Immigration and the Railroad

Introduction

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Immigrant Pier - Locust PointThe railroad played an important part in the immigration of hundreds of thousands of people to this country.  At one time Baltimore was home to the nation's largest immigrant pier.  The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad not only served the pier to transport the new citizens to the west, but it owned the pier as well.  The railroad would advertise in European countries special immigrant fares that would include steamship passage to America as well as train fare to one of the western states.


National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades 5-12:

Era 6: The Development of the Industrial United States (1870-1900)

STANDARD 2: Massive immigration after 1870 and how new social patterns, conflicts, and ideas of national unity developed amid growing cultural diversity. 

Standard 2A: The student understands the sources and experiences of the new immigrants. 

7-12: Distinguish between the "old" and "new" immigration in terms of its volume and the immigrants' ethnicity, religion, language, place of origin, and motives for emigrating from their homelands. [Analyze multiple causation]
5-12
: Assess the challenges, opportunities, and contributions of different immigrant groups. [Examine historical perspectives] 
5-12: Trace patterns of immigrant settlement in different regions of the country and how new immigrants helped produce a composite American culture that transcended group boundaries. [Reconstruct patterns of historical succession and duration] 

Primary Resources

  1. TITLE:  "America's Largest Immigrant Pier" 
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:
     July 1904 
    NOTES:
    The Book of the Royal Blue was a magazine published by the Passenger Department of the B&O Railroad.  The magazine was put onto all of the railroad's trains for the passengers to read while traveling.  They are considered the predecessor of today's in-flight magazines found on airplanes.  The article is about the immigrant pier that was built in Locust point.  It was the largest pier of its kind in America until 1917. 
    SOURCE:
     The Book of the Royal Blue Vol. 7 No. 10 July 1904
    REPOSITORY:
     B&O Railroad Museum Archive
  2. TITLE:   "Torch Applied to Locust Point Terminals of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad" 
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  November 1917  
    NOTES  The Book of the Royal Blue was a magazine published by the Passenger Department of the B&O Railroad.  The magazine was put onto all of the railroad's trains for the passengers to read while traveling.  They are considered the predecessor of today's in-flight magazines found on airplanes.  The article is about the immigrant pier that was built in Locust point.  In 1917 it caught fire and burned down.  It was though that the fire was caused by sympathizers or German conspirators. 
    SOURCE:
     The Book of the Royal Blue Vol. 5 No. 7 November 1917.
    REPOSITORY:
     The B&O Railroad Museum Archive
  3. TITLE:   "Emigrant Passage"
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  ca 1908 
    NOTES: A ticket that was sold to immigrants by the B&O Railroad.  Often times the tickets would be sold in conjunction with passage from Europe to the railroad's pier in Baltimore. 
    SOURCE:  The B&O Railroad
    REPOSITORY:  The B&O Railroad Museum Archive
  4. TITLE: "Land Exploring Ticket" Front Back
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1886
    DESCRIPTION:  This ticket was issued to immigrants and other people living on the eastern part of the United States so that they could go to Lincoln, Nebraska in order to scout out land and possibly make a claim to a portion of land.
    SOURCE:  The B&O Railroad
    REPOSITORY:
     The B&O Railroad Museum Archive
  5. TITLE: Photograph, Immigrant Pier, Canton or Locust Point
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: not dated
    COPYRIGHT/PERMISSIONS: Copy of original owned by the Maryland Historical Society. For reproduction and permission information, please contact imagingservices@mdhs.org
    SOURCE: Baltimore City Life Museum Collection, Photographs Collection, Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, Md.
  6. TITLE: Photograph, Immigrants aboard ship, Locust Point
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: ca. 1904 or 1910
    COPYRIGHT/PERMISSIONS: Copy of original owned by the Maryland Historical Society. For reproduction and permission information, please contact imagingservices@mdhs.org
    SOURCE: Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company (B&O) Collection, Baltimore City Life Museum Collection, Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, Md.

Additional Media Resources

Baltimore Immigration Memorial Foundation

Additional Instructional Resources

Immigration to Baltimore at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Railroads From the Discovery Channel

Immigration/Migration - Today and During the Great Depression" From the Library of Congress.

Immigration and Oral History From the Library of Congress.

The Immigrant Experience: Down the Rabit Hole. From the Library of Congress.

Immigration: Our Changing Voices From the Library of Congress.

Immigration History Firsthand From the Library of Congress.

The American Dream From the Library of Congress.

Secondary Resources

Barbour, William, ed. Illegal Immigration. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1994.  

Bikel, Theodore. We All Came to America. Video (52 minutes). Los Angeles: Republic Pictures Home Video, 1986.

Bouvier, Leon F. and Lindsey Grant. How Many Americans?: Population, Immigration, and the Environment. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1994.

Cohen, Barbara. Molly's Pilgrim illustrated by Michael J. Deraney. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1983.

Cohen, Barbara. Molly's Pilgrim. Video (24 minutes). New York: Phoenix/BFA Films & Video, 1985.

Cohen, Barbara. Make a Wish, Molly illustrated by Jan Naimo Jones. New York: Doubleday, 1994.

Fisher, Leonard Everett. Ellis Island : gateway to the New World. New York: Holiday House, 1986.

Freedman, Russell. Imigrant Kids. New York: Dutton, 1980. .

Geras, Adele. Voyage. New York: Atheneum, 1983.  

Leighton, Maxinne Rhea. An Ellis Island Christmas illustrated by Dennis Nolan. New York: Viking, 1992.

Levine, Ellen. If your name was changed at Ellis Island illustrated by Wayne Parmenter. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1993.

Mayerson, Evelyn. The Cat Who Escaped from Steerage. New York: Scribner's, 1990.  

Mills, Nicolaus, ed. Arguing Immigration: The debate over the Changing Face of America. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

Nixon, Joan Lowery. Land of hope. New York: Bantam Books, 1992.

Polacco, Patricia. The Keeping Quilt. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988.

Polacco, Patricia. The Keeping Quilt. Video (11 minutes). Clearwater, FL: Reading Adventures, Inc produced by Thursday Productions, 1993.

Sandler, Martin W. Immigrants. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

Say, Allen. Grandfather's Journey. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.

Stein, R. Conrad. Ellis Island. Chicago: Children's Press, 1992.

Tifft, Wilton S. Ellis Island. Chicago : Contemporary Books, 1990.

Associated Heritage and Preservation Organizations

The B&O Railroad Museum
901 W. Pratt St.  
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-570-2719
The Irish Shrine at Lemmon Street
920 Lemmon St.  
Baltimore, MD 21223
410-664-8154
 

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Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

This document packet was researched and developed by Richard Olson. Updated by Nancy Bramucci Sheads, December 2012.

 

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