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PORTUGUESE IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES: 
ITS DISTRIBUTION AND STATUS 
By
Christian John Bannick 
A. B. (Stanford University) 1916 
Thesis 
University of California 
December, 1917 

{ed. This document scanned with OCR software November 1999 and selected portions 
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TABLE OF CONTENTS 
Chapter                                                                                   	Page 
1	Introduction and Brief History of the Discovery and Early 
	Inhabitants of the Azore, Cape Verde and Madeira islands					1
	
	Percentage of Immigrants coming to the United States 
	from Islands 											1
	Percentage of Immigrants coming from Portugal 							1		
	Discovery of the Azore Islands 									1
	Discovery of the Madeira Islands    								1                                   	
	Discovery of the Cape Verde Islands                                     			1
	Reasons for emigration to Islands and Brazil                            			2
	Islands used as a place for deporting undesireables                     			2 
	Resistance to Reign of Dom Miguel                                      				2
	Density of population in Portugal and in the Islands                  				2 
	Summary			                                                           	 	2 
2	The History and Extent of Portuguese Immigration and Emi- 
	gration to and From America                                                			4 
	Beginning of Portuguese Immigration to America 							4
	Extract of an article written by Mr. Frederick J. 
	Hoffman, entitled "The Portuguese Population in 
	the United States"                                                   				5 	
	Persecutions in the Madeira Islands                                    				5 
	Hardships and experiences in America of early 
	Portuguese Immigrants                                                				6 
	Site selected for Portuguese colony in the state of Illinois            			7 
	Failure to secure selected site                                         			7 
	Possibility to secure another site in the state of Illinois 
	presents, itself 													8
	Condition of Portuguese Immigrants on arrival in the 
	United States                                                        				8 
	Sending Portuguese Immigrants to colony selected in 
	the State of Illinois                                               				8 
	Condition of immigrants in Illinois colony                              			9 
	Attack on Portuguese Immigrants by Catholic Journal                    				10 		
	Portuguese colony in New Orleans, Louisiana                            				10 
	Reasons for emigration to the United 								10 
	Yearly census of Portuguese Immigrants entering the
 	United States                                                       				11 
	Census by decades                                                     				13 
	Graph showing yearly census of Portuguese Immigrants
 	entering the United States                                          				15 
	Graph showing census by decades                                        				16 
ii 
Chapter                                                                               		Page 
	Numerical importance of Portuguese immigrants in
 	the United States                                                				17
	Emigration from the United States by the Portuguese
	immigrants                                                       				18 
	Graph showing emigration from the United States by 
	the Portuguese immigrants                                        				19 
	Summary                                                            				20 
3	Geographical Distribution of the Portuguese Immigrants                  			21 
	
	Location of colonies                                                				21
	Location of Bravas or "Black Portuguese"                            				21
	Reasons for settling near port of entry in the United States        				22
 	Investigation carried on in the Oakland Technical High 
	School among children born under Portugal's flag, 
		and of native born children of Portuguese parents               			22
	Geographical distribution of Portuguese immigrants in
		1890 														23
	Geographical distribution of Portuguese immigrants in 
		1900                                                   					24
 	Geographical distribution of Portuguese immigrants in 
		1910                                                             			24 
	Distribution of Portuguese immigrants by States in 1910             				25 
	Urban and Rural distribution of Portuguese immigrants in 
		1910                                                          				28
	Distribution of Portuguese immigrants by Counties in the 	
		state of Massachusetts in 1910                                   			28
	Distribution of Portuguese immigrants by principal Cities 
		in the state of Massachusetts in 1910                            			29 
	Distribution of Portuguese immigrants by Counties in 
		the state of California in 1910                                  			30 
	Distribution of Portuguese immigrants by principal Cities 
		in the state of California in 1910                               			32 
	Estimated geographical distribution of Portuguese 
		immigrants in the United States in 1916                          			33 
	Estimated distribution of Portuguese immigrants by 
		States in 1916                                                   			34 
	Summary                                                             				36
 
4	Character of the Portuguese Immigrants                                     			37
 
	Sex distribution of the Portuguese immigrants in the 
		United States                                                    			37 
	Age distribution of the Portuguese immigrants in the 
		United States                                                    			37 	
	Educational condition of the Portuguese immigrants on 
		entering the United States                                       			38 
Chapter                                                                               		Page 
	Financial condition of the Portuguese immigrants 
		on entering the United States,                                 				40 
	Question of the payment of passage of the Portuguese 
		immigrants to the United States                                 			42 
	Conjugal condition of the Portuguese immigrants on 
		entering the United States                                     				43 
	Table showing professions of the Portuguese immi- 
		grants on entering the United States from 1907-1916             			44 
	Table showing vocations of the Portuguese immigrants 
	on entering the United States from 1907 to 1916                 				45 
	Number of deportations of Portuguese immigrants 
	during the period of June 30, 1907 to June 30, 1916             				47 
	Question of the padrone system among the Portuguese 
		immigrants                                                     				49 
	Summary                                                            				50 
