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Title Angela Mischke Autobiography
Author Mischke, Angela
Date n.d.
Document Type Personal Account
Reference IHRC1608, Box 1, Folder 1
Library / Archive Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota
Collection Name Mischke, Angela Papers
Description Autobiography of Angela Mischke, a Polish immigrant in the US. Her account begins by tracing the journey from Europe to Chicago, via Ellis Island, but also includes rich detail on the Polish community in Chicago, her family, friendships and education.
Biographical Note / History Angela Mischke was born in Poland. Mischke's father was a farmer. After his departure to the U.S., Mischke's mother managed the farm. She also did needlework. Mischke's father came to the U.S. to earn money to pay off the farm mortgage. He wanted his family to come, because he felt the U.S. was a land of opportunity. Mischke came to the U.S. in 1913. Her father had immigrated five years earlier. Mischke remained in the U.S. The family settled in Chicago, Illinois. Mischke's father worked as a presser in a tailor's shop. Her mother also worked in the tailor's shop. At the age of 12, Mischke worked in a bakery. She later worked in the tailor's shop, then became employed at a glove factory. She took business courses later and applied for an office job. Both parents worked, so the children did the housework. One brother played sports, although Mischke's father objected. When Mischke worked, all money was handed over to the parents. Mischke's brothers were sent to high school. As a girl, Mischke was sent to work. Mischke married and had three children. The neighborhood was Polish. There were some Jewish families. Life in the U.S. was a hard adjustment, especially the adjustment from life in the Polish countryside to life in an American city. The family could not afford books, but installments from novels in Polish newspapers were collected and provided a library. Mischke's father gave his children a card to the Polish National Alliance Library. They lived in an apartment where the landlord never made repairs. Mischke described life in her neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. She wrote about the Polish theater. Mischke with her mother, two brothers, and an aunt left Antwerp, Belgium on a Belgian ship. Before boarding, a medical examination was given. She and her brothers were detained for eye infections. They travelled third class and Mischke recalled that the ship was very crowded. They arrived at Ellis Island, then took a train from New York City to Chicago, Illinois.
Theme(s) Permanent Settlement and Successive Generations; Motives for Emigration; Onward Travel; Arrivals: Ports and Early Experiences
Country (from) Poland
Country (to) United States of America
Places Chicago, Illinois, United States
Ports Antwerp, Belgium; New York, United States
Nationality Polish; European
Keywords military service, immigration, journey conditions, health and sickness, medical examination, language, quarantine, third class, vomiting, sanitation, children, child migration, railway, reunion, family, housing, living conditions, education, holidays and celebrations, festival, employment, friendship, First World War, child labour, wages, church, Ellis Island
Additional Information Please note: Some of the metadata for this document has been taken from the Immigration History Research Center Archives catalogue.
Catalogue Link Immigration History Research Center Archives Catalogue
Language English
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