Rules & Regulations Broadside - Castle Garden - 1855

Interior View of Castle Garden Immigrant Depot circa 1855.

Interior View of Castle Garden Immigrant Depot circa 1855. INS Reporter, Fall 1976. GGA Image ID # 14b22f82b7

  1. All emigrant passengers, on landing at the depot, shall be carefully examined in passing from the vessel to the Castle, for the purpose of ascertaining whether any are liable to be specially bonded, or in such condition of health as to require hospital care.
  2. The examining officer shall make careful record of such persons as are liable to be specially bonded, and immediately report to the Mayor at his office.
  3. The examining officer shall also make record of such persons as require hospital care and shall have them placed in charge for immediate removal to the appropriate hospital.
  4. Before passengers shall be permitted to disperse themselves in the enclosure, each person or head of family shall be properly interrogated in relation to destination, the route of travel preferred, if any, and the means possessed for defraying the expense of transportation ; of which proper record shall be made.
  5. At the time of making record, or at any other time, such advice and information shall be imparted in each case as may be desired, or as the parties seem to require.
  6. No officer or other person shall recommend one route of travel in preference to another, having the same destination, nor recommend the purchase of tickets from one office in the enclosure in preference to another, under the penalty of exclusion from the depot; provided that such exclusion shall not be taken as relieving an offending party from prosecution, under the laws of the State, for improperly soliciting emigrant passengers.
  7. Immediately after examination, the emigrant passengers shall be furnished with an adequate supply of Croton water [ ] to enable them to cleanse their persons.
  8. The interior of the Castle, and the galleries and promenade connected therewith, shall be free for the use of the recently arrived emigrants, until ready to take their departure.
  9. When the emigrant elects to remain in the city of New York, or its vicinity, he will be permitted to leave the enclosure by the land side, so soon as he has properly cleansed his person with water.
  10. The expense of landing luggage from the emigrant vessels to the emigrant depot shall be borne by the owners of such vessels, and the expense of transferring it from the depot to the point of departure from the city shall be borne by the proprietors of the route of travel for which they are ticketed. Such emigrants as remain in the city of New-York shall defray the expense of removing their luggage from the depot.
  11. The proprietors of the several routes of travel are required to transport by water conveyance, from the depot at Castle Garden, all emigrant passengers who may have been ticketed there, together with their luggage, to the starting place of such proprietors, and placed in their conveyance free of any expense whatever. In no case shall transportation by land from the depot be permitted, unless the passage by water is so obstructed by ice as to make it imperatively necessary, and in that case the expense of such transportation shall be borne by such proprietors of routes.
  12. Before the removal of luggage by the proprietors of any route of travel from the depot, the same shall be weighed, and each piece shall be ticketed to its destination, with a common number for all the pieces of luggage of any one passenger, and a proper check given to each passenger, setting forth the number of his luggage ticket, the number of pieces of luggage, the gross weight, and the charge he is liable to for its transportation to the point of destination. The same to be signed as a receipt for the luggage by a proper agent of the proprietors of the several routes of travel.
  13. No person shall be employed by any party occupying an office within the enclosure as clerk, ticket seller, or interpreter, or in any other capacity, unless first submitted for approval to the Commissioners of Emigration, and approbation is given. Such approval may be withdrawn at any time, and the person excluded from the premises.
  14. The Committee on the Emigrant Landing Depot are empowered to suspend any officer or employee of the Commissioners, or of any clerk or other employee of other parties, stationed in the depot, for violation of rule; and temporarily to fill any vacancy that may occur in the officers of the Commissioners, and approve of appointments by other parties, subject to the action of the Commissioners.
  15. No licensed emigrant runner shall be permitted to enter the premises, under any pretense whatever.
  16. No person shall be admitted within the enclosure except the officers, employees, and emigrant passengers, unless on special permission of the officer in charge at the time. A book shall be kept in which shall be registered the name of every person specially admitted, and the time of admittance.

"Rules and Regulations for The Government of The Emigrant Landing Depot at Castle Garden," Office of the Commissioners of Emigration, New York, June 13th, 1855. At a Meeting of the Board, held this day, the foregoing Rules and Regulations for the government of the Emigrant Depot, at Castle Garden, were adopted.


Note 1: In 1842 the aqueduct connecting New York with the Croton River, flowing into the Hudson forty miles above the city, was put into operation. Martha J. Lamb, History of the City of New York, 2:730 (New York, 1877).

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