Category Archives: Immigration

Immigration ~ Chapter Five

Woman making American Flag

Woman making American Flag

In 1881, London, England, is the world’s largest and most populous city with a little over, 3,300,000 residents. Great Britain has a total population approaching 30,000,000. Queen Victoria, age 62, is in the 44th year of her reign. Benjamin Disraeli, former Prime Minister, dies. British authorities jail Irish leader Charles Parnell for his encouragement of Irish farmers to refuse to pay rent. British forces lose major battles in the First Boer War and Britain signs a treaty, recognizing the independence of the Transvaal Republic. Charles Darwin, in October, publishes his last scientific book the last before his death in the spring of 1882. Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, Treasure Island, begins in serial form in the magazine Young Folks. The Cunard Line launches its first steel transatlantic liner.

In Russia, the reform-minded Tsar Alexander II, who had freed Russian serfs, is assassinated in March, killed by a bomb. His conservative son becomes Tsar Alexander III, and, among other things, begins a series of pogroms against Jews.


Tsar Alexander II

In the United States, President Garfield is mortally by a gunman in July and dies in September. The U. S. population is 53,000,000. Railroads are expanding rapidly and need large numbers of unskilled laborers. Clara Barton forms the American Association of the Red Cross. Dr. George Goodfellow performs the first laparotomy to remove a bullet. The first volume of The History of Woman Suffrage is published by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Helen Hunt Jackson publishes A Century of Dishonor, an expose of government mistreatment of American Indians. The eastern states suffer severe draught. The Pullman Company begins construction of a model factory town for its employees.


murder of President Garfield

In France, Louis Pasteur develops a vaccine to prevent anthrax in sheep and hog.

On December 8, fire destroys the Ringtheater in Vienna, Austria, killing 449 people. Dr. Eduard von Hofmann performs autopsies on the victim, determining that many died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

A new record is set when 669,431 immigrants, the first time more time half a million enter the United States.
31.4% come from the German Empire
18.7% come from Canada
12.2% come from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland, combined
12.2% come from Great Britain
10.8% come from Ireland
4.2% come from the Austrian Empire
4.0% come from France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Luxembourg, combined
2.3% come from Italy
1.7% come from China
0.8% come from Poland
0.7% come from the Russian Empire
0.3% come from Central and South America, including Mexico
0.2% come from Portugal, Spain, and Greece, combined
0.1% come from Australia and New Zealand
0.4% come from all other places, combined


38.6% are female
61.4% are male

67.8% are between the ages of 15 to 40
22.9% are under age 15
9.3% are over age 40

53.1% have no occupation
22.0% are general laborers
9.9% are skilled workers
8.6% are farmers
2.8% are servants
1.8% have some miscellaneous occupation
1.4% are commercial workers
0.4% are professionalsamerican-immigrants-from-the-uk-catch-their-first-sight-of-their-destination-c4464t

Immigration ~ Chapter 4

patriotic cartoon~Lincoln-flag

During 1863, 176,282 immigrants entered the United States, despite the on-going Civil War.

37.9% came from Great Britain
31.7% came from Ireland
18.8% came from the German states
4.1% came from China
2.0% came from Canada;
1.8% came from France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Luxembourg, combined
1.8% came from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, combined
1.9% came from various other regions and countries.

brit warship 1860url
39.9% were female
60.1% were male

71.1% were between the ages of 15 and 40
18.7% were under age 15
10.2% were over age 40


49.6% had no occupation
23.1% were general laborers
12.1% were skilled craft workers
6.2% were farmers
4.6% were domestic workers
3.8% were commercial workers
0.6% were professional workers


Immigration ~ Chapter 3


The United States only began keeping records of the number of immigrants in 1820. In 1842 the number of immigrants exceeded 100,000 for the first time.


