By 1901, when Clara made her journey, steam ships had replaced sail, reducing the journey to about 12 days, but still in extremely uncomfortable conditions for steerage passengers. During the first decade of the 20thC, over 9 million people predominately from across Europe, made the voyage. They came with high hopes, seeking new lives to replace the financial hardship or persecution that they experienced in their homelands. Many went straight through New York to the agricultural and mining centres in America, like Meg and her family. Many, such as Clara and her mother, stayed in the cities, and did not always find that the streets were paved with gold. A few with determination, courage, and luck found their way to the prosperity they all desired. Many more found themselves in poor living conditions and exploited in menial jobs.
© Annie Thomas 2013