Stories from the Galveston Immigration Project – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Stories from the Galveston Immigration Project

Elizabeth Tower


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Research Mentor(s): Jeffrey Veidlinger, Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: History/Judaic Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 5 (3pm-3:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 1
Presenter: 5

Event Link


In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the United States saw a large influx of Eastern European, Jewish immigrants to its major cities. Because of widespread antisemetic views among Americans at the time, the Galveston Immigration Project was established to disperse Jewish arrivals to cities across the United States in an effort to prevent the growth of the Jewish populations in east coast cities like New York. Due to their purposefully designated destinations across midwestern states, immigrants who arrived to the U.S. via the Galveston Project had very different experiences in the U.S. than their counterparts in eastern states. In order to investigate the lives of Jewish immigrants who immigrated through the Galveston Project, this research project utilized resources like and various newspaper databases. Information was also collected from the living descendants of the immigrants via qualitative email interviews that aimed at uncovering more intimate stories about the lives of the immigrants of the Galveston Project. Through these methods, information was gathered pertaining to the personal lives of several Galveston Project immigrants. Data regarding their U.S. citizenship, employment, family life, education, travel, and residence was obtained and will be used to reconstruct their personal narratives and used as anecdotal examples in a book on the Galveston Project and its creator. The nature of the information gathered allows for a window to be opened into the lives of Jewish immigrants whose lives were shaped by the Galveston Immigration Project. This intimate approach allows one to see the impact of the project on an individual level and compare it to the impacts of immigrating to a major city during the same era. Because this study investigates lived experiences, the personal data collected creates room for better understanding of the Galveston Immigrant experience and the Galveston Project as a whole.

Authors: Elizabeth Tower
Research Method: Library/Archival/Internet Research

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