In 1842, 104,565 immigrants entered the United States.
49.1% came from Ireland
21.0% came from Great Britain
19.5% came from the German states
5.1& came from France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, and Switzerland combined
2.0% came from Canada
1.8% came from Central and South America, including Mexico
1.5% came from other countries

39.0% were female
61.0% were male


67.1% were between 15 and 40 in age
22.9% were under age 15
8.7% were over age 40
1.3% did not report their age

Industry - Tin Plate Workers - Swansea - 1912


54.5% had no occupation
14.4% were general laborers
13.1% were skilled laborers
11.7% were farmers
4.5% were commercial workers
1.2% were servants
0.6% were skilled professionals

Some Immigration History Page 2

Woman making American Flag

Woman making American Flag

In 1907 1,285,349 immigrants entered the United States

26.3% came from various parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
22.2% came from Italy
20.1% came from various parts of the Russian Empire
6.1% came from Great Britain
4.0% came from Portugal, Spain and Greece combined
3.9% came from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland
2.9% came from various parts of the German Empire
2.7% came from Ireland
2.4% came from Japan
2.2% came from France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg combined
1.7% came from Latin America, including Mexico
1.5% came from Canada
4.1% came from various other countries

27.6% were female
72.4% were male

85.6% were between ages 14 to 44
10.8% were under age 14
3.6% were age 45 and older


26.2% farmers and farm laborers
22.9% general laborers
13.2% skilled craft workers
9.5% domestic workers
1.6% management and supervisors
0.9% clerical workers
0.9% professional and technical workers
23.8% declared no occupation


Some Immigration History ~ Page 1

Immigration to the United States in 1862immigrant ship photo-e
> despite the on-going war, 91,985 immigrants enter the United States:
> 30.0% come from the German states;
> 26.8% come from Great Britain;
> 25.4% come from Ireland;
> 4.8% come from France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Netherlands combined;
> 3.9% come from China;
> 3.6% come from Canada;
> 2.8% come from Sweden, Norway and Denmark combined;
> 0.8% come from Central and South America, excluding Mexico;
> 0.6% come from Italy;
> 0.5% come from Greece, Spain and Portugal combined;
> 0.2% come from Mexico;
> 0.2% come from the Austrian Empire;
> 0.1% come from Poland;
> 0.1% come from the Russian Empire;
> 0.2%% come from other regions and other countries.
> Sex and age:
> 41.6% are female;
> 58.4% are male;
> 73.0% are between 15 and 40 years of age;
> 18.0% are under age 15;
> 9.0% are over age 40.
> Occupations by major categories:
> 54.9% have no occupation–this includes children;
> 15.5% have general labor occupations;
> 10.5% have skilled craft occupations;
> 8.1% have agricultural occupations;
> 6.8% have commercial occupations;
> 3.2% have domestic work occupations;
> 0.7% have professional occupations;
> 0.3% have miscellaneous occupations

in a move aimed at restricting Chinese immigration, California imposes a tax of $2.50 per month, per person on all people of Asian descent [this would be about $57.70 in today’s money]

Woman making American Flag

Woman making American Flag

Jacob Riis, Investigative Reporter




Jacob Riis, 1849 — 1914, came to the United States as an immigrant at age 21. He became an investigative journalist, looking at social conditions. Here is an excerpt from his most famous work, How The Other Half Lives, 1890.


