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Struggling with poverty, a German farmer, Earnest decides to go to America for the economic opportunity. He saves up enough money for him, his wife, and their three children's passage to America.
During their six week journey across the Atlantic, there were lots of people and very little space. Earnest's family was constantly hungry and sick. Conditions were very poor.
At Ellis Island, Earnest was separated from his family while going through physical examinations that determined if the immigrant was allowed into the country. Luckily everyone in the family passed.
Until Earnest's family has enough money to get their own house, they move in with his brother-in-law who lives in New York City as a successful grocer. They live in tight quarters.
Earnest gets hired by his brother-in-law but faces difficulties because he barely speaks any English.
Finally Earnest saves up enough money to move to Wisconsin and buy a plot of land to start a farm. They settled in a mostly German populated area but they still, eventually, learned English.
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