5	Economic Status of the Portuguese Immigrants in the States of 
		Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and of those in the State 
	of California                                                          				51
 
	Activities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts                       				51 
	Effect on labor conditions in localities where they are 
		located                                                         			51 
	History of early farmers in Portsmouth and Fall River              				52 
	Property owned or leased                                           				53 
	Methods of agriculture                                             				53 	
	Abandonment of farm life                                           				54 
	Condition of fields                                                				55 
	Crops raised                                                       				55 
	The potato crop                                                    				55 
	Condition of houses and buildings                                  				56 
	Care of soil                                                       				57 
	Control of dairying industry in the state of California            				57 
	History of early Portuguese settlers in the state 
		of California                                                   			58 
	Largest colony in the state of California                          				58 
	Activities in the state of California                              				58 
	Property owned or leased in the state of California              				58 
	Condition of houses and buildings                                  				59 	
	Portuguese employed in the cotton mills of Oakland, 
		California                                                      			59 
	Progress of Portuguese in the state of California                  				60 
	Conclusion                                                         				60 
	Summary                                                            				60 
iv 
Chapter 															Page 
6	The Bravas or "Black Portuguese”                                        			62 
	Introduction                                                       				62 
	The Cranberry Industry                                             				62 
	Expenses and profits in the Cranberry Industry                     				62 
	The Source of the labor supply                                     				63 
	Number employed                                                    				63 
	Wages and conditions of labor                                      				63 
	Methods employed in picking cranberries                            				64
	Standard of living                                                 				65 
	Citizenship                                                        				66 
	Social, Moral and Educational Conditions                           				66 
	Summary                                                           				67
 
7	Other Aspects of the Portuguese Immigrants                               			68
	Markets and Marketing Facilities                                   				68
	Ownership of property                                              				68 
	Standard of living                                                 				69 
	Intensive study of one hundred (100) Portuguese families           				69 
	Social, Educational and Religious Aspects                          				70 
	Influence on the community                                         				71 
	Societies in the state of California and in the New 
		England states                                                  			71 
	Political conditions                                               				75 
	Folk-Lore                                                          				76 
	Summary                                                            				76 
8	Recapitulation of Summaries                                              			78 
Bibliography                                                                           			81 
Appendix                                                                               			86 
Chapter I 
INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DISCOVERY AND EARLY INHABITANTS OF THE AZORE, CAPE VERDE AND MADEIRA ISLANDS 
	In tracing the history of Portuguese immigration to the United States, one is surprised to find that most of 
the Portuguese who come to America, come not from Portugal directly, but from the Azore, Cape Verde and Madeira 
Islands. In fact, prior to the Revolution In Portugal In 1908 about ninety-nine (99) per cent of the immigrants 
came from these islands, and only one (1) per cent from the continent.1  
	It would not be out of place, if for no other reason than for a background, to trace the history of the migration 
of these people to those islands and then from that point to America. 
	The history of these islands is closely linked up with that of Portugal. The discovery of the Azores was by a 
Saracen navigator who, in 1147, sailed from the mouth of the Tagus river a thousand (1,000) miles straight toward 
the sunset. For two hundred (200) years however, isolation kept them outside the pale of history till their rediscovery 
by a Portuguese navigator, Bartholomeu Perestrello, in 1431. The Island of Madeira was discovered by Joao Goncalves 
Zarco and Tristao Vaz in 1420, while the Cape Verde Islands were discovered in 1460 by Diego Gomes, all of whom were
sailing under the orders of the king of Portugal.2  These islands had to wait for the coming of the sea-faring 
Portuguese to supply them with a population; and only later, owing to the demand for slave labor, did they draw 
upon the human stock of nearby Africa, but even then by means of Portuguese ships. All these discoveries were the 
fruits of Prince Henry's exploring ardour, who, year after year, despatched fleets of two and three ships at a time, 
which made important discoveries among the islands off the northwest coast of Africa. 
The Portuguese are essentially an adventurous nation, fond of traveling and full of enterprise. On finding that the
 devastations caused by the Moorish Wars could not be easily repaired and that the part of the kingdom to the south 
of the Tagus was either in the hands of the military religious orders or was split up into large feudal estates 
these people, about 1525, gave up the bulk of their young men to man the Portuguese fleets and to serve in the 
armies in India and the East. At the same time whole families emigrated to Madeira and later to Brazil. 
-1-
	From this time on small bands of people migrated to the islands, but it is not until 1668 that we first hear 
of the islands being used as a place to which undesirables and people who dared to criticize the government and its
 activities were deported. It was then that King Alfonso, who had been dethroned and shut up in a portion of the 
palace, was sent to the Azores. 
	Later in 1810 eighteen leading journalists were deported to the Azores. These men who dared to criticize the
 government for its methods in carrying on the war with France were part of the Radical Party in Lisbon, which were
 desirous of obtaining a peace with France. 