It is estimated that at least one hundred and fifty thousand women and girls earn their own living in New York; but there is reason to believe that this estimate falls far short of the truth when sufficient account is taken of the large number who are not wholly dependent upon their own labor, while contributing by it to the family’s earnings. These alone constitute a large class of the women wage-earners, and it is characteristic of the situation that the very fact that some need not starve on their wages condemns the rest to that fate. The pay they are willing to accept all have to take. What the “everlasting law of supply and demand,” that serves as such a convenient gag for public indignation, has to do with it, one learns from observation all along the road of inquiry into these real woman’s wrongs. To take the case of the sales-women for illustration: The investigation of the Working Women’s Society disclosed the fact that wages averaging from $2 to $4.50 a week were reduced by excessive fines, “the employers placing a value upon time lost that is not given to services rendered.” A little girl, who received two dollars a week, made cash-sales amounting to $167 in a single day, while the receipts of a fifteen-dollar male clerk in the same department footed up only $125; yet for some trivial mistake the girl was fined sixty cents out of her two dollars. The practice prevailed in some stores of dividing the fines between the superintendent and the time-keeper at the end of the year. In one instance they amounted to $3,000, and “the superintendent was heard to charge the time-keeper with not being strict enough in his duties.” One of the causes for fine in a certain large store was sitting down. The law requiring seats for saleswomen, generally ignored, was obeyed faithfully in this establishment. The seats were there, but the girls were fined when found using them.
Cash-girls receiving $1.75 a week for work that at certain seasons lengthened their day to sixteen hours were sometimes required to pay for their aprons. A common cause for discharge from stores in which, on account of the oppressive heat and lack of ventilation, “girls fainted day after day and came out looking like corpses,” was too long service. No other fault was found with the discharged saleswomen than that they had been long enough in the employ of the firm to justly expect an increase of salary. The reason was even given with brutal frankness, in some instances.
These facts give a slight idea of the hardships and the poor pay of a business that notoriously absorbs child-labor. The girls are sent to the store before they have fairly entered their teens, because the money they can earn there is needed for the support of the family. If the boys will not work, if the street tempts them from home, among the girls at least there must be no drones. To keep their places they are told to lie about their age and to say that they are over fourteen. The precaution is usually superfluous. The Women’s Investigating Committee found the majority of the children employed in the stores to be under age, but heard only in a single instance of the truant officers calling. In that case they came once a year and sent the youngest children home; but in a month’s time they were all back in their places, and were not again disturbed. When it comes to the factories, where hard bodily labor is added to long hours, stifling rooms, and starvation wages, matters are even worse. The Legislature has passed laws to prevent the employment of children, as it has forbidden saloon-keepers to sell them beer, and it has provided means of enforcing its mandate, so efficient, that the very number of factories in New York is guessed at as in the neighborhood of twelve thousand. Up till this summer, a single inspector was charged with the duty of keeping the run of them all, and of seeing to it that the law was respected by the owners.
Sixty cents is put as the average day’s earnings of the 150,000, but into this computation enters the stylish “cashier’s” two dollars a day, as well as the thirty cents of the poor little girl who pulls threads in an East Side factory, and, if anything, the average is probably too high. Such as it is, however, it represents board, rent, clothing, and “pleasure” to this army of workers. Here is the case of a woman employed in the manufacturing department of a Broadway house. It stands for a hundred like her own. She averages three dollars a week. Pays $1.50 for her room; for breakfast she has a cup of coffee; lunch she cannot afford. One meal a day is her allowance. This woman is young, she is pretty. She has “the world before her.” Is it anything less than a miracle if she is guilty of nothing worse than the “early and improvident marriage,” against which moralists exclaim as one of the prolific causes of the distress of the poor? Almost any door might seem to offer welcome escape from such slavery as this. “I feel so much healthier since I got three square meals a day,” said a lodger in one of the Girls’ Homes. Two young sewing-girls came in seeking domestic service, so that they might get enough to eat. They had been only half-fed for some time, and starvation had driven them to the one door at which the pride of the American-born girl will not permit her to knock, though poverty be the price of her independence.

