Foreign Born in Massachusetts

Foreign Born in Massachusetts



Per Cent







Total Foreign Born



Massachusetts law about adoption

Adoptions: family law advocacy for low and moderate income litigants, 3d ed., 2018, Chapter 14. Mass. Legal Services
This source focuses on the forms to file and how to fill them out.

The court adoption process, Mass. Trial Court.
By understanding the adoption process in the Massachusetts Court system, you will have the tools you need to bring a new member to your family.

Find out who is eligible to adopt , Mass. Trial Court.
Find out who can adopt and who can be adopted in Massachusetts.

Get access to historic adoption records , Mass. Trial Court.
Find out which types of historic adoption records are available through the court archives and how to access them.

Foreign Born in Massachusetts - History

In the history of the Communist Party of China (CPC), there was a special group of party members who are from other countries such as Vietnam, Japan, India, Austria, Poland, UK, U.S. and the Soviet Union.

Those foreigners had the experience of living or working in China and made great contributions to China's revolutionary cause.

The party constitution put forward by the 1st National Congress of CPC said that anyone who recognizes the party program and policies and wishes to become a loyal member can join the CPC through the introduction of a party member, regardless of gender or nationality. During the 2nd National Congress of CPC, the constitution also said the members of CPC have no nationality or gender distinction, and whoever recognize CPC's manifesto and constitution and are willing to serve the party faithfully can join.

In the next two CPC national congresses, the above provisions remained unchaged.

In the constitution adopted by the 7th National Congress of the CPC, the provision of nationality is not mentioned. But in 1956, the constitution adopted by the 8th National Congress of CPC clearly put forward that the party member must have Chinese nationality. Since then, foreign citizens could no longer join the Party.

The site of the 1st National Congress of the CPC is now preserved as a museum in Shanghai, China. /VCG Photo

Ma was born in the U.S., whose original name is George Hatem. He came to China in 1933 to practice medicine. Later in 1936, with the help of Soong Ching-ling, he went to northeast China and joined the CPC in 1937. One year after the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, Ma became the first foreigner to gain Chinese nationality. Ma received the Lasker Medical Award in 1986 for his contributions to eliminating venereal diseases and leprosy in China.

Hong was a Vietnamese military leader and joined the CPC in 1927. He came to China in 1924 and spent much of his early years here. Hong participated in the Long March and was awarded the rank of major general by the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

As a Korean, Bi joined the CPC in 1925. He was a member of the CPC-led Nanchang Uprising and the Long March. During the Long March, he risked his life to lead his troops to complete the mission such as crossing the Jinsha River, which was important to the entire operation. But he died in a mission when crossing the Yellow River in 1936.

The son of Ma Haide (George Hatem) visits an exhibition about the development of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and stands beside a photo of his father, August 29, 2016. /VCG Photo

Coming from Poland, Ai's original name is Israel Epstein. He came to China with his parents in 1917 and they settled in north China's Tianjin. Ai became a journalist at the age of 15 and in 1938, he joined the China Defense League established by Soong Ching-ling. He later lived in the U.S. with his wife for several years. In 1951, Soong invited him to return to China to join the founding of the magazine China Reconstructs (later renamed China Today). He became a Chinese citizen in 1957 and joined the CPC in 1964.

Fu was born in Vienna and his Austrian name is Richard Frey. He joined the fight against Fascism when he was a teenager and later came to China in 1939. Fu joined the CPC in 1944 and received the Chinese nationality after the founding in 1949 of the PRC. Working as a doctor, he made great contributions to China's medical development. In 1987, he led the establishment of China‘s first large-scale computer retrieval system for medical literature, ending the history of manual retrieval.

A special and important role

Most of those foreign Party members are sincere friends of the Chinese people and are important in China's history.

Many of them are professionals such as doctors and translators, who devoted their wisdom and energy to China and made contributions to the mutual understanding and friendship between China and other countries.

Massachusetts Minimum Wage 2021

2021 saw the Massachusetts minimum wage increase from $12.75 per hour to $13.50 per hour. A 75 cents increase has been the third increase to the Massachusetts minimum wage in four years, and it is set to increase higher over the next few years to $15 per hour!

Although the state minimum wage is $13.50 p/h, some counties, cities, or towns may have a different minimum wage. For more information regarding minimum wage laws and updates, visit the Massachusetts Government Website.

Tipped employees (those earning $20 or more per week through tips) are entitled to a minimum of $5.55 per hour. However, these employees must be made aware of this and the tips they receive will need to equal the Massachusetts minimum wage 2021 per hour or the difference will need to be made up by their employer.

