The National Archives at San Francisco

Guide to Archival Holdings (RG 83-96)

Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics (RG 83)

Administrative History

The Bureau of Agricultural Economics was established in the Department of Agriculture on July 1, 1922. Until 1939, it conducted studies and disseminated information relating to agricultural production, crop estimates, marketing, finance, labor, and other agricultural problems, and administered several regulatory statutes. In 1939, marketing functions were transferred to the Agricultural Marketing Service and most land-utilization work was transferred to the Soil Conservation Service. In 1953, it was abolished and its functions were transferred to the Agricultural Research Service and the Agricultural Marketing Service.

The regional offices of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics were an outgrowth of those of the Farm Security Administration. When the overall planning functions of the Department of Agriculture were consolidated in the Bureau in 1938, personnel who had been engaged in land use planning work in the Farm Security Administration were transferred to the Bureau, and regional offices were established. In some cases, records of regional offices of the Farm Security Administration, the National Resources Committee, or the Land Utilization Division of the Resettlement Administration were interfiled with those of the Bureau's regional offices. The regional offices were abolished on June 30, 1946.

Records Description

Dates: 1935-49
Volume: 33 cubic feet

Records of the Western Regional Office, Berkeley, 1936-49. The records document agricultural land use planning in the States of Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Subjects include agricultural production, farm management and ownership, irrigation projects, and rural sociology, including farm labor and migration. There are records relating to the Central Valley Project Studies, 1942-46, a series of Bureau of Reclamation studies concerning the valley; the evacuation and relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II, in particular proposed sites for internment camps and the effects of relocation on agricultural production; land ownership and land tenure in the Imperial Valley; water facilities in Nevada; and comparative community studies of Arvin and Dinuba, California. The records are correspondence, memorandums, reports, and statistical tables. Nontextual records include maps interfiled with textual records.

Report of the Nevada State Representative, Reno, 1935, relating to resettlement areas and possibilities for closer settlement. Nontextual records consist of several maps integrated with the report.

Finding Aids

  • Entries 276 and 278-290 in Vivian Wiser, comp., Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, PI 104 (1958).
  • Folder title lists for some series.

Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (RG 85)

Administrative History

The Office of Superintendent of Immigration was established in the Department of the Treasury by an act of March 3, 1891, and was designated a bureau in 1895 with responsibility for administering the alien contract-labor laws. In 1903, it became part of the Department of Commerce and Labor and in 1906 was designated the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization with the addition of functions relating to naturalization. In 1913, it was transferred to the Department of Labor as two separate Bureaus of Immigration and of Naturalization, which were reunited by Executive order on June 10, 1933, to form the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The INS, which became part of the Department of Justice in 1940, administers laws relating to admission, exclusion, deportation, and naturalization of aliens; patrols U.S. borders; and supervises naturalization work in designated Federal courts. For related records concerning enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion Acts, see RG 21, Northern District of California and District of Hawaii, and RG 36, San Francisco District.

Records Description

Dates: 1882-1955
Volume: 2,385 cubic feet

Records of the Office of the Commissioner of Immigration, Washington, DC, 1908-43,comprising Chinese certificates of identity. Nontextual records consist of identification photographs attached to the certificates.

Records of the District Office, San Francisco, relating to immigration investigations, 1882-1955, including case files of the Angel Island Immigration Station, 1910-40. Most of the records document investigations related to enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion Acts, 1882-1943, and are divided as follows:

  • Arrival case files pertain not only to Chinese but also to "Japanese picture brides," Russian Jews, and other non-Chinese immigrants arriving in the United States through Angel Island. Arrivals of both first-time immigrants and of individuals returning from trips abroad are documented. Arrival case files typically provide the subject's name, place and date of birth, general family information, and occupation. Some include information related to the "Chinese confession program." (The confession program involved Asian-Americans who had emigrated to the U.S. under false names during a period from about 1900-43. Under a 1957 law these people were encouraged to confess to their illegal entries with no threat of deportation.) Arrival case files include birth certificates, coaching documents, correspondence, family history forms, lists of related cases, marriage licenses, transcripts of interrogations, witness statements, and nontextual records including photographs of individuals and families, and maps of Chinese villages.
  • Departure case files document foreign-born and native-born Chinese-Americans who left the U.S. for overseas destinations, usually China. The files contain biographical, business, and family information, and consist of application forms, correspondence, lists of related cases, statements, testimony, and other records.
  • Business partnership records concern individual Chinese-American merchants and merchant firms, most of which were based in California. These records contain information on the business' incorporation, names of its partners, total investment, and stability. They consist of partnership lists, statements, and occasionally directories and street maps.
  • Post-World War II Chinese-American case files , 1945-55, also known as "1300" files, document cases initiated after the expiration of the Chinese Exclusion Acts and pertain not only to Chinese but also Mexicans and other non-Chinese immigrants. The files contain biographical and family information, and may include correspondence, family history and other forms, investigation reports, lists of related cases, transcripts of interrogations, witness statements, and nontextual records including photographs.
  • Passenger lists, registers of arrivals and departures, and other records document Chinese and non-Chinese travelers, and Chinese-Americans and other immigrant groups in California. Included are:
    A3361, Register of Citizen (1943-47) and Alien (1936-49) Arrivals by Aircraft at San Francisco, California;
    M1387, Minutes of Boards of Special Inquiry at the San Francisco Immigration Offices, 1899-1909;
    M1389, Indexes to Non-Chinese Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving in San Francisco, California, 1893-1934;
    M1410, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving in San Francisco, California, 1893-1953
    M1411, Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving in San Francisco, California, 1954-1957;
    M1412,Customs Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving in San Francisco, California, 1903-1918;
    M1413, Registers of Chinese Laborers Returning to the United States through the Port of San Francisco, 1882-1888;
    M1414, Lists of Chinese Passengers Arriving in San Francisco, California, 1882-1914;
    M1416, Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, California, 1905-1954;
    M1436, Admitted Alien Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving in San Francisco, California, 1896-1921;
    M1437, Index to Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, 1882-1957;
    M1438, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, California, From Insular Possessions, 1907-1911;
    M1439, Lists of U.S. Citizens Arriving at San Francisco, California, 1930-1949;
    M1476, Lists of Chinese Applying for Admission to the United States Through the Port of San Francisco, 1903-1947;
    M1494, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, California, From Honolulu, Hawaii, 1902-1907;
    unnumbered, Records of Arrivals and Disposition of Japanese, 1928-1942;
    unnumbered, San Francisco Chinese Mortuary Records, 1870-1933;
    unnumbered,Certificates of Identity for Chinese Residents, 1909-ca. 1946;
    unnumbered, War Brides with Children, 1946-1948;
    unnumbered, Register of Chinese Departure Case Files, 1912-1943;
    unnumbered, Records of Miscellaneous [Chinese] Immigration Cases from Other Ports, 1911-1912;
    unnumbered, Registers of Chinese Departing from and Returning to the United States, 1882-1908;
    unnumbered, Chinese Passenger Lists, 1897-1905;
    unnumbered, Registers of Alien Students Admitted under the Immigration Act of 1924, 1924-1946;
    unnumbered, Index of Chinese Court Certificates, ca. 1885-1905;
    unnumbered, Crew Lists (Eureka), 1911-1949.

Records of the District Office, San Francisco, relating to administrative matters, 1894-1941. The records relate to the history and operation of the Angel Island Immigration Station, the Densmore Investigation of fraud at the station, and the issuance of passports and control of travel during World War I. The records include correspondence, reports, and statements. Nontextual records include architectural plans and photographs interfiled with textual records.

Records of the District Office, San Francisco, relating to Harry Bridges, 1934-55. The records concern investigations of the alleged Communist Party membership of labor leader Harry Bridges, which resulted in two INS hearings and two district court trials aimed at deporting him. Included are clippings, correspondence, investigation reports, memorandums, witness statements, and other records. Nontextual records consist of photographs interfiled with textual records.

Records of the District Office, San Francisco, documenting naturalizations occurring in the Marin County Superior Court (San Rafael), 1871-1957. These naturalization records were originally maintained at the superior court and were subsequently transferred to the district office.

Records of the District Office, Honolulu, relating to immigration investigations, 1898-1955, including case files of the Honolulu immigration station. The records primarily document investigations, under the Chinese Exclusion Acts, of arrivals and departures, ca. 1903-43, and Asian immigration investigations, 1944-50. Investigations of arrivals pertain mostly to Chinese and non-Chinese Asian immigrants, including Japanese, Filipinos, and others. Investigations of departures document foreign-born and native-born Chinese-Americans who left Hawaii for the mainland or overseas destinations, usually China. Asian immigration investigations involve alleged criminal activities and questionable immigration status. The records are divided as follows:

  • Application case files concern investigations of arrivals and departures, which were initiated when individuals applied for particular types of documents to certify their status with INS. Applications address citizenship in the Hawaiian Islands; certificates of Hawaiian birth; admission of wives and children of excepted groups; Hawaiian certificates of citizenship for departure to the U.S. mainland and to foreign ports; lawfully domiciled Chinese laborers return certificates; merchants' return certificates; and documentation of other types of status. The case files may include certificates of Hawaiian birth, correspondence, family history sheets and other INS forms, lists of related cases, transcripts of interrogations and of special boards of inquiry, witness affidavits, various supporting exhibits, and other records. Nontextual records consist of maps and photographs of individuals and families interfiled with textual records.
  • Criminal investigation case files involve immigrants suspected of such crimes as bigamy, gambling, polygamy, and opium smuggling. Some Japanese immigrants were investigated when their immigration status was questioned. Included are arrest warrants, district court papers, FBI reports, deportation documentation, and letters from American consulates in China and Japan.
  • Crew lists and other records document vessel crew members and the U.S. citizenship of Japanese-Americans living in Hawaii. Included are certificates of citizenship and unnumbered microfilm, Alien Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at Honolulu, 1902-08. Nontextual records consist of identification photographs.
Records of the District Office, Honolulu, relating to administrative matters, 1903-04. The records concern the establishment of the Honolulu Immigration Station and problems enforcing the Chinese Exclusion Acts. They consist primarily of letters.

Finding Aids

  • For the District Office, San Francisco (SFDO) relating to immigration investigations:
    • Microfilm index to immigration case files, 1882-1955;
    • Database index to case files, ca. 1882-1935 (in progress);
    • Index to certificates of identity, 1908-36;
    • Index to arrival case files, 1884-1896 and 1914-17;
    • Alphabetical index of Chinese partnerships in and outside of San Francisco, California, undated (unnumbered microfilm);
    • Records of Natives [U.S.-Born Chinese-Americans] Departing, 1909-13, an index to the 9170 series of case files (unnumbered microfilm);
    • Daily Records of Applications [By Chinese Laborers] for Return Certificates, 1903-12, an index to the 9180 series of case files (unnumbered microfilm);
    • Daily Records of Applications [By Chinese Merchants, Students, and Teachers] for Return Certificates, 1903-12, an index to the 9190 series of case files (unnumbered microfilm).
  • For the SFDO relating to Harry Bridges: -Descriptions and folder title lists for some series.
  • For the District Office, Honolulu: Descriptions for some series;
  • Database index to Chinese Exclusion Acts case files, ca. 1900-50.

Related Microfilm Publications

A3363, Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at Ventura, California, May 1929-December 1956 ;
M1357, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston, Texas, 1896-1906;
M1358, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston, Texas, 1906-1951;
M1359, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston, Texas, 1896-1951;
M1364, Lists of Chinese Passengers Arriving at Seattle (Port Townsend), Washington, 1882-1916;
M1462, Alphabetical Index to Canadian Border Entries Through Small Ports in Vermont, 1895-1924;
M1463, Soundex Index to Entries into the St. Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1924-1952;
M1465, Manifest of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific Ports, 1929-1949;
M1484, Customs Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Port Townsend and Tacoma, Washington, 1894-1909;
M1504, Manifests of Alien Arrivals at San Luis, Arizona, July 24, 1929-December 1952;
M1759, Nonstatistical Manifests and Statistical Index Cards of Aliens Arriving at Douglaas, Arizona, July 1908-December 1952;
M1763, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Pedro/Wilmington/Los Angeles, California, 1907-1936;
M1761, Index to Passenger Arrivals at San Diego, California, ca. 1904-ca. 1952;
M1764, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Pedro/Wilmington/Los Angeles, California, 1907-1948 ;
M1766, Alphabetical Card Manifests of Alien Arrivals at Ft. Hancock, Texas, 1924-1954 ;
M1768, Alphabetical Card Manifests of Alien Arrivals at Fabens, Texas, July 1924-1954 ;
M1771, Alphabetical Manifests of Non-Mexican Aliens Granted Temporary Admission at Laredo, Texas, December 1, 1929-April 8, 1955 ;
M1850 , Index and Manifests of Alien Arrivals at Sasabe/San Fernando, Arizona, 1919-1952 ;
M2024, Indexes and Manifests of Alien Arrivals at Zapata, Texas, August 1923-September 1953;
M2030, Statistical and Nonstatistical Manifests, and Related Indexes, of Aliens Arriving at Andrade and Campo (Tecate), California, 1910-1952;
T458, Subject Index to Correspondence and Case Files of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1903-1952;
T519, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, June 16, 1897-June 30,1902 (selected rolls);
T520, Index (Soundex) to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, Maryland, 1897-July1952 (selected rolls);
T526, Index (Soundex) Cards, Ship Arrivals at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jan. 1, 1883-June 28,1948 (selected rolls);
T618, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1900-1952;
T621, Index (Soundex) to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, July 1, 1902-Dec. 31, 1943 (selected rolls);
T844, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Baltimore, Maryland, 1891-1909 (selected rolls).