The tenement and the competition of public institutions and farmers’ wives and daughters, have done the tyrant shirt to death, but they have not bettered the lot of the needle-women. The sweater of the East Side has appropriated the flannel shirt. He turns them out to-day at forty-five cents a dozen, paying his Jewish workers from twenty to thirty-five cents. One of these testified before the State Board of Arbitration, during the shirtmakers’ strike, that she worked eleven hours in the shop and four at home, and had never in the best of times made over six dollars a week. Another stated that she worked from 4 o’clock in the morning to 11 at night. These girls had to find their own thread and pay for their own machines out of their wages. The white shirt has gone to the public and private institutions that shelter large numbers of young girls, and to the country. There are not half as many shirtmakers in New York to-day as only a few years ago, and some of the largest firms have closed their city shops. The same is true of the manufacturers of underwear. One large Broadway firm has nearly all its work done by farmers’ girls in Maine, who think themselves well off if they can earn two or three dollars a week to pay for a Sunday silk, or the wedding outfit, little dreaming of the part they are playing in starving their city sisters. Literally, they sew “with double thread, a shroud as well as a shirt.” Their pin-money sets the rate of wages for thousands of poor sewing-girls in New York. The average earnings of the worker on underwear to-day do not exceed the three dollars which her competitor among the Eastern hills is willing to accept as the price of her play. The shirtmaker’s pay is better only because the very finest custom work is all there is left for her to do.
Calico wrappers at a dollar and a half a dozen—the very expert sewers able to make from eight to ten, the common run five or six—neckties at from 25 to 75 cents a dozen, with a dozen as a good day’s work, are specimens of women’s wages. And yet people persist in wondering at the poor quality of work done in the tenements! Italian cheap labor has come of late also to possess this poor field, with the sweater in its train. There is scarce a branch of woman’s work outside of the home in which wages, long since at low-water mark, have not fallen to the point of actual starvation. A case was brought to my notice recently by a woman doctor, whose heart as well as her life-work is with the poor, of a widow with two little children she found at work in an East Side attic, making paper-bags. Her father, she told the doctor, had made good wages at it; but she received only five cents for six hundred of the little three-cornered bags, and her fingers had to be very swift and handle the paste-brush very deftly to bring her earnings up to twenty-five and thirty cents a day. She paid four dollars a month for her room. The rest went to buy food for herself and the children. The physician’s purse, rather than her skill, had healing for their complaint.
I have aimed to set down a few dry facts merely. They carry their own comment. Back of the shop with its weary, grinding toil—the home in the tenement, of which it was said in a report of the State Labor Bureau: “Decency and womanly reserve cannot be maintained there—what wonder so many fall away from virtue?” Of the outlook, what? Last Christmas Eve my business took me to an obscure street among the West Side tenements. An old woman had just fallen on the doorstep, stricken with paralysis. The doctor said she would never again move her right hand or foot. The whole side was dead. By her bedside, in their cheerless room, sat the patient’s aged sister, a hopeless cripple, in dumb despair. Forty years ago the sisters had come, five in number then, with their mother, from the North of Ireland to make their home and earn a living among strangers. They were lace embroiderers and found work easily at good wages. All the rest had died as the years went by. The two remained and, firmly resolved to lead an honest life, worked on though wages fell and fell as age and toil stiffened their once nimble fingers and dimmed their sight. Then one of them dropped out, her hands palsied and her courage gone. Still the other toiled on, resting neither by night nor by day, that the sister might not want. Now that she too had been stricken, as she was going to the store for the work that was to keep them through the holidays, the battle was over at last. There was before them starvation, or the poor-house. And the proud spirits of the sisters, helpless now, quailed at the outlook.
These were old, with life behind them. For them nothing was left but to sit in the shadow and wait. But of the thousands, who are travelling the road they trod to the end, with the hot blood of youth in their veins, with the love of life and of the beautiful world to which not even sixty cents a day can shut their eyes—who is to blame if their feet find the paths of shame that are “always open to them?” The very paths that have effaced the saving “limit,” and to which it is declared to be “inevitable that they must in many instances resort.” Let the moralist answer. Let the wise economist apply his rule of supply and demand, and let the answer be heard in this city of a thousand charities where justice goes begging.
To the everlasting credit of New York’s working-girl let it be said that, rough though her road be, all but hopeless her battle with life, only in the rarest instances does she go astray. As a class she is brave, virtuous, and true. New York’s army of profligate women is not, as in some foreign cities, recruited from her ranks. She is as plucky as she is proud. That “American girls never whimper” became a proverb long ago, and she accepts her lot uncomplainingly, doing the best she can and holding her cherished independence cheap at the cost of a meal, or of half her daily ration, if need be. The home in the tenement and the traditions of her childhood have neither trained her to luxury nor predisposed her in favor of domestic labor in preference to the shop. So, to the world she presents a cheerful, uncomplaining front that sometimes deceives it. Her courage will not be without its reward. Slowly, as the conviction is thrust upon society that woman’s work must enter more and more into its planning, a better day is dawning. The organization of working girls’ clubs, unions, and societies with a community of interests, despite the obstacles to such a movement, bears testimony to it, as to the devotion of the unselfish women who have made their poorer sisters cause their own, and will yet wring from an unfair were the justice too long denied her.


May ~ Election Year 1860


The slavery question is dividing the country. Southern attempts to reinvigorate the African slave trade cause various problems. The new Republican Party nominates Illinois attorney Abe Lincoln for president and adopts a platform which promises protection for the rights of immigrants. [My, how things have changed in 2016!!] A sitting Supreme Court justice dies. [The Senate will defeat President Buchanan’s nominee but only after a proper hearing, debate and vote.]

