TheShipsList-L ArchivesArchiver > TheShipsList > 2009-07 > 1248813431
From: Sue Swiggum <>
Subject: Re: [TSL] Immigration process 1866
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 17:37:11 -0300
Castle Garden opened in 1855
Here is an interesting article about the opening ....
... the article discusses the process and the emigrant experience.
This is a great photograph ....
... see the link at the bottom of the page for the 1870 article from
If you meant before 1855, then ...
US Federal passenger arrival records, which the government kept
permanently, began as a result of the Steerage Act of 1819 ; the
government didn't actually start keeping the records until 1820.
The Customs Collector would meet the ship either at in the harbor or at the
dock. He was most interested in
things, eg. --baggage and bundles-- and much less interested in
people. The Customs official collected the ship passenger list required by
US law since 1820. This list was prepared by the ship captain or company,
usually prior to sailing (sometimes information was added en route). He
also might collect Customs duties levied on any of those bags and bundles.
The next officials (or first, at some ports), if any, would be State or
local officials. These State/local authorities enforced and administered
state laws regarding immigration. Such laws typically required a "head
tax" to be paid for the landing of each immigrant or that all ships and
passengers pass through some quarantine to protect the local population
Once past these officials the only people who might stand in an immigrant's
way were the local "runners," "chislers," and assorted scoundrels eager
to "help" new arrivals lighten the load of their purse.
At 08:46 AM 2009-07-28 -0700, Steve Tierney wrote:
>For ships coming from Ireland in 1866 prior to Castle Gardens - how was
>immigration handled. Did the have to register and what happened if they
>Steve - California