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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 38, September 18, 2006, Article 9

FIRST ELLIS ISLAND IMMIGRANT - WHAT HAPPENED TO HER COIN?

Arthur Shippee writes: "What happened to the $10 gold piece..."
mentioned in the following New York Times article about the first
Ellis Island immigrant?

"Annie Moore is memorialized by bronze statues in New York Harbor
and Ireland and cited in story and song as the first of 12 million
immigrants to arrive at Ellis Island. Her story, as it has been
recounted for decades, is that she went west with her family to
fulfill the American dream — eventually reaching Texas, where she
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."

"Hustled ahead of a burly German by her two younger brothers and
by an Irish longshoreman who shouted “Ladies first,” one Annie
Moore from County Cork set foot on Ellis Island ahead of the other
passengers from the steamship Nevada on Jan. 1, 1892, her 15th
birthday. She was officially registered by the former private
secretary to the secretary of the treasury and was presented with
a $10 gold piece by the superintendent of immigration.

“She says she will never part with it, but will always keep it
as a pleasant memento of the occasion,” The New York Times reported
in describing the ceremonies inaugurating Ellis Island.

As for what happened next, though, history appears to have
embraced the wrong Annie Moore.

 “It’s a classic go-West-young-woman tale riddled with tragedy,”
said Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, a professional genealogist. “If
only it were true.”

In fact ... the Annie Moore of Ellis Island fame settled on the
Lower East Side, married a bakery clerk and had 11 children. She
lived a poor immigrant’s life, but her descendants multiplied
and many prospered."

[The Times article describes the genealogist's detective work to
set the facts straight on the old saga of Annie Moore.  But now
that the correct Annie has been identified, what about her souvenir
coin?  Has it been lost to the ages?  If the coin itself was not
marked, only accompanying documentation and a provenance through
the woman's descendants would serve to identify it.  Perhaps it
will turn up someday.  -Editor]

To read the complete story, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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