May 3– Thursday– Washington, D.C.–The Senate defeats a treaty with Spain because it includes a payment for damages to the slave ship Amistad in the notorious 1839 slave revolt episode.

May 3– Thursday– Charleston, South Carolina–After failing in 57 rounds of balloting to give Senator Douglas the nomination, the Northern Democratic delegates vote to adjourn the convention and to reconvene in Baltimore in June.

May 3– Thursday– Stockholm, Sweden– The thirty-four year old Charles XV is crowned as King of Sweden and Norway.


King Charles XV ~ 1860


May 3– Thursday– Newcastle, England–A Quaker abolitionist, Anna H. Richardson writes to William Still, an African-American conductor on the underground railroad in Philadelphia, with a promise of five British pounds to support his work, saying she “would gladly have enclosed a £5 note in this envelope, but we are rather afraid of sending the actual money in letters, and our London bankers do not like to remit small sums. I shall continue to watch for the first opportunity of forwarding the above.”

May 6– Sunday– Atlantic Ocean–A U S warship captures the slaver Falmouth.


May 9–Wednesday– Off the coast of Cuba– An American warship, the U.S.S. Wyandotte captures the slaver William in international waters. A Baltimore company owns the William which set sail from West Africa two months ago, bound for Cuba with a cargo of 744 slaves. When intercepted, 513 surviving Africans remain in the hold. The bodies of those who died were simply thrown overboard.

May 9–Wednesday– Baltimore, Maryland–In a one day convention, the Constitutional Union Party nominates John Bell of Tennessee for president and Edward Everett of Massachusetts for vice-president. They reject traditional specific platform statements and call for citizens to do “both the part of patriotism and of duty to recognize no political principle other than the Constitution of the Country, the Union of the States, and the Enforcement of the Laws, and that, as representatives of the Constitutional Union men of the country, in National Convention assembled, we hereby pledge ourselves to maintain, protect, and defend, separately and unitedly, these great principles of public liberty and national safety, against all enemies, at home and abroad; believing that thereby peace may once more be restored to the country.”


Bell & Everett campaign poster


May 10– Thursday– New York City– The tenth National Women’s Rights Convention, held at the Cooper Union Hall, concludes it two-day meeting today. Approximately 700 persons are in attendance with Martha Coffin Pelham Wright as presiding officer. [Wright, 1806– 1875, a sister of Lucretia Coffin Mott, is a feminist and abolitionist and was one of the planners of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848.]

May 10–Thursday– Florence, Italy– Theodore Parker, clergyman, Transcendentalist, and abolitionist, dies of tuberculosis at age 49.

May 12–Saturday– Chicago, Illinois–The Republican national convention opens. Mary Ashton Rice Livermore covers the proceedings for New Covenant, a magazine which employs her as associate editor. By her presence she becomes the first woman working as a reporter to cover a political convention in the United States. [Livermore, 1820– 1905, is an advocate of temperance and of woman suffrage. During the Civil War she will work with the Chicago Sanitary Commission to meet the needs of Union soldiers.]


Mary Livermore


May 14– Monday– Washington, D.C.– The first diplomatic mission from Japan to the United States arrives after a long journey from Japan, via Hawaii, San Francisco, and Panama. Excitement is high in the city and both the House of Representatives and the Senate adjourn so as to watch the visitors land. The seventy-four person party are hosted at the Willard Hotel in the city.

May 15– Tuesday– Savannah, Georgia– Birth of Ellen Louise Axson Wilson, who will become the first wife of Woodrow Wilson while he is a professor at Bryn Mawr College. She will die on August 6, 1914, while her husband serves his first term as President of the United States and war is erupting in Europe.

May 16– Wednesday– Buffalo, New York– Methodist bishops are meeting in their annual conference. The Committee on Slavery presents both a majority and minority report on the controversial topic with the majority wishing to strengthen language to say that the very holding of slaves is a sin, not just their sale or traffic. The minority report objects to any changes, saying the issue would make Methodism in the South impossible at such an “excited time.”

