National Archives at Atlanta

Record Groups 4 - 49

Record Group 4
Records of the U.S. Food Administration

Administrative History

The U.S. Food Administration was created by an Executive Order of August 10, 1917, to assure the supply, distribution, and conservation of food during World War I; facilitate the movement of foods and prevent monopolies and hoarding; and maintain governmental control over foods chiefly by means of voluntary agreements and a licensing system. Federal food administrators were appointed for each State to implement the Administration's programs. After November 11, 1918, the Administration was gradually dismantled and its rules and regulations revoked. An Executive order of August 21, 1920, terminated all branches of the Food Administration still in existence, and the majority of its records were placed in the custody of the U.S. Grain Corporation.

Records Description
Dates: 1917-1919 Volume: 127 cubic feet

Records of the following:

  • Food administrators for Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee;
  • Sugar Divisions for Georgia and Mississippi;
  • Enforcement Division for Georgia and Kentucky.
The records include complaints against local merchants, restaurants, and individuals for violations of rationing, and often provide information about public attitudes toward U.S. participation in World War I and governmental control of the economy. The records are primarily letters.

Finding Aids
Handbook of Federal World War Agencies and Their Records, 1917-1921 (1943).

Almon B. Wright, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the United States Food Administration, 1917-1920, Pt.1: The Headquarters Organization, PI 3 (1943).

Record Group 8
Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Engineering

Administrative History
The Office of Experiment Stations of the Department of Agriculture began irrigation investigations in 1898 and drainage investigations in 1903. In 1915, it was merged into the Office of Public Roads and Rural Engineering, which was renamed the Bureau of Roads in 1918. In 1921, the Bureau of Agricultural Engineering was established to consolidate all drainage, irrigation, and rural engineering work. In 1931, the Division was given Bureau status, and in 1938 it was merged with the Bureau of Chemistry and Soils to form the Bureau of Agricultural Chemistry and Engineering.

Records Description
Dates: 1905-1915 Volume: 2 cubic feet

Records of Lewis Jones, Drainage Engineer in Charge. The records document his work on the Big Black River Survey in Alabama, 1913-1915, and at Bonners Ferry, Idaho, 1915. The records are correspondence.

Records of C.G. Elliott, Chief of Drainage Investigations, Office of Experiment Stations. The records relate to the drainage survey of the Florida Everglades, 1907-1909, carried out by J.O. Wright of New Orleans, including Wright's 1905 appointment to conduct the survey; the survey itself; requests for information or copies of the survey report; and the involvement of Elliott, other USDA officials, Members of Congress, Florida Governor Napolean B. Broward, other State and local officials, and the public. The records are correspondence.

Finding Aid
Nathan Reingold, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Engineering, PI 53 (1953).

Record Group 9
Records of the National Recovery Administration

Administrative History
The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was created by an Executive order of June 16, 1933, to rehabilitate industry and trade in the United States, expand employment, and improve labor conditions. The NRA drafted codes of fair competition to govern industries and trades.

The Administration created district recovery and local compliance boards. In January 1934, a system of State compliance offices reporting directly to the Compliance Division in Washington, DC, superseded the district offices. Many of the State offices set up branches with a resident field adjuster in charge. A regional office system was established on December 28, 1934, by authority of Field Letter #190.

The 1935 Supreme Court decision in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. U.S. declared many provisions of the National Industrial Recovery Act unconstitutional. After this decision NRA activities were confined to promoting industrial cooperation and preparing a series of economic studies. On January 1, 1936, the NRA was terminated, with most of its divisions transferred to the Department of Commerce for liquidation by April 1, 1936. The field offices were terminated on January 31, 1936.

Records Description
Dates: 1933-1936 Volume: 13 cubic feet

Records of region IV (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee). The records document enforcement policy and procedures, personnel administration, and complaints against state offices. They include administrative and general correspondence files, reports, and legal files.

Finding Aids
Folder title list.

Homer L. Calkin and Meyer H. Fishbein, and Leo Pascal, comps., Preliminary Inventory of Records of the National Recovery Administration, PI 44 (1952)

Homer C. Calkin and Meyer H. Fishbein, comps., Select List of Documents in the Records of the National Recovery Administration, SL 12 (1954).

Related Microfilm Publications
T692, National Recovery Administration's Blue Eagle, a Weekly Newspaper, June 11, 1934-May 17, 1935.

Record Group 12
Records of the Office of Education

Administrative History
A department of education, headed by a commissioner, was established by an act of March 2, 1867. It was abolished as an independent agency on July 20, 1868, and reestablished as the Office of Education in the Department of the Interior. The original statutory function of both the Department and the Office was to collect and disseminate information on education in the United States and abroad and to promote better education throughout the country. Subsequent legislation and Executive orders have added functions, including responsibility for Federal financial assistance to education and special studies and programs. In 1939, the Office of Education was transferred to the Federal Security Agency, which became the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1953. The Office was abolished in 1980 and its functions transferred to the Department of Education.

Records Description
Dates: 1967-1975 Volume: 4 cubic feet

Records of the regional office, Atlanta. The records document educational research projects and grants in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Included are case files and final reports.

Finding Aid
List of final reports.

Record Group 14
Records of the U.S. Railroad Administration

Administrative History
Established as an independent agency by Presidential Proclamation 1419, December 26, 1917, under authority of the Army Appropriation Act (39 Stat. 645), August 29, 1916, the USRA operated railroads, coastwise steamship lines, inland waterways, and telephone and telegraph companies seized by the Government in the interest of national defense. It also entered into compensatory agreements with the seized carriers pursuant to the Federal Control Act (40 Stat. 451) of March 21, 1918. The seized railroads and other carriers were returned to private control on March 1, 1920, under terms of the Transportation Act (41 Stat. 470). After that, the USRA was concerned with liquidation and final settlement of accounts.

A regional structure established in 1918 included a Southern District headquartered in Atlanta to oversee the network of railroads in the South. The agency was abolished by Reorganization Plan No II of 1939, effective July 1, 1939.

Records Description
Dates: 1918-1921 Volume: 8 cubic feet

Records of the regional director of railroads, Southern District, Division of Law, 1918-1920. The records relate to legal activities of carriers under Federal control, preparation of contracts with the carriers, and settlement of claims. The records are primarily correspondence.

Records of the regional counsel, Southeastern Region, Division of Law, 1920-1921. The records relate to claims, contracts, and litigation, and include primarily correspondence.

Finding Aid
Charles Zaid, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the U.S. Railroad Administration, 1917-1945, NC 9 (1962).

Record Group 15
Records of the Veterans Administration

Administrative History
The present Veterans Administration (VA) is the result of policies and programs that date back to the American Revolution. In 1789, the First Congress enacted legislation to continue paying pensions provided in acts of the Continental Congress. An act of August 9, 1921, created the Veterans' Bureau which became part of the Veterans Administration established by an Executive order of July 21, 1930. The VA became the Department of Veterans Affairs effective March 15, 1989.