To find out more information regarding the US minimum wage by state, check out our page that has a table in alphabetical order of all 50 states, including historical state minimum wage rates from previous years.

There are many interesting facts about Massachusetts that you probably haven’t heard of. Feel free to check out a comprehensive list of them that also includes some very important economic facts if you are looking to start your own business or franchise or get a job in the state.

Massachusetts Minimum Wage History

As a Massachusetts business owner and employer, or someone that is looking to register an LLC or an incorporated company in Massachusetts with the goal of hiring employees, now, or in the future, you will need to have a Massachusetts EIN number.

An EIN is also known as an Employer Identification Number and is issued by the internal revenue service (IRS). We have created a guide on how to get an EIN number in Massachusetts with the IRS, and it includes links to the appropriate sources and forms and the differences between whether you are a U.S. citizen or a foreign national applying for a Massachusetts EIN.

You Might Also Like

when was this last updated?

It was last updated October 4, 2013

Check your date for the Boston Massacre. I think you have a typo.

Thanks for the heads up! 1700 is definitely a little early for the Boston Massacre.

Would you happen to know when electricity and the lightbulb began appearing in Boston?

Could you recommend a good book to reference about Boston history during the 1880s?

Could you recommend any books/resources/websites to help me learn about Boston speech/accents/vocabulary during the 1880s?

Sorry I don’t know when light bulbs first appeared in Boston but I plan on writing some more articles about the industrial revolution so if I find out more I’ll let you know. I don’t really know any resources about speech patters in 19th century Boston or about Boston specifically in the 1880s.

Was born and raised in Concord, MA, of USA-raised parents, but always thought locals talked funny – not like anyone on tv. I never had the accent. Family strict Irish Catholic, but I never believed – always thought priests were weak weirdos – didn’t know how weird, though. Lived few houses from John Tortorella family – was very good family – no liars, thieves, racists, sucker punchers, gang members in Tortorella family. Was in same class as Ted Sarandis at Concord Carlisle High School – he was one of many imitating Howard Cosell/Don Meredith/Frank Gifford at the time, but I said he’s one with the brains to actually do it. Soon after took off for So Cal, So Fla, No Cal, then Tahoe area, only been back to visit family in MA twice since 1970’s. Seems like was someone else’s whole different life, in different world – but – go Patriots.

hi my name is Jeff this was helpful for research i got my stuff done so thanks

Born in Boston, buried in a ‘foreign devil’ graveyard in China

Stuart Bradford for the Boston Globe

It’s 1846, and Alexander Hill Everett is having a hard go of it. In his time, the Boston diplomat and man of letters has worked for John Quincy Adams in Russia, he’s served in The Hague, he’s served as American minister to Spain. He’s written books about politics and edited the new nation’s first literary magazine. He even convinced his friend Washington Irving to come to Spain to seek inspiration for his writing, and welcomed Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Madrid. At age 56, he’s spent more than 15 years living abroad in the service of his country. But now he’s very sick. And what’s more worrisome, he’s on a slow boat to China.

Everett is on his way to become America’s second-ever minister to that immense and mysterious nation. He has already retreated to recuperate once, turning back in Rio de Janeiro. Now he’s decided to press on, to make it to Canton, that city in the heart of the Pearl River Delta where for some decades, Western merchants have traded sticky black balls of opium for tea, porcelain, and silk.

He arrives in Canton, going up the wide brown river past Whampoa, the anchorage where tall clippers from abroad unload passengers and goods. Perhaps he is well enough to look out at the startling, incandescent green of the rice paddies and marvel at the 40,000 boats thronging the river in the tropic furnace of a Canton summer. On one shore he would see a 17-story pagoda, taller by far than Faneuil Hall and the Old State House. Maybe he thinks of what he might accomplish here. Maybe he thinks of the future these two nations — one ancient, one barely out of infancy — have together. Soon after his arrival, however, he succumbs to illness. Alexander Hill Everett dies on June 28, 1847. More than 8,000 miles from home, he is buried in the South China mud, on the side of a hill above Whampoa, where his stone still stands today.

He’s not alone. There, on that foreign shore, the ground is thick with people from Massachusetts. In the graveyard are sailors, missionaries, merchants of Salem and Boston. In 1847 Canton and Massachusetts are at either end of an aquatic highway, the Route 66 of the time, linking the two places together in people’s minds much tighter than almost anyone today realizes.

In our time, Canton — now known as Guangzhou, pronounced “gwong-joe” — is a teeming metropolis of more than 13 million people, spangled with factories that produce everything from LEDs to underwear to children’s books. The Boston area is a biotech hub, a banking center, and a higher-education mecca, its trading past more of a charming curio than a topic of current conversation.