Restrictions

Access to individual case files may be restricted due to personal privacy concerns, law enforcement needs, and/or national security classification.

Records of the Public Health Service, 1912-1968 (RG 90)

Administrative History

The Public Health Service, originally called the Marine Hospital Service, has its origins in an act of July 16, 1798, which authorized hospitals for the care of sick and disabled American merchant seamen. The scope of its activities was greatly expanded by subsequent legislation, and it became part of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1955 after having been part of the Department of the Treasury from 1798 to 1939 and the Federal Security Agency from 1939 to 1953. The Public Health Service operates marine hospitals, hospitals for specific diseases, medical facilities for Federal penal institutions, quarantine and health stations, and research institutions and laboratories. It conducts research in the cause, prevention, and control of disease and disseminates health information.

Records Description

Dates: 1890-1948
Volume: 27 cubic feet

Records of Angel Island Quarantine Station, San Francisco. The records relate to fumigation and disinfection of vessels and cargo, immigration hospital operations, importation of birds, medical examinations of immigrant aliens, prevention of epidemics, quarantine procedures, and administrative matters. The records consist of correspondence, issuances, personnel files, and reports.

Finding Aids

  • Draft inventory.
  • Folder title lists.

Restrictions
Access to some files or portions of documents may be restricted due to privacy concerns.

Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General (RG 92)

Administrative History

In 1818, Congress created a Quartermaster's Department under a single Quartermaster General to ensure an efficient system of supply and accountability of Army officers charged with monies or supplies. At various times, the Quartermaster has been responsible for procurement and distribution of supplies, pay, transportation, and construction. After a number of changes in functions and command relationships, Congress authorized a Quartermaster Corps in 1912 and designated its chief the Quartermaster General in 1914. The Corps was responsible for the operation of a number of general supply depots and subdepots throughout the United States. The Office of the Quartermaster General was abolished in 1962.

Records Description

Dates: 1874-1951
Volume: 7 cubic feet

Records of the following units:

  • Quartermaster Depot, San Francisco, California, 1874-75;
  • Sharpe General Depot, Lathrop, California, 1945-51;
  • Construction Service, Camp Fremont, Palo Alto, 1918;
  • Real Estate Branch, Hawaiian Department, Honolulu, 1920.
The records relate to construction projects; daily operations; management of stores and supplies; real estate in Hawaii; and administrative matters. They include issuances, lists, a press copy book, and reports. Nontextual records consist of maps of sites in Hawaii interfiled with textual records.

Finding Aids

  • Series title list.
  • Entries 1985, 1995, and 1999 in Maizie H. Johnson, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Textual Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Part I, NM 81 (1967).
  • Entry 2343 in Maizie H. Johnson, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Textual Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Part II, NM85 (1967).

Related Microfilm Publications

M918, Register of Confederate Soldiers, Sailors, and Citizens who Died in Federal Prisons and Military Hospitals in the North, 1861-1865;
M1845, Card Records of Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, ca. 1879-ca. 1903;
M2014, Burial Registers for Military Posts, Camps, and Stations, 1768-1921.

Records of the Forest Service (RG 95)

Administrative History

In 1881, a Division of Forestry was established in the Department of Agriculture. It became the Forest Service in 1905 when it assumed responsibility for the administration of forest reserves from the Department of the Interior. From 1933 to 1942, the Service supervised a large part of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) work program. The Service is responsible for promoting the conservation and best use of national forests and grasslands through development of the National Forest System, cooperating with administrators of State and private forests, and conducting forest and range research programs.

Records Description

Dates: 1870-1996
Volume: 1,065 cubic feet

Records of the Pacific Southwest Regional Office (Region 5), San Francisco, 1870-1995. The records relate to regional planning, grazing and range management, forest insect pest control, fires and floods, recreation demands, land status, and other subjects, in California, Nevada, and Oregon. Included are directives, memorandums, minutes, publications, reports, and other records. Nontextual records include fire atlas maps and Federal Power Commission exhibit maps, several separate series of General Land Office plat maps with annotations showing changes in land status in California national forests, 1870-1971.

