"Ellis Island: Uncle Sam’s gateway for the admission of immigrants"
; ? ! j j : I . , ; . 1 ( , < ] j < J ELLIS ISLAND. UNCLE S AM'S .G ATK WAY FOB THE ADMISSION OF I3IMIGBANT3. Lively Scenes When the Living Freight of Several Ocean S paniers paniers ls Landed-A Lightning Money Changer. *7T LTHOUGH ? great inprove/\ inprove/\ ment on the nightmare arrangements arrangements that used to exist exist for the reoep.ion of immigrants immigrants who landed at Castle (larden, Ellis Island, says the New York '.Recorder, '.Recorder, is far from being a gateway that would prepossess arrivals from Europe in favor of their adopted country. The island is tied around froai dook to dook with miles of red tape. It is a fearfully tedious matter to l and in America and a 'most unnecessary amount of fuss and feathers seems to accompany the entranoe of a new arrival arrival into the land of freedom. A visit to Ellis Island, when the living living freight of two or three ocean steamers is being sifted through the various avenues leading to the boat that trasporta it to the Battery, presents presents so many phases that it is well worth braving the trip in an immigrant immigrant ferryboat from the Barga Office to see the sight. Around the big room in the centre of the principal building building on Ellis Island where tho sifting THE DETEN process goes on runs a gallery, and from this s view of the whole interior can be obtained. The first stage through whi-sh the new arrivals pass is the scrutiny of the medical of?sers and the Ellis Island Island matrons. Having proven that they are free from physical defects the immigrants aro driven into fencedin fencedin passages leading to tho registration officials. Through these fenced avenu ss the anfortunato steerage passengers, wearing every variety of eocentric and un-American head-gear, and carrying carrying as much portable baggage as they can stagger nuder, edge their way along foot by foot in the direction direction of the gate of hope through which alono they can get to liberty. The procession * slouches forward at the rate of about a foot in ten minutes, minutes, the delay being caused by the laborious attempts of the uniformed official to extract the necessary information information regarding the incomer's birth : and .parciitage, etc Fortunately the official speaks an almost infinite variety of languages or the task he has in hand would bo a well nigh hopeless one. As it is, owing owing to the nervous condition of the immigrant, it usually takes an almost interminably long time to drag out an answer to the simplest question. Everything has t( - 3 repeated several times and explained in the minutest detail and then occasionally the questioner questioner has to give it up and turn the jbtuse foreigner over to au assistant. But somehow or other the line moves on. Each man and woman IMMIGRANTS AT TH] aitches the family belongings along ns the space between them and the man in the brass buttons decreases, ii d the hope that springs eternal in inman breast buoys them up to believe believe that some time they will be able BO pass the official who so jealously guards the-entranco to the open space :>fyond. in their hands tho immigrants immigrants clutch the documents handed :o them on board ship, for all this questioning and registration at Ellis Island follows a preliminary cross-elimination cross-elimination before the steerage passengers passengers are allowed to leave the ship. The immigrants are tioketed, too-a rery necessary precaution, for there ue several steamship line^ all landing passengers in a promiscuous mass, and without that tioket it would bo a Herculean Herculean task to separate ono lot from the other. So, ticketed and registered ind served with documents and crossexamined crossexamined and pushed and jostled into alaoe in the line, the hopeful refugee from monarchy-ridden Europe travels ?lowly into the promised land. When the immigrant hos passed successfully successfully through the ordeal of answering answering the sharp cuteoliism of the official at tho top of the lane, he is landed to the mercies of tho crowd on :he outside and thenceforth becomes ?ommou property at the mercy of lotel aud boardinghouse runners, railroad railroad agents, well me wing but offi;ious offi;ious missionaries, rest luraut lepers, ?nd if he lia lucky etough to have them, relatives ?n 1 frientb-. He is ?'luckless wight during this period of his transition tocitizenhood. First of al), ho must change his money. This can be clone at the island, where a firm of money brokers has purchased the solo right to money changing. The immigrants' savings are brought from all sorts of extraordinary extraordinary hiding places, sometimes from the depths of stockings, from the* inside inside of waists, where nothing shorit of a knife or a pair of scissors can seoare its release, from shoes and belts, and even from the mouth. , To watch Money Changer Scully at work is one of the most interesting sights on the island. The rapidity with which he changes into current coin of the republio Russian roubles, Italian lire, German marks, Free ch francs, English sovereigns and Austrian Austrian florins is marvelous. Only one glance seems necessary, and the hand goes down into one of tho well-filled cash drawers. Two or three seconds later and the amount of exchange lies before the immigrant with a paper showing how much has been exchanged, and the bewildered foreigner is told to stand back to make room for the next applicant. He might as well take it for granted that the amount is correct (as, of course, it is) for, if he looked at it with that air of stunned stupidity for an hour, he would not know anything more about tho strange money than before. Occasionally one holder than the rest will make an attempt attempt to challenge the accuracy of the amount given him, upon which an attache ol the money changer's office J'lON TEN. will take the coins from the immigrant's immigrant's hand and explain the value of each as he drops it back again. It is wasted time, however, as the owner of the money is left in as bad condition of dense ignorance a*3 ever. Money will buy things on Ellis Island and the proprietors of the lunch counters, where bologna and bread appear to be the staple articles of foo:!, are at liberty now to chargo on the mob made" hungry By life "Tong wait in the lines. The scouts