Re: Logistics of emigration from Pale of Settlement to America #lithuania #poland

Jill Whitehead

As Suwalki was close to the Baltic, it was easier to get to the Baltic ports either by being smuggled across the border with Konigsberg/East Prussia or by travelling via the Augustow canal (at least partially) to Libau in Latvia. By the 1880's the railway went through Suwalki town and trains could be caught to Hamburg, to either cross the North Sea to UK and then onwards to USA, or directly across the Atlantic to USA. By the 1880's, the journey was done by steamship and many lines plied the Baltic/North Sea/ Atlantic routes including those that operated out of Hull on the NE Coast of England. The University of Hull has a lot of information on its immigration website about these shipping lines. Also the 2008 IAGS conference in Chicago had a series of lectures on this theme, especially one on New East Prussia (which Konigsberg was then part of) on the border with Suwalki Lomza, where there was a whole industry in getting people across the border, sometimes involving false passports if the immigrant did not come from Suwalki Lomza gubernias but from further afield. 

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK 

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