The book is mainly comprised of tables, enumerating the occurrence of such items as how many bakers, laborers, lawyers, actors, etc. immigrated for each year. There is gender information as well as statistics on the ports where immigrants entered.
"As to the question of the good or bad effect resulting to this country from immigration, the author earnestly disclaims the desire to promulgate any opinion which he may entertain; he has in the compilation of the history, embodied facts only; and, he leaves it to the enlightened understanding of the people of the United States to arrive at just conclusions from the premises therein presented."- W.J. Bromwell
The United States admitted roughly 4,482,837 immigrants between the years of 1819 to 1855. Over half of this total immigrated from Great Britain (England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales). It is little surprise that the lion's share of those emigrants were from Ireland. The period tracked by Bromwell includes the great famine that created an Irish diaspora.
Immigrants originated from scores of nations including some that no longer exist (such as the Barbary States, Prussia, and Persia). Roughly as many Chinese (16,714) as Mexicans (15,969) immigrated during that period. Surprisingly there were more immigrants from the West Indies (35,317) that China and Mexico combined. Of course, Bromwell is not able to provide information on the tens of thousands of African slaves that continued to be illegally transported to the United States even after the formal ending of the Atlantic slave trade in 1808.
Among occupations merchants, laborers, and farmers tend to be the most frequent. Far more servants than manufacturers immigrated. Miners tended to outnumber teachers and there were few artists and musicians in the tide of immigration. As one might expect the great ports were the landing places of the immigrants. New York, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New Orleans appears to have hosted the bulk of the immigrants, though occasionally unlikely ports such as Passamaquoddy, Maine had big years. The majority of the immigrants were male.
The book includes examples of immigration laws from the states and a list of Federal laws enacted to regulate the transportation of immigrants (apparently it became necessary to require shipowners to provide amenities such as water to passengers bound for the U.S.A.). Many of the state laws deal specifically with prohibitions for convicted felons or undesirables to enter the state.
California's act of 1850 forbade importation of "...any felon, convict, or person under sentence of death or transportation or any other legal disability incurred by criminal prosecution, except treason..." If found guilty of violating the act the misdemeanor carries a three month hitch in county lockup and a $1,000 fine.
Georgia's act of 1787 forbade importation of "...felons from other countries of States, transported or banished from the same for any crime or charge whatever..." Individuals found to be in these categories were to be incarcerated until such a time it was convenient to ship them off "never to return." They really meant that for the return to Georgia of anyone they banished said individual "...shall on conviction, suffer death without benefit of clergy." In other words the State of Georgia intended to punish returnees in this world and the next.
Massachusetts' Act of 1848 required inspections of immigrants before they could be landed. "If, on examination, there shall be found among said passengers any lunatic, idiot, maimed, aged, or infirm person, incompetent, in the opinion of the superintendent so examining to maintain themselves, or who should have been paupers in any other country, no such alien passengers shall be permitted to land..." Such people could be admitted to the Commonwealth if someone submitted a bond of surety that such immigrants would not Become a city, town, or State charge, from the date of said bond..." The Commonwealth charged each immigrant a $2.00 entry fee. Shipmasters were liable for ten years from the date of admittance if they did not report the condition that might put a passenger on public relief. Failure to comply carried a $500 fine per passenger.
New Jersey's Act of 1797 was the model for the California statute forbid the importation of felon-convicts or persons convicted of "infamous crime." Violation of the act carried a $200 fine per offense and pay court costs for suits meant to recover damages incurred as a result of the offenses. The offender will be incarcerated until such time that the felon-convict has been "conveyed to some place without the limits and jurisdiction of the United States."
Pennsylvania's Act of 1851 made it a crime for felons to enter the state and provided for a $50 fine per offense.
Rhode Island's statute barred the importation of convicts of "infamous crime" as well a those known or suspected to be a ..."person or notoriously dissolute, infamous, and abandoned life and character..." The fine for importing such people is a $400 fine per offense.
South Carolina's 1788 Act has some of the richest language, forbidding the importation of and "convicted malefactor."
Captains had to swear (or affirm) that they were in compliance with the act, the fine for which is 500 pounds sterling or a year in prison. Additionally the offending vessel could be banished from the port or impounded.
Virginia's State Code carries a three month jail term and $100 fine for the knowing importation of "any person convicted of crime, or any slave sold and transported beyond the limits of this State."
Vermont apparently was more interested in the poor entering their state charging a $500 fine per offense for bringing "poor and indigent person" into the state.
If you are interested in the subject of immigration and wish to take the long view Crowell's book is a must. So why were almost as many immigrants landing in Maine as in Maryland?