for these lunch counters are indefatigable indefatigable workers and certainly earn their money. The wonder is, from thc way in which the immigrants are almost dragged to the bologna counters, that some one does nob get hurt in the scrimmage. If the greenhorn gets through the experience all right and survives the bologna, let him brace up to resist the onslaught of the railroad agents, who will bear him off bodily if he does not keep a sharp look out. In this neutral ground at Ellis Island the scene on a busy day is bewildering bewildering and distracting. The officials officials do their best to keep the mixed mass of humanity in something like order, but with so many nationalities, with excited men and women rushing around looking for their baggage and for each other, children crying and relatives and friends all chorusing a welcome together in various languages, languages, it is no wonder th ifc the scene looks like a pocket edition of pandemonium. pandemonium. As fast ss possible the immigrants are hustled into the ferry boats and transported to the Battery, and gradS gradS LUNCH COUNTER. nally the island is deserted by all save the tired officials and the detained immigrants. immigrants. A sorry-looking crowd is this last. From the detention pen they watch the fortunate ones who .pass the barrier barrier with envious eyes, looking eagerly eagerly at every stranger who approaches them to see if there is not some hope coming from ?some where. In all the driven an i badgered crowd that passes to 1 he boats there is none which is not light-hearted, for the red tape ordeal is over. The prisoners in the detention detention pen have nothing to buoy them up. After coming all this way to reach this land of promise, they* get only a glimpse and are sent back to the wilderness wilderness again. One of the queerest personages on the island is the barber. It is hardly correct to oall his place a shop, for it is merely u corner of the big room where tho barber has placed a chair and hung up a mirror and a towel or two. Judging from the condition of the majority of tue immigrants, the barber is au institution sadly needed at Ellis Island, but few seem to utilize his services, advertised at the prices of twenty cents for a hair cut and ten cents for a shave. The crematory at Ellis Island is another another very necessary acces?ory. lt is not intended for the cremation of human human bodies, bnt merely to give the clothing of suspicions arrivals a thorough thorough chance to shake oil auy disagreeable disagreeable associations with inlectious disease disease or obnoxious insects. Fairly good arrangements appear to have been made for the hou3ivg ol immigrants who are compelled to sta? on thc island over night, the old pow.V* pow.V* THE BARBER'S CHAIR. der magazines having bsen converted into comfortable sleeping rooms. One of the worst sources of annoyance annoyance to the officials are the crowd of relations that flock to Ellis Island to meet incoming passengers. They are always in the most intense state of excitement excitement and it is all that the gate keepers can do to prevent them breaking breaking down the barriers in the mad rush to get inside of the enclosure. There being no police on the island it is nccc:;..rv for the officiant to take the law into their own hands and maintain order by force. It would be a decided improvement if some of the strongest and most reliable men on the island were sworn in to act as special polioemen. An old landmark of the island is gradually yielding to the infirmities of age. This is the historical tree on whioh the pirates, Hicks, Wormsley and Gibbs, were hanged when the place was known as Ellis Island. The tree was damaged during tue storms of last wintor, and has recently been broken off short by the wind. AU that is left of the tree now is about seven feet of bare trunk, and this the Eliis Island gardener is making every effort to preserve. Bicycling Without Less and One A.rm. There seems to be no limit to the bicycle fad, and the result has been no end of freaks and freaking. Now, however, the greatest of all freaks makes its appearance. It is a bicycle whose rider has no legs and only oua arm. The rider is Arthur Roadhouse, a boy resident of De Kalb, 111. He is thirteen years old, bright and as active active as his physical imperfections, whioh came from birth, will allow. Like most cripples, his mind is preTHE preTHE LEGLESS BICYCLIST. cocions. The bicycling craze left him in body more hopeless and helpless thau ever. A neighboring bicycle manufacturer agreed to make a wheel which the boy could ride, an.l he did so. His one band guides the handle bar and b.irs o' steel lead up from the pedals to the short stumps which he has known as legs. Strange to say, he experienced very little trouble inbalancing inbalancing the machine. Ho began riding about three weeks ago, and after after three or four hours' instruction and practice he made a half mile on a track in less than three minutes. Ho can now do a mile in less than five minutes, and expects to reduce the time to four minutes. He has already made a half mile in 2m. 10H. He has learned to dismount, and can handle his wheel readily and without assistance. assistance. He has to be assisted, though, when he mounts, but he expects soon to be ablo to do this alone. De Kalb eeems to have more than her share of bicycle riding cripples. A year ago one of the young women of the town had a leg taken oil by tho cars. She now rides a bicycle very creditably, it is said. High Mountain Observatory. A considerable sum of money is annually annually expended in maintaining high mountain observatories. A meteorograph meteorograph has recently been constructed for the summit of Mount Blanc, at a cost of $4000, the clockwork of which will remain in action without any attention attention for eight monthe. The highest highest of the observatories is at the top of the Misti, near Arequipa, Pera, whioh is 19,200 feet above sea level. The observatory on Mount Washington Washington is 6286 feet above sea level, the one on Pike's Peak 14,134 and the one on Mount Blauc 15,780 feet.-New York Sun. A Berniniler. Mr.?. Missing Link-"Now, dear. Til just tie this knot to remind yon to bring hom? half a do^en of those fresh coconnuts.''-New York World. A great fcuerae in business is to keep a sharp lookout uu the outlook. -Puck. j I