The National Archives at Fort Worth

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 foods 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: 166 cubic feet
Records of the following:
  • Food administrators in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas;
  • Sugar Divisions in Arkansas and Louisiana;
  • Divisions of Investigation and Enforcement in Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas; State Merchant Representative and Food Inspection Division in Oklahoma;
  • Educational, Grocery, Cotton Seed, and Perishables Divisions in Texas.

  • For the most part the records concern complaints against individuals, local merchants, and restaurants for violations of rationing and other regulations, and document public attitudes toward U.S. participation in World War I and governmental control. They consist primarily of 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 7
    Records of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine

    Administrative History
    Entomological research and plant quarantine and control work being done by various agencies were consolidated in the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, which was established within the Department of Agriculture on July 1, 1934. The Bureau cooperated with the States in studying and controlling insects to prevent plant diseases and enforced various quarantine regulations. It was abolished in 1953 and its functions were transferred to the Agricultural Research Service and the Forest Service.

    Records Description
    Dates: 1922-1951
    Volume: 9 cubic feet
    Records of field stations and bureau headquarters. The records relate to controlling the pink bollworm and thurberia weevil in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, and to cooperative programs with Mexico. They include correspondence, narrative progress reports, statistical information, and technical reports. Nontextual records include maps showing areas of insect infestation.

    Finding Aids
    Harold T. Pinkett, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, PI 94 (1956).

    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: 1911-1912
    Volume: less than 1 cubic foot
    Records of the Cypress Creek Drainage District, Arkansas. The records relate to supplies and to fiscal matters of R.D. Marsden, Office Engineer, and include correspondence, work reports, and forms.

    Finding Aids
    Entry 9 in 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 but most of these were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. 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. Most of its divisions were transferred to the Department of Commerce for liquidation by April 1, 1936.

    Records Description
    Dates: 1934-1936
    Volume: 12 cubic feet
    Records of NRA's Region VIII (Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas). The records document enforcement policy and procedures and personnel administration, and include administrative and general subject files, reports, and legal files.

    Finding Aids
    Entries 571-575 in Homer Calkin, Meyer Fishbein, and Leo Pascal, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the National Recovery Administration , PI 44 (1952).

    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 20, 1930.

    Records Description
    Dates: 1918-1926
    Volume: 22 cubic feet
    Records of District Office 6 (New Orleans) and District Office 14 (Dallas) of the Rehabilitation Division, 1918-1925. The records document training and employment of disabled veterans in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas.

    Records of the Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and New Orleans Regional Offices of the Rehabilitation Division, 1925-1926. The records document training of disabled veterans and include correspondence, reports, and rosters.

    Finding Aids
    Entry 16 in Preliminary Checklist of the General Administrative Files of the Rehabilitation Division, PC 15 (1944).

    Record Group 16
    Records of the Secretary of Agriculture

    Administrative History
    The Department of Agriculture was established by an act of May 15, 1862, and became an executive department under a Secretary in 1889. Its functional responsibilities have increased throughout its existence and now include agricultural adjustment, conservation, education, marketing, production, regulation, research, rural development, and surplus disposal.

    Records Description
    Dates: 1959-1966
    Volume: 22 cubic feet
    Records of the regional office of the general counsel, Temple, Texas. The records relate to investigations of cotton and rice allotments made to Billie Sol Estes and Bobby Frank Estes. Included are affidavits, copies of warranty deeds and leases, correspondence, exhibits, forms for marketing quotas, and investigative reports.

    Finding Aids

    • List of folder titles.
    • Helen Finneran Ulibarri, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, PI 191 (1979).

    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.

    Records Description
    Dates: 1917-1939
    Volume: 291 cubic feet
    Records of the following field installations:
    • Barksdale Field, Shreveport, Louisiana;
    • Barron Field, Everman, Texas;
    • Call Field, Wichita Falls, Texas;
    • Carruthers Field, Benbrook, Texas;
    • Eberts Field, Lonoke, Arkansas;
    • Ellington Field, Houston, Texas;
    • Gerstner Field, Lake Charles, Louisiana;
    • Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas;
    • Love Field, Dallas, Texas;
    • Randolph Field, San Antonio, Texas.

    The records relate primarily to maintenance of aircraft and equipment, preparation and distribution of technical orders and other instructions, training of pilots and civilian employees, and general administration of units. Included are orders, reports, and correspondence.

