|3230 Ellis Island Portraits |
by Augustus Frederick Sherman
- Dutch Siblings from the Island of Marken
The first big wave of immigrants arrived in America between 1847 and 1860. A larger wave of immigrants from a larger range of countries sailed to America between the late 1800s and 1920. Most of them passed through the immigration station at Ellis Island in New York Harbor, which processed more than 12 million immigrants between 1892 and 1954. In other words, more than 100 million of today's Americans - a third of the population - can trace their ancestry back to an individual who immigrated through Ellis Island.
Between 1905 and 1914, an average of one million immigrants per year arrived in the United States. Immigration officials reviewed about 5,000 immigrants per day during peak times at Ellis Island. Two-thirds of those individuals emigrated from eastern, southern and central Europe. The peak year for immigration at Ellis Island was 1907, with 1,004,756 immigrants processed. The all-time daily high occurred on April 17, 1907, when 11,747 immigrants arrived.
Generally, those immigrants who were approved spent from two to five hours at Ellis Island. Arrivals were asked 29 questions including name, occupation, and the amount of money carried. It was important that the new arrivals have money to get started. The average the government wanted the immigrants to have was between 18 and 25 dollars ($600 in 2015). About 2% were sent back to their countries of origin for reasons such as having a chronic contagious disease, criminal background, or insanity.
The photographer whose eye captured the immigrants in their raw "just off the boat" state was Augustus Frederick Sherman. An accomplished photographer, he was chief clerk with the Immigration Division at Ellis Island between 1906 and 1921. He had access to the 20% of immigrants who were temporarily detained for health, paperwork, or political background. Sherman clicked the shutter when he saw a tilt of the head, a hesitant or proud gaze, a certain bearing of the body, which revealed the person inside the elaborate national costume or unusual clothing.
About the stamps
The first stamp, Forest Conservation, designed by Rudolph Wendelinon, was issued on October 27, 1958. The stamp features the major aspects of forest conservation, including new growth of young trees and harvesting of mature timber under scientific forest management; home and shelter for wildlife and birds; and protected watersheds.
The second stamp is part of the series American Artists, issued between February 10 and May 27, 1975. With these stamps, United States Postal Service honored three individuals from different artistic genres. All have the same face values (0.10 USD).
• Painter Benjamin West (1738-1820) - It's on the postcard 3230
• Writer Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)
• Movie maker David Wark Griffith (1875-1948)
The third stamp is one of the two 10-cent Christmas stamps issued on October 14, 1975.
• Madonna and Child by Domenico Ghirlandaio (designed by Bradbury Thompson) - It's on the postcard 3230
• A Christmas card created by Louis Prang in 1878 (designed by Stevan Dohanos)
In 1957, during the height of the Cold War, the Post Office Department issued a single, oversized 8-cent stamp commemorating Ramon Magsaysay (1907-1957). This stamp became the forerunner of a series of nine sets of two stamps each (two denominations, one at the domestic letter rate and the other at the international rate for first-class surface mail), issued from 1958 through 1961, known as the Champion of Liberty. All the stamps, intended as dramatic counterpoints to the Soviet Union's totalitarianism, honored men who fought for freedom in their homelands.
Ramon Magsaysay (1907-1957)
1957.08.31 Ramon Magsaysay (1907-1957) (0.08 USD)
1958.07.24 Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) (0.04 USD)
1958.07.24 Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) (0.08 USD)
1958.09.19 Lajos Kossuth (1802-1894) (0.04 USD) - It's on the postcard 3230
1958.09.19 Lajos Kossuth (1802-1894) (0.08 USD)
1959.02.25 Jose de San Martin (1778-1850) (0.04 USD)
1959.02.25 Jose de San Martin (1778-1850) (0.08 USD)
1959.09.29 Ernst Reuter (1889-1953) (0.04 USD)
1959.09.29 Ernst Reuter (1889-1953) (0.08 USD)
1960.03.07 Thomas G. Masaryk (1850-1937) (0.04 USD)
1960.03.07 Thomas G. Masaryk (1850-1937) (0.08 USD)
1960.10.08 Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) (0.04 USD)
1960.10.08 Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) (0.08 USD)
1960.10.26 Gustaf Mannerheim (1867-1951) (0.04 USD)
1960.10.26 Gustaf Mannerheim (1867-1951) (0.08 USD)
1960.11.02 Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) (0.04 USD)
1960.11.02 Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) (0.08 USD)
1961.01.26 Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) (0.04 USD)
1961.01.26 Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) (0.084 USD)
The fifth stamp is part of the series of forever stamps Protect Pollinators, issued on August 3, 2017. The series pays tribute to the beauty and importance of pollinators with stamps depicting two of America’s most iconic: the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and the western honeybee (Apis mellifera), each shown industriously pollinating a variety of plants native to North America.
• A monarch and a coneflower (photo by Karen Mayford)
• A western honeybee and a golden ragwort (photo by George D. Lepp)
• A monarch and a zinnia (photo by Bonnie Sue Rauch) - It's on the postcard 3230
• A western honeybee and a New England aster (photo by Michael Durham)
• A monarch and goldenrod (photo by Justin Fowler)
The sixth stamp is part of the series American Architecture, designed by Walter D. Richards, and issued on October 9, 1980. Designed by four of the most outstanding architects in American history, these buildings have stood the test of time in terms of beauty and sound structure. When constructed, they extended the limits of American architecture and inspired originality and ingenuity throughout the field of architecture. Henry Richardson, James Renwick, Alexander J. Davis, and Frank Furness, the respective architects, boldly designed these buildings, which represent patriotism, creativity, and fearlessness while inspiring a deep sense of nationalism in any American who visits them. All four stamps are the same face value, 15 cents.
• Trinity Church (Boston, Massachusetts)
• Smithsonian (Washington, DC) - It's on the postcard 3230
• Lyndhurst (Tarrytown, New York)
• Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
The seventh stamp is part of the series Wildlife Booklet, issued on May 14, 1981. All the 10 stamps are the same face value, 18 cents.
• Bighorn sheep / Ovis canadensis
• Cougar / Puma concolor
• California sea lion / Zalophus californianus
• American bison / Bison bison
• Brown bear / Ursus arctos
• Polar bear / Ursus maritimus
• Elk / Cervus elaphus canadensis
• Moose / Alces alces americana
• White-tailed deer / Odocoileus virginianus - It's on the postcard 3230
• Pronghorn / Antilocapra americana
The last stamp is part of the series Christmas Carols, about which I wrote here.
Ellis Island - Wikipedia
Ellis Island Portraits 1905-1920 by Augustus Frederick Sherman - Pt at large
1906-1912, Ellis Island portraits, by Alex Q. Arbuckle - Mashable
Portraits of Ellis Island Immigrants - The Public Domain Review
Sent from Western Nassau (New York / United States), on 10.12.2017
Photo: Augustus Frederick Sherman / 1910