May 17– Thursday– Chicago, Illinois– The Republican Party adopts its platform which says, among other things:7. That the new dogma that the Constitution, of its own force, carries slavery into any or all of the territories of the United States, is a dangerous political heresy, at variance with the explicit provisions of that instrument itself, with contemporaneous exposition, and with legislative and judicial precedent; is revolutionary in its tendency, and subversive of the peace and harmony of the country. 8. That the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom: That, as our Republican fathers, when they had abolished slavery in all our national territory, ordained that “no persons should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law,” it becomes our duty, by legislation, whenever such legislation is necessary, to maintain this provision of the Constitution against all attempts to violate it; and we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to givelegal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States. 9. That we brand the recent reopening of the African slave trade, under the cover of our national flag, aided by perversions of judicial power, as a crime against humanity and a burning shame to our country and age; and we call upon Congress to take prompt and efficient measures for the total and final suppression of that execrable traffic. . . . . 14. That the Republican party is opposed to any change in our naturalization laws or any state legislation by which the rights of citizens hitherto accorded to immigrants from foreign lands shall be abridged or impaired; and in favor of giving a full and efficient protection to the rights of all classes of citizens, whether native or naturalized, both at home and abroad. . . . 16. That a railroad to the Pacific Ocean is imperatively demanded by the interests of the whole country; that the federal government ought to render immediate and efficient aid in its construction; and that, as preliminary thereto, a daily overland mail should be promptly established.”

May 18– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts–Today’s issue of The Liberator carries a letter from “T.T.C.” which criticizes Elizabeth Cady Stanton for disrupting the Anti-Slavery Society meeting in New York City with her demands for the rights of women.

May 18–Friday– Chicago, Illinois–The Republican national convention closes, having nominated Abraham Lincoln of Illinois for president and Hannibal Hamlin of Maine for vice-president.


May 19–Saturday– New York City–”The Chicago Convention nominates Lincoln and Hamlin. They will be beat, unless the South perpetrate some special act of idiocy, arrogance, or brutality before next fall. . . . The Tribune and other papers commend him [Lincoln] to popular favor as having but six months’ schooling in his whole life . . . . ‘Honest Abe’ sounds less efficient than ‘Fremont and Jessie,’ and that failed four years ago.” ~ George Templeton Strong.

May 19– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– On the 26th day of April last Lieutenant Craven, of the United States steamer Mohawk , captured the slaver Wildfire on the coast of Cuba, with 507 African Negroes on board. The prize was brought into Key West on the 31st of April and the Negroes were delivered into the custody of Fernando J. Moreno, marshal of the southern district of Florida. The question which now demands immediate decision is, What disposition shall be made of these Africans? In the annual message to Congress of December 6, 1858, I expressed my opinion in regard to the construction of the act of the 3rd March, 1819, ‘in addition to the acts prohibiting the slave trade,’ so far as the same is applicable to the present case. . . . The capturing officer, in case he should bring his prize directly to the United States, ought to be required to land the Negroes in some one or more ports, to be designated by Congress, where the prevailing health throughout the year is good. At these ports cheap but permanent accommodations might be provided for the Negroes until they could be sent away, without incurring the expense of erecting such accommodations at every port where the capturing officer may think proper to enter. On the present occasion these Negroes have been brought to Key West, and, according to the estimate presented by the marshal of the southern district of Florida to the Secretary of the Interior, the cost of providing temporary quarters for them will be $2,500 and the aggregate expenses for the single month of May will amount to $12,000. But this is far from being the worst evil. Within a few weeks the yellow fever will most probably prevail at Key West, and hence the marshal urges their removal from their present quarters at an early day, which must be done, in any event, as soon as practicable. For these reasons I earnestly commend this subject to the immediate attention of Congress. I transmit herewith a copy of the letter and estimate of Fernando J. Moreno, marshal of the southern district of Florida, to the Secretary of the Interior, dated 10th May, 1860, together with a copy of the letter of the Secretary of the Interior to myself, dated 16th May. It is truly lamentable that Great Britain and the United States should be obliged to expend such a vast amount of blood and treasure for the suppression of the African slave trade, and this when the only portions of the civilized world where it is tolerated and encouraged are the Spanish islands of Cuba and Porto Rico.” ~ Message to Congress from President James Buchanan.