    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 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. 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: 1806-1994
    Volume: 30,594 cubic feet
    Records of the following district and circuit courts:
    • Arkansas, Eastern District, 1865-1869.
    • Arkansas, Western District, 1865-1990. Among the records are files of cases heard by "Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker, who tried Belle Starr, the Daltons, and Wyatt Earp, and sentenced 96 men to the gallows, 1875-1896.
    • Indian Territory, 1889-1907. The Federal court at Muskogee exercised many functions of a State or local court. Included are records concerning incorporations, probate, marriage, and naturalization, as well as criminal and civil cases.
    • Louisiana, Eastern District, 1806-1982. Among the records are files of cases involving violations of slave importation acts; piracy (including the pirate Jean Lafitte); filibustering against Spanish-controlled territory in Cuba and Florida, 1830-1850; contested elections in the 1870's; and the Slaughter House Cases testing the 14th Amendment in the 1870's. Louisiana, Western District, 1832-1966. Included is a case relating to the car driven by outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow when they were killed by law enforcement officers in 1934.
    • Louisiana, Middle District, 1971-1993. This district was created in 1971 with Baton Rouge as its headquarters. Prior to 1971, BatonRouge was a division in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
    • Louisiana, Western District, 1832-1961.
    • Oklahoma, Eastern District, 1907-1988. Among the records are files of cases involving Indian land ownership and revenue rights from oil production, 1900-1940's.
    • Oklahoma, Western District, 1907-1956. Among the records are case files about the Green Corn Rebellion, involving draft evasion in World War I.
    • Oklahoma, Northern District, 1925-1969.Among the records are murder cases named the "Osage Reign of Terror" by local newspapers. In the 1920s Ernest Burkhart and his uncle, William K. Hale, began murdering the relatives of Burkhart's Osage wife to consolidate her headrights to oil royalty payments.
    • Texas, Eastern District, 1874-1968. Included are records of Confederate courts in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Austin and Galveston, Texas, and the provisional court at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1862-1865.
    • Texas, Western District, 1851-1988. Among the records are files of cases that involve the smuggling of arms to Mexico, 1910-1916; author William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. O. Henry; bankruptcies filed under the acts of 1867; and deportation of Chinese immigrants.
    • Texas, Northern District, 1879-1994. Among the records are files of cases involving fraud in oil production, including a case involving arctic explorer Frederick Cook and a case involving Henry O. Flipper, the first black army officer, and the use of Federal troops in 1880.
    • Texas, Southern District, 1846-1988. Included are files of cases involving Spanish land grants, and smuggling arms and other goods during the Mexican civil war.

    The records document the actions of Federal district and circuit courts, which have jurisdiction over naturalization, bankruptcy, civil (law, equity, and admiralty), and criminal cases. Among general topics covered are biography, civil rights, commerce and corporate history, demographics, genealogy, immigration and ethnic groups, the impact of Federal regulatory programs, judicial administration, labor relations and union activity, maritime history, and State and local political activity. Among specific topics covered are collection of debts, enforcement of contracts, claims for damages; counterfeiting, and smuggling or violations of customs regulations; European immigration and the exclusion and deportation of Chinese; evasion of import duties; the illegal sale or manufacturing of alcoholic beverages; infringement of patent or copyright; interstate transfer of stolen property; mutiny or murder on the high seas; prize condemnations; theft, assault, or murder on Federal property; and violations of Federal election laws and civil rights legislation, international agreements (such as the Migratory Bird Act); Selective Service regulations, and slave importation laws. References to some specific cases are noted above under the name of the court.

    Records are primarily case files - papers in a specific case filed by attorneys or issued by the court, such as affidavits, complaints, depositions, indictments, judgments or final decrees, motions, petitions, subpoenas, and writs. Bankruptcy case files also contain petitions of creditors and schedules of assets and liabilities. Case files are arranged numerically by the docket number assigned when the case was filed. Documentary exhibits submitted as part of court proceedings usually were returned to the parties involved, but they are sometimes included in the case file. Transcripts are seldom part of the file.)

    There are also docket books - a summary of proceedings in each case, including a brief abstract of motions and orders, a record of the fees collected, and a statement of the disposition of the case; minute books or journals - a daily chronological record of court proceedings, often including information about financial accounts and the collection of fees, lists of jury members, names of attorneys admitted to practice, and the text of orders appointing court officials; naturalization papers - declarations of intention, petitions for naturalization, depositions, and certificates of naturalization; order or judgment books - the text of each order or judgment and a record of the amount of any monetary judgment; record of proceedings (only for U.S. commissioners) - a printed form that gives the name of the defendant, and summaries of the nature of the charge, the actions taken, and the disposition of the case. Nontextual records include maps and photographs.

    Finding Aids
    Draft inventories for each court. Minute, docket, and order books often have indexes to the names of the parties involved in the proceedings. There is no cumulative index by subject, case name, or other access point. Records for a case can usually be located by case number and name of the court. The number sometimes can be determined from indexes in minute, docket, or order books but these are not available for all courts. Additional information may be available from the clerk of the court involved.

    Related Microfilm Publications
    M1082, Records of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, 1806-1814;
    M1115, Land Claims Case Files and Related Records of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, 1844-1880.

