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Fall 2011 Vol. 43 No. 3
Editorial Policy. Prologue is published quarterly by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Its primary purpose is to bring to public attention the resources and programs of NARA, the regional archives, and the presidential libraries. Accordingly, Prologue in the main publishes material based, in whole or in part, on the holdings ARCHIVIST of the UNITED STATES David S. Ferriero DIRECTOR of PUBLIC and MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS Susan Cooper EDITOR of PUBLICATIONS James Worsham MANAGING EDITOR Mary C. Ryan EDITORIAL STAFF Benjamin Guterman Maureen MacDonald Hilary Parkinson CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Constance Potter ART DIRECTORS Brian Barth Rania Hassan and programs of these institutions. In keeping with the nonpartisan character of NARA, Prologue will not accept articles that are politically partisan or that deal with contemporary political issues. Articles are selected for publication by the editor in consultation with experts. The editor reserves the right to make changes in articles accepted for publication and will consult the author should substantive questions arise. Published articles do not necessarily represent the views of NARA or of any other agency of the U.S. Government. Prospective authors are encouraged to discuss their work with the editor prior to submission. Articles may be submitted as either an e-mail attachment or as hard copy. The Prologue office uses MS Word but can accept any common word-processing format. Correspondence regarding contributions and all other editorial matters should be sent to the Editor, Prologue, National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20408-0001; email@example.com. Subscriptions and Reprints. U.S. subscription rates are $24 for one year; rates for subscribers outside the United States are $30. Single issues of the current volume are available for $6 each (add $3 shipping for orders up to $50). Send a check or money order to National Archives and Records Administration, Prologue Subscriptions, National Archives Trust Fund, Cashier (NAT), 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001. Notice of nonreceipt of an issue must be sent within six months of its publication date. Microfilm copies of Prologue are available from ProQuest Information and Learning, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346. Prologue’s web site is at www.archives.gov/ publications/prologue. Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration (ISSN 0033-1031) is published quarterly by the National Archives Trust Fund Board, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 207406001. Periodicals postage paid at College Park, MD, and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: send address changes to Prologue, National Archives and Records Administration, NPAC/Room 400, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408-0001. INDEXED in Acad. Abstr., Amer. Hist. & Life. Bibl. Cart., Hist. Abst. (Pts. A & B), Hum. Ind., Mag. Art. Sum., U.S. Govt. Per. Ind., Writ. Am. Hist., & Winter Prologue.
Q U A R T E R LY o f t h e N AT I O N A L A R C H I V E S a n d R E C O R D S A D M I N I S T R AT I O N
Here at the National Archives, we make records accessible to historians researching books, journalists working on news stories, lawyers preparing briefs, students writing term papers, and ordinary Americans in search of their family history or proof of their federal service. But sometimes researchers come for something completely different. That’s what the staff of the USS Constitution Museum in Boston did in creating a new exhibition called “All Hands on Deck: A Sailor’s Life in 1812.” They worked their way through 200-year-old documents such as Old Ironsides’ logbooks, muster rolls, pension records, and official Navy correspondence to learn about what it was like to be a sailor on the USS Constitution. In this issue’s cover story, Sarah Watkins and Matthew Brenckle of the museum tell us what what they found out about on this legendary ship in the War of 1812 and how they found out. Elsewhere, we take a look at NARA’s newest facility, the new home in St. Louis County, Missouri, of the National Personnel Records Center and the National Archives at St. Louis. If you’ve ever had a paycheck from Uncle Sam, in the military or as a civilian, there’s a file on you in St. Louis. And it could be right alongside the files of some famous people whose files are also there. To demonstrate how much information can be mined from federal personnel records in St. Louis, Miriam Kleiman took a look at the file on Jack Kerouac, the “Beat Generation” writer who wanted desperately to be in the Navy during World War II. The Navy, however, didn’t want him and told him to more or less “hit the road,” which he later did with his generation-defining novel, On the Road. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Crisis of 1961, which resulted in the Berlin Wall. NARA’s National Declassification Center recently opened some CIA documents that shed some new light on that tense moment in the Cold War. We show you the documents themselves. If you enjoy our accounts of history that we’ve discovered and want more, go our blog, “Prologue: Pieces of History” at http://blogs. archives.gov/prologue/. We post new material several times a week. And you’ll also find us on Facebook. So after you’ve read every word on the next 71 pages, meet us in the blogosphere.
it works with the Justice Department toward potential prosecution. our HPT educates staff not only about risks of theft. when missing documents are found. This is the first institution I’ve worked for that did not have exit searches. and artifacts. we have been dealing with two cases of theft. That is essential not only for us at the Archives but also for everyone who has a respect for history. documents. During those years. Maryland. That’s when the Inspector General’s ART comes into the picture. facilities. but rather a culture of vigilance.gov. They go on-site where renovations are under way or new facilities are being constructed to ensure that safeguards against theft are built into the structures. One involves a long-time NARA staffer and expert in our film and video collection.fROM THE ARCHIVIST a culture of vigilance T by david s. and College Park. important documents that thieves might target. And the team is upgrading its centralized registry of individuals banned from NARA facilities to a secure directory of those with research cards. including the Roosevelt speeches.archives. D. and two other institutions. The theft of the FDR documents was bad enough.gov/research/recover/. ART has a toll free number (1-800-786-2551) you can call if you see a document either in person or online that you think may have been stolen from NARA. And they train research room staff on personal skills needed to approach and deal with individuals suspected of stealing or planning to steal documents. Within NARA. I had a surprise. ferriero there is adequate security to detect. they are in the possession of a former trusted employee. And we still haven’t found the back-up computer hard drive from the Clinton White House with personal information about thousands of people. HPT members visit NARA locations to make sure Join the Archivist at his own blog at http://blogs. In some cases. contractors. his summer. but other losses since I became Archivist have convinced me that we let our guard down too often. security officers check all bags— including staff’s. or volunteers violating our security rules. a federal grand jury in Baltimore indicted two men for conspiring to steal and sell historical documents from the Franklin D. Information on missing documents can also be found at www. Internally. The records in our holdings are important. protecting our holdings is generally the work of two offices: the Holdings Protection Team (HPT) and the Inspector General’s Archival Recovery Team (ART). deter. but that doesn’t do much to calm my outrage over the theft of important documents that belong to the American people. It is what saddens and angers me the most—that those entrusted with protecting our holdings are sometimes also a threat to those holdings. who allegedly removed a significant number of materials from NARA. We don’t intend to create a culture of suspicion in NARA. I have fought hard—as I have since I became Archivist—for effective protection for priceless holdings. A few years ago. a staff member went to prison for stealing and trying to sell NARA documents on the Internet. I have changed that. Dealing with theft is not new to me.gov/aotus and visit NARA’s web site at www. Now. Now. and what documents they ask for. but also about everyday risks in the workplace. I have seen many instances of theft and damage to these pieces of history. When I became Archivist in late 2009. who face federal charges of stealing documents.archives. or the ART when they see employees. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park. and we must all be vigilant—more vigilant than ever before—in identifying others that belong at NARA. If the IG’s office determines a theft occurred. sometimes a document is stolen. and including mine—at both our Washington. and there are two major ones now under way. we are developing plans for heightened security in all research rooms. Despite all this. documents may be missing because of administrative laxness or misfiling. and prevent theft: They inspect mailrooms to determine if adequate safeguards exist to prevent theft. I’m proud of them. 2 Prologue Archivist of the United States Fall 2011 . The risk of theft will always exist. This is a painful subject and difficult for some to understand. This routine practice will eventually be extended to all 44 of our locations. Recently. And when I came to the Archives. They manage the movement from one location to another of high-value. New York. what facilities they visit.C. increasingly.archives. Stronger measures are needed and are being prepared and implemented. NARA had just experienced the case of a former Clinton administration official removing documents from the Archives by hiding them in his socks.. Throughout my career of more than 40 years in institutions charged with protecting valuable books. But. We learn how a document could be taken out of an Archives facility or the Archives’ custody. My hat is off to them for doing this. and it requires our staff to walk a fine line between providing access to priceless holdings while protecting them from theft or damage. The documents—reading copies of seven of FDR’s speeches—have all been recovered. Several of ART’s investigations have paid off. the HPT. from a number of institutions. It is vital for staff to alert their managers. The other involves presidential memorabilia collector Barry Landau and his assistant.
46 The 1961 Berlin Crisis: Some New Insights Neil Carmichael and Brewer Thompson reveal newly declassified documents that help to enrich the story of the U. Smugglers.-Soviet faceoff 50 years ago.CONTENTS Features 6 1 Archives Drive Fall 2011 Volume 43 Issue No. and Nancy Schuster describe the new quarters in St. Louis facility has files on anyone who ever got a paycheck from Uncle Sam. Louis for the personnel records of everyone who served in the military or worked for the federal government during the 20th century. Jack! Miriam Kleiman digs into one military file and describes how Jack Kerouac. p. Wanda Williams.S. Scofflaws Ellen Nickenzie Lawson takes us back to Prohibition. 12 14 Federal Files on the Famous—and Infamous Our St. Hit the Road. Watkins and Matthew Brenckle tell us how they used National Archives records to create a new experience for visitors to the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor. 20 28 36 Nazis Soaring over Washington? Chas Downs relates how a German envoy to the United States who was also a renowned glider pilot soared over the nation’s capital in the 1930s.S. when getting liquor into New York City was a major industry in the waters around the city. sought to join the U. in his pre-Beat Generation days.54 . 3 William Seibert. But the Navy didn’t want him. Bootleggers. Navy. All Hands on Deck: A Sailor’s Life in 1812 Sarah H.
late 19th century.gov/publications/prologue Events/News & Notices/Publications Foundation for the National Archives Honoring David M. log onto www. 1812. p. ca. Front cover: The USS Constitution by Marshall Johnson. as revealed in this and other CIA documents recently released by the National Declassification Center. Inside front cover: East-West tensions ran dangerously high in 1961 during the East Germans’ construction of the Berlin Wall and threatened denial of access to West Berlin. An article on page 36 reveals how historians at the USS Constitution Museum in Boston used historical records at the National Archives to reconstruct the lives of seamen on board the vessel.archives. Back cover: The opening of the new National Personnel Records Center building in St. Rubenstein for his contributions. Louis promises better preservation of and access to the millions of personnel records of those who served in America’s military and civil government positions. Madison’s War: Certificates of Discharge for the War of 1812 By John P. Deeben and Claire Prechtel-Kluskens Authors on the Record Michael Perino writes about the dogged investigator of the 1929 stock market crash in The Hellhound of Wall Street. 3 In every issue 2 54 62 64 70 From the Archivist A Culture of Vigilance Genealogy Notes Leaving the Army during Mr.Fall p.28 P To subscribe or view online articles. 4 Prologue Fall 2011 .20 Volume 43 Issue No. 72 Pieces of History Humphrey Bogart indulged his passion for the sea on his boat Santana.
preservation.youtube.flickr. including African Americans.gov/publications/ prologue/genealogy-notes. the census. Records” will feature archivists and subject Flickr matter specialists discussing how and www. and prison records. the National Archives blog posts.com/ and share our large collection of usnationalarchives photographs and records on our “Like” us on Facebook.” A new playlist called “Know Your National Archives news. can keep in touch with the National Archives at the same time as you keep up with your newfound relatives! www. links to new our holdings. genealogists can search the Prologue web site for fascinating articles listed by topic.archives. and general information channel features the special series “Inside on events.archives. this blog tools and sites to features posts on “Family Tree Twitter Friday” and updates help you! www twitter.THE ARCHIVES ONLINE blogs. when your ancestor fought there Facebook during the Civil War? Search. browse.com/archivesnews on the 1940 census. Attention GeneAloGiStS! Blogs Prologue web site . and the Vaults. wherever usnationalarchives/ you are in the United States or What did that battle site look like across the globe.com/usnationalarchives across the nation. press releases about In addition to archival footage from the 1940 census. and you Flickr site. but genealogists keep up with the genealogy will be especially interested in news and events at the National NARAtions. www.gov/online-public-access The National Archives has 13 blogs Do you use social media to to choose from.com/photos/ where to research our records. With staff from across Archives? Here are a few the nation contributing. @archivesnews Follow us on YouTube Twitter for workshop announcements www.html With over 15 years of “Genealogy Notes” now online.facebook.
The other is the National Archives at St. and of devotion to duty. of courage that overrode heartbreak. stories unflattering to their subjects as well. shelf after shelf after shelf. 044 pages. they would stretch 545 miles from this new building. and you can see through the metal grating to the next floor. Although it will be a while before all the boxes arrive. T Privately owned and leased by the federal government for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Moving the files from their old home to this new state-of-the-art archival facility at the rate of 6. These treasures are chapters of people’s lives. Henry “Hap” Arnold at 6. to Dallas. whether the job was a life-or-death mission or routine office work that too often draws little recognition. These are the personnel files of an estimated 100 million individuals who served their country in the military or as a civilian—about 9 billion textual. some almost a lifetime. which has legal custody of older military and civilian permanent files that have been accessioned by the National Archives. And they 6 Prologue Fall 2011 . They are stories of heroism. because tucked inside each of these boxes are treasures. The statistics behind them are staggering.1 Archives Drive PErsonnEl rEcords ArE consolidAtEd At nEw locAtion in st. and Nancy Schuster he boxes are lined up in neat rows on metal shelves. 15 stacks high. Louis.In fact.000 cubic feet a day will have taken 383 days when it is complete in the fall of 2012. this $115 million building replaces two aging facilities. and microfilm pages. The records are in 15 separate storage areas that have a combined capacity of 2. One is the NPRC. of course.3 million cubic feet. louis By William Seibert. sits on more than 7 acres of a 29. even a bit scary—like standing under the Eiffel Tower and looking straight up. records just as valuable as the ones Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones found. Some of the files date to 1821. housing the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) and the National Archives at St. Wanda Williams. where 14 more stacks rise above you. The building itself. Look up. one of which experienced a fire in 1973 that destroyed millions of records. The view is impressive.5-acre property. some covering a few years. and the floors after that. the comparison does not end there. and the largest one is that of Air Force Gen. If you lined up end to end all the boxes that will fill those shelves. digital. The new building is technically the home of two NARA units. which has physical but not legal custody of more recent permanent military and civilian records. which opened earlier this year. There are. the thought of all of them lined up conjures up images from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. Louis.
The building is also home for the National Archives at St. the staff produced a Certification of Military Service by piecing together a military record for him. nPRC Boasts a Staff That Can Act Quickly When Americans need to consult their military or civilian personnel records. using other documents stored at the NPRC. Air Force. They came to the rescue of a terminally ill Korean War veteran who was denied access to medical care because he could not find his copy of his discharge document.Air Force. DD Form 214. where the future “Maude” and “Golden Girl” drove trucks and worked as a typist. and retrieve the documentation of his bravery in the face of danger—leading an attack on a German machine-gun nest in World War I. 1 Archives Drive Prologue 7 . our staff—more than 700 in this new building and 185 more in an underground annex in nearby Illinois—are in place to respond quickly. which has legal custody of older military and civilian permanent files that have been accessioned by the National Archives. Since the early 1950s. killing dozens of enemy soldiers and capturing more than 100 of them. Navy. and he is planning a book. And they can pull the military file on the late actress Beatrice Arthur and show you her World War II record from the Marines. By consulting a 1920s federal civilian personnel file. They helped a university professor find the missing fact in his search for the complete story of how a group of African American soldiers were court-martialed in Kenya in World War II. That they are important consider this: The center gets nearly 5. This is what happens in this new building in St. Louis. This is where the American people can see and use records about themselves that the government has on file. Marine Corps. Within hours of the request. and the veteran got his needed care. the NPRC (including its predecessor organizations) has been the repository for the personnel records of former members of the Army. Marine Corps. who won the Medal of Honor. they The Center is the National Archives’ busiest location.all remain important and relevant long after they happened.000 requests a day for information from these files—more than 1 million a year—making this arguably our busiest location. Navy. They can quickly pull the file on Sgt. That piece of information opened the floodgates for the professor.000 requests a day for information from its files—more than 1 million a year. York. put a Missouri woman back on the right path to finding out why her grandfather disappeared mysteriously. Louis County. receiving nearly 5. Louis are co-located. and Coast Guard as well as civilian employees of the federal government. and Coast Guard as well as civilian employees of the federal government. The National Personnel Records Center’s new $115 million building is now open. It will hold personnel files of an estimated 100 million individuals who served their country in the military or as a civilian. Alvin C. It is the repository for the personnel records of former members of the Army. where the NPRC and the National Archives at St.
