Colorado College Tutt Library

United States Japanese Relocation Center Papers and Records, 1942-1945, Ms 0011, 0221, 0295, 0299

Special Collections owns four collections of materials from and about the World War II Relocation Center for Japanese-Americans in Granada, Colorado, also known as Camp Amache. Related materials can be found in our Colorado Information Files and Colorado Photograph Files. You may also want to use the University of California's JARDA database, which gathers together a number of Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives.

Table of Contents

Ms 0011, Records of attorney Donald T. Horn
Ms 0221, Ruth L. Parker Collection
Ms 0295, Block Managers Assembly records (includes digital images)
Ms 0299, Thomas Nidey Collection

Ms 0011
Records of attorney Donald T. Horn

Granada Relocation Center, located at Amache, Colorado was one of the ten centers used by the War Relocation Authority to house Japanese-Americans evacuated from the Coast during World War II.

The Granada Papers consist of the files of Donald T. Horn, project attorney for the Grenada Relocation Center. Included are official correspondence, personal letters, instructions and memoranda from the War Relocation Authority, legal opinions, business records, and speeches and papers relating to the Japanese-American detention. Of particular interest are the government memoranda and instructions revealing the policy and stance of the federal government, and Horn's correspondance relating to his attemps to resettle the Japanese- Americans of his camp.

The collection was given to the Colorado College Library in October 1975 by Judge Robert F. Sanderson of Lamar, Colorado, and Andrew Gulliford, a former student at Colorado College who obtained the papers while doing research for class papers. The two papers he wrote, based on the Granada papers, are included in the collection.

History of the War Relocation Authority

The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7,194l aroused a reaction of fear and hate against Japanese and Japanese-Americans living in the United States. Because most of the Japanese-Americans lived on the West Coast, the reaction there amounted to virtual panic. The loyalty of anyone of Japanese descent was questioned.

On December 8th, 1300 Japanese aliens were arrested. Travel restrictions and curfews were put into effect for Japanese-Americans. There were demands for the removal of such persons from the West Coast for fear of espionage, sabotage and aiding Japaenese invasion.

On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order #9066 authorizing the Secretary of War or any military commander designated by the Secretary to establish military areas and to exclude therefrom any or all persons. Secretary of War Stimson designated General John DeWitt. His Public Proclamation #1 dated March 2, 1942, established much of the West Coast and southern Arizona as Military Area #1, and prohibited residents of Japanese American ancestry.

On March 18, 1942, the War Relocation Authority was created by Executive Order #9102. The Government Organization Manual of 1942 describes the purpose of WRA: "To provide for removal from designated areas of persons whose removal is necessary in the interest of national security, and for their relocation, maintenance and super- vision ... And to provide insofar as feasible and de- sirable for the employment of such persons at useful work in industry, commerce, agricultural or public projects, prescribe the terms and conditions of such puplic em- ployment, and safeguard the public interest in the private employment of such persons."

During the spring and summer of 1942 approximately 110,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were evacuated from the designated areas. Two-thirds of those involved were American citizens. They were forced to leave their homes, jobs and any possessions they were unable to carry with them. After temporary residence in reception and assembly centers, they were assigned to one of the ten location centers in the western and south central states. One of the centers was located in Colorado--Granada Center at Amache, Colorado.

The bleak detention centers (called by some "concen- tration camp"s) were the homes of Japanese-Americans for the next three and a half years. In spite of resentment, humil- iation and frustration, most of them made homes for them- selves, many of them providing needed labor, especially in agricultural pursuits.

The mass exclusion orders were revoked 1945 and orders went out to close all relocation centers by the end of the year. The phasing-out stage took longer than expected, but all finally closed by the middle of 1946. Granada Center closed on January 26, 1946. The Japanese-Americans were released and sent out to again make new lives for them- selves, with little help provided in adjusting to a society with both job and housing shortages caused by the end of the war.

