Antin in 1915
June 13, 1881
Polotsk, Vitebsk Governorate, Russian Empire
|Died||May 15, 1949 (aged 67)|
Suffern, New York
|Notable works||The Promised Land|
|Spouse||Amadeus William Grabau (m. Oct. 5, 1901)|
Mary Antin (born Maryashe Antin; June 13, 1881 – May 15, 1949) was an American author and immigration rights activist. She is best known for her 1912 autobiography The Promised Land, an account of her emigration and subsequent Americanization.
Mary Antin was the second of six children born to Israel and Esther Weltman Antin, a Jewish family living in Polotsk, in the Vitebsk Governorate of the Russian Empire (present-day Belarus). Israel Antin emigrated to Boston in 1891, and three years later he sent for Mary and her mother and siblings.
The family moved from Chelsea to Ward 8 in Boston's South End, a notorious slum, as the venue of Israel's store changed. She attended Girls' Latin School, now Boston Latin Academy, after finishing primary school.
She married Amadeus William Grabau, a geologist, in 1901, and moved to New York City where she attended Teachers College of Columbia University and Barnard College. Antin is best known for her 1912 autobiography The Promised Land, which describes her public school education and assimilation into American culture, as well as life for Jews in Czarist Russia. After its publication, Antin lectured on her immigrant experience to many audiences across the country, and became a major supporter for Theodore Roosevelt and his Progressive Party.
During World War I, while she campaigned for the Allied cause, her husband's pro-German activities precipitated their separation and her physical breakdown. Amadeus was forced to leave his post at Columbia University to work in China, where he became "the father of Chinese geology." She was never physically strong enough to visit him there.
- All three children carried themselves rather better than the common run of "green" pupils that were brought to Miss Nixon. But the figure that challenged attention to the group was the tall, straight father, with his earnest face and fine forehead, nervous hands eloquent in gesture, and a voice full of feeling. This foreigner, who brought his children to school as if it were an act of consecration, who regarded the teacher of the primer class with reverence, who spoke of visions, like a man inspired, in a common schoolroom, was not like other aliens, who brought their children in dull obedience to the law; was not like the native fathers, who brought their unmanageable boys, glad to be relieved of their care. I think Miss Nixon guessed what my father's best English could not convey. I think she divined that by the simple act of delivering our school certificates to her he took possession of America. . . .
- Nadell, Pamela S. "Mary Antin". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- "Amadeus William Grabau". Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1974. Gale Document Number: GALE BT2310012533 – via Fairfax County Public Library. Biography in Context. (subscription required)
- Nadell, Pamela S. "Mary Antin profile". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- "Mary Antin". Boston Women's Heritage Trail.
- Making an American. Written by Mary Antin.
|Library resources about |
|By Mary Antin|
- Antin, Mary (2013). From Plotzk to Boston: An Immigrant's Story. ISBN 9781494275808. Archived from the original on 2013-12-02.
- Antin, Mary (1912). The promised land, by Mary Antin; with illustrations from photographs. Boston and Cambridge, Mass.: Houghton, Mifflin and Co.Riverside Press. LCCN 12010316.
- Antin, Mary (2012) [previously published 1997]. The promised land. introduction and notes by Werner Sollors. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 9780143106777. LCCN 2012011363.
- Mary, Antin (1914). They who knock at our gates; a complete gospel of immigration. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. LCCN 14009103.
- Mazur, Allan (2004). A Romance in Natural History: The Lives and Works of Amadeus Grabau and Mary Antin. Syracuse, New York: Garret. LCCN 2004096697.
- Antin, Mary (2000). Salz, Evelyn (ed.). Selected letters of Mary Antin (1st ed.). Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. ISBN 978-0815606079. LCCN 99038702.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Mary Antin|
- Review at the National Yiddish Book Center[permanent dead link]
- Encyclopædia Britannica's Guide to Women's History at search.eb.com
- Vom Ghetto ins Land der Verheissung, 1913 (digitized version)
- Pamela S. Nadell, Mary Antin, Jewish Women Encyclopedia
- Works by Mary Antin at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Mary Antin at Internet Archive
- Works by Mary Antin at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- The Jewish Women's Archive entry on Mary Antin
- Monica Rüthers, Between Threat and Hope. Migration to the New World. Mary Antin’s Account, in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, June 27, 2017. doi:10.23691/jgo:article-53.en.v1