The online tool for teaching with documents, from the National Archives

Exploring America's Diversity: Mercedes Valle (Beginner)

Making Connections

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

In this activity, you will learn about the life of a woman named Mercedes Valle – including when she came to the United States as an immigrant, settled in the United States, and became a U.S. citizen.
 
You will see a ship passenger arrival list, a census record, and a naturalization document. These kinds of documents contain details about the lives of millions of Americans.
 
Look at each document below — click "View Document Details" to see it more closely. After each document, read the questions that follow, and answer them in the response boxes.


Name:
Class:

Worksheet

Exploring America's Diversity: Mercedes Valle (Beginner)

Making Connections

Examine the documents and text included in this activity. Fill in any blanks in the sequence with your thoughts and write your conclusion response in the space provided.

Manifest of Alien Passengers on the SS Toloa


Questions About the Ship

1. What was the name of the ship Mercedes Valle arrived on?
2. What city or country did the ship come from?
3. What year did the ship arrive in America?
Enter your response
Questions About Mercedes Valle

1. What number row is Mercedes Valle listed on?
2. How old was Mercedes Valle when she came to America?
3. What was her job (Hint: see calling or occupation)?
4. Was she able to read and write?
5. What was her nationality and race?
6. What was her final destination in America?
7. How much money did she have when she came to America?

Note: A ditto mark is a symbol (") which signifies ditto, meaning the same as above or before.
Enter your response

Population Schedule for the 1930 Census for West 136th Street, Manhattan


Questions About the Neighborhood

1. In 1930, in what state and city did Mercedes Valle live ?
2. What street did she live on in 1930?
Enter your response
Questions About Mercede Valle’s Household

1. What number row is Mercede Valle listed on?
2. Who is listed as “Head” of Household; on what line is the “Head” listed?
3. Who else was Mercede Valle living with in 1930?
4. Did her household rent or own their home? What was the cost?
5. Did her household have a radio set at home?

Note: Head of Household was the person in charge of the household and generally the Census designated the head of the family as the husband or father, widowed woman, or unmarried person of either sex.
Enter your response
Questions About Mercedes Valle

1. Was Mercedes Valle married? If so, how old was she when she married?
2. What language (or mother tongue) did Mercedes Valle speak before coming to the United States?
3. What did she do for a job in 1930? (Hint: See occupation and industry.)
Enter your response

Declaration of Intention for Mercedes Valle


Questions About Mercedes Valle

1. What district court did Mercedes Valle declare her intent to naturalize in?
2. What was her street address when she naturalized?
3. What was her occupation?
4. What were her eye and hair color?
5. What were her height and weight?
6. What was her race and nationality?
7. In what city and country was Mercedes Valle born?
8. What was her birthday?
9. Did she change her name after arriving in the United States?
10. What year did she declare her intent to become a U.S. citizen?
Enter your response



1

Activity Element

Manifest of Alien Passengers on the SS Toloa

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2

Activity Element

Population Schedule for the 1930 Census for West 136th Street, Manhattan

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3

Activity Element

Declaration of Intention for Mercedes Valle

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Conclusion

Exploring America's Diversity: Mercedes Valle (Beginner)

Making Connections

  • What did you find most interesting about this activity? 
  • What did you find most difficult about this activity?
  • If you could ask Mercedes Valle any question not asked through these three documents, what would you ask her? Why?


Your Response




Document

Manifest of Alien Passengers on the SS Toloa

9/24/1922

This document lists arrivals in New York, NY from the vessel SS Toloa. The list was recorded on a standard manifest form and contains 33 columns of information, including age, occupation, address, nearest relative or friend, destination, physical description, and place of birth.
This primary source comes from the Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Full Citation: Manifest of Alien Passengers on the SS Toloa; 9/24/1922; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1/1/1883 - 12/31/1945; Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, ; National Archives Building, Washington, DC. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/manifest-of-alien-passengers-on-the-ss-toloa, January 18, 2022]


Manifest of Alien Passengers on the SS Toloa

Page 2



Document

Population Schedule for the 1930 Census for West 136th Street, Manhattan

5/31/1930

This page from the Fifteenth Census includes houses located on West 136th Street, in Manhattan, New York. This form includes a wealth of information about the individuals recorded, including place of birth, occupation, and military service.
This primary source comes from the Records of the Bureau of the Census.
Full Citation: Population Schedule for the 1930 Census for West 136th Street, Manhattan; 5/31/1930; Population Schedules for the 1930 Census, 1930 - 1930; Records of the Bureau of the Census, ; National Archives Building, Washington, DC. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/population-schedule-for-the-1930-census-for-west-136th-street-manhattan, January 18, 2022]


Population Schedule for the 1930 Census for West 136th Street, Manhattan

Page 1



Document

Declaration of Intention for Mercedes Valle

6/29/1931

Mercedes Valle emigrated from Ecuador entering the United States at New York aboard the Toloa on September 24, 1922. She filed this Declaration of Intention to become a U.S. citizen on June 29, 1931.
This primary source comes from the Records of District Courts of the United States.
Full Citation: Declaration of Intention for Mercedes Valle; 6/29/1931; Petitions for Naturalization, 1865 - 1991; Records of District Courts of the United States, ; National Archives at New York, New York, NY. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/declaration-of-intention-mercedes-valle, January 18, 2022]


Declaration of Intention for Mercedes Valle

Page 1