1 Reply Latest reply on Jan 25, 2021 3:16 PM by Cara Jensen

    Seeking minutes of the Board of Special Inquiry & the Barge Office

    Gene Armstead Newbie

      The Board of Special Inquiry was assembled at the Barge Office to determine the fate of a 25 year old female Scottish immigrant, Maggie Wood. Maggie came to America to marry Martin Hamilton. She was detained because she intended to marry a Black man.  The Board assembled on the 9/9/1898 to hear the case and make a determination as to Maggie's fate. Maggie and Martin were wed on 9/13/1898 and we'd like to ensure that the family knows the obstacles they had to over come.

        • Re: Seeking minutes of the Board of Special Inquiry & the Barge Office
          Cara Jensen Tracker

          Dear Mr. Armstead,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          Unfortunately, not all of the Board of Special Inquiry related files from that timeframe survive as records from most ports were destroyed years ago.   Between the early 1890s and 1902, detained immigrants were noted directly on passenger lists, but no additional records survive of these detentions or the initial Board of Special Inquiry (BSI) hearings.  Today, files exist only for cases appealed to INS headquarters in Washington, DC.  There is usually no surviving record for non-appealed exclusion hearings, which made up the majority of cases. 


          If this is the case, the entry on the manifest should be the only documentation that exists related to the BSI action.  We suggest that you check the end of the manifest for details about her BSI hearing. For background on manifest notations, please see Manifest Markings - Left Margin and Manifest Markings - Board of Special Inquiry


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!