	Seventeen years afterwards Don Miguel, an ambitious prince, was declared regent. He immediately exiled all 
the leaders of the parliamentary, or, as it is usually called, the Chartist Party. His reign immediately became a 
Reign of Terror: arrests and executions were frequent; thousands were deported to Africa, and in 1830 it was 
estimated that forty thousand (40, 000) persons were in prison for political offences. He ruled in absolute 
contempt of all law, and at different times English, French and American fleets entered the Tagus to demand 
reparation for damage done, to commerce, or for the illegal arrest of foreigners. The result of his conduct was 
that the country was hopelessly ruined, and the Radical and Chartist parties, who respectively advocated the 
Constitution of 1822 and the Charter of 1826 agreed to sink their differences and to oppose the bigoted tyrant.3
	The Island of Terceira in the Azores had never recognized Don Miguel, and it was there in 1829 that Palmella, 
Villa Flor, Jose Antonio Guerreiro and Queveda  Pizarro declared themselves a council of regency for 
Queen Maria de Gloria. On the 11th of August, 1830, they defeated a fleet sent against them by Dom Miguel in 
Praia Bay, and at this news all the Chartists and Radicals who could escape from Portugal, and the numerous 
Portuguese exiles in England and France, hastened to the Azore Islands.4 
	Since 1830 the density of Population of the Island of Madeira has trebled and of the Azores has doubled, 
while the population of the Cape Verde Islands, which are exposed to the tropical heat and the desiccating 
trade winds of the Sahara has greatly decreased.  SUMMARY. . . Most of the Portuguese immigrants to the 
United States come from Portugal's island possessions off the northwest coast of Africa. It is, therefore, 
-2- 
important to note in what manner the islands themselves were populated. This was principally the result of 
sea-faring adventurers of the age of Prince Henry, the navigator, and later of political exiles of the various 
parties which in turn obtained possession of the government of Portugal. These islands are thickly populated 
with the one exception of the Cape Verdes, and we naturally expect that they will attempt to find an outlet 
for this surplus population. 
Footnotes 
1U. S. Census Reports, 1820 to 1900. Semple, "Influences of Geographical Environment,”  p. 432. 
2Stephens, "The Story of the Nations- Portugal,   p. 144. 
3Ibid., p. 418. 
4Ibid. , p. 419. 
-3-
Chapter 2 
THE HISTORY AND EXTENT OF PORTUGUESE IMMIGRATION 
AND EMIGRATION TO AND FROM AMERICA 
	The Portuguese came to the United States as early as 1820, having shipped as sailors on whaling vessels
which were sent out from New Bedford to the Azores. That port has continued to be a gathering point for the
Portuguese, and there is found the largest and oldest Azorian colony in the United States. The immigration
was very much accelerated during the latter part of the nineteenth (19th) century, and the statistics given
below will show that there is a very steady influx of these foreigners from the Azore Islands and from the 
Island of Madeira. The Portuguese quarter in New Bedford, popularly known as "Fayal,” is now very prosperous,
and represents the best Portuguese element in the East.1  
	Very little has been written on the question of Portuguese immigration to the United States, and almost
nothing on the history of the Portuguese pioneers to our coasts. This, no doubt, is due to two causes; first,
the small number of Portuguese immigrants in the United States, and, second, the inability to get direct from
Portugal records of people leaving there. This latter fact arises because Portugal had no law regarding the 
issuance of passports, the people being permitted to go and come as they pleased. However, people entering 
Portugal were required to appear before the municipal authorities at the end of a six months period of residence. 
	Professor John R. Commons speaks of the Portuguese as follows: "A diminutive but interesting migration 
of recent years is that of the Portuguese, who come not from Portugal, but from the Cape Verde and Azore 
Islands, near equatorial Africa. These islands are remarkably overpopulated and the emigration, nearly nine
thousand (9, 000) souls in 1906 is a very large proportion of the total number of inhabitants. By two methods
did they find their way to America. One was almost accidental, for it was the wrecking of a Portuguese vessel
on the New England coast that first directed their attention to that section. They have settled mainly at 
New Bedford, Massachusetts, where they follow the fisheries in the summer and enter the mills in the winter.
The other method was that of solicitation, which took several thousand of them to Hawaii 
as contract laborers on the sugar plantations. Unlike the Oriental importations to these islands the Portuguese
insisted that their families be imported, and then as soon as 
-4- 
their contracts expired they left the planters to become small farmers and are now the backbone of the coffee
industry. They and their children are nearly half of the "Caucasian" element of thirty (30,000) thousand.  
In Massachusetts they are of two distinct types; the whites from the Azores and the blacks from the Cape Verde
Islands. The latter are a blend of the Portuguese and Africans. Their standards of living are similar to those
of the Italians, though they are distinguished by their cleanliness and the neatness of their homes.2  While 
this is very interesting and somewhat valuable it does not help us greatly in tracing the history of their
immigration. Professor Commons speaks of it as "of recent years" when prior to 1890, 36,342 Portuguese
immigrants entered our gates. 
Again, Mr. Frederick L. Hoffman tells us: "The Portuguese in Massachusetts are mainly from the western islands,
including Madeira and the Azores. The latter islands in 1890 had a population of 389, 634 or 314.9 to the 
square mile, while Portugal itself had a population of only 135.7 to the square mile. This overpopulation 
of the islands has for some twenty (20) years at least led to a considerable emigration of Western Islanders,
to all parts of the world, but especially to the Sandwich Islands, Brazil, British Guiana, and the 
United States. For some curious reason the emigrants to the United States have mostly come from Fayal, 
San Jorge, and Flores, while those to the Sandwich Islands have come principally from Madeira, and those
to Brazil from the islands of San Miguel, Santa Maria and Terceira. This distinction of the origin of 
the American-Portuguese immigration is of some importance in view of the fact that there may possibly be
shown to be certain important difference in the racial types of the inhabitants of the different groups
of islands. In Hawaii Portuguese especially from Madeira have settled as plantation laborers on the sugar
estates since 1878. Including their descendants at the present time there are some thirteen (13, 000) thousand.