But at the high-water mark of New England’s shipping industry, the two were intimately tied. If you find yourself today on a hillside in Guangzhou, in a graveyard full of familiar names, or on a street in Salem, where the houses speak in a coded language of the East, you may see for yourself that long-distance trade is not just an exchange of goods. It’s also the sowing of strange seeds, which may fuel a rebellion or quell it, build railroads or build mansions. And it’s a series of tales about human yearnings — the longing for ways to prove oneself, the taste for new vistas, the loneliness of dying so far from home.

The way to China lay out on the cold deeps of the Atlantic, around the horn of Africa, across the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea — or, for other voyagers, around South America and across the vast Pacific. Despite the distance, Massachusetts ships were once so numerous in far Eastern waters that, according to one historical account, a prominent merchant on the island of Sumatra thought Salem must be a country.

The stream of sailors began even before the American colonies declared independence, says historian John Haddad of Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg. The colonists were not allowed to launch their own trading voyages the British East India Company handled the empire’s affairs. But the ships were crewed with Salem men, Boston men, people from New London, New York, Philadelphia. They wrote vivid accounts of a strange place where there was money to be made. When their turn came, they were ready. “Right after the revolution, these wonderful merchant sailors and captains, they were so eager. They said, ‘We’ve always wanted to go to China — let’s go,’” says Haddad. “’We’re all in.’”

A vessel called The Empress of China pulled into Whampoa in 1784 carrying ginseng from Appalachia and silver, as well as Samuel Shaw, a Boston Revolutionary War officer who had high hopes for trade with the celestial empire. When the ship returned to New York nearly 15 months later with a cargo of tea, porcelain, nankeen cloth, and other goods, Shaw sent a rushed message to the office of the secretary of foreign affairs. Contact had been made. In Guangzhou, the Americans were called “the new people.” They were thought peculiarly polite, compared to the British.

The ship’s return was widely seen in the United States as demonstrating that the young nation was more than a jumped-up set of backwater counties, explains Dane Morrison, a historian at Salem State University and author of the book “True Yankees: The South Seas and the Discovery of American Identity.” He writes, “Shaw himself believed that the Congress should recognize the introduction of Yankees at Canton as a great American holiday. . . as historic even as the country’s independence day.”

Before long, the ships carried American missionaries. Elijah Bridgman of Belchertown, Mass., the first of the new arrivals, joined a team translating the Bible into Chinese. His cousin James followed him to Guangzhou, arriving in 1844. “It seemed only a little thing to step over to China now,” said R.C. Morse, publisher of the missionary paper The New York Observer, when he visited minister Samuel Bonney in Guangzhou in 1854.

American women joined the flow, too. In 1829, Harriet Low, a vivacious 20-year old Salemite, stepped off the ship in Macau, the Portuguese colony at the river mouth where foreign traders spent the off-season. One night she and her aunt absconded to Canton, skimming over the Pearl in a small boat. “Had a delightful head wind till we reached Whampoa, too late to see the beautiful scenery and the fleet of ships now there,” Low wrote in a letter. “At eleven the moon rose in splendor, so that we had a fine view of the pagodas as we neared Canton, and the endless variety of boats. I forgot all my fatigue, and we stayed on deck.” The women went for a walk one evening through the few streets of the foreigners’ neighborhood. “Lights were called for, that the Chinese could look at us,” she wrote. “They were all perfectly civil, and made no noise, but only showed a little curiosity.”

The tales these travelers sent home from the ends of the earth were more than just entertainment. “The stories, both in print form and oral form, influenced people’s understanding of who they were,” says Morrison. When the China trade began, maps of the world showed the United States on the periphery, where it had always been — but that was changing.

A painting, circa 1850, of the “foreign devil graveyard” near Guangzhou, China. Wikimedia Commons

The Yankees came to Guangzhou to take something away. The profits of a single journey to buy silk, tea, and other China goods could be on the order of $1.5 million in today’s money. Though an individual might have only a share of that total, many traders retired after 10 years with fortunes equivalent to $5 million or more, plenty to live on comfortably for the rest of their lives. It was a get-rich-quick game everyone knew it. But the merchants, sailors, and missionaries left more than silver (and a disturbing growth in opiate addiction) behind. They helped alter the history of South China.

