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My Journey to America
Ruth Todd

I had long feared that our time in in Ukraine had come to an end. Alexander III had placed unjust restrictions on my people because of our Jewish faith. Segregation and being forbidden to buy property outside of our jurisdiction forced us to live in congested cities and ghettos. Russian rule over the province of Kiev , and much of eastern Ukraine, had gotten the best of us. The war with Russia, rioting and unrest that these harsh economic times have created is too much to bear. With no hope for progress I decided that it was time for us to head for America. I had gotten word from my cousin Borys who had migrated to America that we would be able to get free or low cost land to start a brand new life once we have made it. I figure once I get there and get settled I can send for my wife Kalyna and son Petro. After selling some of my property and goods I was able to purchase my ticket to board the ship and also leave some money behind for my wife and son. I embarked on my journey on October 21, 1892. I felt like I was on the ship forever. Nausea had set in within hours and before I knew it myself and half of the ships occupants had been vomiting violently. After a few days we had reached the eastern coast of America and had come to a place called Ellis Island. Myself and all the other newcomers had to sign a book with our names and nationalities. Once we made it to the mainland I found that America is not much better than Ukraine. The country is in the middle of a reform. It is hard times in the south following the Civil War. I find myself settled in Pennsylvania with many other Jews, Slavs, Poles and Slovaks. I live in a urban village much like the one that my family and I resided in back in Ukraine. Since all of the free land had been distributed and the money that I had come in to country with depleted I have had to...

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