Augustus Frederick Sherman (1865–1925) worked as a clerk at Ellis Island in the years 1892-1925. He was an untrained, yet highly gifted photographer who created hundreds of images documenting the new arrivals to America. Fascinated by the diverse origins and cultural backgrounds of his subjects, Sherman created a riveting series of portraits, offering viewers a compelling perspective on this dynamic period in American history.
Very little is known about Sherman. Born on July 9, 1865, in Lynn, Pennsylvania, he was a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Hired by the Bureau of Immigration to work as a clerk at Ellis Island in 1892, eight years after having moved to New York, he rose through the clerical ranks. “When he died in 1925, he was chief clerk of Ellis Island, in charge of the Immigration Bureau’s extensive correspondence.”