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Grant number like: FB-51576-05

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Vincent Cannato, PhD
University of Massachusetts, Boston (Boston, MA 02125-3300)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2005 – 8/31/2006

Guarding the Gate: Ellis Island and the Making of the American Nation

Millions of immigrants passed through Ellis Island. It has achieved a legendary status in the American historical memory, supplanting Plymouth Rock as our national founding myth. For so familiar a place, however, Ellis Island remains little understood. "Guarding the Gate" will re-examine this crucial aspect in the making of modern America. By mining under-underutilized primary sources, it will blend the story of immigrants with the tale of dedicated (and not-so dedicated) inspectors, doctors, and government officials who administered Ellis Island. It will place the regulation of immigration within the context of the Progressive Era and show how the evolution of Ellis Island has mirrored America’s own ambivalence towards immigration.