American Writers Museum Story of the Week blog post featuring visitor stories 4/10/2020

AWM Story of the Week

Every week, the AWM is excited to bring you stories written by our visitors in our Story of the Day exhibit, which features typewriters that visitors can interact with directly, or our newest temporary exhibit, My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today. Check back weekly for new stories, and visit the Museum to try out our typewriters, see the exhibit, and possibly be featured here!

Part of our newest temporary exhibit features an interactive station that allows visitors to write their family’s story on a luggage tag and stamp it with the reason their family came to the United States or how they’ve moved within the country, whether it was Family, Refuge, by Force, for Freedom or Opportunity, or a different reason. Below are four stories shared in the exhibit, which opened to the public November 21, 2019. Visit the Museum or comment below to share your family’s immigration (or migration) story.


A luggage tag detailing a story written by a visitor to the My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today Exhibit at the American Writers Museum in Chicago

“My grandmother came here when she was 14 – alone & not speaking English – with $14.00 in her pocket. Ended up in Pilsen (Plzen) – echoes of her homeland.”

2/21/20

A luggage tag detailing a story written by a visitor to the My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today Exhibit at the American Writers Museum in Chicago

“My ancestors, Thomas and Anne Brownell, came to this continent from London, England in 1638 aboard a ship called The Whale. They and their descendants settled primarily in RI. I live there now. We have a windvane in the shape of a whale on our home’s cupola in their memory.”

1/20/2020
Tracy Weisman – Narragansett, RI

A luggage tag detailing a story written by a visitor to the My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today Exhibit at the American Writers Museum in Chicago

“My grandmother came when she was 16. Traveled in steerage. Poor Irish family – her brother was supposed to come, but he ran away to France to become a monk. She never saw her family again. Came in through Ellis Island. Never learned to read or write, never went to school. Had 9 children. One became a professor at UPenn.”

2/20/20

A luggage tag detailing a story written by a visitor to the My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today Exhibit at the American Writers Museum in Chicago

“Before the North American Revolution, my ancestor was an indentured Dutch prisoner who then ran away from his “overseers” and settled in the Carolinas. Johannes Stephan Eleonyar.”

1/2/2020
H. Ellison
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