What America’s immigrants looked like when they arrived on Ellis Island
We hear so often that America is "a nation of immigrants" or a "cultural mixing pot" that the phrase has become kind of a tired cliche. But actually seeing that history is a different story. The fascinating photographs below -- of people in their native costume passing through Ellis Island in the early 20th Century -- hint at just how incredible and unique America's history is as a nation of immigrants. These photos were taken by Augustus Sherman, an amateur photographer who worked as the chief registry clerk on Ellis Island from 1892 until 1925. Sherman snapped these photographs of people passing through customs in their native costume. They were published in National Geographic in 1907 and once hung on the walls in the headquarters of the federal Immigration Service in Manhattan, according to the Public Domain Review. The history of the island is not always a happy one: It also reflects deep racism and ethnic divisions. A German stowaway. Children and women from the Netherlands:
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