Archival storage bays are equipped with particulate and ultraviolet filtration. The new building is one of the largest in our nationwide network of archives. Louis. Ferriero underscored the importance of the new facility for both the records and those who request them. is not the only tenant in this new building. Louis area. which are harmful to documents over time. sits on more than seven acres of a 29.In 2009.” He added: “We are very proud of our service to veterans. the Secret Service. The staff will gain access to the first 15 shelves by using rolling ladders on the floor level. Equally as important is our ability to serve the needs of those who need access to the information contained in these records. When the move is complete. The construction has been completed. These records are important to veterans and separated civilian employees because they document their time in service and allow them to qualify for the benefits the nation has promised them. Research. and the finishes for the shelving have been certified for minimal off-gassing of volatile organic compounds. Illinois. The new building was built and is owned by the Molasky Group of Companies.5-acre property. special paint. building. Louis area. compared to only 10 to 14 shelves high at the older buildings. the military and civilian personnel files were stored in separate buildings in the St. nearly all the records storage units are 29 shelves high. Archivist of the United States David S. The existing decades-old buildings did not provide appropriate environmental conditions for the storage of permanent records. construction crews broke ground in north St. and units of the individual military services. and a new unit. This massive construction project pumped $435 million into the local economy and generated more than 300 jobs in the St. The building itself. and efforts are being made to ensure that services to veterans and other customers are carried on with little or no delay for the duration of the move.” Ferriero said. Louis area. however. millions of civilian and military per- sonnel records in a single repository. the NPRC staff will continue to provide timely responses to all reference requests. federal records centers. for the first time. At the new building. In addition. the new facility will have consolidated. construction crews broke ground in north St. It provides state-of-the-art environmental protection for the records and allows storage of military and civilian personnel files that were previously stored in separate buildings in the St. Its 700 employees are the largest group of National Archives personnel outside the College Park. known as the National Archives at St. about 40 miles southeast of St. Maryland. Louis County for a building to store archived (permanent) and pre-archived records. Construction at the new building is now complete. new Features: Storage. which leases it to the General Services Administration and NARA. The temporary records that were stored at the older NPRC buildings have been relocated to the NPRC Annex in Valmeyer. But the work of relocating more than 2 million cubic feet of permanent records will continue through September 2012. and most employees are now working in the new building. the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Fall 2011 . which has the capacity for more than 2. civil servants. and Presidential libraries. Among the 14 other agencies with offices there are the Department of Veterans Affairs. “The design and planning were driven by our mission of preserving and protecting the records housed here. but it became clear that a new facility was needed when many of the records were reappraised as permanent holdings. An additional 185 employees work in the Annex. which opened earlier this year. sealants. was created to maintain 8 Prologue the records as they are transferred into the legal custody of the National Archives.” All Personnel Records to Be in Single Facility For many years. caulking. Louis. During this time. In 2009. Two levels of steel catwalk will provide access to the remaining shelves.5 million cubic feet of records. Public Programs The new building meets all modern archival standards and is certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) program. “We are tremendously excited about this new state-of-the-art facility. This records center was built in a former underground limestone quarry in the bluffs high above the Mississippi River. NARA. and their families and look forward to providing them with even better service at 1 Archives Drive. Louis County for a building to store archived (permanent) and pre-archived records. the Federal Aviation Agency. The records are equally valuable to their families and future generations.
awards and decorations received. or spouse as well as other data that can help further a genealogical search. foreign service locations. or other meaningful documents. Legal title to the military personnel records transfers to the National Archives 62 years after a veteran’s discharge. and dates and character of service. date and place of birth. see the new building. including those from the Civil War and others dating back to the Revolutionary War. researchers do not need the consent of the veteran (or the next of kin) in order to view or obtain copies of the record. The new building also has a large multipurpose room equipped with videoconferencing technology. Louis has 270. Army General Courts Martial Case Files (1911–1976). and exhibitions. citations for meritorious and valorous conduct. the National Archives in St. scanners. and most employees are now working in the new building while records continue to be moved in through September 2012. assignment history (units. The new facility is also the repository for numerous related series of records. Military records will be organized according to the different branches of service. documentation of bad conduct and nonjudicial punishment. The Department of Defense and the individual military services retain ownership of the military personnel records when they are initially retired to NPRC. the National Archives has taken legal custody of more than 213. The move is also allowing the staff to undertake a rearrangement of its vast holdings to achieve greater efficiency and logical order. physical description. and learn about the wealth of National Archives holdings found both locally and around the nation. and the most recent ones are from 2004. Only limited information from the files is releasable to the public without the permission of the subject of the record (or if he or she is deceased. The public is invited to visit the exhibition. Authors. are housed in the National Archives Building in downtown Washington. Even the standard forms can contain information about a veteran’s or a former civil servant’s parents or guardians. and Trade Cards describing specific aspects of civilian work in naval shipyards during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. NARA’s traveling exhibition “Documented Rights” will be on display through the end of February 2012. Visitors will have the advantage of a much larger public research room with more researcher stations that accommodate laptops. or retirement. education. marital status. citizenship status.245 cubic feet of archival military personnel files (about 56 million individual files). More than half of all public research room visits are made by persons doing family history research. handwritten letters. the records are referred to as “archival” or “accessioned” holdings. military occupations and ranks.C. death in service. Archival records are open to the public. Civilian personnel records are originally owned by the federal agencies that created them or by one of the agencies with government-wide jurisdiction over personnel matters: the Civil Service Commission or the Office of Personnel Management. The oldest holdings are Navy records that document service ending in the 1880s.) Visiting researchers are encouraged to schedule an appointment prior to their arrival. Much Data about individuals included in Personnel Records The civilian and military personnel files often 1 Archives Drive contain more than just the standard applications or routine government forms. and other equipment. meetings.000 cubic feet of civilian personnel records Prologue 9 . They include the Selective Service System Registration Cards and Classification Ledgers that document the military draft in force between 1940 and 1975. public programs.) The archival military personnel files typically contain information about parentage. and that volume will increase annually. ships. siblings. (Older military rec- ords. Currently. These rooms can be used for training. (See the article on Jack Kerouac’s military file elsewhere in this issue as an example.The staff will gain access to the first 15 shelves by using rolling ladders on the floor level. A family historian may find a photograph. Two levels of steel catwalk will provide access to the remaining shelves. D. academics. duty stations). During the past two years. and the civilian personnel records will be shelved by agency. prior employment. the immediate next of kin) as long as the military service department maintains ownership. After this transfer of ownership. and representatives of other federal agencies also use personnel files for a variety of research projects. home address at time of entry into service. The construction is now complete.
archives. around midnight on July 12. Army guarded the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1918–1920.gov/publications/prologue/1997/summer/. and pay rosters provide the most concentrated items of information on a given individual of any of the Auxiliary series. the St. When the records are required for reference. Approximately 22 million personnel files of former members of the Army.html.S.S. history. They present a panorama of individual lives ranging from those who rode dusty trails across an American continent as rural postal carriers to men and women who traveled the world as Foreign Service Officers. For four days. go to www. Louis holds upwards of 50 different series of them. firefighters labored to bring the fire under control and extinguish it. The old building was not equipped with a sprinkler system. More than half of all public research room visits are made by persons doing family history research. Almost 40 years ago. physical description. date and place of separation from service. government in cabinet-level departments and independent agencies. pay grades. and dates of employment. go to www. archives.archives. • How the U. home address. (representing the service of millions of employees).archives. The records that were salvaged from the fire sustained damage not only from the blaze but from the water used by the firefighters. These holdings are referred to as Auxiliary Records. education. Army Air Force. and other equipment. A single pay voucher can document the veteran’s rank. scanners. 1973. letters of commendation.gov/veterans/. character of service or type of discharge. and the exact cause of the fire is still undetermined. and how long. These payrolls. created by more than 112 different federal agencies between 1850 and 1951. • Workers on the Panama Canal. Recreating Military Records Destroyed in the 1973 Fire The NPRC staff will be leaving the site of the 1973 fire: the Page Avenue building where the military records were stored. Louis Preservation staff employs techniques and equipment that safeguard the rec- 10 Prologue Fall 2011 . fire broke out on the sixth floor of the NPRC military records facility.S. citizenship status. and the National Archives at St. • Researching World War II records. employees began to identify and collect record material from other government To learn more about • Veterans’ personnel records. gov/publications/prologue/2002/winter/. agencies that could be used to reconstruct aspects of an individual’s service history. date and place of entry into service. pay vouchers. mar- ital status. In the wake of this disastrous loss of information. and Air Force who served between 1912 and 1963 were stored there.gov/research/military/ww2/index. The fire was one of the worst losses of records in U. if any.Visitors will have the advantage of a much larger public research room with more researcher stations that accommodate laptops. the veteran served overseas. Pay records that document wartime service also indicate whether. date and place of birth. unit of assignment. and prior service. These records are maintained in dedicated records storage bays with appropriate temperature and humidity controls. employment locations. Many payrolls and rosters show the individual’s home address at the time of separation. Archival civilian personnel folders contain information on parentage. These accessioned civilian personnel files contain valuable information about the personal lives and professional careers of former civil servants employed by the U. job series and position descriptions. The most heavily accessed series of Auxiliary Records are various collections of pay records. go to www. go to www. destroying 80 percent of the Army records and 75 percent of the Air Force records: an estimated 16 to 18 million individual files. prior employment and letters of reference.
shortly after the overthrow of the White Russian government in Irkutsk. She holds an M. hold government officials accountable. and NPRC preservation officer. Louis since 2009. Accomplished aviators as well as newly trained enthusiasts. to organize and head the program. Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington. The Russian Railway Service Corps operated in Siberia until the spring of 1920. these stories of the men and women who served their country are safeguarded just as securely as records in other NARA facilities around the country—records that document and guarantee citizen rights. descendants of the contract employees can use these records to trace their West Indian and Latin American ancestry. These records provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the men hired to build the canal in the first years of the last century. Included are original letters written by female students who reveal their worries about World War I’s impact on their lives as well as their pride in being able to “do their bit” in the war. applications for employment that provide detailed vital statistics and biographical data. 1 Archives Drive Prologue 11 . who were sent to Siberia in 1917 at the request of the Provisional Russian government to improve the operating conditions of the Trans-Siberian Railroad.000 strong. citizens as well as of Caribbean contract workers. senior appraisal archivist and chief of the center’s Appraisal and Disposition Section. One is a collection of personnel files of the female nurses enrolled in the Secretary of War’s Army School of Nursing established in 1918. Subsequently.S. War Department civilian employees. these women. she has been with NARA for 16 years. 1917. P Authors William Seibert serves as chief of archival operations in St.A. Despite the fragile condition of the burned records. or WASPs. with no military experience. Maryland. At the new facility at 1 Archives Drive. Louis. letters of recommendation.ords and ensure that the information can be extracted from the documents without further damage or loss. more than 1. Aviation Cadet Qualifying Examinations. and record the national experience. staff have been able to retrieve vital data to verify service and ensure that veterans receive the benefits to which they are entitled. fighting wars and keeping the peace. the corps was under the general supervision of the State Department. no job is too small for the St. Preservation technicians spend many hours carefully removing mold from and separating documents that were fused together as a result of the fire.000 cubic feet a day until the move is complete in the fall of 2012. Of particular interest to genealogists is a group of records found among the Panama Canal Company’s earliest personnel files.. • • • • The personnel records at NPRC and the National Archives at St. and as civilians. when members of the corps were evacuated from the country along with U. nancy Schuster is a management and program analyst with the National Archives in St. One of the most remarkable groups of government employees to emerge during the World War II was the Women’s Army Service Pilots. he served as assistant chief in the Air Force Reference Branch. in U. Other recently opened World War I–related records are the individual personnel files of the Russian Railway Service Corps. Louis staff of the National Archives and Records Administration. The school was part of a larger initiative to increase the pool of nurses available for overseas The files are being moved from their old home to this new state-of-the-art archival facility at the rate of 6.S. The first group of 339 railway engineers. and is an active member of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Today. clothing and equipment issuance lists. who in early 1942 was authorized by the Chief of Staff for Air. Of her 34 years of federal service. had the responsibility of delivering planes from the assembly lines of aircraft factories around the country to military bases worldwide. Army troops. Louis. D. Other letters provide insight into the experiences of these intrepid women fliers. making federal programs work for Americans. Included are the files of U.S. newly opened Records Series Focus on World Wars i and ii A number of interesting subgroups of personnel records were recently processed and opened to the public for the first time. Her career with NARA began in 2006 as a reference archives technician and with the Nixon Library’s Watergate tapes team. Louis tell the stories of Americans who served their country in uniform. Whether finding or reconstructing documentation of an individual’s service or assisting visitors in their research of a chapter in someone’s life. The records will be rearranged by military service and federal agency to achieve greater efficiency and logical order. sailed for Vladivostok on November 19. Their individual personnel folders contain a wealth of compelling documentation. This organization was made up of American railroad workers. duty during World War I. He joined the staff of the National Archives in 1978. Organized at the direction of the President. and Caribbean history from Morgan State University in Baltimore. Wanda Williams has been an archivist with the National Archives at St. including photographs. working first in the NPRC’s Records Reconstruction Branch. managed the program until it was discontinued in 1931. There is also correspondence with Jacqueline Cochran. and re- sults of physical examinations for flying. Henry “Hap” Arnold.C. Gen.
Alton G. Many of these records are now open to the public earlier than they otherwise would have been (62 years after the separation dates) as the result of a special agreement that allowed these records to be transferred to the National Archives as early as 10 years after the veterans’ dates of death. Presley. Ernest J. Humphrey Bogart and Frank Capra. Foulois. Jackie Robinson. Eddie Rickenbacker. Lyndon Johnson and Charles Lindbergh. William Donovan. James Roosevelt. Digital copies of PEPs can be purchased on CD/DVDs. William Hasley. Claire Chennault. Miller. Lafayette R. King. records@nara. York. entertainers. Carlson. For more information or to order copies of digitized PEP records only. Joseph W. Audie L. John M. Oveta Hobby. Stilwell. Smedley Butler. Barrow. Joseph E. In 1953. Doolittle. and Welfare. Grissom. Evans F. Knute K. U. Robert F. William L.800 pages). Henry Fonda and Alex Haley.S. Hubbard (USMC). Education. Virgil I. These archival records concern persons as diverse as Spiro Agnew and Arthur Ashe. George Dewey. Joseph Pulitzer. Hugo L. Joseph H. and sports figures—individuals noted for personal accomplishments as well as persons known for their infamous activities. Benjamin D. Alan W. Terrance (Steve) McQueen. William A. Kennedy. Mark W. John L. Davis. Kennedy. Sijan. Director of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (later the Women’s Army Corps). Tyrone E. please write to pep. Curtis LeMay. Oveta Culp Hobby. George C.Famous–and Infamous include files that document military and civilian service for persons who are well known to the public for many reasons. Leslie R. Clark. Kimmel. Sullivan. John F. World War II. Roosevelt. Desi Arnaz. Pendleton. Chester Nimitz. Joe L. Elliott Roosevelt. Milton C. Medal of Honor recipients. Abrams. Sullivan. Many of these files are now being digitized in order to ensure their preservation and to make them more widely Federal Files on the The collections of personnel records at the National Archives available. Prescott S. Lafayette R. (Pete) Ellis. Madison A. Col. she was appointed as the first secretary of the U. Lewis Puller. Charles McVay. Izac. George T.S. Also. Rockne. Birch. Other individuals whose records are now available for purchase on CD are: Creighton W. Mary Klinker. Grace Hopper and Beatrice Arthur. Murphy. Carl Spaatz. John F. Kennedy. Grover Cleveland Alexander. Joseph P. Douglas MacArthur. James H. members of Congress. Earl H. Mitchell. Forrestal. John A. Doris Miller. scientists. Black. John Hamilton. Hubbard (Navy). Adna R. Elvis A. Patton and Jimi Hendrix. Sullivan. Eisenhower. . Francis H. The military service departments and NARA have identified over 500 such military records for individuals referred to as “Persons of Exceptional Prominence” (PEP). Also. Edouard J. The price of the disc depends on the number of pages contained in the original paper record and range from $20 (100 pages or less) to $250 (more than 1. Victor Morrow. Kenney.gov. and Alvin C. Gregory Boyington. Barry Sadler (USAF). Maxwell Taylor. Groves. Sullivan. Chaffee. James V. other government officials. Husband E. Eddie Slovik. Archival staff are in the process of identifying the records of prominent civilian employees whose names will be added to the list. Richard M. These individuals include celebrated military leaders. John A. Dulles. Ladd. Lance P. Nixon. LeJeune. Clark Gable. Benjamin O. Merritt Edson. Alexander Vandergrift. received the Distinguished Service Medal. George S. Carter. Bush. Albert L. Sullivan. Power. artists. Barry Sadler (Army). Department of Health. Also. Kerouac. Presidents.
Louis Cardinals. 334th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. Served in France (1918) as a sergeant with the 342nd Field Artillery. and 1920. Grissom: Air Force pilot.S. 1942. and St. Ronald Reagan. Florida. Army Corps of Engineers officer appointed in August 1941 to oversee construction of the Pentagon and in September 1942 to direct the Manhattan Project. Awarded the Medal of Honor and later promoted to general. May 1944. Here he watches advancing troops while standing at the windshield of an amphibious vehicle on a beachhead somewhere in France in the summer of 1944. then First Motion Picture Unit in Hollywood. An original NASA astronaut (1959). His separation papers were signed by Capt. which developed the atomic bomb during World War II.S. Army Air Corps. Col. 1967. Davis: The U. and Nagoya. Pitched for Philadelphia Phillies. Grover Cleveland Alexander: A National League pitcher. Leslie R. most famously as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (1939). .Gen. Later promoted to lieutenant general. Doolittle: Led attack of 16 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet on April 18. Clark Gable: Film actor. Korea. Osaka. Army’s first African American general officer. Earned 373 career wins and won pitching’s Triple Crown in 1915. January 22. with targets in Tokyo. Maj. Gen. James H.S. Virgil I. and one of seven original Mercury astronauts. Benjamin O. Died in pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission at Cape Kennedy. 1916. Groves: U. Second American in space. First lieutenant in U. Kobe. awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Lt. Promoted to major. Chicago Cubs.
impulsivity. impulsive wanderlust that characterizes Kerouac’s writing. J On the Road can be viewed as a giant extended shore leave. Kerouac attended Columbia University on a football scholarship.” . While some Kerouac biographies mention his military experience. jack Kerouac Enlisted in the U. reckless. Left: A letter of recommendation from the principal at Horace Mann Prep stressed Kerouac’s “excellent reputation” and that “his record for character and citizenship was of the finest. creativity. Louis. This file presents both a very gifted and a very disturbed young man. Although the book was published in 1957. when the National Personnel Records Center in St. There. Naval Reserve in December 1942 because he was unhappy at Columbia and sought greater meaning at a historic time. never saw action. Navy But Was Found “Unfit for Service” By Miriam Kleiman ack Kerouac—American counterculture hero. made it public. The doctors’ findings identify and foreshadow the carefree. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the writing of On the Road. sensuality. he lasted 10 days of boot camp before being referred first to the sick bay and then the psychiatric ward for 67 days. and recklessness. Missouri. Columbia Beckons Kerouac With a Football Scholarship Kerouac’s military personnel file is half an inch thick—nearly 150 pages— and details a troubled soldier-in-training who collapsed under military discipline and structure. the extent of it was unknown until 2005. But he never left the United States.HIT THE road. guide.S.S. It was part of the release of military files of about 3. and never even completed basic training. king of the Beats. it also includes stellar letters of recommendation. and author of On the Road—was a Navy military recruit who failed boot camp. Kerouac produced the legendary 120-foot continuous scroll in April 1951 by taping long sheets of tracing paper together so he could type without interruption. In all.S. Naval Reserve) during World War II.000 prominent Americans who had been deceased for at least 10 years. he Above: Jack Kerouac enlisted in the U.S. Indeed. While his military record includes extensive mental examinations. the first of his cross-country trips later depicted in On the Road took place in 1947—just a few years after his failed military attempt. Kerouac’s extensive medical and psychiatric evaluations produced both a large file and the conclusion that he was “unfit for service. Navy Reserve (then called the U. and literary icon are the same ones that rendered him remarkably unsuitable for the military: independence.” The qualities that made On the Road a huge success and Kerouac a powerful storyteller. Kerouac enlisted in the U.
