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Interpreting the Evidence

Porto Rico Line Steamship Schedule, Puerto Rico - New York City, n.d.

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Turn of the Century and WWI (1890 - 1930)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:


  • Primary Source Types:

    Written Document

  • Regions:

    United States

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Porto Rico Line Steamship Schedule, Puerto Rico - New York City, n.d. in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Schedule of departures and arrivals for weekly steamship service between New York City and Puerto Rico, in Spanish, n.d.
Historical Context
The Porto Rico Line sailed for approximately seventy-five years, transporting people between New York and San Juan. The line also was involved in both World War I and World War II.

On June 2, 1917, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the steamship Carolina off the coast of Atlantic City. The Carolina was transporting passengers from San Juan to New York City. Of the 268 people aboard, sixteen died. Back in Puerto Rico, the country was outraged. In July of 1917 in Puerto Rico, 104,986 men registered for service in the United States Army. Of those men, 12,852 were called to active duty. The Puerto Rican regiment was the first United States Army troop to mobilize for World War I. The men were stationed on the Panama Canal, protecting what was known as the Canal Zone.

The Porto Rico Line was also involved in World War II. In 1942, the line transported troops from America to Britain, where the troops were to deploy to the North African Front. On the return voyage, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the steamer Coamo. Tragically, all 186 people aboard perished.
Essential Question
How does human migration impact societies?
Check for Understanding
Identify the purpose of this document and explain why this service was existed.
Historical Challenges
What happened to the ships in the Porto Rico Line during World Wars I and II?
Research how many people travel between Puerto Rico and New York each year. What is the preferred method of travel today?
English Language Arts: Create a newspaper article from a San Juan newspaper following either attack. Research further details and be sure to write the article for the proper audience.
Foreign Language/ESL: Translate the document into English.
Math: How fast does the ship have to go to keep to this schedule?