In the field, the VA and its predecessors have operated a network of facilities intended to aid veterans, including hospitals and rehabilitation centers, as well as national homes for veterans. One of the predecessors of the VA, the Federal Board for Vocational Education, divided the country into 14 districts in 1918. These districts were combined with relevant Public Health Service offices in 1921 to form the district offices of the Veterans Bureau. These were succeeded by 54 regional offices of the Bureau in 1924 and 1925.

Records Description
Dates: 1903-1934 Volume: 11 cubic feet

Records of District 5, representing Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Columbia (South Carolina), and Nashville, 1918-1926. The records relate to training centers and hospitals and are correspondence.

Records of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and the National Homes Service Mountain Branch, Johnson City, Tennessee. The records document administrative proceedings and care of veterans and are primarily sample case files.

Finding Aids
Evelyn Wade, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and the National Homes Service of the Veterans Administration, 1866-1937, NM 29 (1964).

Record Group 18
Records of the Army Air Forces

Administrative History
The Army Air Forces (AAF) originated August 1, 1907, as the Aeronautical Division in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. After various reorganizations and name changes, the Army Air Forces was established on March 9, 1942, under the Secretary of War and the War Department General Staff. It served as the primary land-based air arm of the American armed forces until it was detached from the Army and became the U.S. Air Force in 1947.

Until the onset of World War II, most field installations of the Army Air Forces and its predecessors, such as air fields, schools, and administrative agencies, were located within the borders of the United States and its territories.

Records Description
Dates: 1918-1940 Volume: 32 cubic feet

Records of the following field installations, schools, and depots:

  • Americus Intermediate Depot, Americus, Georgia
  • Camp Benning, Georgia
    • Air Service Detachment
  • Carlstrom Field, Arcadia, Florida
    • Air Service Flying School
    • Air Service Pilots School
    • Signal Corps Aviation School
  • Chapman Field, Miami, Florida
  • Collegiate Balloon School, Macon, Georgia
  • Dorr Field, Arcadia, Florida
    • Cadet Detachment
    • Training Squadrons A-E
    • Air Service Casual Detachment
  • Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama
    • Headquarters Squadron
    • Air Corps Tactical School
    • Station Hospital
  • Military Aeronautics School, Georgia School of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Park Field, Millington, Tennessee
    • Air Service Flying School
    • Signal Corps Aviation School
    • Training Squadrons A-E
    • Payne Field, West Point, Mississippi
    • Air Service Flying School
    • U.S. Aviation School
    • Squadrons A-D
  • Pope Field, Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Souther Field, Americus, Georgia
    • Air Service Flying School
  • Taylor Field, Montgomery, Alabama
    • Air Service Flying School
The records relate primarily to training of pilots and other military and civilian personnel, maintenance of aircraft and equipment, preparation and distribution of technical orders and other instructions, and general installation operations. Included are birth and death certificates (1927-1933, Maxwell Field Station Hospital only), correspondence, memos, muster rolls, orders, reports, returns, and telegrams.

Finding Aids
Maizie H. Johnson, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Textual Records of the Army Air Forces, NM 53 (1965).

Sarah D. Powell and Maizie H. Johnson, comps., Supplement to Preliminary Inventory No. NM-53, Textual Records of the Army Air Force, NM 90 (1967).

Record Group 21
Records of the District Courts of the United States

Administrative History
U.S. district and circuit courts were created by the Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789. The jurisdiction and powers of these Federal courts have varied with subsequent legislation, but district courts generally have had original jurisdiction in admiralty and bankruptcy cases, suits for penalties or seizures under Federal laws, noncapital criminal proceedings, and suits exceeding $100 in value in which the United States was the plaintiff. The circuit courts heard appeals from the district courts and had original jurisdiction over actions involving aliens or citizens of different States and law and equity suits where the matter in dispute exceeded $500. In 1891, the appellate jurisdiction of the circuit courts was transferred to the newly created circuit courts of appeals (see RG 276). The Judiciary Act of 1911 abolished the circuit courts and provided for the transfer of their records and remaining jurisdiction to the district courts.

Most States initially had one district and one circuit court with additional districts created as the business of the courts increased. Many of the districts were divided into divisions with the court holding session in various cities within the district. In 1812, circuit courts were authorized to appoint U.S. commissioners to assist in taking of bail and affidavits. The Commissioners' functions were expanded by subsequent legislation and court rules, and their powers have included authority to issue arrest warrants, examine persons charged with offenses against Federal laws, initiate actions in admiralty matters, and institute proceedings for violation of civil rights legislation.

Territorial district courts generally were established by the organic act that created the territory and had jurisdiction over Federal civil, criminal, and bankruptcy actions as well as civil and criminal jurisdiction similar to that of State courts. Records created by a territorial court acting in its capacity as a Federal court often became the property of the Federal district court upon statehood.

Records Description
Dates: 1716-1988 Volume: 35,295 cubic feet

Records of the following district and circuit courts:

Alabama, Northern District, 1824-1970, divisions at Anniston, Birmingham, Florence, Gadsden Huntsville, Jasper, and Tuscaloosa. Included are records of:

  • Confederate courts;
  • cases involving the Enforcement Act of 1870 against members of the Ku Klux Klan; election law violation cases from the 1870's;
  • a case indicting Jesse and Frank James for theft of U.S. government property;
  • cases involving safety in the coal mining industry and on the railroads;
  • land condemnation suits for land flooded by TVA dams or condemned for World War II military installations;
  • a 1912 equity case involving Interstate Lumber Co., owner of a large plant in Lowndes County, Mississippi, which shut down without paying back wages to about 300 employees;
  • cases heard by Judge Clarence Allgood, longtime bankruptcy judge who encouraged lawyers to have their clients file for bankruptcy so much that the Northern District of Alabama has probably the largest number of bankruptcy case files for any court in proportion to its population;
  • civil rights cases including Reverends Fred Shuttlesworth and Charles Billups v. Eugene Conner (Sheriff of Birmingham), et al., in which African Americans sued the Birmingham police department for infringing upon their rights of free speech and assembly when they held protest meetings in front of the county courthouse;
  • the naturalization of Wernher von Braun and other German scientists who were quietly brought into the U.S. through Mexico near the end of World War II to work at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville.
Alabama, Middle District, 1839-1969, divisions at Dothan, Montgomery, and Opelika. Included are records of:
  • Confederate courts;
  • civil rights cases, including the Montgomery bus boycott case (Browder v. Gayle) which involved Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks; the Selma march case (Hosea Williams, John Lewis, et al. v. George Wallace, Governor of Alabama, et al.); and a suit involving attacks on the Freedom Riders, who tested bus segregation practices by participating in an integrated bus ride through Alabama and Mississippi (United States v. U.S. Klans, Inc.);
  • Gomillion v. Lightfoot involving gerrymandering the city limit lines for Tuskegee, Alabama, so that most African Americans were not eligible to vote in city elections;
  • 1930's criminal cases involving efforts to keep eligible African Americans from receiving Federal farm loans.
Alabama, Southern District, 1813-1969, divisions at Mobile and Selma. Included are records of:
  • Mississippi and Alabama territorial courts, 1813-1819;
  • the Confederate court at Mobile;
  • Confederate States of America (CSA) v. J.B. Studley, in which the Confederate judge, William G. Jones, presented a spirited defense of sequestration of enemy property by the Confederate government;
  • an 1849 patent case involving a patent for a cotton press;
  • a 1920's case involving many prominent Mobile citizens, a large illegal liquor ring, bribery money funneled to the National Republican Party, and Presidential pardons from Calvin Coolidge;
  • United States v. Sam B. Powe, et al., in which the defendants were accused of tricking the editor of the Mobile newspapers into engaging in an immoral act to discredit him because of his vigorous editorials denouncing illegal gambling in Mobile.
Florida, Northern District, 1837-1964, divisions at Gainesville, Marianna, Panama City, Pensacola, and Tallahassee. Included are records of:
  • Confederate courts;
  • a case involving the land boom town, Valparaiso, Florida, which went bankrupt;
  • peonage cases involving workers in the turpentine industry, including United States v. W. S. Harlan, et al.;
  • a case in which the former governor of Florida, Sidney Catts, was indicted;
  • criminal cases involving the production of whisky without paying Federal tax and cutting timber on federal land.
Florida, Middle District, 1879-1966, divisions at Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, Ocala, Orlando, Tampa, and, for a short time, Fernandina. Included are records of:
  • Spanish American War prize cases;
  • a case involving Annie Oakley (Mrs. Frank Butler), who sued a Jacksonville newspaper for libel for accusing her of being a cocaine addict and engaging in "scandalous pursuits;"
  • Fred William Furen v. Ford Motor Corporation (Tampa), in which the plaintiff sued for damages claiming that he held exclusive patents for two fuel tank inventions which had been illegally used by Ford Motor Corp.
Florida, Southern District, 1828-1982, divisions at Fort Lauderdale, Fort Pierce, Key West Miami, and West Palm Beach. Included are records of:
  • the territorial court period;
  • prize cases from the Civil and Spanish American Wars and many salvage cases;
  • a World War II era case concerning a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses who unsuccessfully claimed exemption from the draft by stating that he was a minister (every member is considered a minister);
  • cases involving smuggling illegal drugs into the U.S. from Latin and South America and related "money laundering" cases.
Georgia, Northern District, 1847-1978, divisions at Atlanta, Gainesville, Newnan, and Rome. Included are records of :
  • Confederate courts;
  • habeas corpus cases involving alleged murderer, Leo Frank, and gangster, Al Capone;
  • civil rights cases involving the desegregation of the Atlanta public schools and the Pickwick Restaurant, owned by future governor, Lester Maddox;
  • Mrs. Mattie T. Thompson v. Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, in which an Atlanta woman claimed that her script was used for Cecil B. DeMille's silent movie, The Ten Commandments.
Georgia, Middle District, 1879-1968, divisions at Albany, Americus, Athens, Columbus, Macon, Thomasville, and Valdosta. Included are records of:
  • a 1965 suit against the Chief of Police of Albany, Georgia, claiming police brutality;
  • a similar 1943 case involving the death of an African American as a result of a police beating;
  • a 1951-1952 lawsuit filed by Horace Ward, an African American seeking admission to the University of Georgia Law School, and a subsequent case in which Ward provided legal assistance to Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes, who were admitted to the University;
  • a lawsuit between Hillerich & Bradley and the Hanna Manufacturing Co., 1926-1932, concerning the trademark of the Louisville Slugger Bat.
Georgia, Southern District, 1789-1979, divisions at Augusta, Brunswick, Dublin, Savannah, Swainsboro, and Waycross. Included are records of:
  • the suit by Eli Whitney to preserve his patent rights to the cotton gin;
  • numerous cases involving illegal slave importation;
  • Confederate court cases, including the sequestration of the estate of John Butler, brother-in-law of Fanny Kemble Butler, the actress who aroused British public opinion against the Southern cause through her journal about her time spent on a Georgia rice plantation;
  • lawsuits concerning peonage heard by the controversial Federal Judge Emory Speer;
  • a 1901 case, United States v. Helen W. Post, in which the government sued Mrs. Post for sending literature touting her claims of special healing powers;
  • a World War I period equity suit, Jeffersonian v. West, in which Tom Watson's newspaper was denied second class mailing privileges under the Espionage Act because he used the paper to encourage draft evasion and oppose U.S. entrance into the war.
Kentucky, Eastern District, 1791-1979, divisions at Catlettsburg (later Ashland), Covington, Frankfort, Jackson, Lexington, London, Pikesville, and Richmond. Included are records of :
  • disputes over land ownership as settlers vied for the rich agricultural land of the new state of Kentucky;
  • patents dated 1785 signed by Patrick Henry, the governor of Virginia;
  • Robert Oliver v. Daniel Southland, et al., a land dispute case, 1830-1845, which was appealed to the Supreme Court;
  • a criminal case involving Dr. W. L. Stumbo and 26 other defendants charged with fraud and the misuse of emergency relief funds during the Depression;
  • numerous cases involving the coal and tobacco industries;
  • United States v. John S. Steers, et al., in which the defendants, eventually pardoned by President William Howard Taft, were accused of restraining trade under the Sherman Antitrust Act because they tried to stop fellow tobacco growers from selling their crops before a certain date.
Kentucky, Western District, 1860-1973, divisions at Bowling Green, Louisville, Owensboro, and Paducah. Included are records of:
  • cases involving intervention by the Freedmen's Bureau on behalf of African Americans threatened by "night riders;"
  • a habeas corpus case related to the Hatfield-McCoy feud.
Mississippi, Northern District, 1838-1964, divisions at Aberdeen, Clarksdale, Greenville, and Oxford. Included are records of:
  • Confederate courts;
  • a case involving the estate of President James K. Polk;
  • a Reconstruction era case involving future Supreme Court Justice L.Q.C. Lamar, who became so enraged during the trial of his client that he was cited for contempt;
  • cases involving the Enforcement Act of 1870 and the Ku Klux Klan in northern Mississippi.
Mississippi, Southern District, 1819-1966, divisions at Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Meridian, and Vicksburg. Included are records of:
  • Confederate courts;
  • civil rights cases, including some against members of the Ku Klux Klan.
North Carolina, Eastern District, 1789-1973, divisions at Elizabeth City (first held at Edenton), Fayetteville, New Bern, Raleigh, Washington, Wilmington, and Wilson. Included are records of:
  • Confederate courts;
  • admiralty cases including "Mediterranean passports," documents with curved top borders and engravings carried by ships in the Mediterranean Sea so that illiterate Barbary pirates would recognize their identification and allow the ships to sail through unharmed;
  • cases involving the Enforcement Act of 1870 and members of the Ku Klux Klan.
North Carolina, Middle District, 1872-1970, divisions at Durham, Greensboro, Rockingham, Salisbury, Wilkesboro, and Winston-Salem. Included are records of:
  • civil rights cases;
  • disputes between textile workers and textile mills over labor practices, and alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act by tobacco companies;
  • 1920's copyright cases concerning the American Society of Composers and Musicians and the use of sheet music in movie theaters.
North Carolina, Western District, 1870-1976, divisions at Asheville, Bryson City, Charlotte, Shelby, and Statesville. Included are records of:
  • cases involving the Enforcement Act of 1870 and the World War I Espionage Act;
  • civil rights cases involving desegregation of schools;
  • cases involving illegal distillation of alcohol;
  • an 1890 timber logging controversy between Indians and local timber interests.
South Carolina, Eastern District, 1716-1966, divisions at Aiken, Charleston, Columbia, Florence, and Orangeburg. Included are records of:
  • a British vice-admiralty court trial of the pirate Stede Bonnet;
  • the decision of Federal Judge A.G. Magrath to resign as Federal district judge on the occasion of South Carolina's secession, declaring that the "Temple of Justice was closed";
  • 1940's lawsuits in which African American teachers sued for equal pay;
  • Briggs v. Elliott, consolidated with other cases before the Supreme Court as Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka;
  • a 1961-1962 lawsuit concerning access to Fort. Sumter National Monument by Gray Line Winter Tours.
South Carolina, Western District, 1867-1980, divisions at Anderson, Greenville, Greenwood, Rock Hill, and Spartanburg. Included are records of:
  • cases involving the Enforcement Act of 1870;
  • civil rights cases during the 1960's;
  • pardons granted by Presidents Grant and Hayes in the 1870's.
Tennessee, Eastern District, 1852-1988, divisions at Chattanooga, Greenville. Knoxville, and Winchester. Included are records of:
  • Confederate courts;
  • land condemnation cases for TVA projects, the Oak Ridge plant of the Manhattan Engineering District, and the Smoky Mountain National Park;
  • a case involving Harvey Logan, a member of Butch Cassidy's "Hole-in-the-Wall Gang," who was tried for counterfeiting;
  • Tennessee Electric Power Company, et al., v. Tennessee Valley Authority, et al., including the testimony of Wendell Wilkie, President of Commonwealth Southern Corporation, and the Republican nominee for President in 1940.
Tennessee, Middle District, 1797-1968, divisions at Columbia, Cookeville, and Nashville. Included are records of:
  • Confederate courts;
  • cases involving Samuel F.B. Morse's patent for the telegraph;.
  • United States v. Jellico Mountain Coal and Coke Company, the first successful prosecution under the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Tennessee, Western District, 1864-1975, divisions at Jackson and Memphis. Included are records of:
  • 1867 bankruptcy cases including one filed by Confederate officer Nathan Bedford Forrest;
  • the U.S. Civil Commission, which operated the first government in Memphis after the occupation of U.S. troops during the Civil War and has preserved the Federal court records from that period;
  • an 1880 case, Richard Robinson v. Memphis & Charleston Railroad. involving an African-American woman seeking to ride in a first class car on the railroad;
  • a civil rights case involving a strike by garbage workers in Memphis which attracted Martin Luther King, Jr. and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference workers.
The records document the actions of Federal district and circuit courts, which have jurisdiction over naturalization, admiralty, bankruptcy, civil (law and equity), and criminal cases. Among general topics covered are: biography, civil rights, commerce and corporate history, demographics, genealogy, immigration, the impact of Federal regulatory programs, judicial administration, labor relations and union activity, maritime history, railroad history, and state and local political activity. Among specific topics covered are: collection of debts; enforcement of contracts; claims for damages; counterfeiting; violation of customs regulations; the exclusion and deportation of Chinese; evasion of import duties; the illegal sale and/or manufacturing of alcoholic beverages; infringement of patents and copyrights; interstate transfer of stolen property; mutiny and murder on the high seas; prize condemnations; theft, assault, or murder on Federal property; violations of Federal election laws; school desegregation; violations of the Migratory Bird Act; draft evasion; and violations of the ban on slave importation. References to specific cases are mentioned above under the court district.

