Journal of Charlotte
August 5, 1890
Today I boarded the ship to take me to America. Leaving behind mother and father was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. My faith was shaken at the death that surrounds my beloved Poland. After brothers death there was little choice for mother and father but to ensure my safety. Russia’s forces take Poland and tare her soil from her back and spread the blood of her people across the land. The place I sleep I do not really sleep. The hold is full of others like me who sold all they own to start over in a new world.
August 6, 1890
Today I finally got to go up on deck they let a few of the younger females up when we are passing ...view middle of the document...
Our misery is only tempered by the fact that the trip is by steam and in a few days I will set foot on American soil.
August 11, 1890
The heat below deck is almost suffocating. Breathing is almost impossible without choking on the filthy air. The crying of the sick children is almost unbearable. I miss mother and father. I miss my brother. The war that threatens to overtake Poland, took my brother as well. Without his contributions to the family mother and father lost my great grandfathers business. I have a chance in America to be free from the poverty and starvation that would surly happen if I stayed, perhaps worse. I knew I would miss Poland and mother and father I did not realize this would be so hard.
August 16, 1890
Today they brought as many as they could above deck. The air is nice. I believe they are making an attempt to look as if we were not treated so horrible. I am certain not every voyage is this harsh? These people like me sold all they owned just to get passage upon this vessel in this hold, and in these conditions. Soon my new life will begin; soon my mother and father will know I am fine.
August 17, 1890
Ellis Island is what they called it, we set upon the first land in America, waiting until the first class and second class passengers off loaded. We were then sent for processing. Welcome to America, I was examined by a gruffly doctor who had little manners and treated my person as if I was a possible parasite. The people who asked so many questions about so many things in my life were not any kinder. America has not been very welcoming thus far. Perhaps this is due to the over whelming amount of people who arrive here? Perhaps it is this head ache and cough that I just cannot seem to shake. New York City is where my home will be but a bright new world awaits my hopeful heart.
August 21, 1890
I have finally found a post. Scullery maid to a household full of children and I hope to find happiness with this family. For nine dollars a month plus board I do the things that the ladies of the house do not. The job is not exciting or extraordinary but it is only temporary. At least the work keeps me busy.
September 6, 1890
Things have been stressful to say the least. I am asked to do more and more daily yet I still make the same pay. I have barely had time to eat or sleep. If I do not work the long hours I not only will not have the nine dollars a month but also nowhere to live. I tried to take laundry in on the hours I had free. That worked for a few days but then Margaret said if I could do others laundry I had time to help her. Before long I was doing my job and most of hers. I am exhausted. A few hours of sleep would be nice, but I have to go back to...