Below are significant dates in Baltimore's immigration history.
1706 - Locust Point was designated an official point-of-entry by Maryland Colonial Legislature.
1783 - The German Society of Maryland was founded to assist German immigrants.
1793 - On July 9th, 53 vessels arrived in Baltimore carrying 1000 white and 500 black refugees from a revolution in Santo Domingo (Haiti.) In a display of compassion and tolerance, Baltimore’s residents took the French-speaking refugees into their homes and raised $12,000 for their relief.
1803 – The Ancient Order of Hibernians was founded to assist Irish immigrants.
1821 – The Customs Department began to record the number of international arrivals, largely immigrants.
1867 - On January 16, the B&O Railroad and the North German Lloyd Company signed an agreement; the B&0 would build an immigration pier and connect it to its rail network, and North German Lloyd (based in Bremen, Germany) would send at least one immigrant ship per month.
1868 - On March 24, the B&O Railroad’s Locust Point immigration piers opened with much public fanfare to mark the arrival of the North German Lloyd steamer “Baltimore.” Fort McHenry’s guns were fired in salute and a parade made its way down Broadway in Fells Point. A banquet was held in honor of the ship’s German captain and crew.
1882 – Congress authorized the Treasury Department to regulate immigration and exclude those immigrants who were “convicts, lunatics, idiots, and persons likely to become a public charge.” Later, anarchists and polygamists were added to the list of undesirables.
1887 - The B&O Railroad built an immigration station on the land next to the immigration pier, which was leased by the federal government to inspect and clear the immigrants for entry.
1904 - The German Evangelical United Church of Christ on Beason Street in Locust Point built an “Immigrant House” for immigrants and sailors, which served 3710 individuals during 1904-16.
1907 – Almost one million arrivals mark the peak year for immigration to the United States and for Baltimore, as 60 steamers with 66,000 immigrants docked at Locust Point.
1914 – In July, World War I broke out, and the last immigrant ship arrived at Locust Point, ending Baltimore’s role as a port of entry. After the war, immigrants primarily went through New York.
1917 – The Federal Government constructed an immigration station next to Fort McHenry to replace the privately-operated B&O piers. Since World War I ended the immigration, the station never welcomed a single arriving immigrant. Today the complex serves as a Naval Reserve Training Center.
1917 – The B&O immigration pier was destroyed in a fire.
1924 – Congress passed the National Origins Quota Act in 1924, to take effect in 1927. European immigration was limited to 150,000; each country was assigned a quota, based on the ethnic make-up of the US population of 1920. This greatly reduced the number of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe.