Manchester Guardian
London, Middlesex, England
April 17, 1856

(From the Albany Evening Journal)

    The most valuable importation from Europe into the United States is man. Heretofore this description of freight has been shipped without care, transported across the Atlantic recklessly, and cast hurriedly upon our shores in a damaged condition. Woollen, cotton and iron goods have ever been brought here under the guarantees of sea-worthiness in the vessel, of full insurance, of careful carriage and of final reception into perfect storehouses, watched by night and by day against robbery, fire and injury from the elements. The most precious importations from the Old World, we have ever made we have till this year treated with a wasteful neglect. The New York commissioners of emigration, stimulated and aided by wise and philanthropic men, have changed this. The emigrants to the New World through the entrapot of New York are now, and hereafter will be kindly met in the harbour, and taken with their property to a building of vast proportions which is to them at once a refuge from fraud, and escape from ....[rest of paragraph all blackened and smudged].
    Castle Garden has upon its western side dock, at which comes the steamboat or barge, loaded with the emigrants who have been taken off the passenger vessels. A narrow gangway is made by moveable fences, through which the entire number are passed for medical inspection. This is very rigid. In good weather it takes place in the open air. The object is to ascertain and immediately provide for, cases of hospital treatment, and to discover those who, from extreme age, chronic disease, orphanage, pregnancy, lunacy, or idiocy, are likely to become public burthens. The shippers have to assume these risks, and provision is made for them under the "commutation."  The inspection ended, the emigrants are admitted into the body of the castle, and marched up to a square in the centre, railed off on the outside with two entrances, one leading to the right and the other to the left. The first is for those who speak German or French; the second for those who speak only English. Inside the square are clerks, standing at desks facing the rails and ready with ledgers open before them to register the new comers. The pages of the large books are ruled into columns, and when written up show the names of the heads of families, or single persons, the vessel they came by, its captain's name, the number in the family, their destination, the amount of money they bring, and the relatives they previously had in the country. Passed one by one within the alley up to the registering clerks, and then passed on, this important work is done speedily, and without confusion. When finished the heads of families and individuals are interrogated about their choice of routes to their destinations. A counter extends on three sides of the square, and on this are exposed maps of all the railroad and steamboat routes in the United States. The fullest information is given, and complete impartiality shown by the clerks between competing lines. An attempt at undue influence over the emigrant's choice would be punished by a discharge from employment.
    While the registration and selection of routes are taking place, the luggage of the emigrants has been passed from the barge or steamer, by the forward gangway, on to the dock and into the office of the weighmaster. When the route, say to the west, has been selected, the party receives a printed slip, telling the weighmaster how many railroad tickets he requires to -say Milwaukee - the price charged for them, the number of packages he has and the charge per 100 for their weight over 50 lb. This is signed with the contracting agent's name, and is the memorandum of the passage agreement. This slip is taken back to the office of the weighmaster. The packages are identified, put on the scales and weighed. One of 20 large, thin, bound volumes, marked "Milwaukee," is opened, and on the inner margin is entered a full description of the packages, their weight, freight, &c. Next to this margin are printed seven coupons on yellow paper, in large type, of numbers for the packages, with the route of transportation left blank. If the party has four packages, for of these coupons are cut off, filled up, and pasted on to them, and a ticket corresponding with the inner marginal description is then cut off and handed to him. This is his baggage receipt. Then the printed slip which he brought into the weighing office is filled up and he is sent back with it to the cashier in the central office, who takes pay for the passage and freight. What luggage is to remain in the castle overnight is passed out of the weighmaster's office into a vast storeroom and there registered and labelled with conspicuous blue tickets. A receipt in blue is given for it, by number and designation of the pieces.
     During this time fires have been kindled (it is December) in two washing rooms, each 50 feet by 20 feet in size. On one side of the room is a bath, large enough for a dozen at once to roll in and splash about. The water stands in it two feet deep. On two other sides is a large wide trough, with the water flowing rapidly in at one end, and out at the other; at which any 50 people can be scrubbed and sweetened. Abundance of towels are hung conveniently and soap is not only most suggestively handy, but has got to be used. Every emigrant landing at the castle well enough to stand the process is washed clean before he or she gets out.
    If the vessels arrive early in the day, so as to land their passengers at the castle before one o'clock in the afternoon, the commissioners generally have them out and comfortable on their way by evening.  If they have to stay over for any cause, the room for comfortably sheltering them is ample. Three thousand people have slept there, after having previously feasted on fresh and excellent provision. Bread, cheese, coffee, and milk can be bought in the castle in any quantities, and at wholesale prices. When a ship is telegraphed, the baker employed is notified and a batch extraordinary goes into the oven. From personal inspection, we can vouch for the most excellent quality of all this food. the ramparts of the castle, its galleries, and the vast body of the inner circle, are free to the emigrants for exercise or pleasure. In cold weather, it id perfectly warmed at at all times, when passengers are undergoing registration or crowd the room, a fountain is in play throwing a very high jet. The purifying influence upon the atmosphere is most perceptible. There is a large kitchen, where hot water can be had by the women, and where they can cook anything they may want. Runners and boarding-house keepers are rigidly excluded from even sight of the emigrants. They are so faithfully cared for, that if liquor is smuggled in through the gates, and is found, it is taken from them and poured upon the ground before their eyes. They are not permitted to drink anything intoxicating within the castle walls. All immoralities, all disorders, are suppressed, vigorously but kindly. The discipline is paternal, but just.