Inventory

I. CORRESPONDENCE

Fd 1 Letters and copies of letters between WRA officials,
September 1942 - December 1944
Filed chronologically:
Barrett, Frank S., Project Attorney
Glick, Philip, Solicitor, Washington, D. C.
Horn, Donald T., Project Attorney, Amache, Colorado
Housel, Jerry, Regional Attoney, Denver, Colorado
Knodel, Walter J., Relocation Program Officer, Amache, Colorado
Lovell, Ulys A., Project Attorney, Denson, Arkansas
Myer, D. S., Director, Washington, D. C.
Silverman, Maurice, Acting Project Attorney, Amache, Colorado
Silverthorne, Kent, Project Attorney, Newell, California
Fd 2 Copies of letters written by Donald T. Horn,
Project Attorney, Granada, Relocation Center,
November 1942 - September 1945
Filed chronologically:
Abe, Shiro
Amache Consumer Enterprises, Inc.
Carter, C. D.
Davis, Harold
Farmer, Guy
Fisher, Paul J.
Igasaki, M.
Knapp, Gray
Mabry, John
Maeno, John Y.
Meyer, Donald H.
Nakashima, Mrs. Thomas
Osterman, George B.
Peterson, Harry S.
Phelps, Judge J. Arthur
Sakamato, Chiyoko
Sakai, Ruby
Silverman, Maurice
Stewart, Francis L.
Sunday, Mr. and Mrs.
Tamura, Stephen
Throckmorton, Robert B.
Wear, H. C.
Yamasaki, Toshi
Fd 3 Letters written to Donald T. Horn, Project Attoney,
Granada Relocation Center, November 1942 - March 1945
Filed alphabetically:
Abe, Shiro
Davis, Harold A.
Farmer, Guy
Hannan, L. J.
Hoshino, M. W.
Iki, Katuski
Jepsen, H. J.
Kito, Frank E.
Leflar, Robert A.
McGrew, W. A.
Mabry, John N.
Maeno, John Y.
Meyer, Donald H.
Moore, John J. O.
Onishi, Bessie
Peterson, Harry S.
Phelps, Judge J. Arthur
Sakamoto, Chiyoko
Silverman, Maurice
Stewart, Francis L.
Tamura, Stephen K.
Terry, Paul J.
Throckmorton, Robert B.
Wood, Ted
Yamasaki, Toshie
Fd 4 Miscellaneous correspondence, May 1943 - June 1944
Filed chronologically:
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Kadletz and Company
Lindley, James G.
Nishimoto, Elmer
Sakamoto, C.
Silverman, Maurice
II. LEGAL PAPERS
Fd 5 Memoranda and instruction from War Relocation
Authority, October 1942 - March 1945
Filed Chronologically:
Enis, Edward J., Director, Alien Enemy Control Unit
Ferguson, Edwin E., Regional Attorney
Glick, Philip M., Solicitor
Housel, Jerry W., Regional Attorney
Kellogg, John H., Commander 335th MP Escort Guard Company
Provinse, John H., Chief, Community Management Division
Stauber, B. R.
Fd 6 LEGAL OPINIONS, November 1942 - February 1945
Applicability of Securities Act of 1933...cooperative
Arbitration of Granada Relocation Center
Common law marriages
Dual citizenship
Acquisition of U.S. citizenship by persons of Japanese ancestry
Boycotts against evacuees
Protection given to evacuees by federal civil rights status
Use of the mails to discourage relocation in West Coast states
Unincorporated and incorporated cooperative enterprise
Residential requirements for welfare
Fd 7 LAW SUMMARIES
Compertive associations
Renewal and termination of leases in California
State child-labor standards: Colorado
Fd 8 DOCUMENTS
Affidavit regarding qualifications of John Y. Maeno
Promissory note: Isabel Artiaga
Affidavit regarding qualifications of Chiyoko Taskahashi
Memorandum of understanding: Tomoko Shintani and H. J. Jepson
Agreement to employ Attorney H. J. Jepson
Receipt of promissory note: H. J. Jepson
III. BUSINESS RECORDS
Fd 9 Expense vouchers
Administration suspension statement
Vouchers for travel expenses
Travel authorizations
Bill for collection
Official receipt
Fd 10 Business forms
Advice of personnel action
Lists of government property issued to Project Attorney
Initiation, bid and acceptance (short form contract)
Blank forms: record of interview, applications for leave
IV. SPEECHES AND ARTICLES
Fd 11 Speeches
Biddle, Francis, Address
Biddle, Francis, "Civil Rights and the Federal Law"
Biddle, Francis, "Democracy and Racial Minorities"
Konishi, Marion, "America, Our Hope is in You"
Rotnem, Victor W., "Civil Rights Through the Window of a Criminal Statute"
Fd 12 Articles
Buck, Pearl S., "Tender for Tomorrow" (abstract)
Clark, Blake, "The Japanese in Hawaii" (abstract)
Embree, John, "Cause of Unrest at Relocation Centers"
Rostow, Eugene V., "The Japanese American Cases--Disaser"
Fd 13 Papers by Andrew Gulliford
"The Granada Papers and Japanese-American Relocation"
"American Concentration Camps for Japanese Americans"
Fd 14 Newspaper clipping
175 march to site of war camp, April 1975

