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Castle Garden, New York City (1855-1890)


America's First Immigration Center. 8 million immigrants passed through the center before the opening of Ellis Island. Records can be searched at this site.

Beginning in 1855, it was the nation's only organized immigration center


Castle Clinton National Monument, National Park Service


Where Immigrants Came Before Ellis Island, New York Historical Society


Before Ellis Island Existed, Castle Garden Welcomed Houdini and Typhoid Mary, from Atlas Obscura (April 7, 2016)
  • Among those who entered where Harry Houdini, Mary Mallon (Typhoid Mary), Nikola Tesla, Emma Goldman, Joseph Pulitzer, and Frederich Trumpf (President Donald Trump's grandfather)

rotating gif.gifLink to Dramatic Event page on the Irish Potato Famine


Ellis Island, New York City (1892-1954)

Ellis Island, 2014
Ellis Island, 2014

  • 5000 to 10,000 people a day passed through between 1900 and 1914
Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 10.27.26 AM.pngEllis Island Immigration Footage 1906

Selected Images of Ellis Island Immigration, 1880-1920, Library of Congress

Tenement Museum, an online game set in 1916

Lower East Side Tenement Museum Virtual Tour



Annie Moore
Statue of Annie Moore, Ireland
Statue of Annie Moore, Ireland

Annie Moore: First Immigrant Through Ellis Island, from Ellis Island Foundation. See January 1, 1892, the first immigrant landed on Ellis Island

She is honored by two statutes, one in Cobh, Ireland and the other at Ellis Island.

Story of the First Through Ellis Island Is Rewritten, New York Times (September 14, 2006).

She did come to New York City from Ireland at age 15, but she did not, however, go west to Texas to pursue the American Dream only to meet a tragic death in a streetcar accident at age 46. Instead she had 11 children (only 5 lived to adulthood) and lived a poor immigrant's life on the Lower East Side, dying at age 50.

Annie Moore is memorialized in the song "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears" by the group Celtic Thunder. Hear the song sung by Ronan Tynan on YouTube

Life of First Ellis Island Immigrant Revealed, NPR (September 15, 2006)




Sullivan's Island, South Carolina


Known as the Ellis Island of Slavery
Known as the Ellis Island of Slavery



Africans in Carolina, Lowcountry Digital History Initiative


A Port of Entry for Enslaved Africans
40 percent of all enslaved Africans brought to British North America entered here


Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project
  • Identifying all ports of entry for Africans during the 350 years of the Atlantic Slave Trade

rotating gif.gifLink to Origins of the Atlantic Slave Trade



Angel Island, San Francisco (1910-1940)

Immigration Station, Angel Island, San Francisco Bay
Immigration Station, Angel Island, San Francisco Bay


About Angel Island

Known as the Ellis Island of the West

Built to handle influx of European immigrants coming to California through the Panama Canal that never happened; instead majority of immigrants came from China, Japan and other parts of Asia and they were detained for weeks or months at the station

Wong Chung Hong was the first recorded person to enter the country after being admitted and detained at Angel Island.

Native Americans from the Muwekma Ohlone tribe were the first inhabitants of the island

Japanese Immigrants, 1860 to 2008


For more on Angel Island, see United States History II.3 on immigration after the Civil War,


When the "Enemy" Landed at Angel Island, National Archives, Summer 2009
  • Discusses the arrival of non-Asian immigrants at Angel Island during the early 20th century

rotating gif.gifLink to Dramatic Event page on Chinese Immigration to the United States

Pelican Island, Galveston Texas


Former Immigration Station, Galveston, Texas
Former Immigration Station, Galveston, Texas

Forgotten Gateway: Coming to America through Galveston Island, Houston Museum of Natural Science

Ellis Island on the Gulf: Remembering the Galveston Movement, Houston Public Media

Galveston Immigration Database, Galveston Historical Society

Records Open Window to Immigration Past, Houston Chronicle (April 25, 2015)




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Columbia River Quarantine Station, Washington State


Known as the Ellis Island on the Columbia River


Columbia River Quarantine Station at Knappton is Established, May 9, 1899, Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History


Multimedia.pngColumbia River's Ellis Island: The Story of Knappton Cover, Washington State Library


rotating gif.gifLink to The 1918 Influenza Pandemic

The U.S. border fence near El Paso, Texas
The U.S. border fence near El Paso, Texas



The American/Mexican Border


How We Got Here: The Roads We Took to America, Houston Institute for Culture


Link to Mexican Immigration to the United States



5 Facts About Mexico and Immigration to the United States, Pew Research Center (February 11, 2016)