Records consist primarily of case files - papers for a specific case filed by private attorneys or by the U.S. attorney representing the U.S. Department of Justice. The papers include complaints, indictments, affidavits, depositions, motions, petitions, subpoenas, writs, answers, interrogatories, and judgments or final decrees. Bankruptcy case files contain petitions of creditors and schedules of assets and liabilities. Case files are usually arranged numerically by the docket number assigned as the case was opened. A few courts combine different litigation types into a "general index series." Transcripts of testimony are rarely part of the file.

Other court records include docket books (arranged by consecutive docket numbers) - summaries of the proceedings in each case, including a list of motions filed and orders given, the amount of fees collected, and a statement of the disposition of the case; minute books or journals - daily chronological records of court proceedings, which include the text of orders appointing court officials and the admission of attorneys to Federal practice, and information about the selection of juries; naturalization papers - declarations of intention, petitions for naturalization, depositions and affidavits, and certificate stubs; order or judgment books - the text of each order or judgment and a record of the amount of any monetary judgment; and U.S. Commissioners' records of proceedings - a printed form which is filled in with the name of the defendant and the summaries of the charge, actions taken, and the disposition of the case. Nontextual records include maps, photographs, and case exhibits.

Included in the records of the Confederate courts are files of sequestration and garnishment cases.

Finding Aids
There is no cumulative index by subject, case name, or other access point for all court cases.

Records for a case can usually be located by the name of the court division and the case number. The case number can often be found in dockets or minutes but these are not available for all courts, especially for the earliest years. Additional location information is sometimes available from the clerk's office of the court where the case was tried.

Draft inventories for courts in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

See also "Related Microfilm Publications" below.

