Czechoslovakia who migrated in 1900 to America from my home country with my husband and two young children. We are one of the few families that were lucky enough to come to America together. Once we arrived in America we made our way to Cleveland, Ohio where my distant cousins whose family migrated thirty years ago greeted us. When I left what is now Czechoslovakia it was part of the Status-Hungarian monarchy otherwise known as the Hapsburg Empire (Millionaire, 2013).
In our country there is very little economic opportunity because of the shortage of land. My husband and I come from farming families and with the shortage of land our family Is suffering (America Immigration: Czech/Bohemia Immigrants, 2004). America Is a place where my family can make a new start. Like the other subjects of the Status-Hungarian monarchy we had to obtain permission in order to leave our country. We had to prove to the government that we had the money for our family of four obtain tickets on the boat and show that we all had our emigration passports (America Immigration: Czech/Bohemia Immigrants, 2004).
Once we did this we had to wait three days to receive our emigration permission papers which would allow us to board the ship destined for America. Because we did not have much money we were only able to obtain tickets in the steerage part of the ship. This part of the ship was cramped with so many other Czech families embarking on the same Journey as us. For sleeping arrangements they have divided the passengers Into three groups, women with no male escort, men traveling alone and families.
Each group Is placed Into one of three berths where we are provided a Tara filled mattress on an iron bed frame with nothing more than a life preserver for a pillow (The Steerage Experience, 2012). The food we are offered is ill prepared meat, bread and potatoes. As there is no formal dining area we must find a bench or open space to eat (The Steerage Experience, 2012). The smell in steerage was very foul due to the fact that many passengers got seasick and the mess they made was not attended to.
The only water we had to drink was seawater (The Immigrant Journey, 2012). Even with the miserable conditions we were subject to most of assigners would pass the time singing, dancing and playing cards (The Immigrant Journey, 2012). We were all excited to get to America. After our two week ocean journey we affably arrived at Ellis Island on May 24, 1900. As we came into New York Harbor we passed by Lady Liberty. I could?wet help the tears that streamed down my face. My husband embraced me and we happily cried together.
Our children could not understand why Etc (father) and Mat (mother) were crying. I was extremely exalted out also very nervous auto want we were auto to go tongue to get through the Ellis Island Inspection Station. Before we disembarked we were given a nutmeat with a number on it. I would later understand that this number was the ship?was manifest number that referred to each steerage passenger (The Immigrant Journey, 2012). We were divided into a group of about thirty that was assigned an interpreter and walked to the Registry Room.
As we passed through the doors we were watched by a man who looked to be a doctor. I would also come to understand later that this man was watching for lameness or shuffling in passengers (The Immigrant Journey, 2012). As we came into the Registry Room our faces, necks, air and hands were inspected by a doctor. Some of the people from our group were marked on their coats with a white X and were taken somewhere else within the facility. I understood later that these people needed further medical inspection (The Immigrant Journey, 2012).
Next we moved on to a doctor who inspected our eyes. Once again some of the immigrants were marked on their coats to be further inspected. Fortunately my family is found to be medically sound and we are ready to face the questions from the final inspector. We were offered a translator and asked a series of 31 questions. Once he deems that we have provided sufficient answers he offers us a nod gives us landing cards to be pinned to our coats (The Immigrant Journey, 2012). Next we headed to the exchange office and changed our Koran to American dollars.
Once we exchanged our money we purchased railway tickets to take us to Cleveland where my family would meet us. After a few days on the train we arrived in Cleveland, Ohio. My distant cousins whom I have never met welcomed us with open arms. I have not felt so much Joy in such a long time. My cousins took us home to their little house with a garden. There is land next to theirs where in time we will build our own little house with a garden. This neighborhood full of fellow Czech is on the west bank of the Quahogs River (Czech, 2010).
Cleveland has so many Czech I feel as though I have never left home. I feel as though I am living in my old village. We are able to attend Catholic church services here in our native language as there are so many Catholic Czech here (Czech, 2010). Most of the Czech in Cleveland are tailors, shoemakers, masons, blacksmiths and carpenters (Czech, 2010). My cousins are in the carpentry business and my husband had some experience in that area so he took on a Job at their place of employment. I am a very good seamstress so I was able to take on a Job in a dress shop.
I only worked that the hours the dress shop was open depending the day. My husband worked from sun- up until sun-down. It was hard work for him but eventually we were able to save enough to build our own home. My children went to school every day and learned quickly to speak English. They helped my husband and I learn the language as well. With the savings my husband and I were able to put away my husband was able to rate his own carpentry business. My son now works with him and will eventually run it one day.