    Many interesting facts are developed at the registration desks. The most striking is one that should take the conceit out of much of our 4th of July oratory. It appears that the moving impulse to most of the immigration is not the beauty of the bird of freedom, nor the seductive waving and beckoning of the stripes and stars. It is the "cousin," "brother," "aunt," "sister," "niece," "father," "daughter," "uncle," "son," "mother," or "friends there," who, already established here, have by epistelary coaxing, seconded by the pulling of the affections, drawn the emigrants from the eastern side of the Atlantic to the western. The inducement to full nine tenths of the immigration into the United States by the port of New York is not cheap land, nor civil freedom, nor high wages. It is simply the existence here of relative and friends whom the new comers wish to live with.
    The next fact interesting to the registration clerks and the public, is the different modes with which the immigrants meet the inquiry into the extent of their "cash means."- The Irish invariably understate it. They are afraid of being robbed. They also fancy that they will get things cheaper if they create the impression that they are needy or destitute. They always conceal their money resources, more or less. The Germans also uniformly understate their cash means, but not to the extent the Irish do. They are afraid that they will be robbed probably, and taxed certainly. The Englishman just as invariably overstates his pecuniary resources as the German and Irishman understate theirs. - The Scotch, the Hollanders, and the Swedes, truthfully and frankly  tell how much money they have, and if the statement is received with doubt, are ready to pull out their belts or purses, and show the "pile." From this it will be seen that the amount of gold and sliver coin, and bills of exchange, brought into the country by immigration, is much greater than our statistics show it to be.
    From Germany come more females than males. From Ireland vastly many more. The entire immigration furnishes us with 25 per cent more females than males. This fact will interest economists and suggest to them more than one subject of speculation.
    The movement of this addition to our population, after arrival- its distribution through the nation - is different than what is commonly supposed to be. Puritan New England receives now most of the Irish catholics; Massachusetts more than any of her sister states. Pennsylvania takes mostly English and Welsh; New York "a great deal of everything, " as our informant said; New Jersey ditto; Ohio, Irish and Germans; Wisconsin, Swedes and Germans; Iowa, Germans almost exclusively; Connecticut, Irish; Minnesota, Germans; Maryland, Irish and Germans; Indiana, all nations, the Germans preponderating; Michigan, ditto; Illinois, ditto; and Canada, nearly all Scotch and English. The causes that induce immigration very much decide the distribution of the immigrants. Demand for labour and wages may re-distribute them, but primarily they seek their friends and compatriots. The following table of the apportionment of some 29,000 of them, arrived during the past summer, will be found interesting. It includes a statement of the amount of money they took to their several destinations, as given by themselves. It is much less than the actual sum in nearly every item.:-
    Passengers for                                           Passengers for
12297 New York.....$310,600.69                89 Minnesota.........$3,582.00
   736 New Jersey....    12,119.44               136 District of Col...  2,605.62
 2001 Ohio .............   100,735.74                10 Florida..............     184.50
 2867 Pennsylvania...  109,809.37                12 South America.. 11,873.00
  328 Maryland..........     8,649.34                25 Delaware..........      550.00
  638 Indiana.............   30,858.70                  4 Cuba................       112.00
  717 Michigan..........   40,844.41                 15 Louisiana.........    2,214.25
 2035 Illinois............. 123,697.50                 45 South Carolina...  2,510.75
 3247 Wisconsin......  263,381.36                 16 North Carolina..   1,235.00
  115 Kentucky......       3,996.50              2107 Canada............. 16,990.25
  429 Iowa..............    25,721.00              1325 Massachusetts... 20,109.25
  245 Missouri.........   15,489.85                  18 Georgia                 1,609.25
  188 Virginia              12,314.87                  24 Tennessee...........     418.60
  383 Connecticut.......10,137.08                   41 Maine.................     182.70
  214 California           43,165.00                    8 Arkansas                      9.50
  280 Rhode Island....   2,825.53
     How a few of these went to slave states: Of those who went to Virginia the most were English and Germans, and nearly all were bound for the cheap farming land and the substantially free society of the western counties. The other slave states received droppings from this great flow of population and wealth into our nation felt the influence of it not in their negro districts.
     No charges whatsoever are made for services at the Castle or for the use of its excellent accommodations. The passengers and their luggage are transported from there by water, to their several points of departure from New York free of expense. While awaiting remittances they are permitted to abide in the friendly garden as at a free inn. Frequently, upon a pledge of their baggage, the poorer one obtain a sufficient advance to enable them to reach their journey's end. A small commission charged the railroad and steamboat lines over which the commissioners forward the immigrants is designed to meet the expenses of the depot. But they fell considerably short of doing this. Like many other noble benevolences in this world, this reform does not pay in money, only good.