Ms 0221
Ruth L. Parker Collection

Accessioned 1984. Finding aid created May 2010.

Fd 1 Correspondence; booklet entitled Amache.

Fd 2 “A Visit to the Japanese Relocation Center at Granada, Colorado,” [1942], more.

Fd 3 Granada Pioneer (newsletter), 1942-1943, incomplete. Includes “Lil’ Neebo” comic on the back pages.

Fd 4 Single issues or short runs of several publications: Amache, Dispossessed, Evacuation!: A Selected Bibliography on the Japanese Evacuation, Pulse [literary magazine of Camp Amache], Granada Christian Church News, Amache Tidings: News from Granada Christian Sunday School, Newsletter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Fd 5 Clippings.

Fd 6 Publications: The Japanese in Our Midst, Resettlement Hand-Book, Information Bulletin of the Japanese-American Relations Committee, A Balance Sheet on Japanese Evacuation, American Refugees, Community Preparation for Resettlement of Japanese Americans.

Fd 7 Newspaper: Pacific Citizen, 1943 (incomplete).

Ms 0295
Block Managers Assembly records

The Granada Relocation Center, located in southeastern Colorado, was named after the nearby town of Granada. It was also given the name Amache, Colorado (after Amache, the daughter of a Cheyenne chief), and was often referred to in the press as a town of this name.

The camp officially opened on August 27, 1942, with the arrival of evacuees from the Merced (Calif.) Assembly Center. On September 19, 1942, groups began arriving from the Santa Anita Assembly Center, and by September 30, occupation was complete. The camp had a capacity of 8,000 and at its peak held approximately 7,600 evacuees. Of these, about two-thirds were U.S. citizens. About half--primarily those from the Merced Assembly Center--were from rural areas, while those from the Santa Anita Assembly Center were primarily from the urban Los Angeles area.

The camp covered 10,400 acres of prairie land, 3,592 feet above sea level, with one square mile of buildings. Most of the buildings were military-style barracks. The residential area was divided into thirty blocks, each containing a mess hall, recreation hall, block office, laundry facilities, shower room, and toilets. Each block housed about 250 people in twelve barracks. The barracks measured 120-by-20-feet and were divided into six apartments. These rooms ranged from 16-by-20-feet to 24-by-20-feet and contained a closet, coal stove, cots, mattresses, and quilts. The camp also contained several schools, a hospital, and a police department. Agriculture was the principal industry; vegetable and grain crops, along with livestock, were raised on two ranches, the Koen Ranch and the XY Ranch.

The evacuees themselves were responsible for much of the community's government. The Block Managers Assembly, creator of these records, served as the community council and consisted of an elected representative from each block. The Assembly was responsible for making laws and regulations to govern community life and for appointing members to the judicial and arbitration commissions, which settled criminal and civil cases, respectively. Issei, however, were prohibited by the U.S. Government from serving in this capacity.

The thirty blocks were also divided into five districts. One block manager was selected from each district to serve on the Assembly's executive committee.

Amache Consumer Enterprises, a major subgroup of the Block Managers Assembly records, was the consumer's cooperative for the Granada camp. Incorporated on January 25, 1943 and supervised by a nine-member board of directors, it included the following enterprises: "clothing store, variety store, shoe store, shoe- repair shop, cleaning and pressing agency, barber shop, beauty parlor, canteen, watch repairing, and optometry supplies."(3) Amache Consumer Enterprises was liquidated in August, 1945.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of materials accumulated by Yatsutoshi Yoshizawa in the course of his duties as a member of the Block Managers Assembly and several of the Assembly's committees. The bulk of these records are minutes of the Block Managers Assembly. These minutes, along with other records, document primarily the day-to-day management of the camp, rather than the broad administrative policies set by the War Relocation Authority. Typical issues addressed include community activities, maintenance, supplies, etc. Also included, however, are responses to major issues and policies, such as searches of living quarters, meetings with the Spanish Consul (the representative of Japanese nationals during the war), and, especially, concerns regarding relocation outside the camp. These concerns are particularly well-documented by the Granada Community Analysis reports (REPORTS, roll 2, frames 242-346). These two items present detailed analyses of evacuee attitudes and concerns about leaving the camp, and include statistical data and graphs as well as text.

Inventory

Box/FoldersItems      Dates
1/1CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS2      [1943?]
1/2GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE22      1944-45
1/3MEMORANDA 33      1943-45
MINUTES
1/4-33Granada Relocation Center.
  • Block Managers Assembly
240       1943-45
1/34Granada Relocation Center.
  • Block Managers Assembly--duplicates.
45        1943-45
1/35 Meetings with Spanish Consul 6        1943-44
1/36 Other Bodies
  • Granada Relocation Center.
    Advisory School Board
       1944
  • Amache Community Council
       1945
  • Granada Relocation Center.
    Coordinating Advisory Committee
       1945
  • Granada Relocation Center.
    Business Committee
       1945
  • Representatives of blocks 12K & 11K
       1945
  • Ireito Construction
       1945
1/37ANNOUNCEMENTS3       1944-5?
REPORTS
1/38Agriculture section--monthly reports2       1945
1/39"Granada Community Analysis Report No. 2"       [1943]
1/40"Granada Community Analysis Report No. 8"       [1944]
1/41"Report on Trip to Iowa"        [1945?]
1/42Daily time reports and other reports of hours worked 17       1945
FINANCIAL RECORDS
1/43Amache Mid-Summer Carnival4      1945
1/44Miscellaneous 2      1943-45
1/45QUESTIONNAIRE
Questionnaire for evacuees after resettlement       n.d.
1/45AGENDA
Subjects for discussion with Dillon S. Myer and resolution expressing
appreciation to Myer
2       1943, n.d.
1/46SCHEDULES
Volunteer tofu mnaufacture       1944-45
Schedule for checking crating       1945?
Movie schedule       [1944?]
LISTS
2/1Scholarship recipients8       ca.1945
2/2Block Managers Assembly--committees4       1945,nd
2/3Block Managers-- names and addresses2       1943-45
2/4Block Managers Assembly--roll call sheets11       1943-45
2/5-6Miscellaneous12       1944-45
NOTES
2/7Notes for minutes2       1945
2/8-9Miscellaneous5       1943-45
2/10FORMS5       1943-45
SUBJECT SERIES
2/11Block managers2       n.d.
2/12Employment       1943-45
2/13Granada Relocation Center
  • Districts
       n.d.
  • Population data
2       1944-45
  • Fixtures
       n.d.
  • Maps & Diagrams
3       n.d.
2/14Granada Residents Directory       [1945?]
2/15Odori--permit for public assembly       1945
NEWSLETTERS
2/16Fragments, possibly from introductory newsletter for new residents       n.d.
PHOTOGRAPHS
2/17Memorial to soldiers from Granada killed in World War II2       [1945?]
2/18MISCELLANEOUS       1943-45
Subgroups
AMACHE CONSUMER ENTERPRISES
2/19Minutes--Liquidation Committee3       1945
Financial Records3       1945
AMACHE DOCTORS KOEN KWAI
2/20Memorandum       1945
List--officers and committee members       1944
Financial Statements13       1944-45
AMACHE RECREATION ASSOCIATION
2/21General Correspondence2       1944-45
2/22Minutes7       1945
2/23Financial Statements23       1944-45
2/24Inventories3       1945
2/25Notes5       1945, n.d.
2/26Miscellaneous       1945
2/27GRANADA RELOCATION CENTER.
MESS COMMITTEE
Notes7       1945
2/28YOSHIZAWA, YATSUTOSHI
Outgoing Letters2       1945