According to a high authority, "the government built better than it knew" in bringing the Portuguese to 
the islands."3  Mr. Hoffman takes up the subject from a different standpoint than Professor Commons and 
gives us in insight into the Portuguese migration in Hawaii, which has since become a source of Portuguese
immigration to the United States. It does not, however, take us to the history of the early Portuguese 
immigrants to America. 
The Reverend Herman Norton, writing in 1849, concerning the Persecutions in Madeira, in 1843 and 1846,3 states
that the American Protestant Society sent their
-5- 
Portuguese Missionary, Rev. M. G. Gonsalves, To Trinidad in the West Indies in 1847, to inquire into the 
spiritual and temporal condition of six hundred (600) Portuguese refugees from Madeira. When Mr. Gonsalves 
returned he brought with him a letter to the Executive Board of the American Protestant Society. In this 
letter the writer, a Mr. De Silva, sets forth the suffering of the refugees in Trinidad. He stated that 
the refugees were farmers and mechanics of various trades, and that they were ready and anxious to sustain
themselves by the labor of their hands, but that they could not find employment on the island that 
promised a sufficient support for their families. Soon after the reception of the letter the Society sent 
out an appeal for funds to defray the expenses of bringing these people to our shores and for purchasing 
land where they might be located as a colony. While the appeal for these six (600) hundred sufferers was 
before the American people, a number of them who had somehow obtained the means of paying their passage 
arrived in New York city. Upwards of fifty (50) came directly from Trinidad, and nine (9) from the Island
of St. Kitts. These exiles came to the American Protestant Society for advice, protection and support. 
They were taken to the Sailor's Horne, and boarded at the expense of the Society. As they were ignorant 
of our language it was impossible to obtain immediate employment for them. The society judged that it 
would be more economical and more pleasant for the Portuguese to rent buildings in which they might reside
and where they might be supplied with daily provisions. This was done and they were sustained b the society
for a period of eight(8) months. Efforts were made to send them to the West during the autumn of 1848,
but without success. To send them there without any suitable arrangement for their comfort and support,
would justly have exposed the society to censure. The only course, therefore, was to keep them in New York
city until spring, when they would direct them to a home in the West. 
	When they landed they were not only without the means of subsistence in a strange country, surrounded 
by those who spoke an unknown language, but they were also without any clothing suitable for the approaching
winter. An appeal was made for clothing and food, which was answered from various sections of the country. 
	Mr. Norton in another part of his book states "it will be gratifying to the friends of the Portuguese
in the West Indies to learn that arrangements have been  entered into and are in process of completion, by
which a home is secured for these exiles upon
-6-
our soil. The place selected is in the State of Illinois, at a point about equidistant between Springfield
and Jacksonville, on the Meredosia and Springfield railroad. By these arrangements the American Hemp Company,
which is composed of gentlemen in the west and in New York City, is to give both the Portuguese, who are
here, and also those who are in Trinidad, immediate employment and good wages on their arrival there.
They are also to furnish them with houses and every thing necessary for their comfort for one year without
charge. Besides this, the company has engaged to give every family of the colony (in all one hundred and
thirty-one families), ten (10) acres of land in fee and unencumbered, on which a house can be built where
they can have a permanent home. These ten acre lots are to be on the same tract of land, contiguous to
each other, and, by the terms of the agreement to be located by a committee consisting of the Hon. C. French,
governor of Illinois; Rev. J. M. Sturtevant, president of Illinois College, at Jacksonville; and 
Rev. Albert Hale, of Springfield. Great care has also been taken that these advantages, so secured 
to this interesting people, should be rendered available to themselves and to their families. The 
writings have been drawn, sealed and delivered, in which the parties are under bonds of 
ten thousand ($10, 000. 00) dollars each to fulfill their engagements.”4 
	Funds were collected in March and April 1849, by the American Protestant Society, to pay the passage
to Illinois of these dependent people who were in New York City. A home had been secured for them, as was
believed, where they would be comfortably situated. Every preparation was made for their departure. The 
buildings which the Society had rented for them in New York were rented by other people, and the Portuguese
were to vacate them before the first of May.  As they were about to move it was learned that the 
American Hemp Co., who had engaged to take them, had failed to fulfill its engagements, although under
a bond of ten thousand dollars to do so. This company had made no preparations to receive the Portuguese.
This deranged the plans of the Society, and obliged them to rent other buildings in New York, as in such 
circumstance's they could not send them to the West. Daily the society was expecting the way would be 
prepared for the departure of the Portuguese to Illinois. For weeks they were held in the most painful 
suspense. In this state no effort could be made to obtain employment for them. Hence they were entirely 
dependent on the Society for daily bread. For a time prospects for the future were discouraging on account
of this suspense. At length another door was opened. A letter was received from Rev. Dr. 
