Excerpt from The U. S. Customs Service: A Bicentennial History
When we began the research for this book, the sources appeared daunting: the customs records in the National Archives alone measured linear feet. There are more customs records among the Treasury Department's papers and other collections. Thousands more linear feet are located at the regional federal records centers across the United States. Every major research library houses collections rich in customs history as well, and innumerable histo rians for nearly 200 years have written about the Customs Service or touched on it in their extended studies.
Knowing that we could not possibly exhaust existing primary sources in one year of research (or we chose a policy of sampling the richest primary sources, many of them obscure and little used because they lie buried amid poorly catalogued or uncatalogued collections. We hoped by this means to provide a small path for others to follow; customs records, like the Customs Service itself, are rich not only in American economic and political history, but social and cultural history as well. This study is intended to reﬂect that variety.
We also realized that a one-volume study could at best provide only a superficial chronicling of Customs' myriad involvement in the nation's history, so we chose to discuss in some depth representative topics - pressure points like the Amer ican Revolution, the embargo era, the nullification controversy, the Civil War, Prohibition, and drug enforcement. Rather than survey complex customs oversight of immigration in the 19th century, we opted to deal with the enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 as an example in depth.
About the Publisher
Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com
This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.show more