Register of ships arriving in the Port of Boston, 1848-1892

Massachusetts Division of Immigration


1.56 cubic ft. (9 volumes in 4 boxes).
4 microfilm reels ; 35 mm.
Arranged chronologically.
To administer posting of bond/payment of commutation against incoming aliens not previously in the state becoming a public charge, state immigration authorities were required to examine and have listed such passengers on vessels arriving in Massachusetts. Per St 1848, c 313 as amended (GS 1860, c 71 s 14; PS 1882, c 86, s 4), the vessel master was to furnish a list of alien passengers under oath within twenty-four hours of landing (see: Registers of passengers arriving in Massachusetts ports, 1848-1891 ((M-Ar)1990X)); each superintendent of passengers was to transmit commutation payments collected per these lists to the state treasurer quarterly. (See: Massachusetts. Treasury Office. Alien passenger accounts, 1840-1852 ((M-Ar)1865X)). Register (not specifically mandated until St 1869, c 251, s 2) summarizes passenger, payment, and payment transmittal data.
Vols. 2-6 (1851-1879) entries list per printed category date, vessel, vessel arrival no. per month, nation, master, where from, total no. passengers: no. died, on bond, here before, American, committed (commuted from v. 3--i.e., bond commuted by payment), and amount paid, by whom, and when. (Extra commutation amounts added separately from v. 3.) Statistics/amounts are totaled monthly, quarterly (through 1881), and annually (through 1855). From Apr. 1872 (v. 5) no. commuted and other payment data are left blank (replaced by no. passengers not here before) and not printed as categories in v. 7-8 (1879-1891), after repeal of commutation requirements per St 1872, c 169.
Vol. 1 (1848-1851) is a later compilation corresponding to and presumably based on series 1990X, subseries (1), v. 1-7, with date, vessel, master, and where from only. Vols. 2-8 are based on passenger lists: lost source documents (to 1863) for series 1990X, subseries (1)--having vessel arrival no. per month lacking in that subseries (i.e., transcripts) until v. 9 (Oct. 1852)--and those comprising series 1990X, subseries (2). Vol. 9 (1885-1892) is an extended variant of v. 8--possibly based on federal records since it extends beyond close of state lists--with date, vessel arrival no. per month, vessel, and where from only.
For arrivals in Boston, 1890-1903, and New Bedford, 1870-1932, see: Massachusetts. Division of Immigration and Americanization. Registers of arrivals in Massachusetts ports ((M-Ar)1993X), subseries (1).
Regulation of immigration into Massachusetts was successively the responsibility of the superintendents of alien passengers, 1848-1869 (for Boston, 1848-1863) and more generally the Board of Alien Passengers, 1851-1863; the Board of State Charities through its general agent's Subdept. of Immigration and Local Business, 1863-ca. 1869 and Subdept. of Immigration, ca. 1869-1879; and the State Board of Health, Lunacy, and Charity, 1879-1886, and State Board of Lunacy and Charity, 1886-1891, through their Division of Immigration, Dept. of Indoor Poor, from 1882 under contract to the U.S. Treasury Dept. Per the federal Acts of 1891, c 155, immigration authority was transferred from the states to the federal government.
Spine title: Register of vessels.
Forms part of: Alien passenger records.
Microfilm (lacks v. 1) available in Archives reading room.
Volume list.
Agency history record (CStRLIN)MASVAH0411-A/(OCoLC)145430041 describes the history and functions of the Board of Alien Commissioners.
Agency history record (CStRLIN)MASVAH0412-A/(OCoLC)145430043 describes the history and functions of the Division of Immigration.

Related Resources

View this description in WorldCat: