Re: Processing at Castle Garden #general

John Warshawsky <john@...>

Alan M. Kraut 1994 book entitled "Silent Travelers:
Germs, Genes, and the 'Immigrant Menace'" contains a
brief discussion on page 36. Kraut explains that
Castle Garden was an old fort renovated and reopened
as a state immigration reception center on August 1,
1855. He further explains that ships anchored at a
quarantine station six miles below New York City where
an emigration boarding officer boarded to count
passengers, ascertain the number of deaths during the
voyage, the degree and kinds of illnesses suffered
during the voyage, and the overall cleanliness of the
vessel. After sending a report to the general agent
and superintendent at Castle Garden, the boarding
officer remained on the ship as it steamed up to
anchor near the Castle Garden depot. Passengers then
were transferred to the jurisdiction of the Landing
Department, and following a customs inspection of
luggage, immigrants and their belongings were taken by
tugs and barges to the Castle Garden depot. After
arrival at the depot, the immigrants underwent medical
examinations to determine if there were any sick
people overlooked by the boarding officer's
examination and to select others subject to "'special
bonds under the law" (such as "blind persons,
cripples, lunatics, or any others who are likely to
become a future charge.'" After examination, the
immigrants were directed to a rotunda in the center of
the depot for registration of their names,
nationalities, former residences, and intended

John Warshawsky
Bethesda, Maryland

Does anyone know about or have a reference to the
actual processing procedure at Castle Garden.

here did the boats land? How were immigrants
conveyed to Castle Garden? Was there any type of
security? Are there interior photos photographs of
Castle Garden during the period it was the immigration
center? Were there medical exams?

There are dozens of books with such information
about Ellis Island, but I don't recall seeing similar
references for Castle Garden.


Stew Driller
New York City

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