1870: Immigration Begins

Cigar manufactory in Philadelphia

Lipp and Fulweiler Cigar Factory print, 1878

Image from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Immigrating to Philadelphia in 1870, Francis Aguilar became one of the first natives of Puerto Rico to make Philadelphia their home. He declared his intention to become a U.S. citizen in 1875. He and his wife, Rebecca, and their children made their first home in South Philadelphia on Lafayette Street, and later moved to South Street near 4th Street. The 1880 census lists his occupation as “segar broker” and his birthplace as Puerto Rico. In that same year, less than ten other Philadelphia residents declared their birthplace as Puerto Rico.

Written by Sandi Hewlett, a professional genealogist who teaches and consults to help others with their family histories.

See the Spanish version of this page here.

For more context on this event, see the People page.

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