painting of a small immigrant family
Immigrants Arrive stamp art, 1998

Illustrator: Richard Waldrep

Immigration has been a powerful cultural force for New York City and the US as a whole. More than 40% of the current US population had at least one ancestor processed at Ellis Island, which opened in 1892 as a Federal immigration station. This stamp design was based on a 1905 black-and-white photo of an Italian family on a ferry from the New York City docks to Ellis Island.

Courtesy United States Postal Service, Postmaster General's Collection