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Now What? Ellis Island Alternatives
4/1/2003
Where else could immigrants enter the US between 1880 and 1892?

Q. By what routes or under what conditions, other than via Ellis Island, might immigrants have entered the United States between 1880 (before Ellis Island opened) and 1892 (after it was activated)?

A. In the 19th century, the five major ports of arrival receiving significant numbers of newcomers were Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia, with New York receiving three-fourths of all arrivals by the 1880s. Also in use throughout the 19th and well into the 20th century were about 96 other ports on the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf Coast and Great Lakes. Some of these records survive.

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