Elijah Bridgman, the translator from Belchertown, helped create scripture that fell into the hands of a man called Hong Xiuquan. Hong, having deciding that pamphlets from Bridgman’s colleagues reinforced the message of a fever-dream he once had, proclaimed himself the younger brother of Jesus Christ. He began to gather followers to his new religion, and after a number of years, they had an army. Together they marched across the country, leaving terror and death behind them. For more than a decade, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, which used an adapted version of the Bible Bridgman had worked on as its holy text, held a large swath of South China in its thrall, including the ancient capital city of Nanjing, west of Shanghai. The reigning Qing Dynasty fought back, in one of the bloodiest wars in human history. At least 20 million people died before the Taiping movement fell apart. Frederick Townsend Ward, a son of Salem and soldier of fortune, was one of the mercenaries hired to help put down the rebels, as it happens. Where one Massachusetts denizen’s work was swept up in civil war, another was there when the disturbance was laid to rest.

One missionary brought something of more lasting humanitarian worth. Born in Framingham, Peter Parker was a farmer’s son who trained as a doctor and minister at Yale. He came to Guangzhou in 1834 and started a small clinic that soon grew into a much larger affair, where he treated thousands of patients. Parker was the first person in China to use anesthesia, when it became available, and brought modern surgical techniques to China, training a number of his assistants as surgeons. When he retired, another American doctor took over. Though foreign involvement ended in the early 20th century, the hospital continued.

Today, the modern outgrowth of Parker’s Canton Hospital sits on the north bank of the Pearl, at a busy intersection where large banyan trees shade the traffic. It’s known as the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital. And although you would be hard-pressed to find anyone there who has heard of Framingham, there is a plaque to Parker just inside the oldest building’s front door.

Meanwhile, the new link to southern China was changing the landscape in Massachusetts, too. The money that came back, Haddad says, helped finance the construction of the first railway in the state. Built by Thomas Perkins, fabulously wealthy head of the opium behemoth Perkins and Co., the railway transported the stone for the Bunker Hill Monument from a quarry in Quincy. That granite, pulled over tracks that the China trade paid for, wound up in other Boston structures too, including the Custom House Block. The Perkins School for the Blind takes its name from the same Perkins, a generous early benefactor.

China money washed up and down the streets of Massachusetts towns, and even went further west: John Murray Forbes, a scion of the Perkins family, invested millions on behalf of Howqua, the wealthiest Cantonese merchant, in American westward railways. “You can understand what Forbes did as a transfer of China’s economic power,” says Haddad, “into America’s Industrial Revolution.” Morrison believes that some of the special language developed for business — dubbed the Canton Pidgin — even wound up in the mouths of Salemites and other port-dwellers: a cumshaw, meaning a bribe a hawpoo, meaning a boat and one phrase that even today requires no translation, chop-chop.

In Salem there are stately old houses with little decorative details that, when one looks closer, turn out to be stylized Chinese coins, persimmons, and other motifs from the East. Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum grew out of a society for mariners returned from Guangzhou and other faraway ports. “They would go all over the world and bring back all these curiosities and strange things,” says Haddad. The members would hold an annual parade for which they brought out their foreign finery, including Chinese palanquins and mandarin robes, and march through the streets of Salem, celebrating themselves and their trade.

Because of this heritage, the Peabody Essex Museum now has one of the nation’s finest collections of Asian art and artifacts from that period. In fact, it even has a painting made in 1850 of the graveyard in Guangzhou. Alexander Hill Everett’s stone rises above the others, an obelisk of white rock among a scattering of low tombs. Two ships stand in the middle distance, both trailing American flags above the Whampoa water.

The connections don’t just exist in storied museum collections or historic buildings. When I was in the Boston area recently, a friend unwrapped an old family tea set. As I watched the pieces come out of the crepe paper on that warm summer evening near Wellesley College, I realized they were Guangzhou ware, or “guang cai” in Chinese. I had seen their twins a few weeks earlier in a museum on the other side of the world, on the site of the tiny traders’ enclave where Harriet Low once strolled.

When my husband and I moved to Guangzhou from Massachusetts in 2015, we were merely the most recent arrivals along a road that was once much better traveled. “These connections are so insane because they’re all around us, but only if you have the eyes to see are you able to identify them,” says Morrison. “It’s the kind of thing in which a whole new world opens up to you, when you know what to look for.”

In Massachusetts: railways, persimmons, porcelain. In Guangzhou: hospitals, scriptures, graves.

Guangzhou (painted 1805-1810), with the Pearl River and several European factories. William Daniell/Wikimedia Commons

James Bridgman , the missionary, died after being hit by a rock thrown from the Guangzhou city walls. He was buried in the graveyard above Whampoa, like Alexander Hill Everett. Records also place there Lydia Hale Devan, a young missionary from Boston who was learning Chinese Captain John Land of the Massachusetts ship Challenge and many others. One Bostonian who did not become a permanent resident of the cemetery did come through to complain loudly about it in 1856. After comparing the graveyard unfavorably with Mount Auburn, merchant George Train called it “a little square patch of stingy soil on a bleak and dismal hill that owns but a single tree” and moaned, “Should I die on this foreign shore, throw me overboard — do anything but bury me at Whampoa.”