Ms 0299
Thomas Nidey Collection

Scope and Content

This collection consists of photocopies taken from the collection of Mr. Thomas V. Nidey of Lamar, Colorado. He purchased the original papers of Mrs. Gladys Seever at the time of her estate sale, several years ago.

At the time of photocopying (September 16 & 17, 1993), these papers were stored in a suitcase. Mr. Nidey also stored other documents pertaining to Camp Amache in this same suitcase. Unfortunately, not all copies are legible due to the use of mimeographs, and, the originals themselves are quite illegible.

BRIEF BACKGROUND of Mrs. Seever: She was not only a schoolteacher, but, she also raised great danes, and was married to an optometrist in Lamar. She is, at this writing, in a nursing home in Holly.

BACKGROUND TO THE PAPERS: These papers were collected by Mrs. Seever who taught school at Camp Amache. The bulk dates of this collection are from the 1944-45 school year. The papers reflect the business of being a schoolteacher and show that "life went on as usual". Students were expected to research and write papers, take exams, prepare for dances and other social events, etc. There are very few student papers in this collection, perhaps for the simple reason that students retained the papers they wrote.

It is evident that there was a strict hierarchy within the teaching ranks of the Amache school. These documents record that relationship between teachers, teachers and principal, and teachers and the War Relocation Authority. Teachers were expected to provide written requests for supplies, furniture, food, and other materials as they saw the need arise.

Keeping in mind that Camp Amache was the largest settlement of people in southeastern Colorado (over 7,500 persons), the Thomas Nidey collection reveals the actual day-to-day activities of a teacher's life in the Camp Amache school system, during the 1944-45 academic year.

Many of the "new" developments within the confines of the Camp, were, in fact, much more "modern" than those services available in the local community. For example, the water system installed for the Camp is now used by the township of Lamar. Once the camp was dis-assembled and disenfranchised internees were provided with a place to go, many of the barrack-like structures were used by locals, otherwise these buildings were left to rot away.

As shown by photographs taken of the camp site in 1993, only cement foundations continue to exist as testament to the thousands of persons who called this place home. The graveyard has only recently been "maintained". And there are a couple of new structures erected by the survivors of the camp who made their pilgrimage to the site in 1992.

Inventory

All the contents are photocopies.

Box 1

Folder 1 - General information on Granada/Amache
-Articles from magazines and descriptions put out by Amache
Folder 2 - News from and to Amache-in chronological order - 1944-45
-schools newspapers, project newspapers, information from newspapers from around the U.S. on what was happening in the world at that time
Folder 3 - Memos to all project personnel at Amache-in chronological order - 1944-1945
-Memos that were sent out to all people working at Amache from people who ran the project
Folder 4 - Memos to all personnel in Amache schools-in chronological order - 1944-1945
-Memos to and from teachers and principals in the school system
Folder 5 - Class and activity list from schools - 1944-1945
-Lists of the names of people in different classes and who participated in different activities in the school
Folder 6 - Secondary School Bulletins-in chronological order - September 5, 1944 to December 21, 1944
-Daily bulletins to teachers and students telling the activities for the day in the Amache secondary school
Folder 7 - Secondary School Bulletins-in chronological order - January 3, 1945 to June 6, 1945
Folder 8 - Miscellaneous School Materials-in chronological order - 1944-1945
-School materials used by Mrs. Seevers
Folder 9 - Miscellaneous School Material-1944-1945

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