Polish Immigrant Storyboard Part 2
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So mother and I saved up for boat tickets for me for two months and I said goodbye to friends and family, stepping on the boat that would lead me to American shores with nothing but a couple pairs of clothes and photographs of my family.
Once I was on the boat, I sat below deck in the steerage. There was only enough food for the journey, and the captain had already done a preliminary screening for everyone. A few people got sick, and because we were so close it was hard not to worry about catching an illness.
I admit, there were times when I looked out at the water and wondered if I would ever get back home, see my mother again, or if I would even make it to America alive and well. But I couldn't turn back now.
Should I even be doing this? What if I die out here? What if I don't return home?
As we neared the New York Harbor, I was amazed to see the city. It was 1892 and I had never seen a skyscraper. It was the most beautiful sight, more beautiful than my cousin had described in her letters back home. I began to get excited.
After a long wait, I finally got to register with immigration officials. They had me complete a medical exam, asked me whether I had a sponsor (to which I said yes thanks to my cousin and aunt and uncle), and a legal inspection.
I then boarded a ferry to New York City, where my cousin, aunt and uncle were waiting to pick me up. I had my journal with me, so I wrote a letter to my mother during the trip to send when I got to the city, letting her know I arrived safely.
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