The hope called America
One of the earliest records detailing emigration from Cuxhaven can be found in a dramatic account of Hessian natives, who were shipped to America as mercenaries of the British Crown during the American Revolutionary War in 1776.
Hundreds of thousands left Germany in the century that followed. On the eighteenth of September, 1848 the barque, "Maria" set out to sea from Cuxhaven. With 103 passengers on board, she started her long journey to New Orleans. She arrived safely, after a strenuous five weeks at sea on November 24th.
The promise of America drew a growing number of like-minded during the next decades. By 1892, these emigrants were required to be processed at the newly opened facilities of the U.S. Department
of Immigration and Naturalization on Ellis Island, New York. Ships became increasingly larger to meet the demands of the growing numbers of emigrants. In 1889, Hapag transferred its steamship
service from Hamburg to Cuxhaven, thereby increasing the Steubenhoeft's servicing capacities.
Another group of passengers to depart from here were hundreds of thousands of east European refugees and transients, who, after having departed eastern Europe, came via rail from the Veddel in Hamburg to Cuxhaven. They came, carrying with them the same hope held by their German counterparts; that being to "pursue happiness in America.