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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856,
BY WILLIAM J. BROMWELL, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States in and for the
District of Columbia.
SAVAGE & MOCREA, STEREOTYPERS,
13 Cbambers Street, N. Y.
To the citizens of the United States the following History of Immigration is respectfully submitted, in the belief that it will prove to them an acceptable offering, since, by the aid of the facts contained therein, they may accurately determine the elements which have contributed to the unexampled growth of the American Republic.
As to the question of the good or bad effect resulting to this country from immigration, the author earnestly disclaims the desire to promulgate any opinion which he may entertain; he has, in the compilation of this history, embodied facts only: and, he leaves it to the enlightened understanding of the people of the United States to arrive at just conclusions from the premises therein presented.
The Statements contained in it have been compiled, entirely, from official documents :
First, and chiefly, from the Annual Reports on Immigration prepared at the Department of State, and by the Secretary communicated to Congress in compliance with a requirement of the Passenger Act of March 2, 1819.
Secondly, from Passenger Abstracts transmitted to the Secretary of State by Collectors of the Customs, and on file in the Department, yet not embraced in the Annual Reports on Immigration, because not received until those Reports had been completed and laid before Congress.
Thirdly, from such custom-house records as furnished immigration statistics never communicated to the Secretary, or which, if ever communicated, are now missing from the files of the Department.
The facts thus accumulated, and exhibited in the tables which follow, contain all the available official information of importance in possession of the country relative to its immigration.
Fifteen months have elapsed since the compilation of this work was begun, and almost every hour not employed in the discharge of official duties has been devoted to the task. Even a cursory examination of the published Reports on Immigration, to be found in the Executive Documents of Congress, will show the extent and intricacy of the author's labors. The first Report, embracing returns for the year ending September 30, 1820, consists of literal copies of passenger manifests containing over ten thousand names, to each of which are affixed the corresponding age, sex, occupation, and country of birth ; thus presenting in detail, and without classification, more than fifty thousand items, forming a book of about three hundred pages.
In the present work, recapitulations of that Report are given, occupying only four pages.
The subsequent Reports, although more condensed than the one mentioned, are quite voluminous. Many of them are without method, have no recapitulations appended to them, and, as published, contain numerous typographical as well as clerical errors. Even the Reports for the last three years, which have been prepared with great care, and which are much more perfect than those preceding, have been recapitulated anew in order to embrace additional information, and to secure a systematic classification.
In conclusion, the author remarks, that, from the commencement of this work to the completion of it, he has been mindful of the fact, that, to the general reader it can not prove attractive; and the only encouragement he has received to prosecute the task and to finish it, has been derived from the consideration that a history of Immigration, exhibiting the number and sex, age, occupation, and country of birth, of passengers arriving in the United States, so far as the same is officially known, would, if presented to the public in the present form, never become obsolete, nor be supplanted by another work of a similar kind, but would exist as a book of reference so long as the American People shall feel an interest in a subject which so vitally concerns them.
PROGRESS AND EXTENT OF IMMIGRATION PRIOR TO 1819.
We will first consider very briefly the progress and extent of immigration to the United States of America prior to 1819, the year in which the present official history begins. As, on this point, no authentic information exists, it must be determined by such evidence as statisticians of that period possessed, and by the relations then existing between the United States and the countries from which persons emigrated.
The current of migration commenced its flow from England, Ireland, and Scotland, and from Germany through the French and British ports. It was subject to many fluctuations during a part of this time, but continued with considerable uniformity, it is believed, until 1806.
Mr. Samuel Blodget, a statistician of more than ordinary research and accuracy, wrote in 1806, while every fact in regard to immigration was fresh in the minds of the people, that from “the best records and estimates at present attainable,” the immigrants arriving in this country did not average, for the ten years from 1784 to 1794, more than 4,000 per annum.*
During 1794, 10,000 persons were estimated to have arrived in the United States from foreign countries.f In 1818, Dr. Adam Seybert, member of the House of Represen
* Blodget's Statistical Manual, page 75.
tatives from Pennsylvania, in his exceedingly valuable “ Statistical Annals” of the United States, wrote to the following effect:
“Though we admit that ten thousand foreigners may have arrived in the United States in 1794, we can not allow that they did So,
in an equal number, in any preceding or subsequent year, until 1817 ;” and he assumes that 6,000 persons arrived in the United States from foreign countries in each year from 1790 to 1810:* to him, and to the authorities he consulted, this average seemed a generous one.
During the ten years from 1806 to 1816, extensive immigration to the United States was precluded by the unfriendly relations at that time existing between Great Britain, France, and the United States.
England maintained the doctrine, and for a while enforced it with success, that “a man, once a subject, was always a subject.” This deterred many from emigrating to this country from the British empire. Numbers had previously come for the purpose of entering the American merchant-service, and numbers still might have come which the fear of British impressment frightened from carrying out their design.
Another influence retarded immigration : in 1806, Great Britain issued a decree declaring the coasts of France in a state of blockade. A retaliatory decree was, in November of the same year, issued by France, declaring the British isles in a state of blockade.
To these restrictions on commerce — and, consequently, on the unobstructed passage from Europe — succeeded the British orders in council, and the Milan decree of Napoleon.
In March, 1809, the United States law was passed prohibiting for one year intercourse with Great Britain and France.
In 1810, the Napoleonic decrees were annulled ; and the commerce of the United States had, in 1811, fairly commenced with France, but only to have their vessels fall into the hands of the British. Preparations were now making for active hostilities, and on the