Ellis Island Was No More Than A Lot Of Sand Essay

764 Words 4 Pages
Before man-made efforts, Ellis Island was no more than a lot of sand in the Hudson River. The island has been used for many different things in the last few hundred years. Today, it is available to the public to tour (“Ellis Island”). These are just two facts about the island. Ellis Island, part of New York and New Jersey, is well known for its history, activities, and geography. Ellis Island has a long history reaching back hundreds of years. In 1630, a Dutch man named Michael Paauw acquired the land and named it Oyster Island because of its plentiful number of shellfish. Several decades later, the island became known as Gibbet Island, after the gibbet tree, used to hang men convicted of piracy. Around the time of the Revolutionary War, a merchant from New York named Samuel Ellis built a tavern for fishermen on Ellis Island. Then, in 1808, New York State bought the island for $10,000, and, in the beginning of the War of 1812, the U.S. War Department paid the state for the right to build military fortifications and to store ammunition. After the Civil War, Ellis Island stood vacant until an immigration station was built (“Ellis Island”).
The first Ellis Island Immigration Station officially opened on January 1, 1892. Seven hundred immigrants passed through Ellis Island that day, and nearly 450,000 followed over in the first year. Over the next five decades, more than 12 million people passed through the island on their way into the United States. Before this, the…

Related Documents