I was intrigued: Was there anything to see there now?

“In one year, there could be easily upwards of 50 or more men dying” at the Whampoa anchorage, historian Paul Van Dyke of Sun Yat-sen University wrote me in an email. “And in some years, there were several funeral ceremonies for dead officers every week, and sometimes a couple on the same day.” Thousands of foreigners were probably buried on the islets around the anchorage, though many were given no more than a swiftly decaying wooden cross.

It was the same all along the old sea route. Though there is a memorial to Samuel Shaw in Copp’s Hill Burying Ground in Boston, he’s buried at sea off the African coast. Dane Morrison tells of something a colleague saw once in Sumatra. Back in the trees, erected by his shipmates, is an obelisk for a mariner of Salem. “It’s just sitting there by itself, in the jungle, in Sumatra,” says Morrison. “Isn’t that something?”

One day early last spring, I set out to find the graveyard. I had heard that at a place called Bamboo Ridge, near the old anchorage, there might be a “fan gui mudi” — a “foreign devil graveyard,” to use the antiquated Opium War-era term. My husband dropped a pin on Bamboo Ridge on a map and hailed a Didi, China’s equivalent of Uber. With a friend visiting from the States, we hopped in the car. The drive took us past the bustling markets, past the glass-and-steel exhibition halls of the Canton Trade Fair.

Guangzhou is still the city that trade built. Twice a year, the trade fair, one of the world’s largest wholesale expos, takes place in the sprawling conference grounds built near the pagoda sailors used to see from Whampoa. Rather than guang cai, you can get stylishly chipped enamel mugs and coffee pots that look right out of Cambridge or Brooklyn — or, more likely, are headed there. Fuzzy Easter chicks, probably from a factory in the Pearl River Delta, are on sale nearby. The array of goods, from machinery to car parts to clothing, is impressive. Once, in one of the districts of the city turned over entirely to shipping, my husband and I saw two men pushing a handcart heavy laden with boxes labeled “America.” We asked: What’s in them? The answer: Selfie sticks.

The trade does not come through Boston, Salem, or any New England town directly anymore. The major US ports now are Los Angeles, Long Beach, New York and New Jersey, Seattle and Tacoma. Last year imports from China totaled nearly $463 billion. In a sense, the trade that began with The Empress of China goes on, though few people remember the role Massachusetts played in the process. Wandering the aisles of the fair on one visit, thinking of those early traders, and watching deals go down in temporary coffeeshops erected along the expo hall concourse, I reflect on how ephemeral even the most permanent-seeming things are.

“We have the myth of the West,” says Haddad, “the cowboys and the pioneers.” Just as important an American tale was that of New Englanders rising from the ashes of Puritanism to trade in the East. For a while at least, nothing seemed more natural than that sons and daughters of Salem, Boston, New Haven, New London would be washing up in Sumatra, South Africa, and Guangzhou. What do we take for granted today, I wonder, that will seem unimaginable, bizarre, or even unsettling in 200 years? Where will we be surprised to find graves?

Back in the car on the way to find Everett and the other Bostonians, whisking along in the shadow of the Whampoa pagoda, the driver and my husband discussed the story of the cemetery. But when we reached Bamboo Ridge, it was a wall of impassible jungle.

We rolled down the windows and crawled down the road, asking passersby if they’d heard of a foreign devil graveyard. At first we got blank stares, or laughs at the odd phrase. Then we asked a pair of older gentlemen relaxing in lawn chairs under a tree. Sure, one said. It’s right through there. We looked at the chain link gates behind him, the entrance to a military training camp. We went in, along with the driver, who’d gotten curious. After a number of false starts, wandering through the sighing bamboo under a leaden sky, we got the older man to come show us the way.

Behind some barrack-like buildings, on the far side of a snarling watchdog, we found the graveyard. The gray stones and table-like tombs, looking out of place in that patch of forest, rose in three tiers up the hillside, overlooking a shipyard. There was Alexander Hill Everett’s obelisk there were captains of ships, sailors, and not just from the United States but from Denmark, England, Australia.

I learned later that the graveyard lay overgrown and forgotten for decades, weathering the worst of China’s upheavals in obscurity, until it was rediscovered in a 1984 survey of cultural relics. Now maintenance is the responsibility of a local museum. For all it’s hidden from passersby, the hedges along each terrace are neatly clipped, the grass kept from swallowing the graves up again. It looks just like the painting in Salem.

Below us, in the shipyard, a loudspeaker began to play “Taps.” We traced the faded letters with our fingers. Even with so much company, it must have been extraordinarily painful to come this far and then find yourself dying from some mysterious tropical disease or washed overboard. Of course you can still perish far from home — nothing simpler! But in the age of air travel and the Internet, we don’t experience distance in the same way these people did. Now their graves are at the back of a Chinese military camp, another kind of distance from us.

This is the fallacy of every time and place. We think we’re standing still — that, in the ways that matter most, the world has always been more or less what it is now. But things change beyond recognition, every single day. The children of Puritans can become explorers, a Bostonian who has spent his career in Europe can die suddenly in China, a trio of Americans can end up on a Whampoa hillside with a Chinese Didi driver, reading grave inscriptions. It’s mind-boggling, the forces that conspire to unmake everything we take for a permanent reality.

“Maybe no place on earth has changed as much as that little corner of the world in the last 200 years,” says John Haddad, awestruck, when I tell him about the place. By the time Alexander Hill Everett arrived in China, he had seen the burgeoning growth of a new nation, and he lived to see clearly the strange new identity it was building for itself along the sea roads. From the hillside where he is buried, I can look out over the city where so much of what Americans buy is made. I wonder if it is the kind of view Everett would have recognized.

The “foreign devil graveyard” today. Veronique Greenwood

Veronique Greenwood is a writer and essayist living in South China. Follow her on Twitter @vero_greenwood.

The Foreign-Born Population of Worcester

There is much in the news these days concerning both national (US) and global immigration issues. Internationally, we are witness to one of the largest mass migrations of individuals from countries in the Middle East (e.g. Syria, Iran, etc.) to welcoming nations in Europe. Here in America, there is not a day that goes by that one presidential candidate or another doesn't speak about the dilemma of immigrants entering the US - legally or otherwise.

Politics aside - and knowing that over 50% of our Seven Hills direct support professional staff have immigrated to the United States from countries throughout the globe - I was determined to gain a more balanced and accurate assessment as to the economic and social contributions made by those immigrating to Massachusetts, and more specifically, the Worcester/Central MA area.

The results of this analysis - conducted independently by the Public Policy Center at UMass Dartmouth and the Donahue Institute at UMass Worcester have confirmed what I have always believed, and that is, the foreign-born community is not only enriching Worcester's social and cultural landscape but also making significant contributions to the city's economy and labor market (p. 58).

If these clearly measured results are true for Worcester, then one could reasonably project similar results in Lowell, New Bedford, the Cape and elsewhere throughout Massachusetts where Seven Hills operates. The evidence is clear - immigrants, in general, benefit our Massachusetts economy and bring specific benefit to Seven Hills Foundation. Seven Hills proudly employs 1st generation immigrants from 43 different countries. They are valued members of our Seven Hills family and deserving of our collective respect and appreciation for all contributions they make to those clients and patients we serve.

For a full version of our important research on immigrants, click here to download the PDF of the report entitled "The Foreign-Born Population of Worcester, Massachusetts: Assessing the Challenges and Contributions of a Diverse Community."

The report was made possible by the generous financial support of the Trustees of the George F. & Sybil H. Fuller Foundation the Stoddard Charitable Trust and the Fletcher Foundation.

Meet the First and Only Foreign-Born First Lady: Louisa Catherine Adams

In an electoral season where the presumptive Republican nominee has proposed erecting a wall on the border of the United States and Mexico, not to mention banning those of Muslim faith from immigrating to the United States, it can be easy to forget that Donald Trump is married to an immigrant.

Related Content

But while those running for the highest political office in the United States must be able to meet just three simple requirements—one of which is being a natural born citizen—there is no such burden imposed on a prospective first spouse.

Melania Trump was born Melanija Knavs in a village in Yugoslavia, now part of modern-day Slovenia, in 1970. A former model, Melania left Slovenia by choice for a bigger European market, living in places like Milan and Paris before a talent agent arranged to get her a visa and an American modeling contract, allowing the 26-year-old to move to New York in 1996.

Melania is not the first candidate's spouse to be from a foreign country even in recent history, Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of the 2004 failed candidate and current Secretary of State John Kerry, boasted of her immigrant heritage. Almost 200 years ago, Louisa Catherine Adams became the first and only foreign-born first lady to claim the title when her husband John Quincy Adams took office in 1825. 