May 21– Monday– Springfield, Illinois–Lincoln writes to his friend Joshua R Giddings, radical abolitionist, now age 64, retired from Congress and home in Jefferson, Ohio. “It is indeed, most grateful to my feelings, that the responsible position assigned me, comes without conditions, save only such honorable ones as are fairly implied. . . . Your letter comes to my aid in this point, most opportunely. May the Almighty grant that the cause of truth, justice, and humanity, shall in no wise suffer at my hands.”

May 22– Tuesday– New York City– George McClellan, age 33, weds Mary Ellen Marcy, age 25, at Calvary Church.


McClellan & his wife Mary Ellen Marcy ~ he made her sit because she was a few inches taller than him



May 22–Tuesday– Charleston, South Carolina– “Our special dispatch announces the nomination of Levi Lincoln, of Illinois, to lead the future crusades of Northern fanaticism against the domestic institutions of the South. A great error of memory or haste has been committed, for the Savannah Republican cannot be ignorant of ‘Abe Lincoln,’ the great apostle of rail splitting, who has been selected to split the Union. ‘Abe’ is the man, not Levi.” ~ Charleston Courier


May 23–Wednesday– Off the coast of Cuba–An American warship seizes the slaver Bogota with 500 slaves on board.

May 23–Wednesday– Springfield, Illinois– Abraham Lincoln writes to George Ashmun, 56 years old and former Congressman from Massachusetts who is one of the founders of the Republican Party. “I accept the nomination tendered me by the Convention over which you presided, and of which I am formally apprized in the letter of yourself and others, acting as a committee of the convention, for the purpose. The declaration of principles and sentiments, which accompanies your letter, meets my approval; and it shall be my care not to violate, or disregard it, in any part. Imploring the assistance of Divine Providence, and with due regard to the views and feelings of all who were represented in the convention; to the rights of all the states, and territories, and people of the nation; to the inviolability of the constitution, and the perpetual union, harmony, and prosperity of all, I am most happy to co-operate for the practical success of the principles declared by the convention.”

May 25–Friday– Boston, Massachusetts–Today’s issue of Garrison’s Liberator contains a notice of a meeting soon to be held at Mercantile Hall to consider the formation of a political anti-slavery party and “to take such other political action as may be deemed advisable.”

May 26–Saturday– Rochester, New York–Frederick Douglass writes to British friends to explain why he has returned to the United States. “Even in the event of the election of a Republican President, which I still hopefully anticipate, the real work of abolitionizing the public mind will still remain, and every pen, press and voice now employed will then, as now, be needed to carry forward that great work. The Republican party is . . . only negatively anti-slavery. It is opposed to the political power of slavery, rather than to the slave power itself . . . . The triumph of the Republican party will only open the way for this great work.”

May 28– Monday– Boston, Massachusetts–The American Peace Society, with only a few members in attendance, convenes its annual meeting and calls for arbitration and peace between North and South.

May 30–Wednesday–Washington–Congressman Schuyler Colfax of Indiana writes to candidate Lincoln to inform him about discussion with another representative from Indiana. “The Chicago platform contained some things with which he did not agree: but knowing you, & having confidence in you, both from personal knowledge & from having read your discussions with Douglas, he had the highest possible confidence in you, and the most assured conviction that you could do right. That Indiana must not be carried by the Democracy; and that he expected to oppose the formation of any Bell Electoral ticket in the State, so that it might be carried for you, as, in the event, it would certainly be.”

May 31–Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– Peter Vivian Daniel, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court , age 76, dies at his home. A Democrat appointed by President Van Buren in 1841, Justice Daniel has been a defender of states’ rights, limited government, and slavery. [The Senate will reject President James Buchanan’s choice, Jeremiah Black of Pennsylvania, by one vote on February 21, 1861, and Daniel’s seat on the Court will remain empty until July 16, 1862, when President Lincoln will nominate Samuel F. Miller of Iowa.]


Justice Peter Daniel

After-effects of War ~ Immigration 1920

Immigration (U.S.):


The Great War is over. Large numbers of immigrants come from Italy and Canada. While the pattern of mostly men of working age continues we see a significant percentage increase of immigrants with job skills.

