By Vincent J. Cannato
for many of recent York's early historical past, Ellis Island have been an vague little island that hardly held itself above excessive tide. at the present time the small island stands along Plymouth Rock in our nation's founding mythology because the position the place lots of our ancestors first touched American soil.
American Passage captures a time and a spot remarkable in American immigration and heritage, and articulates the dramatic and bittersweet debts of the immigrants, officers, interpreters, and social reformers who all performed a huge function in Ellis Island's chronicle. during this sweeping, usually heart-wrenching epic, Vincent J. Cannato unearths that the heritage of Ellis Island is eventually the tale of what it skill to be an American.
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Extra info for American Passage: The History of Ellis Island
O my master and father, I was then delivered into the hands of a multitude of tormentors who were without pity and who had each a different form. Oh, what a number of wild beasts did I see in the way! Oh, what a number of powers were there that inflicted punishment upon me! And it came to pass that when I had been cast into the outer darkness, I saw a great ditch which was more than two hundred cubits deep, and it was filled with reptiles; each reptile had seven heads, and the body of each was like unto that of a scorpion.
The sycamore tree was sacred to her, and the deceased prays to be fed by her with celestial food from out of it (5) The goddess MEH-URT, who represented that portion of the sky in which the sun takes his daily course; here it was, according to the view held at one period at least, that the judgment of the deceased was supposed to take place. (6) NEITH, the mother of SEBEK, who was also a goddess of the eastern portion of the sky. (7) SEKHET and BAST, who are represented with the heads of a lion and a cat, and who were symbols of the destroying, scorching power of the sun, and of the gentle heat thereof, respectively.
And he not only succeeded to the "rank and dignity" of his father Osiris, but in his aspect of "avenger of his father," he gradually acquired the peculiar position of intermediary and intercessor on behalf of the children of men. Thus in the Judgment Scene he leads the deceased into the presence of Osiris and makes an appeal to his father that the deceased may be allowed to enjoy the benefits enjoyed by all those who are "true of voice" and justified in the judgment. Such an appeal, addressed to Osiris in the presence of Isis, from the son born under such remarkable circumstances was, the Egyptian thought, certain of acceptance; and the offspring of a father, after the death of whose body he was begotten, was naturally the best advocate for the deceased.