In a strange historic parallel, Louisa also first came to live in the United States when she was 26, only she did so in 1801. She was a new mother and anxious about her place in the Adams’ family, considering the influence that her mother-in-law, Abigail Adams—who already made it clear that she disproved of Louisa and Quincy’s marriage—wielded. Unlike Melania, who has so far been notably quiet in her husband’s campaign for the nomination, Louisa very much wanted to play a role in John Quincy’s election, and indeed, her weekly tea parties helped swing the election in his favor. 

Louisa was born in London, England, in 1775. Her mother was, like her, British-born but her father was born in the colonies, and the family was staunchly supportive of the young republic, staying in France for the duration of the Revolutionary War, which officially began only weeks after Louisa's birth.

While her parents were sympathetic to the fledgling nation’s cause, Louisa was raised the way that “young, pretty, wealthy English girls were raised,” as Louisa Thomas writes in her lushly detailed, authoritative book on the former first lady, Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams, which came out this spring.

Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams

Her upbringing would initially provoke the ire of the Adams clan, direct descendants of the settlers who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and looked down on those who valued worldly possessions. Indeed, just that Louisa was born in London bothered Abigail, who early on referred to her as a “half-blood.” But her almost aristocratic air—honed by following John Quincy on his diplomatic tours in Europe after their marriage—was key for his presidential campaign. While many in the United States also considered her to be a foreigner, they saw her experience as a diplomat’s wife as a novelty, and Louisa used her accomplishments to her advantage.

“She wasn’t an intellectual but she was very intelligent,” Thomas tells Though Louisa was taken out of school at the age of 14 to prepare for the marriage “circuit”, she showed a natural interest in learning.

Like Abigail and John Adams, Louisa and John Quincy engaged in an extensive correspondence throughout their relationship. At first, Louisa was unsure what to write, and self-conscious about her words, but she grew into her voice. Throughout her life, she wrote memoirs and autobiographies, in addition to her many letters, leaving behind a vibrant portrait of her opinions.

Louisa lived during a time when women were not supposed to express an interest in politics, but the scene fascinated her. “She writes these lengthy letters about political gossip, where she spends three pages gossiping about the treasury, way beyond mainstream news of the day, and then denies her interest,” Thomas says.

After the Adamses had an early social faux pas in Washington, though, Louisa began to understand how women could sway politics. Following John Quincy’s appointment as James Monroe’s Secretary of State, both John Quincy and Louisa ignored a custom that demanded that newcomers in Washington make the first social call to all notable persons in Congress. Louisa then experienced a social freeze-out by the women of Washington, and both Louisa and John Quincy initially suffered for the slight. At the time, Louisa wrote, “Indeed I could hardly have imagined that a man’s interests could be so dependent on his wife’s manners,” as Thomas records.

Louisa went about working her way into the Washington social scene, and through the parties she hosted, she became the capital’s “primary hostess,” as Thomas puts it. Her presence seemingly helped compensate for John Quincy’s belief, passed down from his father, that candidates shouldn't actively campaign or in any way express their ambitions publicly.

“He believed that merit alone, not party or political campaign rhetoric, should determine the choice of the American people,” as Harlow G. Unger wrote in John Quincy Adams: A Life. It was a view that made more sense at the time, considering that until 1824, the year of John Quincy’s presidential campaign, the popular vote wasn't even recorded.

That election showed how the balance of power in Washington had started to shift. When the United States of America was first founded, the Constitution and Bill of Rights dictated that citizens should have the right to vote and that the country would have a free press. Except at the time, that meant almost universally that only white men could vote, and, among them, only those that held land. And though newspapers were free to print uncensored content, they were limited in reach and readership.

Come 1824, however, the United States’ franchise had expanded into Native American territory, creating new states and opening up the opportunity for more to vote. Meanwhile, media production boomed, and by 1823, there were 598 newspapers in the nation, allowing citizens to be better informed and more engaged with the politics of the day.

Though John Quincy Adams, the son of a president with a long history of public service, might have once seemed to be the heir apparent to the executive office, the growing populist movement—fed by a growing frustration with banks and business, which was accelerated by the Panic of 1819—made for close competition in the multi-candidate field for the election.

Adams was up against Andrew Jackson, William H. Crawford and Henry Clay. Though those in Washington did not initially take Jackson seriously as a politician, his charisma and victory at the Battle of New Orleans caused the public to rally for the war hero.

Meanwhile, Adams, who cared little for putting on a show, preferring to focus on the politics at hand, did little to curry favor with the greater population. Considering that Democratic-Republicans distrusted him for his ties to Federalism, and most Southerners refused to vote for him because he morally opposed to slavery, his chances for election were looking increasingly bleak.

