Tuesday, May 23, 1 p.m. Eastern
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is unique among American ports of entry because records survive to document nearly every activity of immigration authorities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Also, Philadelphia is different from Ellis Island at New York because the Philadelphia immigration station was not entirely self-contained. Philadelphia immigration officials depended on local steamship lines, railroad companies and a variety of government contractors to handle everyday business. Due to its complex relationship with the surrounding community, a study of Philadelphia’s immigration business can help us understand immigrant processing of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Using detailed records surviving at the National Archives in Philadelphia and in Washington, D.C., Marian Smith will discuss immigrant processing operations in Philadelphia between approximately 1882 and 1909. She will also introduce us to the persons and personalities involved, such as Mrs. Alice Kaney.