-7- 
Sturtevant, of Jacksonville, Illinois, informing them of a meeting of the principal Protestant churches
of Jacksonville; of the appointment of a joint committee, representing two Presbyterian churches, one
Congregational, and one Baptist, and one Methodist Episcopal church, and of their action respecting the
Exiles. This letter proposed to have those in New York come to Jacksonville at once, when the churches
would take care of them and put them into positions where they could earn a comfortable living.5 
	The letter further proposed that those in the West Indies should follow, with the expectation of
being located in Jacksonville and its immediate neighborhood. It was believed that at Jacksonville, 
Springfield and Waverly, the latter situated eight miles south of the railroad on which the two former
lie, and about equidistant from each, there could be no doubt that all of them could find the means 
of living with comfort from the rewards of their industry. 
	This letter was laid before the Board of Directors of the American and Foreign Christian Union,
and, after careful deliberation, it was resolved to send the Portuguese in New York City to Jacksonville
with the least possible delay. Everything was arranged, and the day was appointed for their departure.
Their passage was engaged on the Western route, up the Hudson river, through the Erie canal, over the
lakes to Chicago, and thence through the canal and down the Illinois river to Jacksonville. Before the
day arrived sickness and cholera had broken out among them. Again they were disappointed, and their 
plans deranged.6  
	One vessel after another arriving from Trinidad, brought with them Portuguese refugees, until 
between four hundred and five hundred were in New York city. They were all destitute of money and of 
clothing suitable for our climate. The society was obliged to furnish them with daily bread, with 
medicines, and to obtain for them a large supply of clothing. As soon as the cholera abated in the 
city and along the main route to Illinois the society began to make arrangements for the departure 
of the refugees. This was a work of no ordinary care and responsibility. 
	The day so long anticipated by the society and by the Portuguese at last came; a day to which 
they looked with the deepest interest and anxiety. It was the 19th of October, 1849, that two hundred 
and eighty of them Portuguese left New York city for the West, a day that will be memorable in their 
future history. The exiles and their baggage were collected on the deck of the Isaac Newton and sent 
to their new home. 
-8- 
	This company of pilgrims had gone to Jacksonville, Springfield and Waverly, Illinois, where they were 
received into the families of the inhabitants. Some of the 
men were employed in mechanical labor and in agriculture, while the women were employed in sewing and in 
domestic duties. This was not designed to be a permanent ar- rangement, but it gave them a home for a time, 
and helped make them more familiar with our language and manner of doing business. This better prepared 
them for their life in a future colony, where they hoped for permanent settlement in a body. 
	On the 8th of November, 1849, another company of about one (100) hundred left New York for Illinois. 
They took the railroad from Albany to Buffalo, then steam- boat to Detroit, and again the railroad to Chicago, 
and from there to Jacksonville. They were to remain in Jacksonville until permanent arrangements could be made 
for them. 
	The Exiles were well provided for on their journey. Public meetings were held in Albany, Buffalo, 
Detroit and Chicago, when most of them were present. The most intense interest in this expatriated band, 
which had found a refuge from the storm which drove them from their own country, was evinced in all these 
places. Liberal contributions were made to aid in defraying the expenses of their journey, and they were 
received with the most cordial hospitality. They finally arrived at their destined home in Jacksonville, 
Springfield, and Waverly in Illinois. Here the inhabitants received them into their own houses, and by 
every means in their power ministered to the comfort of these people. 
	Sometime after the arrival of the Portuguese in Illinois, Mr. Norton received a letter from the 
Rev. Mr. Hale, of Springfield, who in 1849 wrote as follows: "We are much occupied these days in ministering 
to our brethren, the Portuguese Exiles. They arrived here just in time to enter on the severe winter weather, 
which they, in common with all of us, have now to endure. They are not much accustomed to severe cold weather; 
and as our city was very full of people when they arrived, it was well nigh impossible to provide them 
habitations; to provide comfortable dwellings was out of the question, as everything worthy of the name 
was already crowded full. But we have done what, under the circumstances, we could, and they are hoping 
for better times. So far as I know, they are contented and happy. Many of them find employment, at good 
wages and ready pay. They are highly valued as laborers, and will soon be able to take care of themselves 
without the aid of others. Indeed, the last thing to be looked for is that such men should long be a charge 
upon their fellow men. If they maintain their religious principles and their habits of industry, there is 
but one destiny for them here, and that is “plenty---independence.”7 
	Another interesting bit of information regarding the early Portuguese was found in the New York Freeman's 
Journal of May 10, 1849, which stated as follows: 
"As regards the 'martyred Portuguese,' all we can learn about them is, that they are ‘outlaws’, who, for 
different offenses, were punished by the civil authorities of Madeira, nothing more.”8 This was later 
corrected by the paper, which said that these exiles left Madeira to better their condition, to pursure 
work, etc. The former statement was meant more as an attack upon one religion by another, rather than an 
attack upon the Portuguese exiles themselves. 
