Coffin Ships…

The majority of immigrants were males between the ages of 24 and 45. Many expected to stay in the United States only long enough to earn money to improve their family situation. Most faced discrimination, were spat upon and were perceived as stealing jobs from Americans.

Coffin ships carrying the emigrants, crowded and disease-ridden, with poor access to food and water, resulted in the deaths of 30% to 50% of people onboard as they crossed the Atlantic, and led to a typhus epidemic at quarantine stations over multiple years. Owners of coffin ships provided as little food, water, and living space as was legally possible – if they obeyed the law at all.

While coffin ships were the cheapest way to cross the Atlantic. It was said that sharks could be seen following the ships, because so many bodies were thrown overboard.

Most immigrants were unwanted and the rural population and urban poor or underclass fought their arrival and were harsh on pro immigration politicians.

Sound familiar?

More than 13.5 million immigrants gained entry to the US in 1910 which represented almost 15% of the existing population.

If immigrants came to the US at that rate today we would take in 50 Million a year.

The fact is the US takes in via legal and illegal means approximately 2 million people a year which is less than 14% of the total that entered in 1910.

Immigration facts via US Department of Homeland Security Data & Statistics Mapping Project.

Chris Edwards Napa 2-25-19


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