Thursday, September 14, 2006

First through Ellis Island, Annie Moore traced through family

You'll need a New York Times user account to read this article, but it ties in to my story, "Welcome to America," in The American Story. Annie Moore, a teenager from Ireland, was the first immigrant processed at Ellis Island. For years, an Annie Moore in Texas was believed to be this same Annie, but a genealogist has cracked the case and found that Annie remained in New York City for the rest of her life.

Fortunately, this does not alter my story at all, since I didn't include any information about what Annie did once she left Ellis Island. Writing history can be a confounding process -- events don't always sit still in the past. They are subject to new discoveries. While this book was in production two stories I thought were "finished" had to be revised. First, the Red Sox finally won the World Series, so I had to go back into the galleys and correct my story about "The Curse of the Bambino;" second, the identity of the Watergate informant, Deep Throat, was revealed, and I had to change my story about that episode of our history. Scholars will continue to unearth new information about the past, and no doubt some of my stories will be made incorrect by these revelations.
That's a good reason to go buy the book and read it now, before historical research reveals anything at odds with it! Best Blogger Tips
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1 comment:

What Maternal Instinct? said...

I just stumbled onto your blog, and how lucky is that, since I just ordered your book to review on my blog! Now I'm very excited to see it.

When I worked as a newspaper reporter, we were always told we were on the front lines of history. I don't know how true that was, but you make a great point about how what we know about our past isn't a fixed point, but a moving target.

I anticipate the book's arrival any day now ...