Indexes for specific courts as follows:
  • Northern District of Alabama (Huntsville), U.S. Circuit Court: Subject index for criminal cases (other than illegal distilling and tobacco), 1874-1912.
  • Southern District of Alabama (Mobile), U.S. Circuit Court. Subject index for criminal cases (arranged by subject authority list), 1869-1893.
  • Northern District of Florida (Pensacola), U.S. District Court. Name index for mixed cases (except bankruptcy and criminal), 1860-1936.
  • Eastern District of North Carolina (Raleigh), U.S. Circuit Court: Subject index for criminal cases (other than illegal distilling and tobacco), 1866-1897; Name index for Civil and Criminal cases, 1790-1860.
Data base index to mixed cases of southeastern Federal courts, which includes:
  • Western District of North Carolina (Asheville), District and Circuit Courts, 1872-1920;Northern District of Florida Jacksonville), District and Circuit Courts, 1891-1913;
  • Middle District of Georgia (Macon), District and Circuit Courts, 1877-1912;
  • Southern District of Alabama (Mobile) (cases also listed in separate index above);
  • Northern District of Florida (Pensacola)(cases also listed in separate index above).
Name index for 1867 Bankruptcy Act cases for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Related Microfilm Publications
A1650, Minute Books, U.S. Circuit and District Courts, District of Kentucky, 1789-1818;
M436, Confederate Papers of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, 1861-65;
M1172, Index Books, 1789-1928 , and Minutes and Bench Dockets, 1789-1870, for the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Georgia;
M1180, Pre-Federal Admiralty Court Records, Province and State of South Carolina, 1716-89;
M1181, Minutes, Circuit and District Courts, District of South Carolina, 1789-1849 , and Index to Judgments, Circuit and District Courts, 1792-1874;
M1182, Admiralty Final Record Book and Minutes for the U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina, 1790-1857;
M1183, Record of Admissions to Citizenship, District of South Carolina, 1790-1906;
M1184, Minutes of the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Georgia, 1790-1842, and Index to Plaintiffs and Defendants in the Circuit Courts, 1790-1860;
M1212, Final Record Books of the U.S. Circuit Court for West Tennessee, 1808-39, and the U.S. Circuit Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, 1839-65;
M1213, Minute Books of the U.S. District Court for West Tennessee, 1790-1839, and of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, 1839-65;
M1214, Minute Books of the U.S. Circuit Court for West Tennessee, 1808-39, and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, 1839-50; Land Claims Records for West Tennessee, 1807-20;
M1215, Final Record Books of the U.S. District Court for West Tennessee, 1803-1839, and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, 1839-1850; Land Claims Records for West Tennessee, 1807-1820;
M1360, Admiralty Final Record Books of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Florida (Key West), 1828-1911;
M1425, Minute Books, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, Cape Fear Division at Wilmington, 1795-96 and 1858-1914;
M1426, Minute Books, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, Cape Fear Division at Wilmington, 1795-96 and 1858-1911;
M1427, Minute Books, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, Pamlico Division at New Bern, 1858-1914;
M1428, Minute Books, U.S. Circuit Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, Raleigh, 1791-1866;
M1429, Admiralty Final Record Books, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina, 1858-1907;
M1430, Confederate Court Records, Eastern District of North Carolina, 1861-1864;
M1547, Naturalization Records of U.S. District Courts in the Southeast, 1790-1958;
M1611, Index to Naturalizations, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1828-1955;
T410, Records of the U.S. Civil Commission at Memphis, 1863-1864.

Record Group 22
Records of the Fish and Wildlife Service 

Administrative History
The Fish and Wildlife Service was formed on June 30, 1940, by merging the Bureau of Fisheries (established in 1903) with the Bureau of Biological Survey (established in 1885). The service is responsible for administering Federal laws for the control and conservation of fish, game, birds, and other wildlife and administering national wildlife refuges.

Records Description
Dates: 1926-1974 Volume: 32 cubic feet

Records of the regional office, Atlanta 1926-1960. The records document the organization, functions, operations, and policies of the office; and Work Projects Administration (WPA) expenditures, monthly earnings, and project applications. The records are primarily general correspondence.

Records of the regional office, Atlanta, Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, Division of River Basins, 1944-1974. The records pertain to river basin projects and the impact of proposed developments along the Atlantic coast on water quality. Included are budget information, correspondence, project study files, publications, reports, and technical articles.

Records of the Office of River Basin Studies, Vicksburg, 1950. The records relate to the work of the Vicksburg Office in representing Region 4 on the Arkansas-White-Red River Basins Interagency Committee, established in June, 1950, to develop comprehensive and integrated plans of water resource development and management for several river basins. Included are correspondence, studies, and reports.

Records of the Commission for the Conservation of Shrimp in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, (Tortugas Shrimp Commission), 1955-1962. The records document the management of the Tortugas shrimp fishery and the negotiations between the United States and Cuba concerning the fishery. Included are correspondence, texts of the U.S.-Cuban convention, and reports.

Record Group 23
Records of the Coast and Geodetic Survey

Administrative History
The Coast and Geodetic Survey originated with an act of February 10, 1807, which authorized a survey of U.S. coasts. It was made a part of the Department of the Treasury in 1816 as the Survey of the Coast. It was abolished from 1818 to 1832 due to lack of funds, and was transferred to the Department of the Navy in 1834 and back to the Department of the Treasury in 1836. It was designated the Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1878.

In 1903, the Coast and Geodetic Survey was transferred to the Department of Commerce and Labor; and in 1913, to the Department of Commerce. In 1965, it was made a part of the Environmental Science Services Administration within that department. The functions of the survey have included surveying and charting the coasts of the United States and its possessions, studying tides and currents, compiling aeronautical charts, and conducting research in terrestrial gravity and seismology.

Records Description
Dates: 1806, 1891-1892 Volume: less than 1 cubic foot

Records of tidal observer Arthur J. Collyer, Tybee Island, Georgia. The records inform the Superintendent or Disbursing Agent of the Coast and Geodetic Survey about tidal matters at Tybee Island. They consist of a single volume of letters.

Records of William Tatham on the survey of the coast of North Carolina from Cape Fear to Cape Hatteras, 1806. The record is an 1807 narrative report (on 1 reel of microfilm) to Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin, who appointed Tatham to the survey post.

Finding Aid
Nathan Reingold, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, PI 105 (1958).

Record Group 24
Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel

Administrative History
The Bureau of Naval Personnel originated as the Bureau of Navigation, established by an act of July 5, 1862. It is responsible for training and educating officers and enlisted men. The Coast Signal Service was organized within the Bureau in 1897. It cooperated with the Lifesaving Service, the Lighthouse Service, and the Weather Bureau in maintaining a lookout for the approach of enemy vessels and in checking the movements of American vessels. The Service was discontinued at the close of the Spanish-American War.

Records Description
Date: 1898 Volume: 1 cubic feet

Records of the Headquarters Office of the Coast Signal Service, relating to the following district offices:

  • Fourth District, Charleston, including
    Morris Island, Charleston, South Carolina
    Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
    Tybee Island, Georgia
    St. Simon Island, Georgia
  • Fifth District, Jacksonville, including
    St. Johns River, Jacksonville, Florida
    Cape Canaveral, Florida
    Jupiter Inlet, Florida
    Miami, Florida
  • Sixth District, Pensacola, Florida, including
    Pensacola Navy Yard, Florida
    Santa Rosa Island, Florida
The records document routine business and administrative matters between the headquarters office and district offices and the signal stations under their control, and consist of correspondence, orders, and telegrams.