was praised by teachers and professors for his “unusual brilliance. . Kerouac enlisted in the U. and “good breeding. Kerouac completed high school there.” Born and raised in Lowell. The board found Kerouac “not temperamentally adapted for transfer. At the request of his football coach. not because I want to kill anyone. and give evidence of the qualities of leadership you are undoubtedly seeking among your candidates. . to speak to them quietly. perhaps at dawn. extremely capable. his record for character and citizenship was of the finest. but he dropped out a month later. “Fine Moral Character And Good Breeding” Kerouac’s military personnel file includes glowing letters of recommendation. . His academic record was in every way satisfactory. Kerouac received an “unqualified endorsement” from his French instructor at Columbia the same month: I found him . “If you’re flying at eighteen thousand feet and the altitude level is on the so and such. . Massachusetts. and for the pith of the moment. I am sure that he will be found loyal and dependable in any position of responsibility. Jack Prologue 15 . On December 8. But I believe I want to go back to sea . for that matter. Naval Reserve for a four-year term of duty.” gushed Lowell High School Master Joseph G. . a mad. but for a reason directly opposed to killing—the Brotherhood. 1935–46. I am not sorry for having returned to Columbia. . . But they catch me on the altitude measurement shot. Kerouac outlined noble reasons for enlisting: For one thing. . “I’m not daffy. for the money. In his semi-autobiographical novel Vanity of Duluoz: An Adventurous Education. and Hit the Road. what would you do?” Kerouac’s French instructor at Columbia wrote of his student’s “self-reliance and resourcefulness” and “qualities of leadership you are undoubtedly seeking among your candidates. for I have experienced one terrific month here.” Pyne added. Before reporting to basic training. . I had a gay.” 99 percent in spelling. a magnificent time of it. . his transfer was rejected. citizenship. I want to return to college with a feeling that I am a brother of the earth. Kerouac was “an ideal pupil with an unusual combination of brilliance and athletic ability. had with us a most excellent reputation.” In addition. and for them to know myself. . character. . magnificent times. for their danger to be my danger. a year and a day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. . Kerouac adds to these qualifications a distinctly engaging personality which makes him win friends easily.” He quit college to enter the merchant marine but left after three months. In a November 1942 letter. His self-reliance and resourcefulness have been demonstrated by his ability to fend for himself. possessed of a refreshingly alert intellectual capacity and an ability to think independently.” . I am more interested in the pith of our great times than in dissecting “Romeo and Juliet. my Russian brothers. to know them. he told a friend he was unhappy at Columbia and sought greater meaning at a historic time: I am wasting my money and my health here at Columbia . His school record was “one of unusual brilliance both scholastically and athletically. Pyne. . Kerouac requested a transfer—hoping to upgrade to “Naval Aviation Cadet” (Navy pilot) instead of “Apprentice Seaman. Tillinghast praised Kerouac’s reputation in a letter of recommendation written in November. 1942.” says I. and 95 percent in English). for the heart-rending romance. for the leisure and study. in Arctic mists. Kerouac failed overall due to “mechanical inaptitude”—scoring just 23 percent on the mechanical aptitude test. then spent an additional year of high school at Horace Mann Prep in New York on a full scholarship before continuing to Columbia University. Kerouac summarized this experience: I entrain to Boston to the US Naval Air Force place and they roll me around in a chair and ask me if I’m dizzy. Horace Mann Prep principal Charles C.S.” He appeared before the Naval Aviation Cadet Selection Board in Boston for a series of examinations. He completed his freshman year “with failure only in chemistry. it’s been one huge debauchery. Kerouac returned to Columbia in October 1942.” loyalty. He is a young man of fine moral character and good breeding. Mr. .” And he was an overachiever—earning 88 credits when only 70 were required for graduation. . . Despite testing well in most subjects (he received a 91 percent “general classification. I wish to take part in the war. . In an unmailed letter to a girlfriend in July 1942. to know that I am not snug and smug in my little universe. . 1942: John Louis Kerouac . These are stirring. To be with my American brother.
He “imerence and suicide. on Febru. he was transferred from the Naval Train.became bored easily and lacked focus. academic.” He claimed he was exhausted because prior to boot camp he had been writing 16 hours a day. but not mentally ill: “as far as I’m concerned I am nervous. However.” He quit school “because he felt he had gotten all he could from college. he can’t stand regulations.” The trial period did not go well. and this other business of the admiral and his Friggin Train walking around telling us that the deck should be so clean that we could fry an egg on it. etc. ing his doctors. the psychiatrist and I seemed to be agreed in silence.” Kerouac admitted.” “i just can’t stand it i like to be by myself” Initially. grandiose. Kerouac details this maladjustment at length: Well. “neuropsychiatric examination from the Bethesda Naval Hospital notes that he disclosed auditory hallucinations. Kernavy Boot Camp Disastrous: ouac did seem to have a basic understanding “Bored easily. that. my diagnosis would have been psychoneurosis—a convenient conclusion which could have explained any number of idiosyncrasies in a protean personality. At the Naval Hospital. Kerouac’s boot camp experience mined that his failed military experience rewas a disaster. He did not like basic training at all: “I just can’t stand it.discipline.of psychiatry. not to do this.” ness—reactions ranging from rejecting to accepting. dementia ary 26. sis of severe mental illbecause I’ve spent much time studying. apathetic. In Vanity. and structure.” In an undated letter. Not surprisingly. I didn’t mind the eighteen-yearold kids too much but I did mind the idea that I should be disciplined to death. There were concerns from the praecox in particular. especially given his later ading Station to the Naval Hospital in Newport because he had numerous headaches and “ap.” “Patient believes he quit football for same reason he couldn’t get along in Navy. ing. during his initial examination. lacked Focus” Kerouac reported to the Naval Training Sta. Contrasting his medical start. working on the novel The Sea is My Brother. . seclusive [sic]. I like to be by myself. for further examination.” His medical history In addition. and even shockwith the boots at Newport. His file contains numerous exchanges between Kerouac and his doctors. like getting fired from jobs and getting out of college. not to smoke before breakfast. if it was hot enough. 16 Prologue Fall 2011 . Kerouac was merous jobs “because he felt too stilted. just killed me. and a rambling. After only 10 days of basic train. ideas of ref. On this. Rhode Island. 1943.and indicators. or thatta . Kerouac hated boot camp due to “the peared to be restless. leading.ventures.” regulation and discipline. .ther to learn” and “just as precipitously” left numentia praecox (schizophrenia). Kerouac’s psychiatrists astutely deterwarrant Trial Duty status. pulsively left school because he had nothing furphilosophical manner. While this behavior may have been a defense mechanism or even denial. I believe that if his queries had ended at that point. his condition. These letters reflect Kerouac’s varying Kerouac’s handwritten resume of job experience lists his newspaper job responses to the diagnoand stint in the merchant marine and states that his record is “rather scant. Kerouac wrote to friends and family while under observation. work.” “I was frank with them. .sent to the Naval Hospital in Bethesda. So I’m washed out of my college educaThese letters also show that Kerouac seemed tion and assigned to have my hair shaved to enjoy challenging. I see no reason for being ashamed of my maladjustment. which he called a “gigantic saga” (this novel was first published posthumously).sulted from his rejection of authority. Kerouac viewed the psychological testing as “folly” and a “farce. his concurrent letters to friends and family offer a different perspective. and even em“How the screw should I know?” bracing and exalting. order. Maryland (now the National Naval Medical Center). . . however.” Diagnosed with de. “I was in a series of ventures and I knew they’d look them up. doctors questioned Kerouac at length about his family. file with his letters yields insight into Kerouac’s he was “recognized as sufficiently abnormal to psyche at a pivotal time in his life. Kerouac expained: [I]t was clearly and simply a matter of maladjustment to military life. I get nervous in an emotional way but I’m not nervous enough to get a discharge. symptoms tion in Newport. of mental illness. he details conditions.” He told his mother that in response to headaches “they diagnosed me with dementia praecox.” Kerouac believed he was different. and sexual history.
I told them about my [car] accident in Vermont. resentful of authority and advice. Gabrielle.” Gabrielle’s response suggests a lack of understanding of Jack’s condition: Tell me Honey what seems to be all the fuss out there. . Not that I wont. . one normal. This is about all I have to say about my aberration. now go ahead and put me up against a wall and shoot me. . Anyway. which he quit. stubborn. they’ll discover it. I have an idea they’re going to call you up about it. the one you’re familiar with. . I stood holding two ends of rope. garage job and waiter job.” He explained. is the half-back-whoremaster-alemate-scullion-jitterbug-jazz critic side. a characteristic. they’ve placed me under observation in the hospital. . . trying to bring both ends together in order to tie them. Leo said that Jack had been “boiling” for a long time and that he “has always been seclusive [sic]. it’s not that I refuse Naval discipline. Responding to questions from Navy doctors. none of which seem significant enough to mention.” He worked briefly as a sports reporter for the Lowell Sun but quit.” “Okay. stating that he “was put first in the real nut ward with guys howling like coyotes in the mid of night and big guys in white suits had to come out and wrap them in wet sheets to calm them down.[A]nd having to walk guard at night during phony air raids over Newport RI and with fussy lieutenants who were dentists telling you to shut up when you complained they were hurting your teeth. . Kerouac underwent analysis. . . that’s not like you. When the Navy did call his parents. . the introverted. and welded them irrevocably together. with which I am stricken. I guess I wrote too much of my novel before I joined the Navy. The “family history” section notes that Kerouac “denied familial disease. redblooded associates. and furthermore. besides dementia praecox. “My general occupational record is rather scant. Kerouac’s handwritten “Resume of Occupational Training” lists his newspaper job and stint in the merchant marine but does not list what he termed “countless other little odd jobs. my football injuries & everything. and all I do all day is sit around in the smoking room and smoke. in two parts. Jack’s father. [I]t can’t be that “bad.” Kerouac wrote to his mother. The Navy sought underlying causes of Kerouac’s mental illness. . unstable and undependable.” Was I the center of attention in a group? Of course! “Extreme preoccupation” is another symptom of dementia praecox. complacent ignorance. the other schizoid.” [S]o they ambulance me to the nut hatch. on March 30. challenging his doctors and playing on their preconceptions: Next came an investigation of the “bizarre” in me. Mother is nervous and father is emotional. but I stand by that or stand by nothing but my toilet bowl. . did not provide a stellar character reference. so that if I have anything. try to remember my symptoms and tell them about it. because I’ve spent much time studying. split up. the side in me which recommends a broad. as it were. is a complex condition of my mind. At first I thought you were sick. Oh Honey lamb. He has been discharged from steamship job.” Kerouac recounts his move to the Naval Hospital in Bethesda in Vanity. I am proud to say. Kerouac’s “occupational” history concludes: Very unreliable.” A Scant Job History And “Bizarre Delusions” Navy doctors believed Kerouac’s impulsivity contributed to his exceedingly erratic work history. and encouraged her to speak candidly with his doctors if they called: Although I tried to hide it. . . I pulled—had a hell of a time trying to bring these two worlds together—never succeeded actually. He is irresponsible and not caring.” My schizoid side is . being unreliable. . Only through his writing could Kerouac unite these disparate parts: And. Has been fired from every job he had except newspaper reporting. they found out about my headaches when I went to get aspirins a few times.” where I created two new symbols of these two worlds. Leo. . The sole writing sample in his file. . . “bizarre delusions. but now pop tells me you refuse to go through the training. My normal counterpart. scholarly side. Kerouac told a friend why he was under evaluation: “One of the reasons for my being in a hospital. . all my youth. Well. but that I cant. . and he cheerfully jotted it down. “You’re going to the nut house. First. and which lofts whatever guileless laughter I’ve left in me rather than that schizoid’s cackle I have of late. Kerouac jumped from job to job and quit college twice. Kerouac crystallizes his problem with the Navy in Vanity—lack of independent thought. don’t you know that it will be an awful mark against you? . the alien side. . The latter was for a small paper at $15 per week. Just days after his official initial diagnosis. I cheerfully revealed this. rugged America. and bigotry exercised by ersatz Ben Franklins. but I did in my novel “The Sea Is My Brother. Anyway. the bent and brooding figure sneering at a world of mediocrities. Kerouac explained that he was constitutionally incapable of adhering to Navy discipline: [I]ndependent thought . . . They came and got me with nets. . He had left the merchant marine after three months “because he was bucking everybody. not that I WONT take it. head strong. I’ll try the Merchant Marine school—they’re not strict there. Hit the Road. which requires the nourishment of gutsy.” He added that Jack “tends to brood a great deal. or in other words refuse to serve your country. They’re going to give me a nerve test tomorrow. Jack Prologue 17 . but that I CANNOT. At any rate. if I can’t make the Navy. 1943. .
attached to my male friends. To learn more about • Veterans service records in general. another just prior to joining the service. this patient. adds: Patient describes his writing ambitions. Asked for more A May 14. This was an experiment and he doesn’t intend to publish. adding to that the crowning glory of being more closely aged veterans to sere academicians. grandiose.gov/publications/prologue/2006/spring/. There seems to be an artistic factor in his thinking when discussing his theories of writing and philosophy.Next. as described in this undated letter: The psychiatrist questioned me further. Board of Medical Survey report determined that Kerouac suffered from Dementia Praecox. go to www. go to www.) And now! And Now! I feel fine and by God I’ll tell the world. A gleam in his eye! In another letter in early April 1943. philosophical manner. it smacked of ambisexuality. Kerouac knew that his doctors viewed his writing with concern and yet played upon their preconceptions. • Baseball great Jackie Robinson’s Army courtmartial. Kerouac “Enjoys rather promiscuous relationships with girl friends and is boastful of this. of its inseparable marriage to the secret of life. from Poe & Ambrose Bierce to Coleridge and DeQuincey. just prior to his enlistment. ideas of reference and suicide. . • VIPs in uniform. than to these women. . of course. Naval Hospital at Newport. is the universal symbol of life—I’ve discovered that all men. He maintained a poker face & jotted down some notes—a superb performance!) He wanted to know of my emotional experiences and I told him of my affairs with mistresses and various promiscuous wenches. is pouring it on thick. obviously in search of a blue-ribbon diagnosis. but I wanted to see his reaction. 1943. First he began to probe my emotional attachment. 1943. What was the strangest thing I’d ever seen? . Kerouac recounted his responses to his psychiatrist’s questions. I gave vent to an image compounded of all the mysticism I knew. and a rambling. He sees nothing unusual in this activity. involving “auditory hallucinations. Again. archives. about his own home town. navy Views Writers With Some Suspicion Navy doctors viewed “patient’s occupation as a writer” as a further sign of his mental imbalance. Patient states he believes he might have been nervous when in boot camp because he had been working too hard just prior to induction. He had been writing a novel. A medical history excerpt from May 27. and played upon the military’s bias against homosexuality. . I am dementia praecox—just this afternoon. and one he is writing now. Kerouac joked about his condition: (Surely.archives. No apparent conflicts over sexual activity noted. and didn’t plan to get married at all.” Kerouac openly discussed such matters: “He has no shame. (This. and found much food for thought there when I told him I wasn’t in love with any girl. navy Psychiatrists Review Kerouac’s Sexual History The medical report’s “sexual and marital” section notes that Kerouac had “sexual contact at age of 14 with a 32 year old woman which upset him somewhat.” and reported his transfer to the U. Rhode Island. enthusiastically embarked upon the writing of novels.S.” This openness will not surprise readers of Kerouac. One doctor labeled Kerouac “somewhat grandiose” because: Without any particular training or back ground. spiritually and emotionally. of course. Patient is very vague in describing all these activities. In an undated letter to a friend.archives. I was in such a melancholic stupor. and averaging approximately 16 hours daily in an effort to get it down. the doctor showed concern.gov/veterans/. turn back to sex in their last years as though suddenly conscious of its deep and noble meaning.gov/publications/ prologue/2008/spring/. one when he was quite young. At present he is writing a novel about his experiences in the Merchant Marine. He has written several novels. in the style of James Joyce. . Kerouac addressed this issue more seriously in an early April 1943 letter: Sex. Kerouac—at least in his correspondence—seemed amused by the questioning.” In addition. This not only smacked of dementia praecox. remorse or reluctance to describe his affairs. from 18 Prologue Fall 2011 . go to www. . he tried to detect “unreal ideas” in my makeup.
All this folly doesn’t faze me. He spent the rest of his life running from structure. but which render him unfit for service. for their guidance. . that “the defeated are the strongest. even this “broth of a Breton. P Note on Sources Special thanks to Eric Voelz and Lenin Hurtado of the National Personnel Records Center in St.” no one takes me seriously.” Kerouac told his doctors that that he did not hear random voices but certainly did hear music: I don’t hear voices talking to me from no where [sic] but I have a photographic picture before my eyes. written in early April 1943. 1967). One can only guess how much of his later escapades were in direct reaction to the strictness of his military experience. Kerouac’s letters suggest that time was turning point for Kerouac personally. In compiling Kerouac’s medical history. this does not mean I shall cease my debauching. 1978). NY: Penguin Group. The letters cited in the article. and now I am ready to work. Barry Gifford and Lawrence Lee. Kerouac’s Hospitalization Brings Birth of an icon While it is impossible to know the full effect of his hospitalization and protracted analysis. . each debauchery is a private though short-lived insurgence from the static conditions of his society.” Everyone here is defeated. she joined the agency in 2000 as an archives specialist. and the irregularity of my intellect. Other sources include: Paul Maher. 1995). . when I go to sleep and I hear music playing.” I have been defeated by the world with considerable help from my greatest enemy. I realize the limitations of my knowledge. sacrificing myself on the altar of Art. Hit the Road. the more he was embraced as a countercultural icon and embodiment of a new “Beat” way of life. Kerouac “is not recommended for reenlistment. myself. Jack. when I asked for a typewriter in order to finish my novel.” a travel allowance of $24. D. and spiritually. . . and don’t you come back no more . which includes an expansive and detailed 27-page medical history. Schizoid Personality. as it did Hemingway in Italy. Author Miriam Kleiman. In a letter to a friend from junior high school. I have them and I know it. Knowledge and intellection serve a Tolstoi—but a Tolstoi must be older. A graduate of the University of Michigan. Kerouac’s hospitalization gave him time to ponder and solidify his self identity as a writer. Jack Kerouac’s American Journey: The Real-life Odyssey of “On the Road” (Cambridge. Jack Kerouac.60 to return home to his not-so-supportive parents in Lowell. Vanity of Duluoz (New York. except for one item. MA: Thunder’s Mouth Press. He sees printed pages of words. first came to the Archives as a researcher in 1996 to investigate lost Jewish assets in Swiss banks during World War II. and Kerouac signed a form stating that this condi- tion was a preexisting one. they only humoured me. written concurrent to Kerouac’s time under psychiatric evaluation. Kerouac left the hospital and hit the road. dedicating my actions to experience in order to write about them. whatever that suggests. I know I shouldn’t have told the psychiatrist that but I wanted to be frank. On June 2. and authority.” Kerouac highlights his writing: Spending my time writing. the Navy completed its evaluation and changed Kerouac’s diagnosis from dementia praecox to “Constitutional Psychopathic State.” He was given “an outfit of civilian clothes. Louis. professionally. Knowledge comes with time. . Jack’s Book: An Oral Biography of Jack Kerouac (New York. Kerouac’s military duty was officially terminated “by reason of Unsuitability for the Naval Service. debauchery is the release of man from whatever stringencies he’s applied to himself. Surely I will be a Kerouac. In a sense.” The doctors suggested his discharge. ed. . From the hospital. 1943.C. All I need now is faith in myself . rules.” The Navy made it clear that he was not welcome to return. and the full diagnosis of dementia praecox. And oh yes. Hit the road. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington. only from there can a faith truly dilate and expand to “mankind. Ann Charters (New York. 1940–1956. . must see more as well— and I am not going to be a Tolstoi. 1943. NY: Penguin Books. Missouri. Kerouac committed to starting his personal journey: The pathos in this hospital has convinced me. Thus. Kerouac pledged a new beginning: I must change my life. and a one-time “mustering out” payment of $200. The further he ran. Unless otherwise noted as a letter from or to Kerouac. all quotes are from Kerouac’s official military personnel file. regulations. now he’s under the ‘bizarre delusion’ that he’s a writer!”) Many aspects of Kerouac’s personality viewed by the Navy as signs of mental illness were later praised as qualities that made him a gifted and expressive writer. His official military personnel file was closed 10 days later and remained closed for 62 years. now .. NY: St. . discipline. a public affairs specialist with NARA. you see . it was recommended that Kerouac be discharged “for reason of unsuitability rather than physical or mental disability. he can hear every note. . As far as creative powers go. Jr. 2007).” The schizoid trends “have bordered upon but have not yet reached the level of psychosis. “Bizarre behavior” . On June 10. Jack Prologue 19 . are from Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters. until it was opened by the National Archives in 2005. Martin’s Press. Since I have “bizarre delusions. She has written previously in Prologue about the Public Vaults exhibit and about records from St. . (“The poor boy.” I must change my life.” On June 30.examples of his “bizarre behavior. Navy doctors wrote that he heard voices and “imagines in his mind whole symphonies. unearthing a fascinating and previously unknown chapter in this legendary dreamer and writer’s life. now.