	It appears that the account given by Rev. Mr. Norton takes us back to the early Portuguese immigrants, 
and shows us the hardships these early settlers had to undergo before they were finally settled in America. 
We learn from it the true condition and character of the early pioneers from Portugal's island possessions. 
	Prior to 1847 a few Portuguese settled in New Orleans, Louisiana. These settle: had been engaged in the 
slave trade. They were so few, and of such unimportance, that nothing has been recorded of their activities 
in the south. 
	Just why and out of what conditions did these people, who possess a genuine instinct for land culture 
and an unsentimental love for cottage life, come to America? The original home of most of the Portuguese who 
have come into New England were the Western islands, where small farming with the most rudimentary tools, 
fishing and cruising were the occupations, and where, ignorant of the workings of government and out of 
sympathy with it, they felt the military requirements as tyrannously oppressive. Their reason for coming 
was to better their economic condition and to escape military service. In the old Fayal, army duties fell 
upon the very poor; the more affluent were able to bribe the officials at the ballot-shuffling that each 
year designated those whom the King called. This the poor held a bitter injustice. The two years of active 
service, with a long and elastic period on the reserve, the young men's peasant parents dreaded as a time 
when the lad, in the high tide of his life, should be swept into a slough of deadening idleness and worse. 
These frugal, hard-working people looked upon the young men called, and perhaps often with reason, as dead 
to any future usefulness. One old mother affirmed that she considered her son worse than dead, and several 
young men, who knew the military life, 
-10- 
carried her out in this statement. 
	Thus it was that lads of fourteen were put aboard whaling vessels or smuggled into steamers bound 
for America, their passage money and the much bulkier fee to 
the agent having been paid by the parents. The agent's fee was of course heavy, for did he not have to 
assume the responsibility of getting the boy off without his passport and in such a manner as to evade 
the military eye always drowsily on the lookout? And did he not have to go shares with the captain on 
account of the gentleman's little risk on the other side? Exciting enough these first adventures must 
have been to the youngsters when a group of them, hardly old enough yet to be beyond farewell tears, were 
set out stealthily upon some sea-jutting rock, far from the village and out of the ken of the military, 
there to await the small boat to be sent out according to previous agreement from the passing vessel.9 
	This clearly shows what these people, who knowing that if they enter another country they must make 
their way by the labor of their hands, had to endure, and how they were willing to take the chance rather 
than stay at home, no doubt, believing that conditions elsewhere could not be any worse than what they were 
brought up under. 
	According to the report of the United States Superintendent, and later of the United States Commissioner 
General of Immigration, the number of Portuguese immi- grants and that of entire immigration to this country 
since 1820 was as follows: 
Year               	No. of Portuguese                    	Total No. of Immigrants                      
1820                          	35                             	8,385 
1821                          	18                             	9,127 
1822                          	28                             	6,911 
1823                          	24                             	6,354 
1824                          	13                             	7,912 
1825                          	13                            	10, 199 
1826                          	16                            	10, 837 
1827                           	7                            	18, 875 
1828                          	14                            	27,382 
1829                           	9                            	22,520 
1830                           	3                            	23,322 
1831                          	--                            	22, 633 
1832                           	5                            	60,482 
1833                         	633                     	58, 640 
1834                          	44                            	65,365 
1835                          	29                            	45,374 
1836                          	29                            	76,242 
-11-
Year            	No. of Portuguese             	Total No. of Immigrants                 	
1837				34				79,340
1838                    	24                       	38,914 
1839 				19				68,069 
1840                    	12                       	84,066 
1841                      	7                      		80,289
1842                   		15                      	104,565 
1843                    	32                       	52,496
1844                    	16                       	78,615 
1845                    	14                      	114,371 
1846                      	2                     		154,416 
1847                      	5                     		234,968 
1848                    	67                      	226,527 
1849                    	26                      	297,024 
1850                   		366                      	369,986 
1851                   		50                      	379,466 
1852                    	68                     		371,603 
1853                    	95                      	368,645 
1854                    	72                      	427,833 
1855                   		205                      	200,877 
1856                   		128                      	195,857 
1857                    	92                      	246,945 
1858                   		177                      	119,501 
1859                    	46                      	118,616 
1860                   		122                      	150,237 
1861                    	47                      	89,724 
1862                    	72                      	89,207 
1863                   		86                      	174,524 
1864                   		240                      	193,195 
1865                   		365                      	247,453 
1866                   		344                      	163,594 
1867                   		126                      	298,967 
1868                   		174                      	282,189 
1869                   		507                      	352,569 
1870                   		697                      	387,203 
1871                   		887                      	321,350 
1872                		1,306                       	404,806 
1873               		1,185                       	459,803 
1874                		1,611                       	313,339 
1875                		1,939                       	227,498 
1876                		1,277                       	169,986 
1877                		2,363                       	141,857 
1878                		1,332 				138,469 
1879 				1,374                       	177,826
1880                  	 	808                      	 457,257 
1881                		1,215                       	669,431
1882                		1,436                       	788,992 
               
-12- 
Year              	No. of Portuguese               	Total No. of Immigrants	
1883                    	1,573                      	603, 322 