Louisa became the face of his election. Starting in 1819, she held her “tea parties” every Tuesday night, in addition to hosting balls and other social events. The women in Washington who had once refused to visit her because off her early misstep now became regulars at her raved-about parties. When her brother’s chronic health problems (and her own) forced her to withdraw to Philadelphia, she set up a salon in her hotel parlor there, where important figures in the area would visit to exchange news and discuss the election.

In her letters to John Quincy, she continued to urge him to engage with the public more she saw the path to victory relied in having Jackson-like charisma, and tried to push her husband toward presenting himself in such a way. “She probably wouldn’t admit it, but she was electioneering,” Thomas notes.

When the votes were tallied, Jackson won the popular vote and a plurality of electoral votes, but as a majority of electoral votes are needed to take the presidency, the House of Representatives was tasked to pick the next chief executive.

Louisa held her last tea party on the evening of Tuesday, February 8, 1825, the night before the House voted. As Thomas writes, based off of John Quincy’s diary, 67 members of the House came to her party, as well as � citizens and strangers.”

The next day, the House—led by Clay, the failed candidate and Speaker of the House—voted John Quincy Adams as the next president.

Much has been made over the “corrupt bargain” that Jackson accused Adams and Clay of, for when Adams became president, he made Clay the new Secretary of State. But Louisa’s role has been obscured by history. Without Louisa’s support and social influence, who knows how many electoral votes her husband would have initially curried, causing Clay to rally the vote around him.

The senior Adams famously relied on Abigail’s perspective on issues of the day, but Louisa arguably was more integral to her husband’s election, as she helmed the unofficial campaign. As Thomas puts it in Louisa, “She was not content to be an adviser. She sought a public presence that Abigail avoided, and she chafed when she ran up against its limits."

But whereas his father trusted his wife almost implicitly and Abigail often referred to their property as “ours,” Louisa and John Quincy did not share the same respect. Louisa always felt beholden to John Quincy for lifting her out of the poverty her family had come into before she married him. While she tried to reconcile her own desire for equality with her institutionalized sense of a woman’s place, she struggled.

“She was of two minds about what a women’s role was,” Thomas says. “On one hand, she’s retiring demure, innocent and on the other hand, she’s self taught and has this vibrant intellectual life.”

Louisa grew up in a world where she was groomed to marry and told that women were supposed to stay in their realm. Even with her tea parties, she would not and could not admit what she was actually doing.

Louisa’s time in the White House would be marked by misery. Jackson’s victorious campaign for president in 1828 would begin barely after John Quincy stepped into the White House. The “corrupt bargain” lost him public support, and he had no reliable allies in Congress. Meanwhile, Louisa felt abandoned and neglected in the White House. 

The years following for Louisa were colored by personal tragedy, including her son’s suicide in 1829. While her husband found a second political career as a member of the House of Representatives, and led a crusade for the right to petition against slavery, she did not play a role, rather though she considered slavery a moral sin, she had to contend with her own deep-seated racism.

When she turned 65, Louisa began what Thomas calls her “most ambitious project,” a 70-page memoir titled, The Adventures of a Nobody, which chronicled her history since she first wed John Quincy, preserving her life and efforts for historians to come.

Today, in a time where everything seems to be written down, little is known about the newest foreign-born contender for the First Lady of the United States. As the election heats up though, history will record the role that Melania chooses to play in her husband’s campaign, and what, if any, historic parallels she shares with the woman in her position 200 years earlier. 

About Jackie Mansky

Jacqueline Mansky is a freelance writer and editor living in Los Angeles. She was previously the assistant web editor, humanities, for Smithsonian magazine.

History, News and Stories of Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA*

  • 1630 - In September 1630, Governor John Winthrop and the Massachusetts Bay Colony settlers traveled to the peninsula, known as Shawmut by the Algonquins, and founded Dorchester, the first part of the city of Boston. resources/ state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
  • 1639 - May 20 - The first free American public school, the Mather school, was founded in Dorchester, a neighborhood of Boston
  • The Boston History Project: Upham's Corner in Dorchester

Dorchester was named after Dorchester in England, from which some of the first settlers came. The Indian name was Matapan.


This study was conducted by the Urban Institute under contract number HHSP23320095654WC, task order number HHSP2333014T with the HHS's Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. The authors take full responsibility for the accuracy of material presented herein. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to ASPE or HHS.

The Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research and educational organization that examines the social, economic, and governance challenges facing the nation. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute, its trustees, or its funders.

The authors acknowledge the helpful comments and valuable contribution to this project of Olivia Golden from the Urban Institute and David Nielsen from ASPE.

Watch the video: Home Birth Vlog. Labor and Delivery Vlog. Positive Water Birth. Unmedicated Birth Video