D. the Nazis enthusiastically continued this support as a way to make Germans “air-minded” and rebuild Germany into an air power. since the German aircraft industry was severely limited by the Treaty of Versailles. except that this one flaunted a red tail band with a Nazi swastika in the center. and German pilots held many world records. In any case. and vicinity. creamcolored glider could often be seen soaring above Washington. sponsored by the German Aero Club. Walter Georgii. rological Institute of Röhn-Rositten Company. and toured South America with the institute’s head. It was also source of national pride. Riedel. competed at the Soaring Society of America national competition. and briefly undergoing reserve training in the German military. Born in 1905. In 1937.C. Since gliding was a popular sport in the 1930s. a glider was not an unfamiliar sight. a graceful.. Flying a DFS Sperber After World War I. to promote the sport of gliding. worked at the Meteo- Fall 2011 . One of the most renowned of these record-setting pilots was Peter Riedel. After working as a pilot for Lufthansa. Riedel took a job with the Colombian airline SPACDA. Riedel studied engineering and became a commercial pilot. He claimed to find life in the Third Reich to be too confining and sought broader horizons. he had become romantically involved with a married Argentinian woman and crossed the Atlantic to be closer to her.Nazis Over Washington? By Chas Downs I 20 Prologue n the years shortly before America’s involvement in World War II. the German government encouraged the sport of gliding as a way to train pilots and participate in aviation. given that Germany had become a world leader in the sport of gliding and soaring. This is the story behind that glider and its pilot. After their assumption of power in 1933. Dr.
Nazis Soaring Over Washington? Prologue 21 .Peter Riedel stands next to his Kranich (Crane) glider with its Nazi swastika insignia. ca. DC. The German text on the tail gives the glider’s maker and place of manufacture and notes that it was the property of the German embassy in Washington. 1938.
C. While at Elmira. high enough to clear the 3. who began to assume he was a confirmed Nazi. He soon found a strong thermal and reached an altitude of 6. The Abwehr played by its own rules and was distrusted by other German military and intelligence organizations. He had briefly trained for the German military. he won the Bendix gold trophy for the longest distance flight. Riedel was launched in his Kranich at 10:30 a. Riedel took an early lead with successful flights to Harrisburg. letting his membership lapse both times. Despite his knowledge and skill. but his Nazi Party affiliations seemed to have been pro forma. he was interviewed by the Abwehr. but he subsequently accepted the position in order to stay in America. Once it became known he was working for the German embassy. but his affiliations seem to have been more of convenience than conviction. glider. Riedel’s two-seat Kranich being towed aloft.C. who was impressed enough with Riedel to offer him a job as technical assistant for aviation matters at the German embassy in Washington. He was determined to do something spectacular to publicize the sport of soaring— fly from Elmira to Washington. 133 miles from Elmira. in 1931 and 1933.. Riedel had reached Baltimore. and a fuselage skid was used when it was time for the glider to land. His twoseat DSF Kranich glider again carried full German national markings.m. he spotted the familiar environs of Washington D. Riedel was by all appearances a confirmed Nazi while in the United States. his glider displayed the Nazi markings that were required on all German military and civil aircraft.Riedel’s German glider pilot’s license.. Riedel met the German military attaché in Washington. Pennsylvania. Pulled toward the ground by the cooling air. At first Riedel refused. After a replacement for his airline job arrived. Note the glider’s wheels falling to the ground in the lower right of the photograph. Pennsylvania. and Wilmington. with German registration and swastika national markings. New York. the Germany military intelligence agency headed by Adm. Riedel stopped by Elmira to participate in the 1938 American national soaring competition under the auspices of the German Aero Club. records show that he had joined the Nazi Party twice. but he often needed to fly on instruments through cloud formations. They were jettisoned after takeoff. Riedel’s ground crewman also briefly displayed a Nazi flag. D. According to State Department sources. He passed over College Park Air- 22 Prologue Fall 2011 . Riedel had been an airline pilot for Lufthansa and a German-supported Colombian company. He was probably too much of a free spirit to be a good party man. import duties. including a red band with a swastika on its rudder. Friedrich von Boetticher. Col.S. By 5 p. Delaware. he was losing altitude too quickly. The Swastika over Washington: Crossing the Mall before Landing Before starting his duties at the German embassy in Washington.m. D. but the strong thermals that gotten him that far were failing. which drew unfavorable attention to his glider’s Nazi markings. Such a feat would also win a thousand-dollar prize. however.000 feet.000foot ridges he was crossing. On the morning of July 3. While later in life Riedel denied being a Nazi or ever having been a NSDAP member. Reflecting a changed political climate since 1937. Regis- tered in Germany in order to avoid U. In Berlin. The 1938 soaring competition had fewer but more experienced pilots than in 1937. he then traveled back to Germany to be vetted by the Air Ministry.C. SCATA. this explanation did not convince many of Riedel’s acquaintances. the swastika insignia caused Riedel considerable embarrassment in 1938. after determining that conditions would be favorable. Wilhelm Canaris. to Elizabeth.
Riedel himself claims to have used no undercover agents but extrapolated quite accurate statistics on American aviation industry production and expansion from published sources. Riedel Flies for Fun. In an era when aeronautical feats were an almost daily news staple. 196 miles to Roosevelt Field on Long Island. the German military attaché in Washington. Riedel’s fame.port. He managed to tour various American aircraft manufacturing facilities in person. but most of his efforts were directed at reviewing and analyzing the massive files of clippings and publications readily available from the American media. Riedel’s task was to determine when American aircraft production would be substantial enough to adversely affect the military operations of the Axis pow- ers. He noted his prewar gliding achievements and technical experience. Nazi Leaders Reject Warnings About U. von Boetticher. New York. In this remarkable flight. who was vehemently opposed to German diplomatic personnel engaging in espionage activities in the United States.F. and pompous.S. Friedrich von Boetticher (left). Their relations were sometimes strained. A September 26. circling to gain altitude in order to do some acrobatic turns and loops before landing at Hoover Airport at 6:20 p. Since they contradicted the Nazis’ unrealistic but unquestioned views of America.S. whom he found stiff.m. Nazis Soaring Over Washington? . with Riedel. just on the other side of the Potomac River in Virginia. he found another thermal. Once World War II broke out in Europe in September 1939. may have suspected that Riedel had a relationship with the Abwehr. Aviation Industry At the height of his gliding career. as von Boetticher mistrusted both Riedel’s data collection methods and his conclusions on the American aviation industry’s potential expansion and future aircraft production. He crossed the Mall and skimmed 200 feet above the Washington Monument. in suburban Maryland. training. Riedel made another long-distance flight. Riedel did not get along well with his new boss. Right: A State Department translation of Riedel’s brief resume. After returning to Elmira. Youthful and convivial. national champion but for the fact that he was not an American citizen. Riedel’s projections were ignored or dismissed by the German leaders in Berlin. 1938.) G-27 Kranich glider at College Park Airport. Riedel’s superiors at the embassy did not fully support his reporting and estimates even though they were reasonably accurate. Riedel and his glider received their share of attention. and background were all helpful to him in carrying out his new duties at the German embassy. article in the Washington Post described how Riedel had taken off from College Park Airport to watch the President’s Cup regatta. for his use. On his part. As he had been in 1937.S. as well as his service in the German Army. which were to collect. Takes Friends on Rides But Riedel still lived to fly. and evaluate information on American military aviation. He predicted that by 1942 Americanbuilt aircraft could be supplied to the Allies in such quantity that they would dominate the war in the air. hoping that the sun-warmed streets of Washington would give him just enough lift to make it to Hoover Airport (now Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport). Just when he no longer needed it. connections. he was forced to land at nearby Hoover Airport because of cool air Col. Riedel set a national and international distance record of 227 miles for a flight to a predeclared target. Riedel was the highest scoring pilot in the 1938 Elmira competition and would have been U. both governmental and commercial. humorless. The German embassy kept a two-seat Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug (D. After staying aloft for three hours. organize.
” Riedel is quoted as saying. although he flew out of other area airports. Despite his official duties as air attaché. Riedel normally based his glider at College Park Airport. 24 Prologue . von Boetticher asked for permission to store a Kranich glider “on Bowling [sic] Field or any other place near Washington. When it was not in use. which was used as an airliner and executive transport in the 1930s. including the 1938 Cleveland Air Races. he was able to give glider rides to friends and colleagues. Above: In a September 1938 letter to the War Department’s foreign liaison officer. Riedel found time to fly it often and participated in various soaring events and demonstrations around the United States. “It was just for fun.Riedel at his desk at the German embassy. including Hybla Valley in Virginia. currents above the Potomac and had to be towed back to College Park. he was allowed to store his Kranich at the U. “When I haven’t flown for 14 days. The tri-motored aircraft at right is a Stinson SM-6000B. where his longtime friend and fellow glider pilot Hannah Reitsch dazzled the crowds with her acrobatics.” Since the Kranich held two.” Below: Riedel’s Kranich glider was a familiar sight at College Park Airport in nearby Maryland. His prediction that by 1942 American-built aircraft could be supplied to the Allies in such quantity that they would dominate the war in the air was not wellreceived by the German High Command. I feel bad. Riedel also participated in various soaring events and demonstrations around the United States.S.
with an increase in salary and status.S. Riedel met resistance from von Boetticher when he requested permission to marry Helen. Riedel was promoted from technical assistant to assistant air attaché. “We do not consider the affair a personal controversy between Riedel and Werner. Once. Both parties were summoned to the assistant district attorney’s office the next day. first secretary of the German embassy. who worked as an art teacher in the District of Columbia public schools. the flamboyant von Werra made life difficult for the German ambassador and for von Boetticher. an unwanted burst of notoriety for German diplomats in America only indirectly affected Riedel. the Swiss-born Luftwaffe ace Baron Franz von Werra escaped his guards while en route to a POW camp in Canada. the State Department turned it over to the Justice Department. Riedel waited for the G-men. which quietly closed the case. An Assault Incident Is Disregarded After war broke out in Europe. D. and on one of his rides in Rock Creek Park. Now Married. Riedel had taken up horseback riding as a diversion. when Riedel borrowed a friend’s Buick automobile in order to retrieve his glider trailer from Skyline Drive in Virginia.” In any event. to catch up when they were delayed by heavy traffic. arranging for a lavish reception at the embassy. but Riedel never appeared. Riedel finally took von Werra aside and explained how he could covertly enter Mexico. but rather an issue between two governments. The neighbor. His personal life also underwent a major adjustment. Riedel is FBI Target. so the U.C. he was never charged. and from there fly back to Europe. and he warmed to the relationship. Riedel inadvertently parked on a neighbor’s flower bed. Dr. the two married in July 1941. and later. German diplomats fell under greater scrutiny. the FBI agents informed the Riedels when they had missed the turn to their destination. This incident began innocently enough. in southwest Washington. 1939.Army Air Corp’s Bolling Field. they and the agents became solicitous of one another. The Buick was housed in a garage in Northeast Washington. Helen Kluge. Police eventually arrived but did not issue any citations since all those involved gave conflicting stories.” which became an international incident and generated stories in the Washington papers. Prologue 25 . as FBI agents were known in the slang of the day. was quoted as saying. leaving him bruised and bloody. After some initial antagonism. and turned up at the German embassy in Washington in January 1941. crossed to the United States. Karl Resenberg.C. he met and fell in love with a beautiful American of German descent. the newly married Riedels were followed by FBI agents. On November 11. then travel to South America. Leaving on a cross-country trip for their honeymoon. Army ended up defraying much of the expense of maintaining Riedel’s glider. Von Boetticher’s initial disapproval then evaporated. probably because the German embassy was not contacted through proper State Department channels. Shot down over England and captured. In 1939. The German embassy did lodge a formal protest of the “incident” with the State Department. an auto mechanic and exboxer named Frank Werner. became enraged and assaulted Riedel. Determined to get back to Germany. Since no complaint was filed against Werner. In 1940. In 1940. While picking up the car. D. and the embassy did not want him to appear in any case. Congress authorized the War Department to provide supplies and services to aircraft used by accredited foreign military attachés. Riedel was involved in an “alley argument. After Berlin officially approved the match.
who had reclaimed her American citizenship after returning to the United States from Switzerland. which he was not above embellishing. engaged in several romantic relationships with other women.. U. As for his adventures and romances. In retirement. 1941. property and apparently was allowed to “rot to pieces” at College Park Airport. Oklahoma. according to a history of the Skyline Soaring Club. again without success.Riedel with his wife. • The early days of flight and a race to circumnavigate the globe by air. They married in July 1941. U.gov/ publications/prologue/2003/winter/. he wrote a three-volume history of the prewar German gliding movement and collaborated with fellow gliding enthusiast Martin Simons on his biography. He returned to active service.archives. • Using State Department records for research. Hitler declared war on the United States.archives. It sailed from New York on May 7. the Chief of the Air Corps informed the Adjutant General that he had no objection to housing a German glider at Bolling Field in “appreciation for the courtesies extended by the German Government to our Attache abroad.S.gov/research/foreign-policy/. As War Begins. gov/publications/prologue/2010/summer/. Helen Riedel. go to www. After being debriefed by German authorities. Drottingholm for repatriation.S. While there he tried to convince the Nazi leaders in person of the growing power of the American aircraft industry. go to www. setting many German. only to die when the engine of his new Bf-109F failed in a routine patrol over the North Sea on October 25. he joined the party largely out of self-interest and probably denied his membership for the same reason. to South Africa. Leaving Venezuela. Riedel’s glider became U. Riedel managed to obtain an assignment to Sweden as air attaché. While separated from his wife.. Betrayed to German authorities by a confidant of his current lover and recalled to Germany. Riedel was a larger-than-life character who became a world-renowned glider pilot. German and Italian diplomats were put aboard the old Swedish liner S. Riedel died in Ardmore. Riedel. American. 2000. and international records. Finally able to return to the United States in 1955. Riedel instead went into hiding in Sweden. as the American wife of an Axis diplomat. and with the outbreak of war and expatriation of German diplomats.S. and when Riedel was expelled by the Canadians. Helen accompanied him to Germany in 1942 In October 1938. he ranks among aviation’s most outstanding pilots.archives. they went to Canada. 1942. His devoted wife. Disillusioned by official indifference to his warnings about the American aircraft production and by published reports of Nazi atrocities. an American of German descent. but the OSS was uninterested in him. D. go to www. Helen. he worked as an engineer for Trans World Airlines and Pan American Airlines. After the war. The Riedels arrived in Frankfurt-am-Main on May 25. he fled Sweden only to be imprisoned by the French in Casablanca before escaping on a yacht to Venezuela. 1942. with the help of his female friends. them to the Greenbriar resort in West Virginia for safe-keeping. Riedel began working for the German Air Ministry. P 26 Prologue Fall 2011 . There she contracted a lung disease and eventually had to go to a sanitarium in Switzerland for her health. The intelligence that he gathered while in Washington certainly could have proved valuable to the Nazi leadership if they had acted on it. 1941. whom he had met in New York before the war.” Von Werra followed Riedel’s advice and successfully made his way back to Germany in April 1941. an inveterate womanizer. authorities also confiscated a trunk full of 8mm movies Riedel had taken while flying his glider around the country. in 1998. authorities rounded up and interned German diplomatic personnel and sent To learn more about • The International Civil Aeronautics Conference of 1928 held in Washington. Riedel certainly told a good story.S. Riedel Returns To Germany. on December 11.C. Nominally a Nazi. One thing is undeniable: Peter Riedel really knew how to fly his Kranich. Is Later Betrayed Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. There he was joined by his faithful wife. Helen Kluge. Helen. he tried to contact Office of Strategic Services chief Bill Donovan. made the difficult choice to accompany her husband back to Germany. Probably the greatest glider pilot of his time. Subsequently. all the while working for the Abwehr. and arrived in Lisbon on May 16. died in a Texas retirement home on December 11.
