“Our ancestors…possessed a right, which nature has given to all men, of departing of the country which chance, not choice, has placed them. – Thomas Jefferson.
Ellis Island – On this day in 1903, immigrant Capitano Angelo Ferraro arrived at Ellis Island from Naples on the S.S. Lombardia. He was detained for special inquiry for reasons still unknown. He would have had to attend a hearing to see if he could stay. My great great grandfather was 61.
On his ship manifest he said he was a barber. That was crossed out and marked “merchant.” They also crossed out the amount of money he said he had with him. $60 for “$680.00”. I think that amount today is close to $18,000.00. I assume it was his life savings but that he left money behind in Naples for Filomena and their daughters. He stated he could read and write. That would have been essential since he was an officer in the Italian Army.
As of this date, I am still waiting for a response to a June 5, 2016 request to obtain a Board of Special Inquiry Hearing file that was filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services . Our case request status as of November 23, 2016 is listed as “active.”
Angelo was going to meet his son Antonio who lived at 156 Navy Street, Brooklyn. He would have to move the next spring when his wife and children arrived. They must have let him stay because when his wife and children arrived, he met them at the immigration center (although he was late and they were also detained). In 1911 he returned to Napoli with his wife and daughter to visit someone who lived at 22 Via Montesanto, Montecalvario and did not encounter any issues re-entering the country.
We can’t forget where we came from. Happy Thanksgiving! -A