“Guadeloupean Woman.”

Image: Augustus Francis Sherman/New York Public Library

First opened in 1892, the immigration station at Ellis Island in New York harbor processed more than 12 million immigrants before being closed in 1954

At the station’s peak in 1907, more than one million immigrants passed through in a single year, with 3,000 to 5,000 entering every day, mostly from Europe and its periphery.

While most entrants to Ellis Island answered a few questions and passed through to the mainland within a few hours, some were detained on the island for longer periods.

Augustus Francis Sherman was the chief registry clerk at Ellis Island, and an avid amateur photographer. He had special access to the immigrants who were temporarily detained while waiting on escorts, money or travel tickets. Read more…

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