S: Kenny ~ Immigration Project Social Studies
FC: Ardan Doyle's English Journal By: Kenny Daily
1: "My happy home in Ireland" July, 7, 1917 Many weeks ago my parents had wonderful news... we were leaving our homeland in Ireland and heading to America! They had bought the tickets for the four of us, and were planning on leaving in only one week! I cannot describe the wonderful emotions bottled up in me when I was informed of this. It’s like those times where you feel your going to EXPLODE with excitement, but at the same time have a tinge of sadness as something you know shall leave your life. You might be wondering, journal, why I am doing this. And who I am. This was my father’s idea. He
2: bought us each a journal and had us all sent to learn our English. My teacher is helping me now, and hopefully by the time I get to America, I will be able to speak and right English partially fluent. As for my name, I am Ardan Doyle. My first name means ‘High Aspiration’ and my last name means 'Dark Foreigner'.
3: " I heard America and Ellis Island looked kind of like this. Kind of like heaven"
4: July, 14, 1917 Sorry I didn’t enter any more entries. My teacher had us focus on how to pronounce more than she should have. We learned too much about speaking. Not enough about writing. When we did, she would have us use sheets of papers, not our journals. However, I do have good news! The day has come to go to America! I am so excited! Even if I am losing so many things, I am about to gain freedom! Maybe I will be able to come here when I am older, and visit on vacation. I was saddened by all the people leaving family, but was enlightened because I wasn’t one of them! Somehow, my parents were able to afford a trip to America for my entire family! Not my aunts and uncles, of
5: course. Most of them were already in America. We weren’t able to send them a letter in time to tell them. Which might be a little depressing when we get to America. On a different note, we were only allowed one suitcase. Yes, I stuffed everything imaginable in there. My teddy bear, some clothes, a blanket, a candy bar, a book, this journal, a pen, a rock to remember my homeland by, my 5-leaf clover, a book... everything and anything I could fit into that small case. What was heavy to begin with feels like 100 pounds! Maybe I should not have brought the rock. It’s to late anyway. We just left port a couple moments ago.
6: "This is a picture of our departure from the dock"
7: July, 18, 1917 We have been in the middle of nowhere for two days now. I’m struggling spelling this correctly, and pronouncing the words. Just these first three sentences have taken about 10 minutes of my time! I hope it’s not like this at America. I’ve heard of people being sent back because of the inability to correctly pronounce and write English words. What a horrible fate! Spending all that money and then being sent back home? I think my father is getting sick. He has been coughing all day today. He also said that he feels nauseated. Hopefully this is nothing but seasickness. I don’t want him to be sick! People have been saying he might get sent back. It makes me feel horribly inside. I’ve also started to feel a little bit ill. I have a small sneeze and some congestion. I hope I’m not sent home. "All I have seen for days now-water"
8: July, 21, 1917 We are supposed to be only a couple miles from land. What a journey this has been! I can’t wait until it has ended. I have become much more fluent in English. It helps that I have to use it to speak with the crew of this steamboat. Father has gotten better. Not really, actually. He has been coughing more and more, and has thrown up a couple of times. By now he stays by the toilet or edge of the boat in case of vomiting, and always has a tissue or napkin with him. I think that he has passed on the illness too. Many people on this boat are becoming ill. I’ve been cramped up on the bottom, mainly. I haven’t gotten out, because I dream of simply waking up and having my parents point at the door telling me they can see Ellis Island, with the Statue of Liberty in view. So I stay here and try to sleep. This way, I have a more likely chance of this dream becoming a reality.
9: "The man who jumped off the boat (next page)"
10: July, 23, 1917 We are here! It feels amazing that I can see the Statue of Liberty! Why, I’m even writing with it in sight! Finally! Finally we are not in the Atlantic Ocean! We are in America! I think this has helped father greatly, too, because he does not have the cough or nausea. The captain said we were lucky we made it here so quickly, that it usually takes at the least two weeks, but we made it in about one. Maybe it was my five-leaf clover! One of the passengers actually jumped out of the steamboat and started to swim to Ellis Island. He, oddly enough, did not accept our help when offered. Unlucky for him, too! The captain said just now that we still need another day or so to get to Ellis Island. I feel depressed that my dream didn’t become a reality.
11: "A picture of the inside of Ellis Island"
12: "Ellis Island in all it's glory"
13: July, 24, 1917 I speak with great sadness, but let me begin from the start. When we arrived, we first went by ferry to Ellis Island, which was unexpected. I would have assumed we were to go directly to Ellis Island. It took about an hour to get to our destination at Ellis Island. It was very warm that day, definitely compared to Ireland, where even the southern most point is pretty north. We had to leave our suitcases at the baggage area when we arrived. Then, we went up the stairs to the Great Hall. We saw men watching us, with beady eyes. They stared at those who struggled, and pulled them aside. Then we had our medical exam. This is the sad thing. My father was sick. He had a bad case of the flu, at 104 degrees Fahrenheit. They put chalk on his coat. He is officially being sent back. Then, we went to the Great Hall again. It was nice. We had white bread. As I was eating it I was thinking how easy it would be to adapt to America. America is basically everything that I love all tied up into one little bundle. We were inspected legally, seeing if we committed crimes, if we had a passport. When we moved on to the money exchange, we had to adapt by replacing our native dollars with American dollars. Then we went to the ‘Kissing Post’ as the people attending to us called it. How depressing it was to see families being reunited when ours is being destroyed. I wonder if this is what it was like for the people parting from members of family as they were leaving. Before we left, my mother said that we would
14: have to change our lives a lot, even with the food. That we would have to adapt to America’s ways, as it was now our country. Then we left Ellis Island and headed to New Jersey.
15: "The steam boat taking away my father, back to Ireland"