May 4, 1847
New York State creates a Board of Commissioners of Emigration. Two-thirds of all emigration to America came through New York from the 1780s to the 1880s. With the onset of the Famine and thousands of Irish emigrants arriving in a constant stream, benevolent societies were established and lobbied New York State to set up a board of Commissioners of Emigration. The Board, which was instituted on this day in 1847, set up the Emigrant Refuge and Hospital on Ward’s Island in the East River and took over the running of the Marine Hospital on Staten Island.