> 430,001 immigrants enter the United States:

> 22.1% come from Italy;

> 20.9% come from Canada;

> 12.2% come from Mexico;

> 11.2% come from Greece, Spain and Portugal combined;

> 8.9% come from Great Britain;

> 5.7% come from France, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland combined;

> 4.7% come from Central and South America, excluding Mexico;

> 3.1% come from Sweden, Norway and Denmark combined;

> 2.2% come from Ireland;

> 2.2% come from Japan;

> 1.3% come Austria, Hungary and neighboring states, excluding Germany, the Soviet Union and Poland;

> 1.2% come from Turkey;

> 1.1% come from Poland;

> 0.9% come from the Balkans;

> 0.5% come from China;

1.8% come from other regions and other countries.


> Sex and age:

> 42.4% are female;

> 57.6% are male;

> 71.5% are between the ages of 16 and 44;

> 19.0% are under age 16;

9.5% are age 45 and over.

immigrant ship photo-e

> Occupations by major categories:

> 40.2% have no occupation–this includes children;

> 19.4% have general labor occupations;

> 13.0% have skilled craft occupations;

> 8.7% have domestic work occupations;

> 6.4% have agricultural occupations;

> 4.3% have service occupations;

> 3.3% have clerical occupations;

> 2.5% have professional occupations;

> 2.2% have managerial occupations.

In Spite of War They Come~Immigration 1916

Immigration (U.S.):


The Great War in Europe significantly reduces immigration to the United States. Far fewer people are coming from the major warring powers– Germany, Austria, Russia, France, Great Britain– and over 100,000 coming from Canada and over 80,000 arriving from southern Europe. The pattern which has not changed is the predominance of young men with few job skills.

> 298,826 immigrants enter the United States;

> 33.9% come from Canada;

> 15.6% come from Portugal, Spain and Greece;

> 11.3% come from Italy;

> 6.2% come from Mexico;

> 5.8% come from Central and South America (excluding Mexico);

> 5.4% come from Great Britain;

> 4.9% come from Scandinavia;

> 3.1% come from Eastern and Central Europe, including Germany, Poland, Austria & Hungary;

> 2.9% come from Northwestern Europe (France, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands);

> 2.9% come from Japan;

> 2.9% come from Ireland;

> 2.6% come from the Russian Empire;

2.5% come from other countries and regions

Immigrants Arriving at Ellis Island

24 Jul 1915 — Original caption: 7/24/15-Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island on the S.S. Prince Frederick Wilhelm. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

> Sex and age:

> 38.9% are female

> 61.1% are male;

> 15.7% are under age 14;

> 73.9% are between the ages of 14 and 44;

10.4% are age 45 and older.


> Occupations by major groups include:

> 35.0% have no occupation–this includes children;

> 19.2% are general laborers;

> 12.0% are skilled craft workers;

> 11.1% are farmers and agricultural laborers;

> 9.8% are domestic workers;

> 3.7% are service workers;

> 3.3% are clerical workers;

> 3.0% are professional workers;

> 2.9% are commercial workers

Headed for New Life~Immigration 1912

Immigration (U.S.):


Better than three quarter of a million immigrants arrive in the United States, the largest numbers being men between the ages of 14 and 44, primarily from eastern or southern Europe, either unskilled or with agrarian work skills.

> 838,172 immigrants enter the United States:

> 21.3% come from the Austria-Hungary Empire;

> 19.3% come from the Russian Empire;

> 18.7% come from Italy;

> 6.9% come from Greece, Spain, Portugal combined;

> 6.8% come from Great Britain;

> 3.2% come from Sweden, Norway and Denmark combined;

> 3.0% come from Ireland;

> 2.7% come from Germany;

> 2.7% come from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland combined;

> 2.5% come from the Balkans;

> 1.5% come from China

[The numbers from Poland are included in part among Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary as each of these powers controls part of Poland.]

immigrant ship photo-c

> Sex and age:

> 36.8% are female;

> 63.2% are male;

> 77.2% are between 14 and 44 years of age;

> 13.6% are below age 14;

9.2% are age 45 and over


> occupations:

> 27.5% have no occupation– this includes children;

> 22.8% have agricultural occupations;

> 16.4% have general labor occupations;

> 13.8% have domestic work occupations:

> 12.8% have skilled craft occupations;

> 1.7% have managerial occupations;

> 1.6% have clerical occupations;

> 1.6% have service occupations;

> 1.3% have professional occupations;

> 0.5% have miscellaneous occupations.