Some necessary variation was allowed.20211/767 and 776.” Helen Kluge Riedel was a Terre Haute na- tive. A movie of the same name. Von Hardesty puts Riedel into a different context. While unfootnoted. with the white circle and swastika centered on the tail. Field Station Files—Stockholm-X-2-PTS-2-7 (Entry 125). Gen. 1933– 1941 (Washington DC: Potomac Books. his recordbreaking single-seat glider.6211-1031 and 1042. UK: Airlife. and 620 was the individual aircraft number. A number relate to his accomplishments as a glider pilot: July 11–12. 1937. German in Washington”. concerning his altercation with Frank Werner.6219/54. Record Group 59. G-2 (Military Intelligence Division).html). Riedel’s alley confrontation is also mentioned in a commentary column “Over the Coffee.Tribstar. A series of three articles about the Riedels by Mike McCormick appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star (www. Note on Soures At the National Archives at College Park. 1999. Simons. 1941. medium gray. Foreign Liaison Branch. 26–27. Used to set numerous world and national records. In 1934. a British author and glider pilot. and chrome yellow. and Kranich gliders normally carried the marking only on the movable portion of the rudder. CT: Hugh Lauter Levin Associates. An entertaining book based on Luftwaffe ace von Werra’s exploits. Other references are 701. Hardesty provides a detailed account of Riedel’s 1938 flight from Elmira. Stories on December 4 and 5. Retired after a career with the National Archives. December 13 and 20. possibly because the manufacturer’s markings appeared on the fixed part of the glider’s vertical stabilizer. including both powered aircraft and sailplanes. by Burt Kendal and James Leasor. Decimal Files covering the years 1939. 701. A curator at the National Air and Space Museum. Folder 367. East Sussex: Classic Publications. The regulations mandated it to appear on the left side of the vertical stabilizer. Maryland. 811. came out in 1956. Some gliders appeared with oth- er markings on the nose. import duties. honoring of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. as well in as sketching out the diplomatic atmosphere of prewar Washington. D stood for Deutschland. including one with a comment by Riedel. but a number of other colors were authorized. and September 26.org/ HISTORY/history-1. can be found in the 1930–1939 Decimal Files.6111/1134. and 811. For 1940 and after. medium brown.com/history). and Field Station Files—Stockholm-X2-PTS-5 (Entry 125A). and she and Peter visited her relatives there when they were being trailed by the FBI. Written in the first person. Author Chas Downs is an artist. Hans Jacobs designed the DFS G-27 Kranich (Crane) for the Deutsche Forschunganstalt Für Segelflug in 1935.7961/328. including Nazi organization symbols.DFS G-27 Kranich Based on the Rhönsperber. 4 signified the Berlin district where it was registered. Records of the Department of State. display the swastika-bedecked national flag of the Third Reich. Classified Sources and Methods Files. 142–153. he is an active NARA volunteer at the National Archives at College Park. the Nazis required that all German military and civil aircraft.C. puts Riedel’s activities in the context of his position in the German embassy and with the German government in Berlin. “Withdrawn Records” (Entry A-1. light green. 2005). 215). as well as other material provided by Riedel. 1558. Generally a red band went across the entire vertical tail surface. D.. Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs.C. 701. Records of Other Field Bases. Folder 2. starring Hardy Kruger. A scholarly biography of the German military attaché in Washington. A former Army historian. “Attaché Military. A two-seater. “Historical Perspective: Pilot under Vigilant Eye of FBI made Trip to Terre Haute. 1939. 1940.” January 2000 (http://skylinesoaring. 1997). Riedel’s glider bore the Third Reich’s swastika insignia on its vertical stabilizer and the German registration number. 1938. 800. In 1936 the regulations were amended to require display of the swastika insignia on both sides of the vertical stabilizer. the Kranich became the standard German high-performance gliding trainer because it allowed dual instruction in almost every element of flying.” by Harlan Miller. white. Inc. contain several references to Peter Riedel. on the fuselage. cover his “scrape” with Werner and its aftermath. D-4-620. which closely follows Riedel’s own description in Martin Simons’s book. with black. Several articles concerning Riedel appeared in the Washington Post. National Markings Registered in Germany to avoid paying U. File W21062. and 343-W-162. Several references to Riedel and his activities as air attaché may be found in Record Group 165. references to Riedel appear in Decimal Files 701. June 18. of this well-illustrated coffee-table size book. April 23. pp. See Erik Mombeek. 1939. Records of the Office of Strategic Services. Several articles about von Werra appeared in the Washington Post during 1941. and archivist living in Howard County. based this book on a typescript written by Riedel and tape recordings of their conversations. to Washington.6211-111011/1134. Friedrich von Boetticher in America. Section 1).S.. and red horizontal bands of the national colors on the right side. “Historical Perspective: The Continuing Story of Peter and Helen Riedel. and especially the following files: 343-B-21. Individual marking variations included a sunburst pattern on the wing upper surfaces. Maryland. The latter folder contains a good photograph of Riedel standing next to the tail of his glider. Not readily available in the United States is Martin Simons’s German Air Attaché: The Thrilling Story of German Ace Pilot and Wartime Diplomat Peter Riedel (Ramsbury. with his wife and cat. 343-D-3. or the five Olympic rings. Part I”. Alfred M. July 7.7961/1439. The basic color scheme of German gliders was overall pale cream (FAS 1). hundreds of Kranichs were built in Germany and in other countries. July 5. 2002). the name of the glider type. it reads as if it were Riedel’s autobiography and is the source of information for most secondary works on Riedel. The fate of Riedel’s Kranich glider is mentioned by Jim Kellett in “Skyline Soaring Club in the Twentieth Century. 1501. including medium blue.796 Sca 2/415. The One that Got Away. and 1941.6211-1110. New York. Volume One. researcher. 2007. Beck’s Hitler’s Ambivalent Attaché: Lt. 1938. Nazis Soaring Over Washington? Prologue 27 . and because it participated in international competitions in the United States. In the chapter “Riedel: Soaring to Washington. 701. The most voluminous records. OSS records relating to Riedel can be found in Record Group 226. individual aircraft name. Beck had access to some of Riedel’s papers and photographs provided by the executor of his estate. Great Aviators and Epic Flights (Southport.” pp. Jagdwaffe: Birth of the Luftwaffe Fighter Force (Luftwaffe Colors. 1541. Part III. and 811. Remaining in production into the late 1950s. and 1658. and “The Story of Peter and Helen Riedel. that of outstanding pilots and historic flights. D. Part II”. see the Index. this account was apparently based on Riedel estate archival materials currently in Hardesty’s possession. and July 14. Von Hardesty.62701. appeared in the next year. Maryland. it showed itself to be the best two-seat glider of its time.
or sale of liquor for pleasure. Smuggling . is a great temptation for the rum runners.SmugglerS BootleggerS ScofflawS bNew York City How Liquor Got into during Prohibition by ellen nic ken z ie l aw son The Surf anchored near the Statue of Liberty. The nation’s largest city never “dried up.” wrote a Coast Guard Intelligence officer in 1927 in the midst of Prohibition. While the smugglers on board cruised into the harbor by daylight dressed in yachting whites. A unique and extensive database of information and photographs on liquor smuggling and New York City exists in the National Archives among 90 boxes of Coast Guard Seized Vessel records for the years 1920–1933. because New York’s smugglers. as the greatest liquor market in the United States. N “ ew York City. bootleggers. Coast Guardsmen noticed that the ship was riding extremely low in the water as if it carried a heavy load. and scofflaws defied the national liquor ban.” despite the 18th amendment to the Constitution. transportation. which took effect in 1920 and banned the production. Examining the history of smuggling to the nation’s largest liquor market during Prohibition helps to understand why this market would not be suppressed.
the largest on either coast. some were not even seaworthy. the “real McCoy. Ultimately. the only Constitutional amendment ever repealed. smaller boats smuggled liquor ashore. and the city’s immigrant and urban culture encouraged drinking at home and in nightclubs and speakeasies by hundreds of thousands of scofflaws. liners. piracy. published at the end of Prohibition. A rare nautical chart in the National Archives delineates the geography of New York’s Rum Row by documenting Coast Guard observations of the Mazel Tov for a year before it was seized for straying within the legal limit. a London Schooners Association’s investigation concluded that it was actually an insurance scam. At first these “Rows” were 3 miles from shore. New Yorkers were the driving force in the national movement to repeal the 18th amendment. Even a submarine or two may have been used. but few are known to the historical record. but the patrolled area was moved to 12 miles in 1924. Background: A Coast Guard map traced the movements of the vessel Mazel Tov for a year. The general history of Rum Row. life on Rum Row: A nautical Wild West Until the Coast Guard acquired destroyers from the Navy to patrol Rum Row in the mid1920s. . From those international waters. Later. One ship with $700. yachts. barges. the West Indies. Hundreds of sea captains were smugglers. when newspapers reported rumors that submarines were supplying the Jersey shore and Cape Cod. where liquor supply ships were located off major coastal cities. The liquor was then smuggled directly to the city or via landing sites on Long Island or New Jersey. And an aerial photograph among previously classified Coast Guard intelligence records purports to document two nonnaval submarines below the Hudson River. His biography.000 of liquor was pirated by New Yorkers who learned it would be waiting on Rum Row while the quality of its liquor was being checked on shore. A smuggler also once testified in court that he saw a submarine with a European crew surface on Rum Row. Here ships from Europe. showing the area known as New York’s “Rum Row.” 12 miles off the New York coast. and speedboats.contributed to the rise of the earliest liquor syndicates controlled by bootleggers. in 1924. was southeast of Nantucket Island and east of Long Island. New York’s Rum Row. the area was like the Wild West with its violence. tankers. born in New York State and trained in the merchant marine. cashed in on the public’s belief that the liquor he smuggled was the best in quality. albeit briefly.” Smuggled liquor came ashore on tugs. The most well known was and remains Capt. and Canada met American contact boats coming out from shore. and hijackings. is fairly well known. Bill McCoy. or even from the distant South or New England.
355 barrels of herring instead.An aerial photograph taken by a Manhattan mapmaking firm on June 11. Musicians. She claimed that a Brooklyn man. Seaplanes also landed alongside the ships and loaded cases of liquor. a treaty between the United States. At night. When a foreign agent arrived in Manhattan to take orders for liquor. and Britain specified that the U. Canada. exposed smuggling by the British Royal London Mail Steamer Packet. some of which dropped messages to ships below in bottles. the ship’s owner. captained by a former Manhattan policeman. butchers. but during this search she was found carrying 1. interpreting the treaty to refer to speedboats that could go up to 40 miles an hour then.S. And one undercover operation. who stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria after weeks on McCoy’s ship selling quality liquor for her London-based company. An elegant Park Avenue nightclub hostess claimed the captain of a French liner regularly smuggled her best wines. and ferries. Coast Guard Play Cat and Mouse Manhattan was the goal of most smugglers. smugglers would sneak into the harbor by running through the Narrows and up the rivers with all their lights off. seized several foreign ships more than 20 miles at sea. preparatory to docking. Foreign ships smuggling liquor into the harbor violated American law. sank in a storm. The George Cochran (left) in New York Harbor. it was captured and hauled all the way back to New York Harbor. smugglers used new technology like radios and airplanes. and confectioners on one German liner were implicated in smuggling liquor. whose body was thrown overboard on the last return boat. siblings. By day. A smuggler who made it into New York Harbor could then access Manhattan’s 20 miles of shoreline for a good landing site. and mothers. According to reporters. Coast Guard could search suspicious vessels that were “one hour’s distance” from shore—12 miles in a day when most large ships could go no faster than 12 miles an hour. (The sole casualty in this piracy was Eddie. Agnes McArdle’s brother and 11 others died when their tug. One of these was a Norwegian ship whose captain was ordered to sail into 30 Prologue Fall 2011 . When one seaplane’s engine failed. Ocean liners and steamers smuggled liquor directly to Manhattan. Women lived on Rum Row as cooks or wives or guests of captains. William Bell Atwater. yachts. was charged with stealing a plane from New York’s Curtis Air Field to fetch alcohol from Rum Row. 1924. by the end of the twenties. Bill McCoy.) No one will ever know how many New Yorkers died aboard contact ships that sank at sea. directed from Washington because customs officials in Manhattan were too corrupt. the Queen of Rum Row was American Gertrude Lythgoe. In 1924. although traffic was diverted at times to Long Island and New Jersey and trucked to the city. Naval Air Forces in Italy during World War I. Gertrude Lythgoe was called the Queen of Rum Row for her skill and success in selling quality liquor for her London-based company. had lost an earlier rum ship. The Coast Guard. The agency also monitored airplanes above Rum Row. Smugglers.” who confided to Captain McCoy that the gang resented foreigners muscling in on their turf. he was wined and dined on Broadway while 24 armed New Yorkers plundered his ship on Rum Row under the direction of a man named “Eddie. As liners slowed down. too. She sailed for a time with the well-known smuggler Capt. above the Hudson River near Croton Point purports to document two submarines (possibly rumrunners). second cooks. who had been in charge of U. McCoy had taken her there after male wholesalers squeezed her out of the market in Nassau. some of these were reputedly more complicated and harder to decipher than codes used in World War I. The vessel was a known rumrunner from Newfoundland. but the Coast Guard learned about two instances from grieving wives. McCoy even claimed that a boatload of Manhattan prostitutes ventured out one summer. fishing boats. each about 250 feet long and 600 feet apart. and she wanted him arrested because he refused to honor life insurance claims from the sailors’ families yet lived “in luxury” himself. but those that remained on Rum Row were protected by international treaty. Rum Row was high-tech for the time. smugglers mingled in the harbor among the extensive traffic of ships. The Coast Guard had a crack radio unit in Manhattan for locating land stations and intercepting and decoding messages from Rum Row. at the river’s bottom.S. passengers and crew sometimes passed liquor cases overboard to men in trailing speedboats.
who sometimes visited New York to oversee such shipments. located on the lower Manhattan side of the East River. Which one or ones I cannot say. Raymond (“Sparks”) Doe. “I feel in my heart that he was killed by bootleggers. Department of Justice appealed. Most of the longshoremen gave legitimate names when arrested. Authorities knew the “Does” were from Augie Pisano’s gang. and many were German. When officials at Sun Oil suspected their East Coast tankers were picking up liquor on Rum Row. sitting in wicker furniture on deck. lowlying yacht with the Statue of Liberty in the background. sleek. although the agency believed the widow was right. when Americans were not at liberty to drink. or Italian ones. watching through telescopes from a nearby cutter. The U. While agreeing that New York State and New Jersey jointly owned the river’s bottom. (The upriver site was known as Kennedy’s Warehouse and may have contributed to later rumors that it was owned by Joseph P. who was working as an investment banker in New York City in the 1920s. then followed it as it made a U-turn back to the harbor and up the East River to Brooklyn. Soon thereafter.) The body of 25-year-old Edwin J. the company alerted authorities. and $210 in cash were in his pockets.) The Statue of Liberty ruled New York Harbor even during Prohibition. based on its suspicions of smuggling activity to Kingston. As 75 customs agents approached. customs officers trailed a tanker entering New York Harbor at a discreet distance up the Hudson.” The Coast Guard.S.S. Jewish. owner of the Chop House. Scofflaws Prologue 31 . where 60 longshoremen began unloading the liquor. not leisured yachtsmen. The friendly judge agreed and dismissed the case. showing its secret compartments and a moveable steel plate. Smugglers.) Fulton Fish Market. was popular with smugglers because it was closed at night. Supreme Court eventually agreed.S. Robbery was not the motive as a pawn ticket. One striking photograph in the National Archives shows a freshly painted. but until then. His widow told police. stating that the boundaries of the two states had been established in the late 18th century. His older brother Jack. The U. the defense argued that. observed the hands holding those cigars were rough and dirty like the hands of longshoremen. The Coast Guard and U. and being served afternoon tea by liveried servants—the perfect cover. The Manhattan owner of Kennedy’s Chop House on 121 West 45th Street was suspected of smuggling up the river to a Kingston warehouse and then later having the liquor trucked back to Manhattan. Smugglers also went up the Hudson River (North River) to land liquor. a diamond ring.New York Harbor. which handled European liquor landed in Brooklyn and destined for Al Capone in Chicago. James (“Big Walter”) Doe. The yacht was also riding extremely low in the water as if it carried a heavy load. leisurely smoking Havana cigars. the longshoremen mistook them for a rival gang and began firing. and Ralph (“Captain Ralph”) Doe. including William (“Scottie”) Doe. The East River was also popular with smugglers. where his crew was imprisoned on Ellis Island and then deported. smugglers chased in New York Harbor could head for sanctuary at New Jersey docks and count on a friendly judge’s interpretation of an obscure law. Kennedy. Customs anchored large rum ships near Liberty Island (then called Bedloes). Bootleggers. based on an obscure antebellum case.S. insisted Edwin had no enemies and was in excellent spirits before his disappearance. they tossed their guns into the water so they would not be prosecuted for violating New York’s Sullivan gun law. Congress voted reparations for captain and crew over a decade later. (“Captain Ralph Doe” was probably Capone’s older brother. Guardsmen. New York owned the river and charges should be dropped because New Jersey lacked jurisdiction. Kennedy was found wrapped in a comforter floating in the Hudson off West 84th Street in 1927. (The Norwegians eventually won in court. father of the future President. A few gave the family name as Doe. as an aid to boarding officers. The smugglers on this vessel had boldly cruised into the harbor by daylight dressed in yachting whites. could do little to solve this case. they thought. he had been shot in the head. Hudson and east Rivers Provide Avenues for liquor trafficking A legal battle over ownership of the Hudson River occurred during Prohibition when a rum ship was seized at a Hoboken dock and charges were brought in New Jersey courts. and the U. and docks and unloading facilities were A Guardsman drafted a profile of the fishing vessel Mary of New Bedford. When they realized the newcomers were federal agents. French. each owning half the river.