Finding Aids
Virgil E. Baugh, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, PI 123 (1960).

Record Group 25
Records of the National Labor Relations Board

Administrative History
The present National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was created by the National Labor Relations Act (the Wagner Act) of July 5, 1935. It was preceded by two earlier boards: the National Labor Board (NLB), established August 5, 1933, and a first NLRB, established on June 19, 1934. As the functions of the NLB and the first NLRB were closely tied to the mission of the National Recovery Administration (NRA), when the NRA was declared unconstitutional on May 27, 1935, the first NLRB virtually ceased to function.

The Wagner Act created the second (present) NLRB, which was to determine the unit of employees appropriate for collective bargaining, conduct elections for employee representatives, and force employers to end specified unfair labor practices in industries other than the railroads and, after 1936, the airlines. The functions of the NLRB have subsequently been modified by the War Labor Disputes Act of June 25, 1943, the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (the Taft-Hartley Act), and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (the Landrum-Griffin Act).

All three boards utilized a system of regional boards to deal with labor controversies in the field.

Records Description
Dates: 1933-1937 Volume: 3 cubic feet

Records of the Atlanta Regional Labor Board. The records relate to operation of the board and cases before it, especially concerning violation of National Recovery Administration industry codes by A & J Manufacturing Company, Gadsden, Alabama, and the Aricola Furnace Company, Atlanta, Georgia. They consist of correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, and transcripts of board hearings.

Records of the Sixth District (Atlanta) Office. The records relate to cases before the board dealing with possible violation of National Recovery Administration industry codes, and consist of correspondence and reports.

Record Group 26
Records of the U.S. Coast Guard

Administrative History
The U.S. Coast Guard was established in the Department of the Treasury by an act of January 28, 1915, which consolidated that department's Revenue Cutter and Lifesaving Services. The Coast Guard took over the administration of lighthouses in 1939, and in 1942 assumed functions of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (RG 41) relating to navigation and inspection laws and to merchant seamen. On April 1, 1967, the Coast Guard became a part of the Department of Transportation and assumed responsibility for functions transferred to it from the Bureau of Customs (see RG 36) pertaining to the admeasurement and documentation of U.S. vessels.

Records Description
Dates: 1840-1986 Volume: 752 cubic feet

Records of Coast Guard cutters and shore units, such as bases, depots, and radio and light stations, 1918-1986. The records document daily activities: mission, navigation, operations, personnel, position, status, vessel condition, and weather; and the role of the U.S.C.G.C. Dallas in search and rescue operations following the space shuttle Challenger disaster, 1986. The records consist of logbooks, including incoming and outgoing message traffic.

Records of the U.S. Lifesaving Service, 1840-1942. The records document daily station activities at several lifesaving stations in North Carolina and Florida. They are journals, correspondence, logbooks, and wreck reports.

Records of the following Marine Safety Offices:
  • Jacksonville, Florida, 1943-1967;.
  • Memphis, Tennessee, 1966-1975,
  • Miami, Florida, 1942-1962;
  • Savannah, Georgia, 1955-1973;
  • Tampa, Florida, 1941-1975;
  • Wilmington, North Carolina, 1943-1974;
and the following Marine Inspection Offices:
  • Brunswick, Georgia, 1955-1973;
  • Fernandina, Florida, 1967-1972;
  • Jacksonville, Florida, 1872-1972;
  • Miami, Florida, 1930-1947;
  • Mobile, Alabama, 1927-1972;
  • Savannah, Georgia, 1942-1963;
  • Tampa, Florida, 1931-1971;
  • Wilmington, North Carolina, 1950-1957.
The records relate to vessel documentation and maritime activity, and include logbooks, correspondence, and oaths taken by vessel masters.

Records of merchant marine vessels maintained in accord with various acts of Congress and surrendered to Coast Guard Offices when the vessels terminated voyages at:

  • Charleston, South Carolina, 1919-1958;
  • Jacksonville, Florida, 1943-1965;
  • Miami, Florida, 1943-1964;
  • Mobile, Alabama, 1942-1965;
  • Port Everglades, Florida, 1959;
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1957;
  • Savannah, Georgia, 1941-1963;
  • Tampa, Florida, 1942-1965;
  • Wilmington, North Carolina, 1950-1974.
The records include the vessel's name and number; beginning and end dates of voyages; destination(s); list of crew members (including name, capacity or position engaged, and report of character [protected by the Privacy Act]); drills and inspections; and sometimes notations on significant events. They are logbooks.

Records of the following Coast Guard Districts:

  • Second (Kentucky and Tennessee),
  • Fifth (North Carolina),
  • Sixth,
  • Seventh (Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina),
  • Eighth (Alabama and Mississippi).
The records relate to lifeboat stations, lifesaving stations, lighthouses, and light stations on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Nontextual records include blueprints and drawings.

Finding Aids
Database of merchant marine vessel logbooks, which includes the ports of Mobile, Alabama; Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; Wilmington, North Carolina; and Charleston, South Carolina.

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

Record Group 27
Records of the Weather Bureau

Administrative History
The Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress of October 1, 1890, in the Department of Agriculture. It took over the Weather Service that had been established in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the War Department in 1870. The Bureau was transferred to the Department of Commerce in 1940. In 1965, the Bureau was consolidated with the Coast and Geodetic Survey to form the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA). When ESSA was abolished in 1970, the Weather Bureau, now renamed the National Weather Service, was incorporated into the newly formed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Records Description
Dates: 1878-1950 Volume: 5 cubic feet

Records of the U.S. Army Signal Service weather station, Macon, Georgia, 1873-1882. The records document daily meteorological conditions and consist of a single volume of observations.

Records of the U.S. Army Signal Service weather station, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, 1879-1890 (with gaps), and the Weather Bureau station, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, 1890-1904. The records document meteorological observation activities and operations. The records are a volume of forms providing dates and times of storm signals hoisted, letters received from Signal Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., and from local suppliers and the public, meteorological observations and monthly reports.

Records of the weather station, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and headquarters, Washington, D.C., 1899-1901, 1908, 1927-1940, 1950. The records document early experiments with a gasoline engine powered aircraft by Orville and Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk and the subsequent memorial at Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina. These records are correspondence, press communications, and press clippings.

Records of the U.S. Army Signal Service weather station, Fort Macon, North Carolina, 1878-1987. The records document meteorological observation activities and consist of correspondence and a register.

