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Bidding Information
Lot #    16647
Auction End Date    12/5/2006 12:56:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Despatch from H.M. Ambassador at Washington
Title (Hebrew)    Reporting on Conditions at Ellis Island
Author    [Community - American Judaica] A. C. Geddes
City    London
Publisher    His Majesty’s Stationery Office
Publication Date    1923
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. 12 pp., 245:155 mm., light age staining. A very good copy bound as issued.
   Title: Despatch from H.M. Ambassador at Washington Reporting on Conditions at Ellis Island Immigration Station. Presented to Parliament by Command of His Majesty.

At the invitation of the American Secretary of Labor, the British Ambassador was given a tour of the facilities at Ellis Island by Robert E. Tod, Commissioner of Immigration, Port of New York. Ambassador Geddes reports on the deporable conditions he witnessed, and goes on to make practical recommendations towards the future, including the construction of separate stations for Jews and non-Jews: “After considering the matter with some care, I have come to think that it might be feasible to divide the stream into its Jewish and non-Jewish parts. Persons of the Jewish faith require special food and utensils, and their being mixed with Christians on the island undoubtedly creates considerable administrative difficulty” (p.9). Ambassador Geddes goes on to suggest that the United States Government “build a relief station and supply at it...food prepared in accordance with the Jewish ritual and send all immigrant Jews to that station and all non-Jews to the other” (ibid.) Earlier, Geddes observes how distatsteful it was for “a cleanlooking Irish lad” to be thrown in with “a very unpleasant-looking individual...from some Eastern European district” (p.7).

The following year, the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act of 1924, imposing severe quotas limiting immigration to this country, effectively closed the doors of the United States to Jewish immigrants. The clear aim of this legislation was to restrict the entry of immigrants from Eastern Europe, while welcoming large numbers of newcomers from Britain and Ireland.

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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
America-South America:    Checked
England:    Checked
History:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    English
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica