Emigrant Landing Depot, Castle Garden New York City: Commissioners of Emigration of the State of New York, 1876. Unbound.
This certificate measures 7¾” x 8¾” and is titled and datelined “Commissioners of Emigration of the State of New York, / Emigrant Landing Depot, Castle Garden / New York, March 30th 1876.” It bears a red embossed seal that reads “Commissions of Emigration of the State of New York”. In nice shape.
The document reads in part:
“This is to Certify, that it appears from the Manifest, or List of Passengers of the Ship or Vessel 'Republic' on file in this office that George V. Anson of England aged thirty several years arrived at the Port of New York in the State of New York, and United States of America, in the said vessel from Liverpool, England on the twenty ninth day of February 1876, and that by a Report made to this office, it further appears that the said George V. Anson died on the fourth day of March one thousand eight hundred and seventy six in the State Emigrant Hospital Wards Island, New York, of Mana a Potu et Erysipelas, Acute cerebral Meningitis.”. Very good. Item #010205
Mania a Portu is Delirium Tremens or Alcohol Madness. Erysipelas is a streptococcal skin infection usually of the face or legs, and cerebral meningitis is an infectious inflammation of brain and/or spinal cord membranes.
The Emigrant Landing Depot, Castle Garden was located at the southern tip of Manhattan, adjacent to The Battery. Originally a defensive fort, it was modified to serve as an emigrant reception center, the first in the United States, in 1854. It continued operating until replaced by Ellis Island in 1890. During that time it processed over 8 million emigrants (two out of every three) into the United States. Ward’s Island, the site of Castle Garden’s associated Verplanck State Emigrant Hospital, lies up the East River about 8 miles north of the Emigrant Landing Depot. The hospital opened in 1847, and in time the complex expanded to include a dispensary, chapel, lunatic asylum, fever and surgical wards, men’s and women’s barracks, a nursery for children, and a dining hall that could seat 1,200 people.
The practice of using quarantines to protect port cities from devasting epidemics began at Venice in the 14th century. When the United States first began such protection, it fell under local and state jurisdiction and there were a variety of quarantine regulations for arriving vessels. The first federal quarantine legislation was passed in 1878 after a series of yellow outbreaks overwhelmed local facilities. After cholera epidemics were brought into the United State by emigration passenger ships, the federal system was expanded in 1892, and by 1921 the quarantine system was fully nationalized.
(For more information, see “Ward's Island Medical Center for Castle Garden Immigrants” at the GG, at the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives website, “Quarantine Stations: History of the ‘Plague houses’ in the harbour of New York” at the Ellis Island website.), and “History of Quarantine (Port Health)” at the Center for Disease Control website.)
Apparently, a scarce document. At the time of listing, neither OCLC nor the Rare Book Hub show any entries for emigrant death certificates from any of the U. S. Marine Quarantine Hospitals..