FC: My Immigration Experience Collection
1: August 14th, 1993 Drawing nearer atop the waters, I squeezed my way to the railing of the ferry to get a closer look. My eyes taking it all in. The great Lady Liberty stood towering in the sky... In her hand a torch..To many of us a beacon lighting the way to this land of freedom, opportunity, and hope. For the first time since the journey to this new land, fear and doubt subsided. The ferry came to a halt..This was it...the moment I had anticipated, when I would walk through my Golden Gates of Ellis Island.
2: My name is Helene Bortnes. I'm a 16 year-old, Norwegian girl who was on my way to starting a new life in Brooklyn, New York, where my far (father) was already waiting for me. I was accompanied by my older bror (brother), on the trip that had lasted a total of 3 months. The voyage at sea had been a harsh one. The ship was crowded with immigrants making little cleanliness. We had endured bad weather conditions and not the greatest of food. Many died at sea. I tried my best to cling to the hope that everything would be better and worth it at this new, strange world.
3: (My homeland above) The reasons for leaving our homeland, was for our religious freedom. My far and bror were also convinced that we would have more opportunities economically...and for life, freedom, and happiness. I was scared and uncertain but if it meant that we'd be able to worship God in our own way, I would take the chance.
4: At the right was the traveling contract I had to sign (according to a new law passed in 1869) along with the traveling agents and police commissioner, to take with me. It included all of my information and would protect me. | The following picture to the right, was my identification picture.
5: Upon my arrival at Ellis Island, hundreds of immigrants wondered around. The diversity of languages and cultures was evident everywhere you looked and listened. It amazed me. Below: Brooklyn, New York. Most Norwegians went coming to the New World would migrate westward; The environment and weather conditions westwards, were more like the ones from home. But Far, had wanted to stay in New York, especially since he had found work. Brooklyn, New York had became the Norwegian Center of the East Coast, so that is where we lived.
6: Though, it had seemed that life here seemed promising...Some of it turned out differently than expected. The living conditions, for example, were nothing like they had been back home. Streets and homes were packed tight with people, mostly immigrants. There was no sanitation...almost everything was filthy from overpopulation leaving no place to go with the waste and trash. Revolting stenches of pollution, from out on the streets, would come into the apartments and linger in the air. Thankfully, this would soon be taken care of. It was a new and growing nation, that was learning... Though at times it did have its downfalls, it was progressing and I do believe a land of liberty and opportunity for all.
7: Work Cited: 1.http://www.norway.org/ARCHIVE/News/archive/1998/199808ellis/#.Um7Tn1M4ElQ 2.http://woldhagen.org/woldhagen/norway/Nor_emg.htm 3.http://woldhagen.org/woldhagen/norway/Nor_hist.htm 4. http://www.norwayheritage.com/norwegian-emigration-records.htm 5.http://www.powayusd.com/online/usonline/worddoc/ellisislandsite.htm 6.http://www.ellisisland.org/immexp/wseix_5_3.asp?