    Record Group 22
    Records of the U.S. 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: 1907-1973
    Volume: 52 cubic feet
    Records of Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma. The records relate to indigenous plants and animals, including bison brought from the New York Zoological Park for breeding in the bison's native habitat; and mammals, birds, and plants found in the refuge. Included are biological reports, correspondence, engineering records, lists, and public relations and research files.

    Records of the Albuquerque regional office, Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, 1957-1968. The records relate to research on fish conservation in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas; the Green River, Utah; and Yellowstone Park, Wyoming. Included are field diaries, minutes of conferences, narrative reports, publications, technical reports, and studies. Nontextual records include photographs of activities at Fort Apache, Arizona.

    Finding Aids
    Draft inventory.

    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 Life Saving 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
    Dates: 1898
    Volume: 1 cubic foot
    Records of the Headquarters Office of the Coast Signal Service relating to the Seventh District Office, New Orleans, Louisiana. The district included stations at Fort Morgan, Alabama; Galveston, Texas; and Port Eads, Louisiana. The records document routine business and administrative matters. They consist primarily of correspondence.

    Finding Aids
    Entry 440 in Virgil E. Baugh, 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
    : 1933-1938
    Volume: 3 cubic feet

    Records of regional boards in Fort Worth, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; and New Orleans, Louisiana. The records document cases received and settled, involving charges of unfair labor practices. Included are correspondence, minutes, regional board decisions, reports, and selected hearing files.

    Finding Aids
    Draft inventory.

    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 (see RG 41) relating to navigation and inspection laws and to merchant marines. 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: 1880-1981
    Volume: 1,197 cubic feet
    Records of Coast Guard cutters and some air stations, light stations, supply depots, and support vessels. The records document daily activities and vessel inspections of ships of U.S. registry and include weather observations and watch officers' remarks. The records are logbooks.

    Records of merchant vessels turned in when the vessels docked at:
    • Beaumont, Texas, 1936-1943
    • Brownsville, Texas, 1940-1975
    • Corpus Christi, Texas, 1933-1962
    • Galveston, Texas, 1935-1976
    • Houston, Texas, 1928-1979
    • Lake Charles, Louisiana, 1937-1977
    • New Orleans, Louisiana, 1930-1976
    • Port Arthur, Texas, 1920-1977
    The records document daily activities on the vessel. They are logbooks.

    Records of lifesaving stations, 1880-1945. The records document daily activities. They are logbooks.

    Finding Aids
    Draft inventory.

    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: 1873-1892
    Volume: 3 cubic feet
    Records from
    • Concho, Texas;
    • Fort Gibson, Indian Territory;
    • Grierson Springs, Texas.

    The records include letters sent, 1873-1885; registers of letters received, 1873-1887; and station daily journals, 1877-1883.

    Records of meteorological observations taken at Brownsville, Texas, 1889-1892. The records are bound in a single volume.

    Finding Aids
    Entries 36, 37, 67, and 77 in Helen T. Finneran, comp. Preliminary Inventory of Operational and Miscellaneous Meteorological Records of the Weather Bureau, NC 3, May 1965.

    Related Microfilm Publications
    M1379, Selected Documents From the Records of the Weather Bureau Relating to New Orleans, 1870-1912;
    T907, Climatological Records of the Weather Bureau, 1819-1892.

    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 (see RG 406).

    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: 1916-1971
    Volume: 191 cubic feet
    Records of Federal aid projects in: Arkansas, 1919-1968; Louisiana, 1916-1968; New Mexico, 1920-1971; Oklahoma, 1941-1964; Texas, 1920-1968. The records relate to project funding. They are primarily case files that include copies of project agreements, final agreements, plans and specifications, narrative progress reports, vouchers, and other documents. Nontextual records include right-of-way maps and photographs of construction activities.

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

    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: 1918-1936
    Volume: 16 cubic feet
    Records of the Gulf District Office, New Orleans, which included subagencies at
  • Mobile, Alabama;
  • Pensacola , Florida;
  • Gulf Port, Mississippi;
  • Beaumont, Galveston, Orange, and Port Arthur, Texas.

  • The records relate to personnel working on vessels and in offices. Included are crew lists for Shipping Board vessels operating out of Galveston, 1919-1933; Mobile, 1919-1932; and New Orleans, 1918-1936; and card indexes and correspondence.

    Finding Aids
    Entries 538 and 539 in Forrest R. Holdcamper, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the United States Shipping Board, PI 97 (1956).