1884                    	1,927                       	518,592 
1885                    	2,024                       	395,346 
1886                    	1,194                       	334,203 
1887                    	1,360                       	490,109 
1888                    	1,625                       	546,889 
1889                    	2,024                       	444,427 
1890                    	2,600                       	455,302 
1891                    	2,999                       	560,319 
1892                    	3,400                       	623,084 
1893                   		4,816                       	502,917 
1894                    	2,196                       	314,467 
1895                    	1,452 				279,948 
1896                    	2,766                       	343,267 
1897                    	1,874                       	230,832 
1898                    	1,717                       	229,299 
1899                    	2,096                       	311,715 
1900                    	4,241                       	448,572 
1901                    	4,176                       	487,918 
1902                    	5,309                       	648,743 
1903                    	8,433                       	857,046 
1904                    	6,338                       	812,870 
1905                    	4,855                    	1,026,499 
1906                    	8,729                    	1,100,735 
1907                    	9,648                    	1,285,349 
1908                    	6,809                       	782,870 
1909                   		4,606                       	751,786 
1910                    	7,657                    	1,041,570 
1911                    	7,469                      	878,587 
1912                    	9,403                       	838,172 
1913                   		13,566                    	1,197,892 
1914                    	9,647                    	1,218,400 
1915                    	4,376                      	 326,700 
1916                   		12,208                       	298,826 
To April 1, 1917              	5,109                       	61,040 
Total              		192,237                   	32,840,638 
Thus, the  respective number of these immigrants by decade was as follows- 
Decade           	No. of Portuguese              	Total No. of Immigrants
1820-1830		180                        	151,824 
1831-1840		829                        	699,125
 
-13- 
Decade 	No. of Portuguese                    	Total No. of Immigrants
		Immigrants	
1841-1850  		550 				1,713,257
1851-1860		1,055                        	2,579,580 
1861-1870		2,658 				2,278,625
1871-1880        	14,092                          2,812,191
1881-1890		16,978				5,246,613
1891-1900		27,557				3,844,410
1901-1910		66,560				8,795,406
1911-1917		61,778				4,819,617
                 	192,237				32,840,638
		
From the figures given above it would appear that Portuguese immigration has formed but an 
insignificant portion of general immigration.
We find that from l820 to 1860 not more than 2,614 Portuguese immigrants landed in America. 
During the decade 1861-1870 we find that more of them had emi- granted to this country than had done 
so during the four preceding decades. It is also possible that the reason why no more than 2,658 
came to join us was on account of the Civil War. While this is merely a supposition it is a fact 
that a state of war in a country does retard emigration to its shores. From 1871 to 1880 we find 
the first rapid increase over that of previous years. It is during this decade that we may speak 
of thousands of Portuguese coming to our shores. The figures for the next decade show only a slight 
increase over that of the preceding period. Just why so slight an increase is shown we are unable 
to say for one would expect more because of the fact that it was during this period that our "new" 
immigration commenced. The next ten years is an interesting period, not only for Portuguese immigration, 
but for immigration in general. There was a decrease of over two million souls under that of the 
preceding decade, which, no doubt, was due to the fact that this country was at war with Spain. The 
fact that the people of Spain belong to the Iberian race might have an effect on the immigration 
coming from any other Iberian country. It was from 1901 to 1910 that we find our greatest increase 
in both Portuguese immigration and immigration in general. Just double the number of Portuguese 
immigrants and of the total number of immigrant, came in this decade than did the decade of 1891 to 1900. 
From 1910 to 1917 Portuguese, immigration seems to have held its own while that of the other races declined, 
though it is probable that the rate of increase for the remaining three years of this period will 
lessen owing to Portugal's entrance into the World War. 
-14- 
Chart showing Portuguese immigration by years, 1820 to 1917 inclusive. 
1920                                0 
1910 			   	100
1900                                200 
1890                                300 
1880                                400 
1870                                500 
1860                                600 
1850                                700 
1840                                800 
1830                                900 
1820                                1,000 
					5,000 
					10,000 
					15,000 
-16-
 
Chart showing Portuguese immigration by decades. 
1910-1917             1861-1870                     0                30, 000 
1901-1910             1851-1860                     100              40, 000 
1891-1900             1841-1850                     1,000            50,000 
1881-1890             1831-1840                     10,000           60,000 
1871-1880             1820-1830                     20,000           70,000 
Chapter 8 
RECAPITULATION OF SUMMARIES 
	(1) Most of the Portuguese immigrants to the United States come from Portugal’s island 
possessions off the northwest coast of Africa. It is, therefore, important to note in what manner 
the islands themselves were populated. This was principally the result of sea-faring adventurers of 
the age of Prince Henry, the navigator, and later of political exiles of the various parties which 
in turn obtained possession of the government of Portugal. These islands are thickly populated with 
the one exception of the Cape Verdes, and we naturally expect that they will attempt to find an outlet 
for this surplus population.                                                            
	(2) The over-populated islands off the northwest coast of Africa have been a source of 
immigration to the Sandwich Islands, Brazil, British Guiana and the United States. This emigration to 
the United States began as early as 1820 coming generally to better their economic conditions and to 
escape compulsory military service.  Religious feeling has to a considerable extent entered into the 
settling of these people in the New World as is shown by the work of the American Protestant Society 
in helping to settle these people in the state of Illinois, and by the attack made on them by the 
Catholic Journal New York city. The Portuguese immigration, however, has not been of any considerable 
proportion until recent years, but is rapidly growing. Inasmuch as few of the Portuguese immigrants 
return to their home country we naturally conclude that they come here with the intention of making 
this their permanent home and of entering as soon as possible into complete American citizenship. 