Finding Aid
Helen T. Finneran, comp., Preliminary Inventory of Operational and Miscellaneous Meteorological Records of the Weather Bureau, NC 3 (1962).

Related Microfilm Publications
M1379, Selected Records From Records of the Weather Bureau Relating to New Orleans, 1841-1907; T907, Climatological Records of the Weather Bureau, 1819-1892.

Record Group 28
Records of the Post Office Department 

Administrative History
The Office of the Postmaster General was created by an act of September 22, 1789, that continued regulations that originated with the appointment on July 26, 1775, of Benjamin Franklin as Postmaster General by the Continental Congress. Legislation providing for a Post Department was passed in 1792, and subsequent legislation expanded its duties. The Postmaster General became a Cabinet member in 1829. Assistant postmasters general, authorized by acts of 1792, 1810, 1836, and 1891, were assigned administrative supervision over specific functions of the Department.

Records Description
Dates: 1954-1960 Volume: 5 cubic feet

Records of the Transportation Planning Branch, Atlanta. The records relate to surface and air transportation in the Southeast, and mail delivery plans for a number of southeastern cities. The records are plans and studies. Nontextual records include maps.

Record Group 30
Records of the Bureau of Public Roads

Administrative History
The Bureau of Public Roads had its origins in an act of March 3, 1893, which authorized the creation of an Office of Road Inquiry in the Department of Agriculture. After a number of changes in title, the Office became the Bureau of Public Roads in 1918 and retained that designation until 1939 when it became the Public Roads Administration as part of the Federal Works Agency. On July 1, 1949, it was transferred to the General Services Administration and renamed the Bureau of Public Roads, which was then transferred to the Department of Commerce by Reorganization Plan No. 7 of 1949. An act of October 15, 1966, transferred the Bureau to the Department of Transportation,where its functions were assigned to the Federal Highway Administration.

Under the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, the Bureau has supervised Federal-State cooperative programs for road construction, reconstruction, and improvement. It also administers the highway beautification program and is responsible for developing and administering highway safety programs, constructing defense highways and roads in national parks and forests, expanding the interstate highway system, and providing assistance to foreign governments.

Records Description
Dates: 1921-1979 Volume: 404 cubic feet

Records of Federal aid projects from District Offices in
  • Alabama, 1940-1968;
  • Florida, 1940-1979;
  • Georgia, 1917-1970;
  • Kentucky, 1966-1972;
  • Mississippi, 1921-1968;
  • North Carolina, 1930-1969;
  • South Carolina, 1940-1977;
  • Tennessee, 1940-1979. (Gaps in date span for all states.)
The records relate to project planning, funding, and construction. They are primarily case files that include copies of project agreements, final agreements, narrative progress reports, final reports, plans and specifications, and vouchers. Nontextual records include right-of-way maps and photographs of construction activities.

Finding Aid
Truman R. Strobridge, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Public Roads, PI 134 (1962).

Record Group 31
Records of the Federal Housing Administration

Administrative History
Created in 1934, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was grouped with other agencies to form the Federal Loan Agency in 1939. The FHA was transferred to the National Housing Agency in 1942 and to the Housing and Home Finance Agency in 1947. It was abolished in 1965 and its functions were transferred to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The FHA insured private lending institutions against loss on mortgage loans and insured advance loans for housing in nonurban and disaster areas as well as advance loans for housing for the elderly and military personnel, and for nursing homes. The Atlanta office of FHA functioned as an insuring office from its inception until 1971, when it became the area office for Georgia. It provided loan and mortgage insurance for a number of housing programs, including home improvements, urban renewal, and rehabilitation of substandard housing.

Records Description
Dates: 1952-1971 Volume: 24 cubic feet

Records of the regional office, Atlanta. The records document multifamily projects (such as condominiums, cooperatives, experimental and low cost housing, housing for the elderly, nonprofit hospitals, nursing homes, and rental property ) including change orders, costs, design and construction details, elevations and floor plans, inspections, materials and techniques used, and soil investigations, as well as the proceedings of preconstruction conferences. The records are correspondence, dockets, minutes, and reports. Nontextual records include drawings, plans and specifications.

Record Group 32
Records of the U.S. Shipping Board

Administrative History
The U.S. Shipping Board, established by the Shipping Act of 1916, was formally organized on January 30, 1917, to regulate carriers by water and develop a naval auxiliary and merchant marine. On April 16, 1917, the Board established the U.S. Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation (known after 1927 as the U.S. Shipping Board Merchant Fleet Corporation) to procure, construct, charter, equip, man, operate, and dispose of merchant vessels for the Board. Under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 and subsequent legislation the Board was given additional responsibilities. The Board was abolished by Executive Order 6166 of June 10, 1933, and its functions were administered through the U.S. Shipping Board Bureau in the Department of Commerce until that Bureau was abolished by the Merchant Marine Act of 1936.

Records Description
Dates: 1918-1929 Volume: 1 cubic foot

Records of the Charleston district office. The records document officers, crew members, engineers, stewards, and others on shipping board vessels operating from Charleston. They include correspondence, reports, and service records.

Records of the Jacksonville district office, 1918-1925. The records relate to office workers and per diem employees and consist of applications, correspondence, and reports.

Finding Aid
Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the United States Shipping Board, PI 97 (1956).

Record Group 36
Records of the U.S. Customs Service

Administrative History
The Customs Service, created by an act of July 31, 1789, became part of the Department of the Treasury when that Department was established in September 1789. The Service has been responsible for the enforcement of numerous laws and regulations pertaining to the import and export of merchandise, collection of tonnage taxes, control of the entrance and clearance of vessels and aircraft, regulation of vessels involved in the coastwise and fishing trades, the protection of passengers. A Bureau of Customs was established on March 3, 1927, to supervise these activities, and in 1942, it assumed the responsibilities of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (RG 41) relating to the registering, enrolling, licensing, and admeasurement of merchant vessels. This responsibility was assigned to the Coast Guard in 1967 (see RG 26).

The act that established the Customs Service in 1789 also provided for the creation of collection districts in various coastal, river, Great Lakes, and inland ports. A collector of customs in each district was responsible for the enforcement of all rules and regulations, including the protection of American seamen and passengers and the forwarding of basic data on immigration, imports, and exports. Occasionally the collector acted as the depository for Federal funds and collected taxes for the Bureau of Internal Revenue. A naval officer in each district, coordinate in rank with the collector, was required to keep separate accounts and copies of all manifests and entries and to countersign certain of the collector's accounts. A surveyor, under the collector's supervision, kept a daily record of all vessel arrivals and clearances and was assisted by inspectors, weighers, and gaugers in the collection and payment of bounty allowances and fees and the admeasurement of foreign vessels for tonnage duties.

