by Elizabeth Marsh
Annie Moore has gone down in history as the first immigrant to be processed through Ellis Island. Ellis Island was an immigration station off the coast of New York City from 1892 to 1954. It symbolized hope to those that were accepted into the United States and grief for those that were turned away and separated from family. Annie Moore was only a young girl of seventeen when she emigrated from County Cork, Ireland with her two younger brothers on the SS Nevada. The journey took twelve days, and Annie arrived at Ellis Island on New Year’s Day. Because she was the first immigrant to be processed, she was given a ten dollar gold piece in celebration. This was an incredibly large sum in 1892, and would be worth over two hundred dollars today! Moore’s parents had arrived to the United States a few years earlier in 1888, and settled in Manhattan; Annie and her brothers were reunited with them after leaving Ellis Island. In 1895, she married Joseph Augustus Schayer, a German-American in the fishing industry. The pair spent their entire lives in New York and had at least eleven children, though only about half made it to adulthood. Annie passed away at the age of fifty due to heart failure on December 6th, 1924. She is buried in Cavalry Cemetery in Queens. A statue of Annie Moore stands in Ellis Island and Cobh, Ireland to commemorate her. Interestingly, for years, many believed that Annie Moore moved out to Texas after leaving Ellis Island. There she supposedly “married a descendant of the Irish liberator Daniel O’Connell and then died accidentally under the wheels of a streetcar at the age of 46.” However, this story was proven untrue; it was in fact another Annie Moore that moved to Texas. Works Cited Montagne, Renee. “Life of First Ellis Island Immigrant Revealed.” NPR, 15 September 2006. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6080581. Multicultural Education Through Miniatures. “Loving and Leaving Ireland.” Accessed on 4 March 2015. http://www.coedu.usf.edu/culture/Story/Story_Ireland.htm. Roberts, Sam. “Story of the First Through Ellis Island is Rewritten.” The New York Times, 14 September 2006. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/14/nyregion/14annie.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. The Statue of Liberty- Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. “Annie Moore.” Accessed on 4 March 2015. http://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/annie-moore.  Sam Roberts, “Story of the First Through Ellis Island is Rewritten,” The New York Times, 14 September 2006. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/14/nyregion/14annie.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.