The Coast Guard rescued four such sailors from a ship on Rum Row after spotting a blanket they held up on deck as a sign of distress. but Jeffries hoped to mitigate his sentence and gave them the names of all the gangsters for whom he smuggled and offered to show the different sites where he dropped off the liquor. One ship. “What is $7. Seafaring men have lived on or near South Street on the East River since the 17th century. and there was usually free liquor. adjacent to the ferry terminals at the southernmost tip of Manhattan. The Bronx shoreline on the East River is minimal. Henderson grimly argued that the Coast Guard was hampered in enforcement because customs was not strenuously policing Fulton Market. One cook based in New York signed on to work on a barge headed for the Caribbean only to discover that the barge was first going to Nova Scotia to pick up liquor to resell along Fall 2011 . giving lawyers for the liquor syndicates time to get them out on bail.” On the reverse the captain had carefully written in pencil “#1261 Broadway. but the largest smuggling fleet for the entire metropolis was located in this borough in a marina near Hell Gate Bridge. Browne-Willis. Smuggled liquor came ashore on tugs. tankers. Caught smuggling in New York Harbor on his 13th trip.” lodged at 2 Fulton Street during Prohibition. Another Manhattan-based captain named George Jeffries was caught after he had made 40 successful liquor trips into the harbor. the Coast Guard decided to semi-blockade New York Harbor for weeks at a time even though it was the nation’s biggest port. known as “Whiskers” because of his “Prince Albert Beard.” specializing in “Skotch Tweed.500 [bond] to that ring?” complained one Coast Guard officer. joked that he would catch smugglers after seeing the vessels’ names in his dreams. liners. including one disguised as a Coast Guard cutter.” He felt as if he and his men were “jousting at windmills. Custom’s Deputy Surveyor John McGill. or venture through the turbulent waters of Hell Gate and through Long Island Sound and then out to Rum Row. One hundred rum speedboats and larger craft docked here. This image and others of the rumrunners while on vacation in Cuba form a unique collection that was seized and retained by the Coast Guard. was soon outside the harbor with another load of liquor. Most captains were reluctant to talk to authorities. he and his sailors testified that there was liquor aboard. Capt. accessible. “The Big Lobster Merchant. yachts.New Yorkers watch as officials inspect an unidentified smuggling vessel. and speedboats. Pay on rum ships was higher than on law-abiding vessels. released on bond. New York Coast Guard Commander A. rum sailors lived on the city’s waterfronts. and he relied less on dreams and more on his agents.” Besides captains. “I look upon the release as a betrayal of the forces of the Federal Government. Jack Duran of Havana. which had an allSpanish crew under Capt. Eventually McGill’s staff was tripled to 120 agents. Sometimes those who could not be induced with money or liquor were tricked or shanghaied into service. including at the Seaman’s Church Institute on 25 South Street. This was a good location because contact boats could either travel down the East River. of Whitehall Street. The Gaspé Fisherman (above) was chased on Rum Row by the Coast Guard for three years but finally caught fire and sank off Nantucket. Room 502. Authorities did not follow up because they feared any action would imperil his life. which escorted other boats as if they had been captured and were being taken to shore to be booked. through the harbor. Many sailors deliberately got drunk and could not be interrogated until they sobered up. A neighborhood of Captains And Seafaring Smugglers With contact boats coming into the harbor and up the two rivers. The agency monitored vessels waiting outside the Narrows against the names of known rumrunners. but the Coast Guard became wise to this and seized such ships in the Narrows. Some rum captains changed the names on their vessels’ sterns and smokestacks to those of legitimate ships to sneak into the harbor. but it was never intended for Manhattan. and then out to sea. J. barges. A search of his luggage produced a calling card belonging to Nookie Collins.” with the notation “Get off [at] 34th Street. Jeffries said all monetary transactions were from a midtown office on Broadway whose address he could not recall. On the other hand.” Smugglers captured at sea were booked at the Customs Bureau’s barge office at the foot Crewmembers aboard the Julito. It was linked to the Fox bootleg gang of Staten Island. head of the New York harbor patrol.
where the liquor was sold at cost. Arnold Rothstein was a New York City gambler who financed the purchase of liquor abroad and bribed officials. Dwyer. black sheep of an Upper West Side secondgeneration German-Jewish family in the garment industry. Gordon quit smuggling soon thereafter because he risked future conviction on the word of any one of his many captains. This system worked until the commander was replaced. like the Hudson Dusters and the Gophers. which Coast Guard intelligence believed was a Dwyer hangout. Costello later claimed privately that he bribed a juror.S. he owned and operated illegal domestic breweries and distilleries in New Jersey. The Dwyer/Costello syndicate rented warehouses along the North Atlantic in the Cana- Capt. In 1923–1924. In the captain’s tally book for the liquor was the name and address of the Sea Grill Restaurant on West 45th Street. Despite Dwyer’s imprisonment. . Hell’s Kitchen stretched from West 23rd Street to the fifties and included extensive waterfront and railroad yards. including a Coast Guard commander. and the bribing of a Coast Guard commander on the eastern end of Long Island so the shipments could be landed and trucked to Manhattan. After serving a year in prison. began hijacking Dwyer’s trucks. which sold the city’s best quality beer. misidentified as a less important underling in the second trial. who operated a lumber barge and smuggled liquor for Gordon. That steamer was seized. a stevedore in the Longshoreman’s Union. benefited from a hung jury. Police ruled this death a suicide. “Legs” Diamond. Gordon’s syndicate thrived until Capt. The Lower East Side’s earliest liquorsmuggling syndicate was operated by “Waxey” Gordon (Irving Wexler). Dwyer stopped relying on Rothstein and turned to piracy to obtain his liquor. and Pennsylvania. for liquor conspiracy in 1926– 1927. He was murdered in November 1928 over a gambling debt. More than 50 New Yorkers were identified as the Dwyer syndicate and tried. During Prohibition. Like Gordon on the East Side.” and he was not retried.000 cases of liquor were found beneath hundreds of tons of coal. an undercover customs guard in a city speakeasy learned that another coal steamer would bring liquor up the Hudson. but only Dwyer and his payoff agent were convicted by a sympathetic New York jury. Instead.” Arnold Rothstein. he went to the American consulate to lodge a complaint. a former pickpocket and labor “thug. New York. Dwyer’s initial funding came from Rothstein. using a corrupted Coast Guard patrol boat to escort ships into the harbor. A crew of rumrunners. Smugglers captured at sea were booked at the Customs Bureau’s barge office at the foot of Whitehall Street. was caught and agreed to testify against his boss. The ship’s supercargo bragged to the engineer that Dwyer smuggled more liquor into New York than anyone else.the American coast. in two batches. concluded that direct smuggling was too risky. The captain died before the trial despite being protected in a guarded hotel room in the city. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. his gang relieved Rum Row of about a million and a half dollars worth of goods. He was caught and convicted at the end of the era for income tax evasion based on information provided by rival gangsters. Dwyer was the next target after Gordon for the U. Hans Fuhrman. his syndicate continued because Frank Costello. but few know exactly how this happened. but gangs became better organized and very wealthy in the twenties by focusing on the black market in liquor. Next. like Gordon and Rothstein earlier. but his wife insisted that he was murdered. saying he had been intimidated into staying aboard and that the captain kept an arsenal of 10 pistols and 8 rifles. called “Madden No. adjacent to the ferry terminals at the southernmost tip of Manhattan. were located here. He was the only eyewitness. After Rothstein’s bodyguard. an investor with a reputation for only gambling on sure things such as the Black Sox World Series scandal. bankrolled the purchase of liquor abroad. relinquished his role as a smuggler and left the entire operation to Gordon. The first trial targeted Dwyer and high-level associates. who also owned the rumrunner Whipporwill. Rothstein. Authorities learned from an engineer on a Canadian coal ship smuggling liquor to Fourth Street on the East River that the cargo belonged to Dwyer. liquor Syndicates Move in As Federal Agents Crack Down Every American knows Prohibition contributed to the growth of the American underworld. Axel Ohlsen was arrested on the Hiawatha in May 1931. When the ship arrived in Nassau. emerged as leader of the West Side’s first successful liquor syndicate.1” after West Side gangster and partner Owney Madden. He was associated with shipowner and smuggler Benjamin Feldman (of lower Manhattan). and 3. Several preProhibition Irish American gangs. Dwyer became a silent partner in an illegal brewery in his old West Side neighborhood. William “Big Bill” Dwyer. New York City had large ethnic gangs long before 1920. Then Gordon and Rothstein had to divert a shipment to the West Indies. the hiring of ships. His records were conveniently “lost.
One of their first shipments directly from Europe was in a ship from the Azores hovering outside the Narrows. in what was known in the underworld as the “Castellammare War.) Syndicate members were directly involved in Massaria’s murder in a deserted Coney Island restaurant and.gov/exhibits/ charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.An inventory of liquor captured aboard the schooner Al Smith on March 7. “Moustache Pete.gov/research/ military/coast-guard/. By the end of Prohibition. • The Volstead Act and related Prohibition documents. dian maritime provinces and on the French islands of St. The gang began by smuggling from the Bahamas and employed Captain McCoy. the syndicate manipulated a power struggle within the mafia. providing they remained loyal subordinates. Luciano and Adonis invited Costello (originally Castiglia but not Sicilianborn as they were) to join them as well as Meyer Lansky. through Lansky.” was not interested in smuggling but in continuing more traditional criminal activity like blackmail. Two New Yorkers. whom Luciano knew from his youth on the nearby Lower East Side. the new gang’s earliest financial backing came from Rothstein. to assess Prohibition. Like the Gordon and Dwyer syndicates. Manhattanite Pauline Sabin. This Little Italy syndicate dominated smuggling in New York City by the late 1920s after Gordon abandoned the field in 1925 and Dwyer was convicted in 1926. Lansky. little italy Syndicate Becomes Dominant Force in Smuggling New York City’s third major liquor smuggling syndicate during Prohibition. go to www. When one of his liquor supply ships sank after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic. 1929. According to an FBI transcript of an interview with a Portuguese cook on that ship. Costello told a subordinate that it was too bad he couldn’t buy the iceberg. With a million members. between old world boss Masseria and recent Sicilian immigrant Salvatore Maranzano. On a return visit to Little Italy.html. Before the emergence of the Broadway Mob. U. Luciano. After very detailed studies and extensive interviews. robbery.” (Maranzano was from Castellammare.archives. an old-time boss called a To learn more about • Coast Guard records in the National Archives. It was an Italian operation in Little Italy. He also continued Dwyer’s pattern of wholesale bribery of police. go to www. the syndicate filled the power and money vacuum in the underworld left by his death.archives. Pierre and Miquelon. and Siegel were the core of the city’s increasingly powerful and rich underworld. Rothstein suggested they market expensive liquor to rich New Yorkers instead of diluting it for a mass market. who was on the lookout for promising ways to invest money. Eventually they retreated into the background to run their growing operation. reputedly in the then-new Chrysler Building. to the Constitution. go to www. which some historians have dubbed the Broadway Mob because they had relocated to midtown Manhattan near the theater district. like the Gordon and Dwyer/Costello operations. Sicily. using others to fetch the liquor to shore. Charles Luciano (Salvatore Lucania) and Joe Adonis (Joseph Doto) listened and began smuggling liquor with Masseria’s blessing. • Texts of the 18th and 21st amendments. the group argued that enforcement fell unfairly on the middle and working classes and contributed to a growing disrespect for all American laws. politicians. Lansky brought in Benjamin Siegel (“Bugsy”). When Rothstein was murdered in 1928. Attorney Emory Buckner was asked by a Senate Committee in Washing- 34 Prologue Fall 2011 . a New Yorker. Unione Sicilione’s chief. Adonis. for Maranzano’s murder by Jewish hit men disguised as federal tax agents. Costello managed this vast operation from a midtown Manhattan office. Capone challenged younger friends in the city to seize the day as he and Torrio were doing in Chicago. it surprisingly recommended more enforcement. Two years later. Costello. was also located in lower Manhattan. President Hoover formed a National Commission in May 1929 headed by retired United States Attorney General George Wickersham. and operated a fleet of freighters bringing liquor to the warehouses from Canada and Europe. The Honduran rumrunner was named after the New York governor and 1928 presidential candidate who wanted to modify Prohibition by allowing states to define alcohol. two New Yorkers who might have convinced Masseria to change to smuggling and bootlegging.archives. Johnny Torrio and Al Capone. and these two became the “muscle” for the new syndicate. the gang leaders personally went out in two speedboats to unload the liquor. moved to Chicago before Prohibition. and prostitution. and federal agents. founded the nonpartisan Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Repeal.S. Joseph Masseria. Republican National Committeewoman and Morton salt heiress.gov/education/ lessons/volstead-act/.
ton to comment on the “foreign element” in bootlegging and smuggling in his Southern District of New York. “I do not know, Senator,” he replied. “It is certainly not so marked that it has become a matter of such comment that it has reached me yet.” Yet by the 1930s, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Dewey built a political reputation tackling this underworld, became governor of New York, and was the Republican presidential nominee in 1944 and 1948. ethnic Groups Helped to Repeal Prohibition The word scofflaw was coined in a national contest during the twenties to describe Americans ignoring the 18th amendment. New York City had not only smuggling syndicates, illegal distilleries and breweries, and 50,000 families producing homemade liquor but also 500 nightclubs and an estimated 30,000 speakeasies. Scofflaws believed that by drinking they were striking a blow for individual liberties. From the start, some New York City politicians opposed the 18th amendment. At first Fiorello LaGuardia, the first Italian American congressman in American history, was a lone voice crying in the dry congressional wilderness. State Senator James J. Walker opposed ratification of the 18th amendment in the state legislature and later, as the popular Irish American mayor of the city in the twenties, thumbed his nose at the law. Governor Al Smith, raised on the Lower East Side, was the nation’s only wet candidate for President, nominated by the Democratic Party in 1928. (Smugglers honored him by naming a rumrunner after him). Why was New York City such a hotbed of opposition to Prohibition, with so many scofflaws, smugglers, and a Broadway Mob? Mayor Walker once claimed that New York City in the twenties had more Irishmen than Dublin (400,000), more Italians than Rome (800,000), more Jews than Palestine (2 million), and more Germans (670,000) than any German city except Berlin. These ethnic groups viewed the 18th amend-
ment as an attack on their cultures, which did not condemn alcohol but celebrated it with Irish whiskey, German beer, and Italian dinner wines. In addition, for several hundreds of years in European history, the Irish and the Jews had made a living producing and selling liquor. White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASP) Americans, those most ardently behind the 18th amendment, had their own historic tradition to lead them to support the 21st amendment.
Captain McCoy, presumably echoing the motivation of his fellow smugglers, claimed inspiration from John Hancock’s 18th-century defiance of the British Navigation Acts and antebellum abolitionists’ defiance of federal slave law in the 1850s. And it should not be forgotten that one possible derivation of the word Manhattan is the Native-American word Manahachtanienk, which translates “place of general inebriation.”
© 2011 by Ellen NicKenzie Lawson
Note on Soures
Records consulted at the National Archives and Records Administration include Records of the United States Coast Guard, Record Group (RG) 26, Coast Guard Seized Vessels, Entry 179 A-1, and Coast Guard Intelligence Division, Entry 178; Records of the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, RG 10, National Commission on Prohibition, boxes 182, 199, 206–07; General Records of the Department of the Treasury, RG 56, Entry 191; and Records of the Internal Revenue Service, RG 58, Entry 231. Government publications included United States Senate, Proceedings of Subcommittee [on National Prohibition Law] of Committee on the Judiciary. April, 1926; Official Records of the National Commission [Wickersham Commission] on Law Observance and Enforcement, 71st Cong., 3rd sess., S. Doc. 307 ; and speeches by Fiorello LaGuardia in the Congressional Record, 1920–1933. Published primary sources relevant to this article include: Belle Livingston, Belle Out of Order (New York: Holt, 1959); Gertrude Lythgoe, The Bahama Queen: Autobiography of Gertrude “Cleo” Lythgoe (New York, Exposition Press, 1964); Carolyn Rothstein, Now I’ll Tell (New York: Vanguard Press, 1934); James Trager, ed., The New York Chronology (New York: HarperResource, 2003]); Frederic F. Van de Water, The Real McCoy [as told by McCoy] (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Doran and Co., 1931); Stanley Walker, The Night Club Era (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1933); Mabel Walker Willebrandt, The Inside of Prohibition (Indianapolis, IN: The Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1929). Relevant secondary sources include: Everett S. Allen, Black Ships: Rumrunners of Prohibition (Boston: Little, Brown, 1979); Herbert Asbury,The Great Illusion: An Informal History of Prohibition (New York: Greenwood Press, 1968 [reprint of 1950 edition]); T. J. English, Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish-American Gangster (New York: Regan Books, 2005); Gene Fowler, Beau James: The Life & Times of Jimmy Walker (New York: Viking Press, 1949); Albert Fried, The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster in America (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1980); Martin Gosch and Richard Hammer, The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano (Boston: Little Brown, 1974; Seymour M. Hersh, The Dark Side of Camelot (Boston: Little Brown, 1997); Kenneth T. Jackson, ed., The Encyclopedia of New York City (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995); Jenna Weissman Joselit, Our Gang: Jewish Crime and the New York Jewish Community, 1900–1940 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983); Matthew and Hannah Josephson, Al Smith: Hero of the Cities (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1969); Leonard Katz, Uncle Frank: The Biography of Frank Costello (New York: Drake Publishing, 1973); Leo Katcher, The Big Bankroll: The Life and Times of Arnold Rothstein (New York: Da Capo Press, 1994); Thomas Kessner, Fiorello H. La Guardia and the Making of Modern New York (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1989). Also James Lardner and Thomas Reppetto, NYPD: A City and Its Police (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2000); Michael Lerner, Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007); Martin Mayer, Emory Buckner (New York: Harper & Row, 1968); Hank Messick, Lansky (New York: Putnam, 1971); Herbert Mitgang, Once Upon a Time in New York: Jimmy Walker, Franklin Roosevelt, and the Last Great Battle of the Jazz Age (New York: Free Press, 2000); Humbert S. Nelli, The Business of Crime: Italians and Syndicate Crime in the United States (New York: Oxford Press, 1976); Virgil W. Peterson, The Mob: 200 Years of Organized Crime in New York (Ottawa, IL: Green Hill Publishers, 1983); Thomas A. Reppetto, American Mafia: A History of Its Rise to Power (New York: H. Holt, 2004); Giuseppe Selvaggi, tr. William A. Packer, The Rise of the Mafia in New York from 1896 through World War II (Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs Merrill, 1978); Carl Sifakis, The Mafia Encyclopedia (New York: Facts on File, 1999); Craig Thompson and Allen Raymond, Gang Rule in New York (New York, Dial Press, 1940); George Walsh, Gentleman Jimmy Walker: Mayor of the Jazz Age (New York: Praeger, 1974); Malcolm F. Willoughby, Rum War at Sea (Washington, DC: US. Government Printing Office, 1964); George Wolf, with Joseph DiMona, Frank Costello: Prime Minister of the Underworld (New York: Morrow, 1974); and Howard Zinn, La Guardia in Congress (Westport, CT: Norton, 1969).
ellen nicKenzie lawson is a retired historian living in Colorado and has published articles on vessels seized by the Coast Guard during Prohibition off Cape Cod. She has a book manuscript based on the same body of records for New York City under consideration with an academic press. This article is a summary of that manuscript.
Smugglers, Bootleggers, Scofflaws
Sailor’s in 1812 ife l
By Sarah H. Watkins and Matthew Brenckle
All Hands on Deck
ver wonder if a sailor’s life is for you? Visitors to “All Hands on Deck: A Sailor’s Life in 1812,” the USS
Constitution Museum’s newest exhibit, can find out. Designed to be both hands-on and minds-on, the exhibit allows families to scrub a deck, swing in a hammock, fire a cannon, and furl a sail as they learn about history together. “All Hands on Deck” is the culmination of years of research into the lives and experiences of the men who served on board USS constitution at the moment when the ship earned her nickname, “Old Ironsides,” and became a national symbol that endures today as one of Boston’s most famous attractions.
USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) defeated HMS Guerriere on August 19, 1812, and became a national symbol. Left: Life-sized photographs of actors in authentically reproduced costumes populate the exhibit and add a sense of realism to the visitor’s experience.
