A brief timeline of significant dates in Baltimore's immigration history


The Maryland colonial legislature designated Locust Point as an official port of entry.


The US Customs Department began to record the number of international arrivals in Baltimore, largely immigrants.


On January 16, the B&O Railroad and the North German Lloyd Company signed an agreement; the B&O would build an immigration pier and connect it to its rail network, and the North German Lloyd (based in Bremen, Germany) would send at least one immigrant ship per month.


On March 23, the B&O’s Locust Point immigration pier opened with much public fanfare to mark the arrival of the North German Lloyd steamship “Baltimore.” In celebration, a parade made its way down Broadway in fells Point.


Congress authorized the Treasury Department to regulate immigration and exclude 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.


The B&O built an immigration station on the immigration pier, which was leased to the federal government to inspect and clear immigrants for entry.


Before 1890, Germans, followed by the Irish, were the largest immigrant group landing in Baltimore. After 1890, the majority of immigrants came from Eastern Europe.


The German Evangelical United Church of Christ on Beason Street in Locust Point built the Immigrant House for immigrants and sailors, which served 3710 individuals during 1904-15.


In July, World War I broke out, the last immigrant ship arrived at Locust Point, ending Baltimore’s role as a port of entry. After the war, most immigrants went through New York.


The federal government constructed an immigration station next to Fort McHenry to replace the privately operated immigration piers. Since immigration to Baltimore ended, the station never welcomed a single immigrant. Today the complex serves as a Naval Reserve Training Center.


The B&O historic immigration pier was destroyed in a fire.


Congress passed the National Origins Quota Act. European immigration was limited to 150,000 per year; each country was assigned a quota, based on the ethnic composition of the US population in 1920. This greatly reduced immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe.

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