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Annie Moore &Her Words

By: Claire Kathleen Tierney

Annie Moore & Her Words

By: Claire Kathleen Tierney

Annie Moore was always a fearless (adjective.lacking fear) woman. She was the second child of four and was the only girl in her family.  Annie always wanted to improve herself to be better than she already was.                                                           

 When Annie Moore was 14, she set off for America, with her two younger brothers, Anthony and Philip. Annie Moore came to America because she wanted to be with her parents who had left for America when Annie was only 12 years old because they had to find jobs.

         The Great Irish Potato Famine (noun. a shortage) occurred in Ireland during 1845-1852. This famine caused countrywide devastation without this major crop.

The potato was really significant (adjective.sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention) to the Irish because farmers found out that potatoes can grow double the food on the same land. 

Once the farmers found this out they immediately started planting this crop. Today, many Irish dishes include this favorite crop such as Irish beef stew, potato bread, and of course mashed potatoes.

     Due to the potato famine, over one million people died and numerous (adjective. great in number; many.) families were left without food to support and feed their families. All over the country, parents and children set out, searching for potatoes, hunting all over the farm, on what used to be fertile land.


     During the “Great Famine” people ate leftover potatoes that had been harvested in the spring.  These potatoes did not last long because in the spring they did not plant enough to get them thru this famine.


After the Irish ate all the potatoes that had been planted during the spring, the Irish ate seed potatoes, (noun. a potato that is planted and used for the production of seeds) which are not safe to eat. Seed potatoes are meant for being planted. The famine lasted seven years and throughout these seven years, many people died because of the short food supply of potatoes. The Irish faced many consequences from the famine, such as people leaving Ireland permanently and not a lot of fertile lands to harvest crops.

     Annie Moore was always a brilliant woman. She was only 15 when she came to America. She came with her two younger brothers.  For 3 years in Ireland, beginning at the age of 12, Annie had been responsible for them after her Mom, Dad and brother, Tom, left for Ellis Island.

Annie Moore was born on January 1, 1883, in County Cork, Ireland. From a very young age, Annie was very mature (adjective. fully developed physically; full-grown.)  and dependable. When Annie was 12 years old her parents and brother Tom told her that they were going to America to find jobs. Considering this, Annie realized that she had to take care of her younger brothers all by herself! Annie was devasted that her parents and her brother had to leave Ireland and questioned them, "Why do you have to leave? Why can't you find employment in Ireland? How long will it be until I see you again?”     

Her Mother told her gently, "Annie, don't worry you will see us very soon, just as soon as we find jobs and a place to live we will send tickets to back to Ireland for you and your brothers to  come on a boat to America."

After they left, Annie would always daydream of what America was like. Were the streets really made of gold? Why is everyone dreaming going to America? Annie would imagine running off the boat and into her parent's open arms.

Two years later, Annie received a letter and it came from America. Annie didn't know anyone from America, but wait... maybe it was from her parents! Annie carefully open the envelope and inside was tickets to come to America!  Annie was as happy as a kid coming down the stairs to open presents on Christmas morning!


Jumping up and down, Annie immediately started packing for her voyage to come to America.  She had plenty of time, the steamship didn't leave for two more weeks!

Finally, the day came. Annie was so excited but really upset to be leaving her home that had so many memories (noun.something remembered from the past; a recollection). Annie looked around the house and remembered when the whole family would have dinner at the wobbly table and when she and her brothers would play in the cornfields for hours. "I will miss this place so much!" Annie said gloomily.  She was trying her best not to cry. Annie knew she would miss Ireland very much but knew that America would supply jobs and money for her family. 

As soon as Annie got to the port (noun. a harbor), Annie looked behind her and saw green fields and tiny houses. Annie sighed heavily at the sight, knowing that she was leaving this beautiful scenery behind to go to America.           

Annie gave her luggage to a longshoreman (noun. A person employed in a port to load and unload ships) and got on the boat, Annie looked back and felt sad.

As soon as Annie turned around she was being directed to the third class section of the boat. As soon as she came to her bunk she looked out the window and asked herself "Why do I have to leave: I know Mom explained it, but does this mean I have to get a job?!"

Annie could not wait to get out of her bunk room. Annie said, " It was very hot and stuffy". Her and her two brothers beds were stacked on top of each other and it was very hard to move around because the room was so tight. Annie would have a hard time getting up because she was at the bottom and the beds were so close, she could hit her head!

At last, Annie's wish came true! She finally reached Ellis Island after 12 days of awful food and seasickness (noun. suffering from sickness or nausea caused by the motion of a ship at sea.)

When she saw the sight of Lady Liberty she quickly woke up her brothers and packed their luggage and ran upstairs. 

She saw Irish longshoreman connecting a large bridge from the port to the boat. As soon as they finished she heard a longshoreman shout, "ladies first!". Annie ran as fast as a cheetah. When Annie set foot on American soil she felt so excited, it was like fireworks were going off in her head.

Annie went through the entrance of the building and was immediately checked by a doctor to make sure she didn't have any diseases.  As soon as they were done, she proceeded to the Great Hall. There, she would be asked 29 questions and if she answered all of these questions correctly she would be considered an American.

Annie was really scared.  She kept thinking " What if I get denied and get sent back to Ireland? Will Mom and Dad be disappointed in me?" She answered every question very quickly and with ease. Now it was the examinator's decision, will Annie become an American or will she be denied? Annie was terrified, she stared at him afraid to look away. But after a few minutes of looking over his notes, the man stood up and shook Annie's hand and said, "Congratulations Ms. Annie Moore you are now officially an American!" Annie wanted to scream and hug him but was afraid he might change his mind. Instead, she said, "Thank you so much!" and walked away calmly like it was no big deal.

After Annie was done, she started gathering her stuff. She saw someone approaching her and it turned out to be the superintendent of emigration (a noun.the act of leaving one's own country to settle permanently in another; moving abroad.) and he gave her a gold coin worth $10.  Today this coin would be worth $610.91!  Then Annie realized it was January 1st, it was her 15th birthday! Annie totally forgot because she was so busy thinking about America.

After receiving that massive amount of money, Annie met up with her two brothers and they took a ferry that would take them to New York City.  This is where their parents would be waiting anxiously for their arrival. Annie hoped her parents would be proud of her and would be pleased with how well she took care of her brothers.

So when the ferry stopped at the final destination, Annie sprinted off the boat and ran with open arms to her parents, just like her dream.   

The famous Ellis Island opened in 1892. The immigration facility (noun.a place provided for a particular purpose) originally was used by the government to store gunpowder ( explosive consisting of a powdered mixture of saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal). Each time a boat was docked, inspectors (noun. an official employed to ensure that official regulations are obeyed, especially in public services) came on the ship and examined the immigrants to make sure they didn't have any diseases. If they did they would be sent right back to their homeland.

Annie Moore was one of many travelers processed through Ellis Island.  She was also one of the many passengers in the third class section. Usually, when a boat docked, the first class passengers would exit first but because this boat arrived late at Ellis Island, they let the third class passengers exit first.

In that first year, 1892, almost 450,000 passengers were processed.  In the 62 years that Ellis Island was open as an immigration port, they processed over 12 million immigrants. 

Early in the morning of Tuesday, June 15, 1897, a massive fire broke out on Ellis Island. This fire burned the Grand Hall and processing center to ashes. During this fire, Ellis Island lost many papers that dated back to 1855 when it was used to store gunpowder.

Next, the United States Treasury immediately ordered workers to rebuild the facility, only giving one condition, the new building had to be fireproof (adjective. able to withstand fire or great heat.). The new building would cost 1.5 million dollars to build. They added new rooms including a baggage room, a great dining hall, a kitchen, dormitories which included 600 beds, a hospital, and outdoor recreational (adjective. relating to or denoting activity done for enjoyment when one is not working.) areas, including a roof garden.  

Finally, on December 29, 1900, the new fireproof building opened and about 2,251 immigrants were processed that day. This new emigration station resembled a railroad station.

Upon walking into the building, you would have to take the “six-second medical examination”.  This is when the doctor would check each person to see if they have an illness. If they determined that you had an illness, you would get a letter on your coat.

The immigrants who passed the "six-second" exam went to the Great Hall to be processed and asked additional questions. There, you would be asked 29 questions such as name, occupation (noun. a job or profession) and the amount of money you carried. This part of the process took about three to four hours but to these immigrants, it was worth it because if they passed this interview they would become a citizen of America. About 2% of the immigrants who did this interview would be denied (verb. refuse to give or grant) because of disease, criminal background, or insanity.

So for the rest of Annie Moore’s life, she stayed in New York City and lived at 32 Monroe Street. Annie Moore then got a job working at a factory. After 3 years of working, when Annie was 18 years old, she married a gentleman named Augustus Schayer who worked at a local fish market. From there, they had 11 children. Annie ended up quitting her job to care for her children, but sadly only 5 of her children survived to adulthood (noun. the state or condition of being fully grown or mature.) the other 6 died of various illnesses. Then suddenly at the age of 46, Annie Moore died of heart failure. 

  • 1 1/4 pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 teaspoons of salt (more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups beef stock or broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup of Guinness extra stout
  • 1 cup of hearty red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots and/or parsnips (3 to 4 carrots or parsnips)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Ingredients to make Irish Beef Stew:

Letters you would receive on your Coat at Ellis Island:

X - high up on the front side of right shoulder - mental defects.

X - further down on the right shoulder - disease or deformity

X - within a circle - some definite disease.

B - back problems

G - struma (noun. a swelling of the thyroid gland; a goiter.)

H - heart problems

Pg - pregnancy

Ct - eye disease