the steerage experience: the barracks

“The old-type steerage is the one whose horrors have been so often described. It is unfortunately still found (1882) in a majority of the vessels bringing immigrants to the United States. It is still the common steerage in which hundreds of thousands of immigrants form their first conceptions of our country and are prepared to receive their first impressions of it. The universal human needs of space, air, food, sleep, and privacy are recognized to the degree now made compulsory by law. Beyond that, the persons carried are looked upon as so much freight, with mere transportation as their only due.”


from The Steerage Experience