellis Island History Facts for kids - President Benjamin Harrison Video
The article on the Ellis Island History provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following Benjamin Harrison video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 23rd American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1889 to March 4, 1893.

 

 

 

Ellis Island History Facts
 
Interesting info with the Ellis Island History Facts for kids and schools
Summary of the Ellis Island History in US history
The Ellis Island History Facts, a major event in US history
Benjamin Harrison Presidency from March 4, 1889 to March 4, 1893
Fast, fun, interesting facts about the Ellis Island History Facts
Foreign & Domestic policies of President Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison Presidency and Ellis Island History Facts for schools, homework, kids and children

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