Social Studies

“The passengers of the First and Second Class are requested not to throw money or eatables to the steerage passengers, thereby creating disturbance and annoyance.” — Shipboard Notice, circa 1860


Primary Sources

Click on the images below to get a closer look and check out the links to more information on our posts about social studies.

Read our series about Life On Board: Passengers  and Charles Dickens.

View photographs of Immigration to Ellis Island from the Library of Congress.

Read our post on Desegregating the SS Columbia.

Learn about Immigration to Providence on the Fabre Line.

See the purchasing records for food on the Hudson River Line.

Secondary Sources

Click here to download the pdf of Lorraine Coons and Alexander Varias, Tourist Third Cabin: Steamship Travel in the Interwar Years, “‘The Soul of a Ship’: Experience and Life of ‘Below-Deck’ Personnel” (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003).

Click here to download the pdf of Coons and Varias, Tourist Third Class, “‘Traveling Palace’ or ‘Floating Sweatshop’: The Experiences of Women Seafarers”

Additional Resources on Social Studies

View the Rhode Island Historical Society’s lesson plans.

Sunday on the River (1961) by Gordon Hitchens and Ken Resnick. 30 min. Photographed in part on the Alexander Hamilton showing charted outings by Harlem church congregations.  Click here to view Part I and Part II of the film.

Byron S. Miller, Sail, Steam, and Splendour: A Picture History of Life Aboard the Transatlantic Liners (New York: Times Books, 1977).