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Boston Passenger Lists 1887-1939

Boston is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Boston also serves as county seat of the state's Suffolk County. Below are Passenger Lists of ships with a origination or destination of Boston with immigrants landing at the Boston Immigration Station or Customs House for processing.

Digitized Passenger Lists for Boston


Long Wharf, Atlantic Avenue (foot of State Street).
Telephone, Main 380.
United States Commissioner of Immigration
Colonel George B. Billings
Assistant Commissioner
Jeremiah J. Hurley
Surgeon in Charge
Dr. M. V. Safford

The principal function of this Bureau is to examine arriving immigrants to see that the provisions of the various laws are carried out forbidding the landing of certain prohibited classes, among which are convicts, lunatics, idiots, persons suffering from loathsome or dangerous and contagious diseases, paupers, persons likely to become public charges, prostitutes, polygamists, contract laborers and others.

Immigrants arrived 1911:

  • Steerage 39,007
  • Cabin 22,889
  • Total. 61,896

Immigrants arrived 1912:

  • Steerage 48,194
  • Cabin 23,832
  • Total 72,026


100 Summer Street.
Telephone, Main 6084.

  • Chairman: F. X. Mahoney, M.D.
  • Commissioner: P. H. Mullowney, M.D.V.
  • Location of quarantine: Gallops Island, reached by the quarantine boat, the steamer “Vigilant.”
  • Hours of quarantine: sunrise to sunset.
  • Port Physician: F. X. Crawford, M.D.
  • Assistant Port Physician: Edward M. Looney, M.D.

The Quarantine Department is under the control of the Health Department of the city of Boston. The Board of Health makes regulations governing quarantine which are enforced by the Port Physician. The Port Physician, Assistant Port Physician, and all other employees on Gallops Island and on the boats necessary to carry into effect the rules, orders, and regulations of the Board of Health, are appointed by this department.

The instructions and orders of the national government regarding the quarantine are enforced by the Port Physician through this department. The latter has entire charge and supervision of the quarantine station at Gallops Island where he or his assistant is in attendance continually.

On Gallops Island are located a dwelling house, two hospitals, dining hall, two buildings for the reception and care of immigrants, disinfecting plant, electric light plant, store house, etc.

The quarantine steamer “Vigilant,” 73 £ tons burden, about 5 feet in length, 17 feet beams, 8 feet deep, was built in Boston in 1866 at a cost of $18,000; rebuilt in 1912 at a cost of $15,000. The steamer “Relief,” which is an auxiliary quarantine boat was purchased in 1904, $3800.

Boston Chamber of Commerce, Handbook of the Port of Boston, Boston: The Committee on Foreign Trade of the Boston Chamber of Commerce, 1913, pp. 144, 212.

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