Immigration is an immense issue in America and always has been since its development. America is known as a melting pot, not for the number of immigrants that we have, but as all the great cultures and traditions the immigrants brought with them to share. Immigrants do not need to forget their language, celebrations, or customs to be labeled an American. The immigrants would soon realize the deprivation and rejection as newcomers as tried to get accustomed to the American culture. For many immigrants, the struggle to come into America was unpleasant but it was challenged by the struggle to gain acceptance among the American population. The first immigrants brought to America were from Western Europe. Leaving hardships to make an opportunity to make a better way of living and to gain freedom and for themselves and their families. Traveling by steamships and voyages that lasted from seven days to months. Many immigrants lived off of scraps of food, soup, or bread. You were lucky if you were even given food to survive. To get their minds off of how horrible and unpleasant the trip was, many immigrants went on deck for fresh air.Order now
In, Elizabeth Sprigs “What We Unfortunate English People Suffer Here” Elizabeth is an English servant who writes a letter to her beloved father in England. Elizabeth Sprigs was forced to work as a servant in a Maryland household to finance her passage from England in exchange for a number of years. In Elizabeth’s letter to her father, Elizabeth pleads with her father to take pity on her because her life is horrible. Elizabeth describes her living conditions as awful as she is forced to sleep on the ground with only a blanket “…what rest we can get is to rap ourselves up in a Blanket and ly upon the Ground”. Elizabeth also mentions “What we unfortunate English People suffer here is beyond the probability of you in England to Conceive,”. Which means that Elizabeth’s’ father could not imagine what she was suffering. Elizabeth regrets leaving England and wants to return home.
Elizabeth begs her father for clothing, shoes and stockings for which she didn’t have many. Elizabeth worked in a horse’s drudgery, working in that nature without the proper attire would have been very hazardous and without shoes or stockings to protect her feet from manure, Elizabeth could have been easily opened to an infection from a cut or scrape. This letter to her father is all that remains on record for Elizabeth Sprigs before she died, it was the last piece of writing she wrote. The life of an enslaved servant especially a woman was often hard and cruel, very few survived. Harsh living conditions often lead to malnourishment, especially in the cold winters and epidemic diseases spread throughout the colonies. Many didn’t stand a chance at living in these conditions.
In, Gottlieb Mittelberger’s “Journey to Pennsylvania in the Year 1750 and Return to Germany in the Year 1754” Gottlieb Mittelberger was a German immigrant who boarded a ship to Pennsylvania to find a new home. Gottlieb signed off an indentured servant for the cost of his passage. Gottlieb would have to settle his debt by working for several years for the master who bought his services. The voyage across the Atlantic was horrible. Most passengers suffered from illness and hunger. “ The people are packed densely”, “ like herrings so to say, in the large sea vessels. One person receives a place of scarcely 2 feet width and 6 feet length… There is on board these ships terrible misery, stench, fumes, horror, vomiting, many kinds of seasickness, fever…” The voyage lasted 7 weeks with a lack of food, water, and diseases. Gottlieb made a choice to be a servant during his voyage because he had no other choice.
In Mary Jemison’s “ A Narrative of the Life of Mary Jemison 1750” talks about how her life began and changed in an instant. Mary Jemison and her family were from Scotland and they were Irish, the also owned a farm before they were slaughtered. She was then captured at a young age by the Seneca tribe, and forced to live with them. She had many afflictions while under their captivity but she grew within the tribe. Throughout Mary Jemison narrative she illustrates how the Seneca Indians treated her, taught her how to live and how they cared for her. The Seneca Indians are known to be bold and brutal but Mary Jemison tried to prove to people that the Seneca tribe were nother but caring and nurturing. Mary Jemison could change her situation and build a life from being kidnapped and adopted into the Seneca culture.
All three sources that I talked about all have something in common. They are so immigrant stories. Early immigration to America was harsh and brutal. Many passengers died from diseases, lack of food/water or natural causes. People migrant to have a better life for themselves and their families. Immigration has always been a big issue in the past and it still is today. Two hundred years of immigration also shows how today’s population, cultures, ethnicities, traditions came to be. 7 million people flowing in from other countries over the past 200 years, it shows the making of the US as we know it today.