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Immigration and Race: "The Materials of the New Race"

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  Immigrants Landing at Ellis Island from Transfer Barge (detail), from The New America: A Study in Immigration (1913) by Mary Clark Barnes.
Immigrants Landing at Ellis Island from Transfer Barge (detail), from The New America: A Study in Immigration (1913) by Mary Clark Barnes.
  This Photograph and Book
"Immigrants Landing at Ellis Island"
The New America (1913)
Catalog record

More Photographs in Books
"A Shipload from Austria" and
"They Come as Steerage Passengers" in Frank J. Warne,
The Immigrant Invasion, 1913

"Boston Immigrant Landing Station" in Peter Roberts,
The New Immigration, 1912

This Text (lower 2 images)
The Future in America (1906)
Catalog record

More Texts
"New York is a city in America but is hardly an American city." Howard B. Grose, Aliens or Americans?, 1906
 
  Excerpt from The Future in America, 1906, by H.G. Wells.

Excerpt from The Future in America, 1906, by H.G. Wells.
Excerpts from The Future in America (1906) by H.G. Wells.
  Graphs and Tables
"Immigration into the United States from Austria-Hungary, 1861-1912" and
"They Come as Steerage Passengers" in
William P. Shriver, Immigrant Forces: Factors in the New Democracy, 1913
 

The early 20th century was marked by the "new immigration" to the United States. Great waves of people arrived from southern and eastern Europe, though relatively few Americans had come from those regions before.


  Principal Races of Austria-Hungary, detail, from Immigrant Forces: Factors in the New Democracy (1913) by William P. Shriver.
"Principal Races of Austria-Hungary" (detail), from Immigrant Forces: Factors in the New Democracy, 1913.
  This Map and Book
"Principal Races of Austria-Hungary," in W.P. Shriver,
Immigrant Forces: Factors in the New Democracy
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More Maps in Books
"Races of Immigrants Fiscal Year 1905," in Howard B. Grose, Aliens or Americans?, 1906
Catalog record

"Peoples of Europe," in Robert Park, Old World Traits Transplanted, 1921

Texts
"Dr. Lewis's Family School for Young Ladies" in Catalogue of Dr. Dio Lewis's Family School for Young Ladies, 1866

"New Peoples and New Problems" Howard B. Grose, Aliens or Americans?, 1906

Bibliography: "Races in America" in George William Tupper, Foreign-Born Neighbors, 1914
 

These sources (above and below) reflect, among other things, the determination of many "native" Americans (those whose parents and grandparents had been born in the United States) to sort and label the crowds of new immigrants. Categories that may seem strange or inconsistent to us now served their shifting efforts to describe these people's different appearances, languages, customs, and beliefs. For more, click the links in the right-hand column above and below.


  Four Nationalities, from Aliens or Americans? (1906) by Howard B. Grose.
"Four Nationalities," from Aliens or Americans? (1906) by Howard B. Grose.
 
This Photograph and Book
"Four Nationalities" in Howard B. Grose,
Aliens or Americans?, 1906
Catalog record

More Photographs in Books
"Types in the New Immigration," in Peter Roberts,
The New Immigration

"Italian and Swiss Girls" | "Portuguese and Spanish Children" | "3 Types of Immigrants" | "A Group of Twelve Different Nationalities" in Aliens or Americans?, 1906

"Greek Bride and Bridegroom" | "Chinese Children's Choir," in The New America, 1913

"Italian Girls," in
The Immigrant: An Asset and a Liability, 1913

More Photographs
"Festival of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Illustrating the influx of Italians"

All Social Museum Collection photographs
 

 

  From The Broken Wall: Stories of the Mingling Folk (1911) by Edward Alfred Steiner.
From The Broken Wall: Stories of the Mingling Folk (1911) by Edward Alfred Steiner.
  Texts
The Broken Wall: Stories of the Mingling Folk, 1911
Catalog record

More Texts
"Persecution of Foreigners" | "All Men Equal?" | "Disasters fall on Foreigners" | "Mixing the Nationalities," in
The New Immigration, 1912

"The Immigrant Woman and Organization," in
The Trade Union Woman, 1915

 

These materials (above and below) describe the restriction and persecution of immigrants, the gradual assimilation of immigrant groups, and other cultural processes that helped to determine their positions and status in American society. More related images and texts are accessible through the links in the right-hand column above and below.


  Handwoven table scarf; Italian cut work scarf, Social Museum Collection
Handwoven table scarf; Italian cut work scarf, Social Museum Collection.
  These Photographs
"Italian cut work scarf"
Catalog record

"American Citizens of To-morrow"
Catalog record

More Photographs
"Lace Makers"
"Jewish children doing raffia work"
All Social Museum Collection photographs
 
 
American Citizens of To-morrow, Bohemian-Polish Quarter, 1903.
"American Citizens of To-morrow," Bohemian-Polish Quarter, 1903.
  Texts
"The Materials of the New Race," in
Woman and the New Race, 1920

"Greenwich House," in
Handbook of Settlements, 1911

The Handicraft School at Greenwich House, [190-?]

"Good Reasons for Home Owning: Trying it on the Immigrants," in
Woman's Home Companion, 1909

"General Results of the Investigation," in
Changes in Bodily Form of Descendants of Immigrants, 1911
 

While restriction and persecution of southern and eastern European immigrants eventually lessened, people of African, Asian, and Native American descent continued to suffer these and other indignities. For more, click the links in the right-hand column below.


  The Tragedy of Color, from The Future in America: A Search After Realities (1906) by H. G. Wells.
"The Tragedy of Color," from The Future in America: A Search After Realities, (1906) by H. G. Wells.
  This Text
"The Tragedy of Color," from The Future in America
Catalog record

More Texts
"Intermarriage," in Japanese in America, 1921

"The Employer's Attitude Toward the Negro and Immigrant Worker," in Nationality, Color, and Economic Opportunity in the City of Buffalo, 1927

"A third source of supply is...the negro," in Immigration as a Source of Supply for Domestic Workers, 1906

"God's Crucible," in Immigrant Forces, 1913
 

 

Selected Bibliography for Immigration and Race: "The Materials of the New Race"

Brown, Linda Joyce. The Literature of Immigration and Racial Formation: Becoming White, Becoming Other, Becoming American in the Late Progressive Era. New York: Routledge, 2004.

Chapter 1, "Introduction: Race, Whiteness, and Women Immigrants," provides a concise review of recent literature on whiteness; it also addresses some key early twentieth-century sources, including Changes in Bodily Form of the Descendants of Immigrants

Jacobson, Matthew. Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998.

See especially chapter 2, "Anglo-Saxons and Others, 1840-1924," and chapter 3, "Becoming Caucasian, 1924-1965."

Roediger, David R. Working Toward Whiteness: How America's Immigrants Became White: The Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the Suburbs. New York: Basic Books, 2005.

See especially chapter 1, "New Immigrants, Race, and 'Ethnicity' in the Long Early Twentieth Century," and chapter 3, "'The Burden of Proof Rests with Him': New Immigrants and the Structures of Racial Inbetweenness."

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