Grateful American® Foundation

Where was the first immigration station in the United States?

August 1st

300px-Habs_castle_clintonAugust 1, 1855 — Castle Clinton was the nation’s first immigration station. It opened today in New York City’s Battery Park, and precedes Ellis Island by almost 40 years.

The site was originally used as a fort in the War of 1812. It later became an opera house, restaurant and theater. But today it became an emigrant landing depot, and was the only functioning one of its type in the US.

Many of the records from Castle Clinton burned in a fire on Ellis Island on June 15, 1897, so very little is known of the immigrants who entered through this station. However, it is believed that between 8 to 15 million immigrants were processed here during the building’s operation.

Castle Clinton is now a museum, as well as a point of departure to visit Ellis Island and the statue of Liberty.

Words of Wisdom

America was indebted to immigration for her settlement and prosperity. That part of America which had encouraged them most had advanced most rapidly in population, agriculture and the arts.

— James Madison, 4th President of the US

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