Records of the Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Berkeley, 1915-68. The records relate to interagency and intergovernment programs, research program administration, and watershed management soil surveys. They consist of cooperative agreements, inventory report forms, memorandums, minutes of meetings, project status reports, publications, and work plans. Nontextual records consist of a separate group of base series maps, which show vegetation, topography, watershed, fire history, and land ownership and use for various California locations. Oversized soil maps are included as folded inserts to the soil survey publications.

Records of the following sites:

  • Humboldt National Forest (NF), 1882-1970;
  • Klamath NF, 1883-1990;
  • Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, 1944-72;
  • Lassen NF, 1901-73;
  • Mendocino NF, 1947-89;
  • Modoc NF, 1914-62;
  • Plumas NF, 1920-93;
  • Sequoia NF, 1900-93;
  • Shasta-Trinity NF, 1906-93;
  • Sierra NF, 1905-96;
  • Six Rivers NF, 1910-92;
  • Stanislaus NF, 1905-78;
  • Tahoe NF, 1906-90;
  • Toiyabe NF, 1912-77.
The records relate to administrative matters, cooperative programs, fire control, forest insect and disease control, grazing and range management, reforestation, timber sales, use of Forest Service land and resources by non-Forest Service individuals and groups, and other subjects. Most records are case files categorized by type of land use, such as land exchanges, mining claims, residential files, rights-of-way, and special use permits. Included are clippings, letters, memorandums, publications, and reports. Nontextual records include a separate series of allotment, grazing, and range management maps for Sequoia National Forest, and some maps and photographs interfiled with textual records.

Finding Aids

Draft inventory and selected folder title lists.

Records of the Farmers Home Administration (RG 96)

Administrative History

The Farmers Home Administration (FHA) was established in the Department of Agriculture by an act of August 14, 1946, to succeed the Farm Security Administration (FSA), which had been established in 1937. The FSA succeeded the Resettlement Administration, which had been established in 1935 to administer rural rehabilitation and land programs begun in 1933 under the Subsistence Homesteads Division of the Department of the Interior and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. The FHA provides small farmers with credit to construct or repair homes, improve farming operations, or become farm owners, and gives individual guidance in farm and home management.

Records Description

Dates: 1934-47
Volume: 93 cubic feet

Records of the Region 9 office, San Francisco, serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. The records relate to construction and operation of migratory labor camps, farm loans, relief to low-income rural families, and rural resettlement and rehabilitation. Among the subjects covered are: advice from citizens to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on helping farmers; consolidation of the Farm Security Administration with the Office of Labor; construction of clinics, ditches, homes, irrigation facilities, levees, and schools at the migratory labor camps in the Central Valley; establishment and administration of farm resettlement projects in Utah; farm ownership loans made in parts of California and Hawaii; housing for Japanese-American internees used to pick cotton in Arizona; housing for African-American families at Century Boulevard Gardens in Los Angeles; the impact of the movies The Grapes of Wrath and The Plow That Broke The Plains on growing sympathy for the migrant situation; the perception of the migrant camps as a spawning ground for Communists; proposals to establish mobile migratory labor camps; use of World War II military prisoners-of-war as farm laborers; and Upton Sinclair. Also available are microfilm I1, Weekly Reports of the Arvin Migrant Camp, 1936, and unnumbered microfilm, Migratory Labor Camp Newspapers, 1937-42. Included are correspondence, farm ownership case files, issuances, and reports. Nontextual records include architectural drawings, maps, and photographs interfiled with textual records.

Records of the following county offices:

  • Churchill, Nevada;
  • Del Norte, California;
  • Monterey, California;
  • Sacramento, California;
  • San Joaquin, California;
  • Siskiyou, California;
  • Tuolumne, California;
  • Washoe, Nevada.

The records document rural rehabilitation loans. They are case files, which typically contain applications, correspondence, farm and home management plans, farm visit reports, receipts, and other papers.

Records of farm labor supply center mobile units 2, 3, and 6, Fresno, California, Area Office, 1942-45. The mobile units housed farm workers harvesting crops in the San Joaquin Valley. The records relate to administrative matters; Mexican national farm workers; migrant camp activities; migrants who registered at the camps; and movement of camp sites. Included are correspondence, forms, issuances, and reports.

Records of the Mineral King Maintenance Depot, Region 9 Engineering Division, Visalia, California. The records relate to personnel and property, and consist of report forms and time sheets.

Finding Aids

  • Entries 107-110 and 133, and appendixes I, II, and III, in Stanley W. Brown and Virgil E. Baugh, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Farmers Home Administration, PI 118 (1959).
  • Draft inventory (1997) and selected folder title lists.

Restrictions

Access to some files or portions of documents may be restricted due to privacy concerns.

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