Records Description
Dates: 1754-1968 Volume: 187 cubic feet

Records of the Collector/Deputy Collector of Customs for the following ports:
  • Charleston, South Carolina, 1857-1963;
  • Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, 1945-1960;
  • Fernandina Beach, Florida, 1942-67;
  • Georgetown, South Carolina, 1876-1961;
  • Jacksonville, Florida, 1942-63;
  • Key West, Florida, 1860-1944;
  • Memphis, Tennessee, 1966;
  • Miami, Florida, 1918-1965;
  • Mobile, Alabama, 1910-1968;
  • Nashville, Tennessee, 1875-1900;
  • Pensacola, Florida, 1878-1949;
  • Savannah, Georgia, 1898-1968 (see microfilm publications below);
  • Tampa, Florida, 1880-1965;
  • Wilmington, North Carolina, 1867-1967.
The records relate to aggrieved shippers, contracts, crews, foreign consuls, inbound and outbound cargo for both coastal and foreign shipping, masters' oaths, navigational improvements, operation of Federal revenue cutters and lighthouses, and vessel inspections. The records for Savannah also relate to British merchants during the Civil War. The records are abstracts of titles, bills of sale, case files, certificates of inspection, correspondence, manifests, oaths, reports, steamboat licenses, and vessel documentation files. Nontextual records include architectural and engineering plans.

Finding Aid
Draft inventory.

Related Microfilm Publications
M174, M175, and M178, microfilm publications of correspondence between the Secretary of the Treasury and the collectors of customs from 1789 to 1869. M334, Supplemental Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Atlantic and Gulf Coast Ports (Excluding New York), 1820-1874, M575, Copies of Lists of Passengers Arriving at Miscellaneous Ports on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and at Ports on the Great Lakes, 1820-1873. Also non NARA microfilm of records of the Collectors of Customs at Savannah, 1754-1920, in the custody of Perkins Library, Duke University, Durham, and the Georgia Historical Society, Savannah.

Record Group 41
Records of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation 

Administrative History
Navigation laws were passed by the First Congress in 1789 and were enforced by customs officers under the supervision of the Department of the Treasury. In 1884, a Bureau of Navigation under the control of the Commissioner of Navigation was established within the Department of the Treasury to administer the navigation laws. In 1903, it was transferred to the Department of Commerce and Labor along with the Steamboat Inspection Service, which had been established in the Department of the Treasury in 1852 to formulate rules and regulations for steamboat inspections. The two bureaus were merged in 1932 to form the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection, which was renamed the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (BMIN) in 1936. In 1942, its functions relating to merchant vessel documentation were transferred to the Bureau of Customs (see RG 36),while those pertaining to merchant vessel inspection, safety of life at sea, and merchant vessel personnel were transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard (see RG 26). The Bureau was abolished in 1946.

Records Description
Dates: 1871-1966 Volume: 313 cubic feet

Records of customs collectors, functioning as field agents for the BMIN, at the following ports:
  • Fernandina, Florida, 1912-42;
  • Jacksonville, Florida, 1867-1942;
  • Memphis, Tennessee, 1939-1961;
  • Miami, Florida, 1933-1960;
  • Mobile, Alabama, 1877-1948;
  • Nashville, Tennessee, 1864-1903;
  • Savannah, Georgia, 1871-1961;
  • Tampa, Florida, 1880-1966;
  • Wilmington, North Carolina, 1819-1951.
The records usually document, for American yachts, and merchant and fishing vessels: the name, date and place of construction, home port, dimensions, and measurements. They also relate to the Steamboat Inspection Service. There are abstracts of titles; bills of sale; certificates of registry, enrollment, or license for vessels; mortgages and maritime liens; and oaths that owners and masters were required to take to obtain licenses for vessels.

Finding Aid
Draft inventory

Record Group 48
Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior
Administrative History
The Department of the Interior was created by an act of March 3, 1849. During the more than 130 years of its existence some functions have been added and others removed so that its role has changed from that of general housekeeper for the Federal Government to that of custodian of the nation's natural resources. The Secretary of the Interior, as the head of an executive department, reports directly to the President and is responsible for the direction and supervision of all activities of the Department.

Records Description
Dates: 1933-1981 Volume: 35 cubic feet

Records of the Oil Enforcement Branch, Field Office, Atlanta, 1933-1935. The records document investigations of alleged petroleum code violators and administrative matters. The records are case and subject files and special project correspondence files.

Records of the field representative, Southeast Region, Atlanta, 1954-1970. The Southeast Region includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The records document programs in several DOI bureaus and services, primarily in the Southeast, such as civil defense, coal development, water resources (including the Southeast River Basins Interagency Committee), other interagency and intergovernmental cooperation in natural resource and wildlife management, and administrative matters. The records are special projects case files which include correspondence, memorandums, and reports.

Related Microfilm Publications
M849, Interior Department Appointment Papers: Mississippi, 1849-1907;
M950, Interior Department Appointment Papers: North Carolina, 1849-92;
M1119, Interior Department Appointment Papers: Florida, 1849-1907.

Record Group 49
Records of the Bureau of Land Management

Administrative History
The General Land Office (GLO) was established within the Department of the Treasury by an act of April 25, 1812, to administer all public land transactions except surveying and map work (which came under the supervision of the GLO in 1836). In 1849, the GLO was transferred to the Department of the Interior where it was merged with the Grazing Service in 1946 to form the Bureau of Land Management. The Bureau classifies, manages, and disposes of public lands and their resources and administers Federally-owned mineral resources on non-Federal land and on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Records Description
Dates: 1805-1933 Volume: 23cubic feet

Records of land offices in the following locations:
  • Augusta, Mississippi, 1851-1854, 1865;
  • Cahaba, Alabama, 1851-1854;
  • Columbus, Mississippi, 1833-1917;
  • Gainesville, Florida, 1879; 1932-1933;
  • Grenada, Mississippi, 1833-1860;
  • Jackson, Mississippi, 1821-1908;
  • Huntsville, Alabama, 1832, 1840-1854;
  • Mobile, Alabama, 1880-1883, 1890-1892;
  • Pontotoc, Mississippi, 1832-1874;
  • St. Stephens, Alabama, 1805-1833;
  • Washington, Mississippi, 1807-1862.
The records document the collection of fees and the status of entry claims. For Alabama, land cessions to Creek Reservation under a treaty of March 1832; for Mississippi, the records also document land cessions, 1833-1874, under the Chickasaw Cession of 1832 and the Treaty with the Chickasaw of May 1834. The records are abstracts of accounts (Secretary of War, Expenditures in carrying into effect Chickasaw Treaty of October 22, 1832, 1833-1873), abstracts of land entries, abstract tract books, correspondence, land sale receipts, and preemption certificates.

Finding Aid
Harry P. Yoshpe and Philip P. Brower, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Land-Entry Papers of the General Land Office, PI 22 (1949).