In the Shadow of Liberty: The Chronicle of Ellis Island

By Edward Corsi | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
VIGNETTES OUT OF THE LONG AGO

ANYONE who has ever thumbed the pages of an ancient family album can appreciate the interest with which I listened to Ellis Island stories of the days gone by.

I was a stranger to my staff upon becoming Commissioner of Immigration, but with each passing day the loyalty and devotion to duty of those who assisted me grew upon me and endeared them to me.

Out of this comradeship there naturally sprang closer relations. And out of those relations came the accounts of many little dramas, tragedies, comedies and romances, which never failed to interest me tremendously. When I had heard the story of a particular case I sent for its file at my first opportunity, to learn its details at first hand.

Often, I wondered where they had gone--those who came in the caravan. For some came and went, leaving as little trace as an autumn breeze rippling over a wheat-field, or a shadow flickering across a hill side. The accepted ones disappeared into the vortex of the melting pot, and seldom were heard of again at Ellis Island. Yet, in their brief sojourns upon the Island, there are many cases which are remembered. Here are a few vignettes from the mighty caravan, which thundered through Ellis Island before its gates were closed.

Those who remember Marie Casacello say she was beautiful. They say of her what was said of another Italian girl, that "Hers

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