Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 82.djvu/11

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7
GOING THROUGH ELLIS ISLAND

finished, and she has gone on with them happily to the new home in America.

America is the land of the alien, and even now his mark is plain on all our institutions. But while the principal increase in population has been by immigration, the character of that immigration has changed markedly in the past thirty years. Previous to 1883, western and northern Europe sent a stalwart stock, 95 per cent, of all who came. They sought new homes and were settlers. Scandinavians, Danes, Dutch, Germans, French, Swiss and the English islanders, they were the best of Europe's blood. They were industrious, patriotic and farsighted. They were productive and constructive workers. Where nothing had been, they planted, and mined, and built, and toiled with their hands, while yet finding time to educate their children and train them to love the new mother-country and appreciate the blessings she furnished.

But for three decades the immigrant tide has flowed more and more from eastern and southern Europe. The others still come, but they are far outnumbered by the Jews, Slavs, the Balkan and Austrian

 

PSM V82 D011 A polish mother holding up her baby for the doctor at ellis island.png

A Polish Mother holding her Baby up to see the Doctor.

 

races, and those from the Mediterranean countries. In contrast with the earlier immigration, these peoples are less inclined to transplant their homes and affections. They come to make what they can in a few years of arduous unremitting labor, and then return to their homes to spend it in comparative comfort and ease. It has been well