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News & Tall Tales. 1800s.


Bridge to the Castle.

Immigrants 1883

August 18, 1883, American Settler

IMMIGRATION AND ITS EFFECTS

The following table shows the distribution of the immigration movement among all the principal nationalities in the last two years.

The truth is, the addition of almost 600,000 to our population in this way in a single year is a wonderful increase. It was scarcely to be expected that the exceptional totals of 1881 and 1882 would be maintained.

They were the outgrowth of the marvellous prosperity that we enjoyed from the date of the resumption of specie payments up to the time of our crop disaster in1881. The poor harvests during those years in Europe also contributed to swell the movement. With the failure of our crops, however, and the other adverse circumstances that followed such as the check to railroad expansion and the consequent diminution in the consumption of many of our manufactured articles the United States presented a less inviting option for immigrants intending to better their condition, and many no doubt were deterred who otherwise would have come.

(Note: The following numbers are difficult to read in the newspaper; figures may be off somewhat, but this will give an overview of immigration during the 1882-1883.)

Countries from which Immigrants arrived
Name
1883
1882
England and Wales
79,852
83,697
Ireland
63,720
76,252
Scotland
19,612
18,763
Austria
10,517
20,089
Germany
191,648
249,169
Italy
31,715
33.066
Norway
21,849
28,466
Sweden
84,596
64,276
Dominion of Canada
64,971
93,029
All Other Countries
78,849
104,623
Total
593,327
770,422
Immigration Station.Angel Island Immigration Station.

Immigration Station. Angel Island. 1901

In 1905, construction of the Immigration Station began in the area then known as North Garrison. Surrounded by public controversy from its inception, the station was finally put into partial operation in 1910. It was designed to process Chinese immigrants whose entry was restricted by the Chinese Exclusion Law of 1882. A rush of immigrants from Europe were expected with the opening of the Panama Canal, but international events after 1914, including the outbreak of World War I, cancelled the expected rush, but Asians continued to arrive on the West Coast and to go through immigration procedures. Though most immigrants processed through the Immigration Station on Angel Island were Chinese, over 80 countries were represented by the influx of immigrants.


Immigration at the Golden Gate: Passenger Ships, Exclusion, and Angel IslandImmigration at the Golden Gate. Immigration to California.
Robert Eric Barde
Perhaps 200,000 immigrants passed through the Angel Island Immigration Station during its lifetime, a tiny number compared to the 17 million who entered through New York's Ellis Island.

Nonetheless, Angel Island's place in the consciousness of Americans on the West Coast is large and out of proportion to the numerical record. Angel Island's Immigration Station was not, as some have called it, the Ellis Island of the West, built to facilitate the processing and entry of those welcomed as new Americans. Its role was less benign: to facilitate the exclusion of Asians, starting with the Chinese, then Japanese, Koreans, Indians, and all other Asians.

The Children of Chinatown: Growing Up Chinese American in San Francisco, 1850-1920Children of Chinatown. 
Wendy Rouse Jorae

Family Skeletons: Exploring the Lives of our Disreputable Ancestors.San Francisco. Family Skeletons.
Simon Fowler, Ruth Paley
Most families have a skeleton. You may have already discovered yours via the grapevine or your own research. Or you may simply be intrigued by the dark side of our past. This popular history explores the behaviour of our disreputable ancestors from the unfortunate to the criminal, and introduces a host of colourful characters including 17th century witches, 18th century 'mollies' and Victorian baby farmers. Thematically arranged by skeleton, the text also describes how society punished and provided for its 'offenders' - as well as the changing attitudes that could ultimately bring acceptance.

Italy on the Pacific: San Francisco's Italian Americans (Italian and Italian American Studies)Italians in San Francisco.
Palgrave Hardcover)
Sebastian Fichera
San Francisco’s Italian immigrant experience is shown to be the polar opposite of Chicago’s. San Francisco’s Italian immigrants are shown as reintegrating into the host society fairly smoothly, whereas the Chicago group’s assimilation process broke down in dramatic ways.

Migration in World History.Migration in World HistoryMigration in World History. 
(Themes in World History) 
Patrick Manning
Drawing on examples from a wide range of geographical regions and thematic areas, noted world historian Patrick Manning guides the reader through trade patterns, including the early Silk Road and maritime trade, effect of migration on empire and industry, earliest human migrations, major language groups, various leading theories around migration.

Russian San Francisco (Images of America)Russian San Francisco. (Images of America)
Lydia B. Zaverukha, Nina Bogdan, Foreward by Ludmila Ershova, PhD.
Even before San Francisco was founded as a city, Russian visitors, explorers, and scientists sailed to the area and made contact with both the indigenous people and representatives of the Spanish government. Although the Russian commercial colony of Fort Ross closed in 1842, the Russian presence in San Francisco continued and the community expanded to include churches, societies, businesses, and newspapers. Some came seeking opportunity, while others were fleeing religious or political persecution.

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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; Maritime Library, San Francisco, California, various Maritime Museums around the world.

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