    Record Group 33
    Records of the Extension Service

    Administrative History
    Various extension activities of the Department of Agriculture were consolidated with the organization of the Extension Service on July 1, 1923. The Service, which was known as the Federal Extension Service between 1954 and 1970, cooperates with State agricultural colleges, helps farmers through the services of county agricultural and home demonstration agents, publishes the results of agricultural research, and presents displays and exhibits at fairs and expositions. In periods of crisis, such as drought, economic depression, or war, local agents of the Service often perform emergency activities.

    Records Description
    Dates: 1911-1966
    Volume: 216 cubic feet
    Records of the district director, county agricultural and home demonstration agents, and other subject specialists working in Arkansas. The records relate to the organization and conduct of extension programs and aspects of rural life, such as crop and livestock production, farm and home management practices, health, marketing, nutrition, and recreation. Included are carbon copies of annual narrative and statistical reports. Newspaper clippings are attached to some reports. Nontextual records include photographs and maps.

    Finding Aids
    Virgil E. Baugh, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Extension Service, PI 83 (1955).

    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, and 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 (see 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. Upon occasion, 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: 1854-1976
    Volume: 300 cubic feet

    Records of collectors of customs and other customs officials at the following ports:

    • Beaumont, Texas, 1916-1968
    • Brownsville, Texas, 1939-1956
    • Corpus Christi, Texas, 1933-1972
    • Dallas, Texas, 1948-1972
    • Del Rio, Texas, 1895-1913
    • Eagle Pass, Texas, 1896-1905
    • Edinburgh, Texas, 1871-1904
    • El Paso, Texas, 1854-1933
    • Galveston, Texas, 1903-1960
    • Houston, Texas,1936-1973
    • Lake Charles, Louisiana, 1942-1966
    • Laredo, Texas, 1875-1967
    • Morgan City, Louisiana, 1948-1961
    • New Orleans, Louisiana, 1866-1974
    • Port Arthur, Texas, 1939-1961
    • Roma, Texas, 1884-1888
    • San Antonio, Texas, 1950-1976
    Records relate to the entrance and clearance of vessels, collection of duties and fees, and vessel documentation, 1942-1967. For some ports, there is documentation of investigations of neutrality violations involving the export of aircraft and weapons. The records are primarily forms. Additional records for the port of New Orleans include correspondence relating to trademarks and copies of trademarks, 1890-1899; crew lists, 1803-1925; transcriptions of passenger lists, 1834-1868; and wreck reports, 1873-1924.

    Finding Aids
    Draft inventory.

    Related Microfilm Publications
    M174, Letters Received by the Secretary of the Treasury From Collectors of Customs (G, "H", "I" Series), 1833-1869;
    M175, Letters Sent by the Secretary of the Treasury to Collectors of Customs at All Ports, 1847-1878 ("G" Series);
    M178, Correspondence of the Secretary of the Treasury With Collectors of Customs, 1789-1833;
    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;
    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;
    T527, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving At New Orleans, Louisiana, 1853-1899;
    T905, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1903-1945.

    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 Treasury Department. In 1884 a Bureau of Navigation under the control of the Commissioner of Navigation was established within the Treasury Department 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 Treasury Department 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: 1853-1944
    Volume: 86 cubic feet
    Records of collectors of customs, functioning as field agents for the BMIN, at the following ports:
    • Baytown, Texas, 1924-1944
    • Beaumont, Texas, 1934-1943
    • Brownsville, Texas, 1875-1922
    • Galveston, Texas, 1860-1942
    • Houston, Texas, 1908-1942
    • Lake Charles, Louisiana, 1928-1943
    • Morgan City, Louisiana, 1868-1925
    • New Orleans, Louisiana, 1853-1942
    • Port Arthur, Texas, 1933-1942
    • Port Lavaca, Texas, 1921-1925
    • Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1906-1924
    The records usually document, for American merchant and fishing vessels, the name; date and place of construction; home port; dimensions; and measurements. There are bills of sale, certificates of registry, enrollments or licenses, master carpenter certificates, mortgages and maritime liens, oaths that owners and masters took to obtain a vessel license, and records of admeasurement and inspection of vessels.

    Finding Aids
    Draft inventory.

    Record Group 49
    Records of the Bureau of Land Management

    Administrative History
    The General Land Office (GLO) was established within the Treasury Department 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: 1832-1924
    Volume: 50 cubic feet
    Records of land offices in Arkansas, 1840-1879; Louisiana, 1832- 1907; and New Mexico, 1868-1924. The records relate primarily to the collection of fees, official accounts, and the status of entry claims.

    Records of boards of townsite trustees for towns in Oklahoma, 1889-1913. The records document actions taken on claims and contests relating to town lots, and administrative matters. There are minutes of board meetings, dockets of contested claims, and ledgers of receipts and disbursements.

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

    Related Microfilm Publications
    M25, Miscellaneous Letters Sent by the General Land Office, 1796-1889;
    M27, Letters Sent by the General Land Office to Surveyors General, 1796-1901.