The Girls Go to America


The family saw their situation rapidly approaching for several years.  When the family was planning what to do about their situation, Mary and Anna (not little Anna Marie) begged their father to let them go to America.  They had heard there was good jobs and cheap land.  They had friends that had already gone and had written them about their jobs.  If Mary and Anna wanted to go, Maryís friends had jobs for them in boarding houses in St. Louis.  They would live in the boarding house with other girls and receive their meals and a wage.


Andrej hated to see his little girls take such a journey and not be there for them.  He finally relented and they set off for America to join their friends.


The girls lived in a boarding house and were responsible for 23 rooms.  From the size it must have been more like a hotel as there were more maids there and they all lived in big rooms together. 


Mary and her sister sent every cent they could home to their family to try to raise passage.  It took a year of the family selling off everything they owned and the girls sending home money for them to be able to afford steerage passage on a barque-the cheapest way to go. 


The family sold everything that they would not need to raise money to go to America.  Anna had an embroidered cape that had been her motherís.  It was her prize possession.  It would have fetched a fair price but Andrej would not let her sell it.  He wanted her to set foot in America looking like a person of substance. 


This was the second time in Andrejís life that he was homeless.  First he depended on his wife to rescue his family after his fatherís death.  Now he was dependent on his daughterís to find a place for him and his family in America.



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