Biography Of Samuel Gompers(First Person) Essay

1245 words - 5 pages

Hello, my name is Samuel Gompers and I am here to discuss with you all about my life. In January 27, 1850 I was born in a London, England, son of Solomon and Sarah Gompers, both originally from Amsterdam. I was the oldest among my five brothers. In my first home, my family and I lived on the ground floor of London while my grandparents lived on the top floor with their four daughters.When six years of age I was sent to the Jewish Free School in Bell Lane and learned rapidly all that was taught there - reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and history. When I was ten I had to go to work and become an apprentice shoemaker due to my family struggling to make a living. When I left school I stood third to the highest in my classes. As I made rapid progress in my studies, the teacher told my father that it was I had a gift in education. But I had a priority which was to help support my family. My father found it extremely difficult to support a family of six children on the low wages earned at the cigar making trade.It became harder and harder to get along as our family increased and expenses grew. London did not seem to better our living so we thought more and more about moving to the United States, the land of opportunity. My work in the cigar factory gave me a chance to hear the men discuss this issue. This was a chance for our family to take advantage of industrial opportunity and freedom in America.The Cigarmakers' Society Union of England, whose members was frequently unemployed and suffering, established an emigration fund - that is, instead of paying the members unemployment benefits, a sum of money was granted to help passage from England to the United States. After much discussion and consultation my father decided to go to the New World. He had friends in New York City and a brother-in-law who preceded us by six months to whom father wrote we were coming.We had left the Chadwick Basin in June 10, 1863. The sleeping quarters were cramped and we had to have to do our own cooking in the gallery of the boat, but it was worth the reward waiting in America. When we reached New York we landed at the old Castle Garden of lower Manhattan July 29,1863, now the Aquarium, where we were met by relatives and friends.The dispirting thing was the fact that my family and I lived by a slaughter house and we would hear the squeals of slaughtered animals constantly. But my father and I began making cigars at home to begin making a living.I continued working as a cigarmaker with his father at the age of thriteen. Although I later found work in the better cigar shops, steady work was hard to come by and I was often forced to look for new work and accept whatever wages were offered to me.I was highly skilled in his work. My employers valued my cigar-making skill, and my fellow workers were drawn to his leadership and outspokenness. Those abilities served me well in his lifelong career as the representative of American labor.In 1864 I the Cigar Makers' National...

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