	(3) Most of the Portuguese immigrants settle in or near the ports through which they enter our 
shores, thus making the two largest centers Massachusetts and Rhode Island and the state of California. 
They are found in every state in the Union and in the states of Massachusetts and California they are 
found in every county and principal city.  In the state of California they are found in the rural section 
while in the state of Massachusetts they have taken to the urban district, which we might expect in 
view of the principal industries of these two sections, and from which we might also conclude that they 
fit very easily into our economic life. 
	(4) With regard to the character of the Portuguese imrnigrant in the United States we must conclude 
that they are a great asset to our country from an economic standpoint. Most of the Portuguese immigrants 
are males and of ages where they enter directly
 -78- 
into the productive industries. Because of their extreme illiteracy they inevitably go into the wage 
earning class in America, but in those positions they make a much more creditable showing than other 
immigrant races of higher educational status. This in itself would indicate that their illiterate 
condition is due not to the incapacity of the immigrant himself but rather due to the educational 
conditions in the country they come from. We are, therefore, prepared to learn in a later chapter 
that given the education and social environment in America they assume a very creditable place in 
our social life. The amount of money which they bring with them and the fact that a comparatively small 
proportion of their passage is paid by other parties leads us to assume that there is very little contract 
labor among the Portuguese immigrants. The fact that a large proportion of the Immigration is of single 
persons, combined with the fact that only four (4) cases of deportations have been for prostitution 
would indicate a healthy moral state. As would naturally be expected the largest proportion from a 
vocational standpoint are laborers. Among the professional and skilled laborers engineering and the 
work of mariners is the highest. This would be expected in view of the fact that they are of a sea-faring 
race. The large proportion of the Clergy represented among the profession class indicates the strength 
of the Roman Catholic church in their country. Even though the laboring class is the largest, the fact 
that not one was controlled by a padrone in the investigation of 1915 and 1916 in California indicates 
that they possess a true Amercan standard with respect to independence. 
	(5) While some of the Portuguese of New England have entered the manufacture: industries the 
greater part of them have entered agriculture, and are to be found principally in the two colonies 
of New Bedford and Portsmouth. Here they have settled for the most part upon small farms and are 
chiefly engaged, so far as the raising of market products is concerned in potato growing. In spite 
of the comparatively low natural fertility of the soil and the competition with outside producers, 
principally those of New Jersey, and because of their hand culture, for which the soil is especially 
adapted, and because of their longer hours of labor and the fact that their wives and children are 
willing to enter the fields they are gradually making a success of their agricultural ventures. On 
practically all of these farms they are able to raise sufficient general agricultural produce to supply 
their own needs. To quite a considerable degree they have taken up their work on the abandoned farms of
New England. In California we find their economic status is in general similar to that of the New England 
district. Because of the somewhat 
-79- 
different type of agricultural work and because of the more extensive use   of farm machinery the women 
and children are not as extensively employed in the f ields as is the case in the New England section. 
On the whole the Portuguese in California are undoubtedly somewhat more progressive than those in 
Massachusetts. However, in both of these places we find good examples of the fact that their energy and 
perseverance are bringing them an abundance of success. 
	(6) The Bravas or "Black Portuguese, therefore, because of their nomadic traits and their low standard 
of living are at the present time the principal labor supply in the cranberry district of New England. 
In this district the labor supply has been in succession; the Americans, the Finns, the Poles and the 
Italians, all of which are now generally to be found in permanent employment in the various manufacturing 
industries or upon the farms. Because of the general character of the Bravas we can expect that they 
will be for sometime to come the principal labor supply on the cranberry bogs. In comparison with the 
white Portuguese we find them somewhat lower with regard to education and morality, and less desirable 
as immigrants to our shores. 
	(7) We find from the standpoint of business standing the Portuguese are progressing rapidly in 
our economic life. Considerable agricultural lands are owned by them, against which few mortgages are 
held. Their truck farms are supplying the large cities near which they are located with considerable 
farm produce. A few of them are entering the manufacturing industries and business houses located in 
the cities near their homes. We find also from the standpoint of their social standing that they maintain 
a comparatively high standard of living, and are held in good social esteem by the American among whom 
they settle, or with whom they have business or social relations. For the most part their social life 
centers around certain organizations connected with the Roman Catholic church, of which most of them are 
members, and it is here where both young and old meet for their social entertainments. Politically they 
sometimes exercise considerable influence on local questions, being usually controlled by some political 
organization such as the Naturalization Club of New Bedford. Thus, we see that on the whole these people 
are fast entering our economic life, which is largely due to the native aptitudes of the Portuguese themselves 
and to the public school system of which they take advantage whenever it is possible. 
BIBLIOGRAPHY 
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