Chicago Daily Times
Chicago, Cook, Illinois

April 1, 1890

Where All the Immigrants Came From and their Destinations.

    NEW YORK, March 29.- Castle Garden will soon be no more. The Federal Government is to take charge of the landing of immigrants, which has hitherto been in the hands of officers of the state of New York. Castle Garden is a dilapidated rotunda surrounded by equally ramshackle structures for the housing of the strangers on these shores, and the whole ugly conglomeration is likely to be razed to the ground when the immigrant station is established.
    Castle Garden was the most popular place of amusement of older New York. It was here that Jenny Lind first sang in America, and the audience was as fashionable as any that ever assembled in the Academy of music to hear the divine Patti's notes. The Garden stands on the sea wall which curves around the eastern side and lower end of Battery Park, once the breathing spot of the city, and still one of teh most attractive parts on account of the beautiful view it affords of the bay dotted with islands and filled with shipping. The Battery, as it is known, is historic ground. It was the strongest place of defense hereabouts in colonial days. George Washington's headquarters were on the upper edge of the park in a hotel where now th towers of Washington building, a twelve-story "skyscraper."
     The records of Castle Garden extend back to May 5, 1847, the date of the organization of the Board of Commissioners of Emigration and since that time nearly 10,000,000 immigrants - the exact number to Jan. 1, 1890, is 9,639,635, or about one-sixth of the entire population of the United States - have been landed there. The following table shows the countries from whence the aliens came and their numbers:
     Ireland, 2541,148; England, 1,178,157; Wales, 60,033; Scotland, 277,766; Germany, 3,425,208; France, 170,820; Russia, 224,559; Poland, 18,244; Switzerland, 172,180; Sweden, 825,831; Norway, 178,011; Belgium, 29,869; Holland, 89,381; Italy, 317,192; Spain, 19,215; Portugal, 2,295; Denmark, 123,033; Hungary, 131,746; Austria, 109,622; Bohemia, 76,457; China, 3,151; Australia, 606; Turkey, 1,831; Greece, 2,044; Other countries, mostly Canadians, 162,173. Total 9,639,635.
     The recorded destinations of the immigrants of 1889 were as follows:
Alaska,0; Alabama, 508; Arizona, 67; Arkansas, 325; Connecticut, 7,271; Colorado, 2,488; Delaware, 243; Dist. of Columbia, 330; Dakota, 5,311; Florida, 258; Georgia, 180; Indiana, 2,088; Indian Territory, 118; Illinois, 24,574; Iowa, 8,324; Idaho, 143; New York, 96,901; Ohio, 10,807; Oregon, 1,015; Pennsylvania, 46,612; Rhode Island, 2,660; South Carolina, 105; Tennessee, 419; Texas, 2,833; Kentucky, 657; Kansas, 2,313; Louisiana, 649; Maine, 182; Maryland, 1,415; Michigan, 12,107; Missouri, 4,828; Minnesota, 10,607; Mississippi, 14; Montana, 1,033; Massachusetts, 11, 649; New Hampshire, 371; North Carolina, 59; Nebraska, 5,039; Nevada, 212; New Jersey, 14,691; New Mexico, 109; Utah, 1,429; Vermont, 436; Virginia, 231; West Virginia, 255; Wisconsin, 8,647; Washington, 1,125; Wyoming, 346.