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Puma
05-06-2009, 05:48 AM
Can anyone recommend a good website (or two) with information on what visitors to the US had to do for entry in the 1880's? I'm looking specifically at New York and a visitor from England arriving on the Cunard lines who would be staying several weeks. Anyone have any suggestions for me (so far I haven't been able to find much through Google).

If you aren't aware of websites but know of books that have that information, I'd be interested in them too. Thank you so much for your help. Puma

firedrake
05-06-2009, 05:57 AM
Can anyone recommend a good website (or two) with information on what visitors to the US had to do for entry in the 1880's? I'm looking specifically at New York and a visitor from England arriving on the Cunard lines who would be staying several weeks. Anyone have any suggestions for me (so far I haven't been able to find much through Google).

If you aren't aware of websites but know of books that have that information, I'd be interested in them too. Thank you so much for your help. Puma

I know, when I was researching Fields of Gold, in 1917...the belowdecks passengers, e.g. steerage, 2nd, 3rd class, were taken off the ship and put on boats to Ellis Island to be processed. First class passengers remained on board and Customs and Immigration dealt with them there. I will see if I can find the website I used. I didn't bookmark it, unfortunately.

dolores haze
05-06-2009, 05:59 AM
The Ellis Island Museum website might be a good starting point.

Puma
05-06-2009, 06:04 AM
I don't think visitors would have come through Ellis Island - immigrants yes, but business men from the Continent - I don't think so. I'd think there would have been something similar to the Customs processing we have today. I have found references to Customs Houses, but not much more. Puma

firedrake
05-06-2009, 06:05 AM
I don't think visitors would have come through Ellis Island - immigrants yes, but business men from the Continent - I don't think so. I'd think there would have been something similar to the Customs processing we have today. I have found references to Customs Houses, but not much more. Puma

Sorry, I should've posted clearly. The first class passengers remained on board and were taken directly to the docks and processed on board. They didn't go to Ellis Island, just the 3rd, 2nd and steerage

hammerklavier
05-06-2009, 04:36 PM
Ellis Island didn't open as the main entry point until 1892, you should probably look into custom houses near the docks.

Puma
05-06-2009, 09:29 PM
Castle Garden preceded Ellis Island as the entry point for immigrants (to April, 1890) - It's now Castle Clinton National Monument (was originally a fort). It's located off the southwest tip of Manhatten.

I'm glad you mentioned that Hammerklavier - don't know why it hadn't occurred to me that the point of entry was Castle Gardens in 1885. That helps me tremendously. Thank you! Puma

Priene
05-07-2009, 12:23 PM
If you have trouble finding good sources for this, it might be worth researching Oscar Wilde's trip to America in 1882, as that's well documented and could have some good incidental information.

Puma
05-07-2009, 04:17 PM
That's a good idea, Priene - thank you. I knew notables were going back and forth fairly frequently, but most of what I'd found was going to England. Your idea helps. Puma