African American Heritage

Record Group 26 - Records of the United States Coast Guard (USCG)

Black History Guide:
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Please click on the National Archives Identifier (NAID) to go to the full records description in the National Archives Catalog.


The United States Coast Guard (USCG) conducts search and rescue operations in and over the high seas and navigable waters of the United States. Selected series in this record group pertain to the employment of African Americans with the Coast Guard and the African slave trade to the United States.

People of Interest:

Michael A. Healy (September 22, 1839–August 30, 1904) was the son of an Irish immigrant planter and a mixed-race enslaved woman. Healy was accepted into the Revenue-Cutter Service, as a third lieutenant in 1865 - a commission signed by President Abraham Lincoln. During his time in the Revenue-Cutter Service, Healy earned the nickname “Hell Roaring Mike,” for his leadership in navigating the waters around Alaska and his harsh treatment towards his crew. On March 3, 1883, Healy attained the rank of captain.

Textual Records

Correspondence [Bureau of Lighthouses], 1911-1939

National Archives Identifier: 2124923
Indexed by: Subject Index, 1901-1939 NAID 2183430.

Letters from Officers of Cutters, 1833-1869

National Archives Identifier: 2163502

Letters Received from Collectors of Customs, 1834–1869

National Archives Identifier: 2163499

Letters Sent [Revenue Cutter Service], 1790–1910

National Archives Identifier: 2143353

Logs of Revenue Cutters and Coast Guard Vessels, 1819–1941

National Archives Identifier: 585454

Level of Description Selected Records
File Unit

Muster Rolls, 1848-1910

National Archives Identifier: 2125037

Selected Categories
  • Light Tender Pansy, 1895-1901
  • Light Vessel No. 43, 1881-1884


Record of Extraordinary Operations and Legislation, 1789-1871

National Archives Identifier: 2217643

Reference Files [Office of the Public Relations Officer], 1910–1941

National Archives Idenitfier: 579106

Selected Categories
  • Negroes in the Coast Guard

Photographic Material

Activities, Facilities, and Personalities, 1886-1967

National Archives Identifier: 513164; Local Identifier: 26-G
Some of the records in this series have been digitized.