The Faces of America: 24 Stunning Ellis Island Portraits

 

 

Ellis Island in the New York Harbor was the main point of entry for millions of immigrants from 1892-1954.  During its peak years of operation at the start of the 1900s, around four thousand new Americans entered each day.  Indeed, so many people came in that nearly 1/3 of all existing Americans can trace their heritage back to a single individual who entered through Ellis Island, which is really amazing when you think about it!

A man named Augustus Francis Sherman was a registry clerk, but also an amateur photographer.  While many of the arrivals were whisked through without much fanfare, some of the immigrants were temporarily held at the station while awaiting escorts or more information.  Thankfully Mr. Sherman convinced a few of them to pose for these stunning portraits.  Here are a few of our favorites...  

ellis island immigration, immigrant photos
1911
Ellis Island, New Jersey
William Williams Papers

A young girl from Alsace-Lorraine.

 

ellis island immigration, immigrant photos
1911
Ellis Island, New Jersey
William Williams Papers

A Laplander in traditional dress

ellis island immigration, immigrant photos
1911
Ellis Island, New Jersey
William Williams Papers

Scottish Boys showing pride in their nation's dress.