Fueled by research conducted at the National Archives, the exhibit brings the past to life using innovative interpretive techniques. Best of all, every aspect is informed by the hard-won experiences of the men and women who lived through the War of 1812. Because of her wartime exploits, the nation has preserved Constitution as a naval monument, a shrine to victories wrested from the mighty Royal Navy. While the ship’s status as a national symbol has ensured her survival, it has tended to obscure the people who made the ship’s victories possible. Thousands of individuals lived, worked, and fought on board her. The exhibit interprets Constitution from the inside out, giving voice for the first time to the ship’s company. By focusing on the people, including common seamen,
officers, and marines, the exhibit allows visitors to look beyond tactics and technology. The exhibit examines sailors’ motivations for enlisting and how they adjusted to life in the self-contained wooden world. It also offers a glimpse of life ashore, considering who and what the sailors left behind and the impact of separation and loss on seaside communities. As “All Hands on Deck” demonstrates, when sailors entered the highly regulated, interdependent shipboard community, they were forced to endure psychological and physical hardship for the sake of ship and country. Their shared experiences forged an emotional bond among shipmates and led them to regard their messmates as a surrogate family. For them, the ship was home. The exhibit’s final section shows how the crew’s participation in naval victories over Great Britain during the War of 1812 contributed to America’s emerging national identity. The story of Constitution and her crew is particularly timely as our country prepares for the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
All Hands on Deck
height. An extensive review of clothing receipts in Treasury accounts and Navy contract proposals at the National Archives told us exactly what Constitution’s men wore and allowed us to create a wardrobe of handsewn garments. responsible for recruiting. invites visitors into the waterfront building to serve their country and fight for “free trade and sailors’ rights. and sounds of the ship and sea. prisoner-of-war records. Skilled make-up artists gave the actors the ruddy cheeks and dirty hands of real weather-beaten tars. others looks of disbelief or disgust.” they experience the bustle of a busy Boston waterfront as provisions and livestock are hoisted aboard. Fall 2011 . Once on deck. they are “welcomed” on board by a musket-wielding marine sentry who warns them that they must do their duty or suffer the consequences. the recruiter asks. and scars or tattoos.Visitors Prepare to Go to Sea As Sailors on the Constitution When visitors enter “All Hands on Deck. “Have you ever swung in a hammock? Are you willing to sleep next to 200 of your closest friends who are badly in need of a bath?” The recruiter tallies the answers. and the recruit joins the crew. Using the physical descriptions of actual individuals from the time—age. with planking below. potential as a sailor. visitors take turns acting as recruiter and recruit. Handbills posted on the walls indicate that they are approaching a recruiting office for USS Constitution. visitors see an original broadside notifying citizens that “War is declared.” Lt. all gleaned from size rolls (physical descriptions and enlistment details of Marine privates and NCOs). The space mimics Constitution’s deck. For instance. Some questions elicit laughs. Here visitors first encounter life-sized photo cutouts of sailors and civilians. The recruiter asks the recruit a series of questions to gauge his or her Visitors can swing on a hammock like the ship’s sailors.” Inside. try the tough work of scrubbing the deck. and seaman protection certificates—we sought actors who had the right look and fit the sailors’ profiles. artifacts and text panels prompt visitors to think about what sailors needed to bring to sea with them and what it was like to bid farewell to loved ones. Next. Outside the “House of Rendezvous” (temporary recruiting office). These figures populate the exhibit and lend an unrivaled level of character and verisimilitude to the surroundings. Morgan. Charles W. eye and hair color. and work at furling a sail. the bulwarks of the ship on either side. rigging above.
And So Does Tough Discipline Back on deck. These eat and drink together. such as furling a sail. and wet living quarters of the crew. they can enter the “battle theater. they see a film showing sailors aloft taking in a sail at sea. black iron stove. . Visitors can climb into a hammock and swing side by side with their friends. ca. they work together to pull in a heavy sail. Activities that require teamwork for success. Visitors view an original 19thcentury cat-o’-nine-tails. and grog. The yard and sail are surrounded by images of sailors working aloft. But from the captain’s perspective. The camera moves with the vessel. Once the visitor-recruits feel confident that they have what it takes to conquer an enemy in battle. To convey different perspectives. a warship was useless. Seamen David C. the real work begins. so many families. Questions on the beams overhead ask them to think about the lack of personal space and some of the “sea miseries” experienced by sailors. highlight the physical skill and mental stamina required to sail a ship. giving the impression that one is swaying high above the deck. messes were “little communities of about eight. In the words of one contemporary sailor. soap. and faces of sailors illuminated in sequence with the story. visitors bond over salt pork. children can concoct a sailor’s stew and serve it to their friends. A video shows Constitution’s 21st-century crew demonstrating the steps required to load a gun that weighs nearly 7. 1812. and tobacco. ship’s biscuit. and a constant threat. . narration. Across the deck from the hammocks stands a low. The Effects of Battle on Crew: Glory and the Scars of War Without well-trained gun crews to aim and fire its many cannon. Discipline in some measure ameliorated shipboard disagreements. objects.” the low ceilings and minimal lighting simulate the dark.” The exhibit “All Hands on Deck” allows visitors to learn about the experiences and lives of the men who served on board USS Constitution. goes the old song. Visitors can haul on the lines of a replica 32-pound carronade and see if they are strong enough and fast enough to prepare it for firing. and are. and interpersonal conflict was a fact of life on a wooden warship. an 1820s journal delineates the station of each crewmember in the top and on the yards. Visitors are encouraged to try their hands at typical sailor tasks. As visitors approach the yard.Learning to Be the Newest Recruits On Board USS Constitution New recruits who need clothes can buy supplies from the purser and discover how quickly these purchases consume their wages. Nearby. A sailor’s life is full of strife. Once visitors step off the ground to balance on the footrope slung below the yard. Tough Work Awaits on Deck. as it were.000 pounds. They are given a reproduction holystone and told to get on their knees and scrub the deck. lack of control. Bun- All Hands on Deck Prologue 39 . Treasury accounts provided the historical prices charged for “slops”— ready-made clothing and other sundries like chocolate. Visitors can learn about the training and teamwork required to fire a cannon on Constitution. crowded.” This multimedia show combines historic images. this object is seen from the point of view of a sailor for whom it represented daily monotonous labor and the first lieutenant who felt pride in the glistening ship and saw the advantages of keeping hundreds of men busy each morning. Gathered “picnic-style” around a black painted cloth. . it was a necessary evil to control the crew’s bad behavior. In his own words. Using faux rations. a miniaturized version of a ship’s “camboose” copied from drawings and descriptions in the Board of Navy Commissioners correspondence. which to a sailor represented humiliation. “Below decks. stuffy.
I shall be in the zenith of my glory. you can imagine to yourself what my feelings to hear the horrid groans of the wounded and dying. . even as the surgeons work frantically to remove shattered limbs and staunch the bloody wounds. Young Midshipman Whipple expresses his excitement and a strong sense of patriotism before going into battle for the first time: “It appears to me at present that a man must be happy who sacrifices everything for his country . How Do We Know What We Know? Finding Answers at the Archives Who were the 1.171 men who served on Constitution between 1812 and 1815? How do we resurrect these fellows from the murky depths of history to which they’ve been consigned? Sailor Philip Brimblecom’s certificate of disability was one of the documents used to recreate his naval record. Brimblecom was granted a six-dollar-per-month pension. escaped. and no one knew on whose head it would fall. and served on board Constitution. an 1812 sailor. .” Whipple’s words return after the battle: “This being the first action I was ever in. Injured in a battle with HMS Java.” The battle presentation also explores how combatants’ attitudes toward their opponents changed after battle. He was captured and imprisoned by the British.nell. . “All Hands on Deck” concludes with the crew and ship returning home to a hero’s welcome.” sailors on opposing sides enjoy some moments of camaraderie. describes the tension before battle: “The word ‘silence’ was given— we stood in awful impatience. My pulse beat quick—all nature seemed wrapped in awful suspense—the dart of death hung as it were trembling by a single hair. . .” Other crewmembers share their own sentiments. No longer “boasting tyrants” or “faceless monsters. should I be so fortunate as to prove serviceable to my country. Here visitors learn what USS Constitution meant to her crew and to the country as a whole and discover the fate of the sailors profiled in the exhibit. .
he had to prove that he had in fact been in the service and that he had been disabled. he was eligible for a monthly stipend from the government (usually equal to half his pay). and related documents.org). the Springbird. Born in Marblehead. we now have good information on about 500. the Navy kept fairly cursory records about the crew. Some of the stories are harrowing and starkly illustrate the dangers of seafaring in the early Republic. In 1809. The ship’s muster rolls recorded a sailor’s name. The most illuminating source has been the Navy pension applications. there were other ways to track them down. Unemployed and All Hands on Deck Prologue 41 .USS Constitution’s muster roll for 1809–10 records the sailors’ names. Nearly 150 of Constitution’s seamen and officers applied for pensions. This means that all the files contain affidavits and declarations by all sorts of people. Luckily. No age. was the National Archives and Records Administration. and official Navy correspondence. including that of Capt. for a voyage to Spain. and death records. date of entry on board. especially those born in Great Britain. a French privateer captured the Springbird. he launched his career like many other young men in town. by going to sea in search of cod. he gave up the hook and line and shipped on board his uncle’s schooner. This approach presented a formidable research challenge. including the applicant sailor himself. marriage. Widows and minor orphans of seamen and officers were also eligible for government assistance. Paradoxically. in 1786. Most men served faithfully for two years and then faded from the record. and the research challenges become apparent. Museum staff mined the records of dozens of repositories across the country. no place of origin. former commanding officer of USS Constitution and author of A Most Fortunate Ship (for more of Martin’s Constitution research. date of entry and discharge. Marine Corps size rolls. But a long and often detailed paper trail followed those who suffered life-altering wounds or accidents. we can really begin to recreate what their lives were like. rank. Martin. The single most important. visit www. The Unlucky Life of a Sailor: The File on Philip Brimblecom One of the unfortunates was Philip Brimblecom.polkcounty. however. According to scholars who advised the exhibit in its planning stages. Among NARA’s many fantastic holdings we find Constitution’s logbooks. Of the nearly 1. the worse a sailor’s life. Isaac Hull. Unfortunately. pension records. and pay. At the core of “All Hands on Deck” lies a major research effort that began in 2001 and that built on 30 years of research by Tyrone G. court transcripts. might have been serving under false names. Add to this the fact that some. the more we know about him. no other maritime museum has attempted an in-depth look at the lives of ordinary seamen from a single ship. no physical description—nothing that could help us positively identify them in other records. and that’s about it. Here his life took a turn for the worse. and many applied for relief too. Off the coast of Spain. Massachusetts.200 who served. rank. To receive this payment. When we combine these sources with the usual birth. however. If a sailor received a wound or was otherwise disabled in the course of his duty. muster rolls (lists of crew). So that gives us a great body of information to work from.
Not willing to wait for a diplomatic resolution to his ordeal. and working sideby-side with their white counterparts. he made his escape in the spring of 1812 and boarded a ship bound for Newburyport. the ship wrecked on the Orkney Islands. tell tall tales. He was sent to England and imprisoned. and Americans should not have been held as prisoners of war. America was not yet at war with England. Mrs. the British captured Brimblecom again.with nowhere to go. Fall 2011 . Hannah. where he boarded an American brig. Hannah sent Brimblecom’s protection certificate and baptismal record to the American consulate in London to prove that her son was an American citizen. The ship had just returned victorious from an encounter with HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia. William Bainbridge. and fire a cannon. Brimblecom and his shipmates Left: An actor portrays an African American sailor. His next step made sense for one who must have seethed with a desire for vengeance. They took him to Newfoundland. By then. Continuing his string of bad luck. traveled from those bleak islands to Scotland. Four days out. Brimblecom shipped on a French merchantman bound for the Indian Ocean. Below: An online game and educational resource brings the teeming humanity of the ship to life for a virtual audience (www.” learning to perform their duties with speed and accuracy. Massachusetts. 1812. The consul responded that the English considered Brimblecom a prisoner of war because he had been captured while serving on a French privateer. Free black sailors were integrated into the enlisted shipboard community—sleeping. Users can scrub the deck. a British cruiser took the ship. whack rats in the hold. and Brimblecom found himself a prisoner of the Royal Navy. Brimblecom managed to send a letter to his mother. steer the ship. Brimblecom had experienced enough misfortune to last most men several lifetimes. Brimblecom had a friend request help from Secretary of State James Madison. he enlisted as an able seaman on board Constitution. In October 1810.org). and during the voyage across the Atlantic. where he was exchanged for a British prisoner in September 1812. Meanwhile.asailorslifeforme. Not pleased by this response. As Constitution sailed south during October and November. in which he described his ordeal. The ship’s luck did not rub off on Brimblecom. America had declared war on Britain. the British took Brimblecom from prison and forced him to serve on board HMS Marlin. the sailors frequently “exercised at the great guns. At the age of 26. had no trouble recruiting men to serve on the lucky vessel. eating. and her new captain. On September 25.
free black sailors were integrated into the enlisted shipboard community—sleeping. and Smyrna and finally came home to New York. Falconer. Debias left the service then and sailed in other merchant ships. Mississippi. Malta. an eight-year-old African American boy named David Debias joined Constitution’s crew. After a stint in a Barbados prison. the young sailor remained in constant pain. a local lawyer and state senator. Philip Brimblecom died of a fever on February 1. he returned to Boston. a British cannonball shattered his arm below the elbow. He complained. Naples. seafaring was one of only a few jobs that offered free African Americans not only a living wage. The Strange Case of David Debias: A Free Black Wanders into Slavery The records at the National Archives have also helped resolve at least one mystery. For some unexplained reason. in Marblehead. In Wayne County. Debias remained with his parents for some time and then shipped as a sailor on several merchant voyages. Algiers. Port Mahon. 1815. Alabama. A month after joining Constitution’s crew. With only one arm.” Brimblecom served as the first loader to gun number one on the gun deck. he was arrested as a runaway slave. According to the ship’s “quarter bill. if any. Brimblecom could not work as a seaman. “some of the rest that was wounded with me has had an addition to their pension money. Debias participated in its victory over two British ships. the frigate sailed for the Mediterranean. Twice he wrote to the Navy seeking employment and for an increase in his six-dollar monthly pension. eating. It was a dangerous position. Gibraltar. Surgeon Amos Evans amputated the limb. where the young man no doubt marveled at the wonders of the ancient world. . Sometime in 1838. Thomas P. In the midst of the action.” and since he had “no friends on earth. 1824. In 1821 he again shipped on board Constitution. but also a respectable career with equal pay. Genoa. and working side-by-side with their white counterparts. Leghorn. HMS Cyane and HMS Levant.USS Constitution under tow in Boston Harbor. In the early 19th century. By 1820 he was unable “to do anything for a living. He was only 37 years old. Historians estimate that during the War of 1812.” Brimblecom got a job at the Charlestown Navy Yard in 1816. on the night of February 20. In 1814. Debias left the ship and started walking north. Though racism was not absent aboard ships. After hearing Debias’s story and believing him the victim of a grave injustice. but his appearance may force upon All Hands on Deck Prologue 43 . Jacob Jones. which he and his mother relied on. . to his final request is unknown. and although the stump quickly healed. Commanded by Capt. I have not the least doubt of his freedom.” he asked the government to take his request “into consideration and look after a poor distressed crippled sailor” who “for 22 long months . as Brimblecom bent to load the gun. took up his cause. Falconer wrote to Secretary of the Navy Mahlon Dickerson “for evidence from the Navy Department in behalf of an individual who has been arrested here as a slave. when Constitution encountered HMS Java off Brazil in a hard-fought battle. the only work he had ever known. and at the Portsmouth Navy Yard the following year. The ship touched at Leghorn. his ship docked in Mobile.” The response. he was taken prisoner when the British recaptured the ship at Porto Praya in the Cape Verde Islands. Malaga. [has] never seen a well day. Transferred to the Levant with the prize crew. 7 percent to 15 percent of sailors were free men of color. Debias was born free on Belknap Street in Boston. and he did his duty there on December 29. 1812.
web site. the USS Constitution Museum is a private not-for-profit institution. Marine Corps. Boston Navy Agent Amos Binney’s purchasing receipts for Constitution come from the Accounts of the Fourth Auditor of the Treasury. the museum welcomes more than 300. page 403. To learn more about • The War of 1812 from National Archives records. archives. tell tall tales.000 annual visitors free of charge. The Impact of the Research On Study of the War of 1812 The research into the individuals who served on board Constitution allows the museum to breathe new life into the ship’s history. box 222 Subject Files 1775–1910. Captain Isaac Hull’s sword. Through the USS Constitution Museum’s exhibit. which record name.” For years. “All Hands on Deck” allows visitors to connect to the past in a personal way.S. are size rolls. The secretary’s reply is in Entry 6. RG 45. are on National Archives Microfilm Publication T1118.S. in fall 2010. previous occupation. • A British ship’s challenge to the USS Constellation to a duel between the frigates in 1815. P Note on Soures Constitution’s 1812 logbooks are microfilmed on Logbooks and Journals of the U. Reports. Constitution. Watkins is curator and Matthew Brenckle is research historian at the USS Constitution Museum. The ship’s muster rolls are microfilmed on Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900 (National Archives Microfilm Publication T829). go to www.” Open 7 days a week. and Discovery Kits are being made available to public libraries across the country for families to check out. RG 45. 4. Philip Brimblecom’s pension application is in War of 1812 Navy Invalid File #201. ‘history like this is fun. On April 17. Founded in 1972. rank. age 10.archives. RG 45. just separated by time. thanks to archivist Trevor Plante at the Archives. 3 and 4. 1794–1815. and click on “War of 1812. “I used to think history was boring. Record Group (RG) 217.him the onus probandi of freedom. date and length of enlistment. we wondered about the fate of David Debias.asailorslifeforme. Did Secretary Dickerson respond to this request? Was he freed or sold into slavery? Finally. birthplace and date. 1812. students and families will discover that history is about individuals like themselves. Still.” • Veterans service records in general. By telling the story of life on board USS Constitution through the sailors who experienced it. One teacher remarked: “It’s a wonderful way to make history come alive and become real to my fifth graders. 1798–1892. Thanks to the records available at the National Archives. the USS Constitution Museum launched an online game and educational resource that brings the teeming humanity of the ship to life for a virtual audience (www. vols. His mother’s correspondence with James Monroe and his protection certificate are in Letters Received by the Department of State Regarding Impressed Seamen. Vol. Secretary Dickerson forwarded to Falconer an “authoritative certificate by the 4th Auditor of the Treasury. and personally relevant. and remarks detailing service in the corps. 1801–1884 (National Archives Microfilm Publication M124). all the court records from the 1830s have been lost. height. General Records of the Department of State. and fire a cannon. 44 Prologue Fall 2011 .S. The Bainbridge Battle Bill is in Series 464. Muster Rolls of the U. officer who enlisted the marine. see www. The award-winning site allows users to experience the life of an 1812 sailor and scrub the deck.’” The exhibit’s humanistic viewpoint and participatory approach has demonstrated the potential to change how children view history—children like Kelly. complexion. RG 15. archives. 1798–1934 (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1030). 24. Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library. Because the Wayne County Court House burned down in the 19th century. Marine Corps. and Estimates for Supplies and Equipment. Hull commanded Constitution during its battle with the British frigate HMS Guerriere on August 19.gov/veterans. Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury. Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs. go to www. Miscellaneous Letters Sent (General Letter Books). The bicentennial of the War of 1812 provides a singular opportunity to engage all ages in conversation and discovery about USS Constitution and the War of 1812. In Records of the U. RG 59.gov/research/military. and library kit.” proving that David Debias had in fact served on Constitution. who reported. whack rats in the hold. 1838. Thomas Falconer’s 1838 letter to Mahlon Dickerson is in Letters Received by the Secretary of the Navy: Miscellaneous Letters.S. As one of my students said this year. steer the ship. students and families learn that history can be exciting. now I it!” To expand the reach of our research in advance of the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Clothing proposals sent to the Board of Navy Commissioners can be found in Proposals. we can hope that this significant piece of evidence was sufficient to free Debias. Author Sarah H. The site also includes curriculum material for teachers who want to teach about the War of 1812 and USS Constitution. He is a stranger in a strange land and from the rigidness of the law in the absence of testimony may be deprived of his liberty. hair and eye color. 362 days a year. because it’s about us. boxes 38 and 39. E-328. meaningful. RG 127. the mystery was solved. 1814–1833. Vol.org). serving as the memory and educational voice of “Old Ironsides.gov/publications/prologue/2007/spring/.
g o v .com/archives The N at i o n a l Arc h i ve s a r c h i v e s . Uncle Sam?” Prints and Gifts Available from the National Archives Exhibit gallery.pictopia.PICTURE THIS! “What’s Cooking.
