Photos of Immigrants arriving in the US through Ellis Island, 1906-1914

Ellis Island became a vital immigration station for entrance into the United States in the 1890s when the federal government began regulating immigration rather than allowing individual states this responsibility. Ellis Island was the most significant immigration station in the United States in the first half of the 20th century, with an estimated 12 million people processed at the station. It is believed that as many as 40% of the current population of the United States can trace at least one ancestor to Ellis Island.

Augustus Frederick Sherman was an amateur photographer and a senior staff member at Ellis Island from 1895 until 1925, reaching as far up the hierarchy as third in command. During his time working at Ellis Island, Sherman would photograph immigrants entering the United States that were detained for medical reasons or further interrogation.

Many of the subjects would wear traditional clothing from their native country at the request of Augustus F. Sherman, to highlight where each person is emigrating from. As a result, Sherman created a unique collection of photographs that highlight the diversity of cultures that were entering the United States in the early 1900s via Ellis Island.

The photos below are a small collection of portraits of people immigrating to the United States taken by Augustus F. Sherman between 1906 and 1914.

Cossack man photographed entering the United States via Ellis Island
Cossack man from the steppes of Russia, 1906-1914
An Italian woman photographed by Augustus F. Sherman during her time at Ellis Island immigration Station
Italian woman, 1906-1914
Guadeloupean woman
Guadeloupean woman, 1911
A German stowaway photographed at Ellis Island
German stowaway, 1911
A Sami woman photographed at Ellis Island
Sami woman, 1906-1914
A Romanian shepherd
Romanian shepherd, 1906
An Algerian man photographed at Ellis Island
Algerian man, 1906-1914
A Dutch woman photographed while entering the USA via Ellis Island
Dutch woman, 1906-1914
A Slovak woman and her children
Slovak woman and her children, 1906-1914
Portrait of an Albanian soldier taken at Ellis Island immigration station
Albanian soldier, 1906-1914
Three Scottish boys
Scottish boys, 1906-1914
A Norwegian woman photographed at Ellis Island
Norwegian woman, 1906-1914
A Bavarian man photographed entering the US via Ellis Island immigration station
Bavarian man, 1906-1914
Greek-Orthodox Priest, Rev. Joseph Vasilon
Rev. Joseph Vasilon, Greek-Orthodox priest, 1906-1914
A Hindu boy photographed at Ellis Island
Hindu boy, 1911
Ruthenian woman photographed at Ellis Island
Ruthenian woman, 1906

All photos courtesy of the New York Public Library and are in the Public Domain

RELATED ARTICLE: Photos of the Last Veterans of the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)


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2 Responses

  1. Strange how, they are all dressed in ways representing their nation, culture and possibly religion. Todays they’d all be in trainers/ sneakers, t shirts and jeans

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