In the Shadow of Liberty: The Chronicle of Ellis Island

By Edward Corsi | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
ROYALTY AND FAKERS IN THE CARAVAN

I

WHATEVER else our much-criticized democracy may have done to earn the tirades that have been poured out upon it from time to time, it has never violated the spirit of the Constitution by a worship of titles, crests, and family trees.

The body and backbone of our country--our farmers, our working class, our great middle class, our official group--these have never expressed either awe or envy of the titled representatives of European houses who have walked our streets and made their homes in our hotels.

The "Four Hundred" of our cities have, I am sure, paid excessive honor to some of these highborn personages; and they, who hold the power in our country because of their wealth, have recognized that blood, as well as money, gives prestige in Europe, and have paid their respects accordingly.

In the main, however, the proud possessors of these symbols of pageantry in older countries have been neglected, and many of them have felt injured, on coming here, because of our general lack of interest in their royal accoutrements. It is a quality of our inheritance, this indifference to signs and symbols.

Among the hordes of peasants and merchants, unskilled laborers and artisans, beggars and paupers, which for forty years have

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