S. By the end of the 1950s. however. capital of the defeated and divided Germany. talks between the United States and the Soviet Union broke down over the status of Berlin. Austria. would be divided. June 3. but it was agreed that it. and the Soviet Union— in control of a zone. 46 Prologue Fall 2011 . and the Soviets would allow the other allies access to it. the Soviets wanted the other allies out of Berlin. and tensions escalated over the next few years. At the end of World War II. embassy residence in Vienna. Right: President Kennedy meets with Chairman Khrushchev at the U. They refused. Berlin was in the Soviet sector. France. 1961. Great Britain. too.BERLIN CRISIS Some New Insights By Neil Carmichael and Brewer Thompson The 1961 F ifty years ago. with each ally—the United States. Germany was divided into occupation zones.
and Kennedy called 148. In early August 1961. and until Moscow and Washington mutually agreed to pull back. D.O. however. it looked as if the Cold War would become hot. had no intention of giving up their right of access to Berlin. 1961. the Soviets deployed 10 tanks on their side of Checkpoint Charlie. On October 27. on October 27. Throughout the summer of 1961. the Soviet-controlled East Germans began cutting off all avenues of escape to West Berlin—the 97 miles surrounding the city and the 27 miles that cut through the heart of the city. the access checkpoints became points of contention. 13526 A section of the Berlin Wall. The Soviets and East Germans moved in with a massive show of force. and U. All documents declassified in accordance with E.C. the story unfolded in dozens of reports. And the East Germans began to build a wall. a tangible symbol of what Winston Churchill had called the “iron curtain” dividing Sovietcontrolled Eastern Europe and Western Europe. and discussions on an Allied response against a backdrop of possible nuclear war. meetings. The Berlin Wall would stand for another 28 years before the people of East Germany would peacefully rise up and regain their freedom. The confrontation made headlines around the world.000 National Guardsmen and Reservists to active duty. Roughly 500 recently declassified documents will be published jointly by the National Archives and Records Administration’s National Declassification Center and the Central Intelligence Agency’s Historical Publications Office and distributed in conjunction with a conference on “A City Torn Apart: Building the Berlin Wall” at the National Archives in Washington. in Geneva in June 1961. John F. it was often a series of “barriers and obstructions” with watchtowers and checkpoints. he reiterated his desire for the western allies to leave West Berlin and proposed a peace treaty on Soviet terms.When Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev met the new U. 48 Prologue Fall 2011 . As the wall wove through the city. President.S.. The Western allies. and Soviet tanks stood a mere 100 yards apart from each other. 2011. Once the wall was up. Kennedy.S.
Record Group 59.” Memo of Conversation re: Berlin Contingency Planning and Related Matters. April 13. would respond “to the pressures which may arise. Kennan’s belief that the time might be right for an acceptable “deal” over Berlin.A Department of State memorandum of April 13. Policy Planning Council. Berlin Germany Group 1961. Below: An August 11 summary reports Ambassador George F. Record Group 59. Subject Files.S. 1954–1962. General Records of the Department of State. summarized a meeting with the President on contingency plans in the event of a blockade of Berlin. August 11. 1961.” Interview with Ambassadors Kennan and Thompson. Policy Planning Council. General Records of the Department of State. Subject Files. . 1961. as well as the United States.The President was concerned about “commitment and concerted action”—how the United Kingdom. France. might and sought “a way out. Kennan felt that the United States was misreading Khrushchev’s overbearing posture and believed the Soviet premier respected U. and West Germany. 1954–1962.
Historical Studies Division (February 1970).” United States Department of State. or in the air.A State Department analysis of the June 4 Kennedy-Khrushchev meeting reported on the Soviet premier’s hard stance. that his nation would defend any violation of the German Democratic Republic’s borders on land. January-June 1961 (Research Project 614-E). D. Washington. American Policy Concerning the Soviet Threats to Berlin November 1958–December 1962. Kennedy responded that “the USSR was presenting him with the alternative of accepting the Soviet Union’s action on Berlin or having to face confrontation.C. thus cutting access to West Berlin. 50 Prologue Fall 2011 . sea. Developments in the Early Phase of the Kennedy Administration and the Meeting with Khrushchev at Vienna. Part V. Crisis Over Berlin.
Country Director for Germany: Records Relating to Berlin and East German Affairs. Europe. 1961–1962. General Records of the Department of State.S. 1961. 11. General Records of the Department of State. and an order to shoot at escapees. Intelligence Reports. begun in August 1961. ISUM #13a. Right: A U. Bureau of European Affairs.1. planned to clear a 100-meter-wide strip along the East Berlin side of the wall. pg. . Army Intelligence Summary of early November 1961 reports the presence of two Soviet battalions of 122mm Howitzers near Berlin and that several one-story barracks were being constructed near August Bebel Platz. describes it as a system of “barriers and obstructions” not always parallel to the sector boundary and “most formidable in the densely populated central core of Berlin. 1957–1968. p.Above: A report on construction of the Berlin Wall. Record Group 59. 1954–1962. The Berlin Wall. Record Group 59. Records of United States Army. the use of borrowed passports at checkpoints. Berlin Brigade. Record Group 549.” East German officials. Executive Secretariat: Records Relating to the Berlin Crisis. Above right: A confidential report on information gathered from wouldbe refugees attempting to escape during the early months of the Berlin Wall notes the assistance of East German guards. Summary of Reports Given by Refugees During the Period September 28–October 5. Berlin Handbook. it noted. Lot 70D4.
BC Op Plan 3-7. and West German police patrol activities. 1954–1965. 52 Prologue Fall 2011 . Record Group 549.-Soviet Sector. Operations Planning Files. Berlin Brigade. Berlin Command Ops Plans 1961. Europe. a Berlin Command Op Plan for November 1961 recorded the plan to demolish any barriers and knock down the wall and any associated obstacles along the U. Records of United States Army.The document also recorded British.S. 1.With the threat of an East German shutdown of the last access point to East Berlin. French. pg.
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Army) in upstate New York to Danbury. carefully preserved (or not) by the soldier or his heirs. soldiers discharged from the Regular or volunteer armies usually received a certificate to document their formal separation from the Army.500 and captured Fort Erie. 1812. 1 The 35-year-old hatter from Danbury. including two caps. 1814. J .S. Madison’s War Leaving the army during Certificates of Discharge for the War of 1812 By John P.S. two blankets. detailed summary of Warring’s military service comes from an unlikely but obvious source: his military discharge certificate. an American force of about 4. &c. Connecticut. but the economic effects of the second war against Great Britain that erupted nine months earlier on June 18. and even dangerous occupation. 1813. Warring also returned home well supplied with the balance of his Army-issued clothing.3 Because they remained in private hands. eight shirts. with good leadership and preparation. New York.” Warring received the balance of his military pay dating from October 31. may have dampened demand for headgear produced by his smelly. 1815.000 men defeated British forces numbering about 2. 1813. and two stocks. In the 19th century. Although he enlisted for five years. as well as three months’ pay and subsistence to travel from his current post at Greenbush Cantonment (headquarters of the Northern Division of the U. July 5.2 Such a succinct. messy. two coats. The discharge certificate became the veteran’s personal property—the War Department generally did not retain file copies—and in time. two frocks. four vests. two pairs of boots.gENEALOgY NOTES Mr. “in consequence of his being afflicted with the Asthma. Deeben and Claire Prechtel-Kluskens ohn Warring enlisted in the Second U. was a bit older than most of his fellow recruits. four linen pantaloons. five pairs of shoes and stockings. Warring’s military career ended early when he received an honorable discharge on March 21. some 120 miles away. four pairs of socks. Light Dragoons at Hudson. an honored memento of their military service. discharge certificates are usually difficult to locate and are seldom Background: At the Battle of Chippewa on the Niagara front. on March 28. could be successful against British Regulars. The victory demonstrated that the Americans. two trousers.
An act of January 29. monthly payrolls were 6 to 12 months or more behind schedule. is a small series of extant discharge certificates and other records relating to more than 2.000 men. added 20 additional infantry regiments for one year’s service. including Indian wars. Madison’s War Prologue 55 . During the course of the war.available for public research. 1814). 1812.7 Leaving the Army During Mr.4 The War Department recruited each Regular Army infantry regiment from a particular state (or states). during the initial American invasion of Canada. the average soldier received from five dollars to eight dollars a month—less than the earnings of an unskilled laborer—and administrative inefficiency and slow communication often hindered regular payment. the Regular Army constituted the principal armed force of the United States.but the National Archives preserves a small series of extant Portraits of Army Soldiers discharge certificates and other records relating to more than At the National Archives and Records er recruits could enlist for the duration of 2. During the early years of the Republic. and Chippewa (July 5. Dunn. the Whiskey Rebellion. artillery. The majority of these records provide an otherwise unavailable source of information for service during the War of 1812. Congress offered initial enlistdischarge certificates are located in Record Group 94. 1813). volunteer regiments and federalized state militia also took part in the conflict.200 Regular Army soldiers from 1792 to 1815.S. who finally collected 17 months’ back pay when he left the Army in 1815— returned their discharge certificates to a War Department paymaster to collect the money. Other engagements included the Battle of the Thames (October 5. U. The pay system in the Regular Army never worked efficiently. Although the Regular Army did not become an effective fightwhich also includes records of various money accounts (requisiing force until the final year of the war. however. Gordon. 1813 (2 Stat. A Compilation of the Registers of the Army of the United States from 1815 to 1837 (Washington. By the end of 1814. They are part of the $124 and 320 acres. 1812. 1784–1815” (Entry 19). recruits typically signed service. An act of June 26. 1813). Jacob Brown defeated a British invasion of New York at the Battle of Sackett’s Harbor on May 28–29. detailed summaries of military ning of the war. the Regular Army consisted of about 10. and dragoons were recruited at large. 1780’s–1917. 794–797). but not all. One notable exception. while rifle. including the battles of Tallushatchee (November 3.200 Regular Army soldiers from 1792 to 1815. many soldiers—such as John Warring.700 men. series “Post Revolutionary War Papers. Regulars and militia under Brig. provide succinct. At the declaration of war with Great Britain on June 18. 1814)—the latter a decisive victory against British Regulars. Numbers and other handwritten calculations upon the face of the discharge records suggest that they were used in connection with the payment of arrearages. Regulars and New York mili- tia under Maj. later increased to 5 the Adjutant General’s Office. dragoons under Generals John Coffee and Andrew Jackson also participated in Creek Indian campaigns during the war. 1837). Talladega (November 9. John Warring of DC: James C. Gen. War of 1812 the conflict. At the begin. 1813). 1813. Ontario. the Regular Army comprised a relatively small fighting force supplemented by regiments of volunteers or state militia units during specific national emergencies. and receipts) relating to the payment of Regular in many major engagements.”6 In order to collect back pay upon being discharged.Connecticut. Chrysler’s Farm (November 11. 1813). on October 12. 1812 (2 Stat. Gen. U.The War Department generally did not retain file copies. Records of ment bounties of $31 and 160 acres of land. and other conflicts. it served with distinction tions. Administration (NARA). Stephen Van Rensselaer fought (and lost) the first major battle of the war at Queenston Heights. In addition to these troops. 49). of the men recruited for a particular regiment hailed from the state of recruitment. half of whom were new recruits. The Regular Army Grows After Congress established the War Department on August 7. A useful source to identify regimental recruiting districts includes William A. although lat. and Horseshoe Bend (March 27. Most. vouchers. 764) increased the size of the Regular Army to a total authorized strength of 36. 1789 (1 Stat. As the War of 1812 intensifies. Discharge Certificates Provide on for five years of service. Discharge certificates. such as this one for Pvt.S. even though by law Army pay was not supposed to be more than two months in arrears “unless the circumstances of the case should render it unavoidable.
Samuel Barnes.12 Certificates of Death Provide Detailed Descriptions of Deaths Certificates of death. usually provide a brief statement of the soldier’s date of death and the unit in which he served. 1792–1815 (6 rolls). 1815.S. amount of pay due. well performed his duty as a Soldier during the term he has served. the records in the series include descriptive lists. 56 Prologue Fall 2011 .13 Descriptive lists. at Philadelphia for the duration of the war) and the name of the recruiting officer (Ensign Eldridge). and forage. or battlefield wounds. When Stephen McCarrier (14th U. and term of enlistment. while others are in narrative paragraphs. and pay vouchers.C. likewise noted he “was wounded in both hands .. the officer’s certification indicates the information was “taken from the Company Book. physical description (5 feet 4 inches in height.” The descriptive list for McCarrier’s fellow company member. the company and regiment in which he served.”11 Some descriptive lists provide additional information about the soldier. the description noted he received an honorable discharge for “having in every instance. provisions. certificates of death. 1814. the amount and kinds of clothing provided to him. place. physical description. 1814. amount of bounty paid ($50) and amount due ($74). in chart form. sometime in the month of September 1813. The certificate of discharge unambiguously states that the soldier was released from service on a particular day and may indicate the reason for separation. as well as returns for clothing. place.S. such as age. and the period for which he was due pay upon discharge. amount of bounty paid. with dark eyes. Upper Canada” on October 19. such as that for William T. available at the National Archives Building in Washington. Second U.8 The discharge records have been reproduced as National Archives Microfilm Publication M1856. Other certificates sometimes identified the circumstances surrounding a soldier’s demise.S. although several civilians are mentioned. Artillery. 1814. place of birth (New York). such as injuries and character of service. . Infantry) left the Army on March 13. and pay and muster rolls. The descriptive list of William T.and volunteer soldiers and construction of military installations.”10 In addition to the discharge certificates. Discharge Certificates and Miscellaneous Records Relating to the Discharge of Soldiers from the Regular Army. while the discharge certificate for Thomas Webster (Corps of Artillery) documented the loss of a leg in November 1813 “by an accidental Musket shot” from a fellow artilleryman.S. It also typically includes the dates of the soldier’s enlistment and discharge. and type of clothing issued to the soldier. age. and date. D. the descriptive summary written by Lt. Smith. The discharge certificates relate solely to soldiers in the Regular Army primarily during 1812–1815. and fair complexion). Near. and most NARA regional archives. Both types sometimes indicate that the information was extracted from the company’s record book. whether from illness. The death certificate for William Peters of Towson’s Company. amount of pay due. L. accidental injuries. Infantry). enlistment papers. place of birth. and term of enlistment (November 30. 1814. . Such personal information was often included to deter improper usage in the event the discharge was lost or stolen from the veteran. provide detailed personal information. William G. Infantry) bluntly indicates the reason for detailing his physical description was “to prevent fraud. physical features.” The certificate was signed in Philadelphia by Hospital Surgeon’s Mate Edward Purcell as well as regimental Surgeon’s Mate L. The descriptive list provides a depiction of the soldier and may indicate the clothing and other supplies furnished him. and the number and type of clothing issued to him. Mills noted that McCarrier “had two fingers cut off his right hand while building hutts [sic] for the Regiment at Buffalo” on November 20.9 The discharge of Gabriel Caves (39th U. indicates his age (19 years). indicated he “was wounded at the battle of Stoney Creek [in] Upper Canada & died at Lewistown Hospital. both handwritten and in printed form. no militiamen or volunteers are included. date. The certificate for Henry Carman simply identified the deceased as a member of the Second U. Finally. in the action at Lyons Creek. and occupation. Smith (16th U. Despite the injury. occupation (not stated). McCarrier completed his service in exemplary fashion. The discharge may also provide his place of birth. Artillery who died at the general military hospital in Philadelphia on February 28. Some are in chart form.S. light hair.
Hutchins’s arms and accoutrements were returned to the regiment in good order.”18 When John Miller—a 35-year-old blacksmith from Bridgewater. who was 60. usually designated in their physical descriptions as “black.14 Pay vouchers—handwritten or printed receipts issued by regimental paymasters (or sometimes the paymaster of the military district)—usually indicate the amount of pay due and/or the period of time for which pay was due.” “negro.S. Infantry).” (Soldiers described as “dark” were likely darkskinned Caucasians).S. as well as an eight-dollar bounty. and seven members of the 26th U.S. Massachusetts—enlisted in Capt. the certificate resembled a typical discharge record. and William Smith. the main types of discharge papers. Seldon’s Roll. Infantry on May 17. John Peters. 1813. including Hosea Conner. Army Paymaster George Merchant at Albany. to May 18. A voucher for Pleasant Hazelwood. on April 23. Joseph Seldon’s Company. honestly and faithfully. or sometimes in place of. George B. Second Regiment of Light Dragoons. The certificate for William Hutchins (21st U. A small percentage of African Americans also served with the Regulars. such as Drury Hudson (20th U. the discharge records reveal a few generalities about the men who served in the Regular Army during the War of 1812. New York. 1812. Hutchins was also “entitled to fifty dollars retained bounty & 160 acres of land and to the additional allowance of three months pay. In addition to official certificates. Joseph Freeman. Samuel Morris. to the date of Carman’s death on February 28. issued by U. from the Twelfth day of March 1814. issued such a recommendation for Elisha Harrington. Edmund Gaines during the British siege of Fort Erie on August 15. to include [back pay from] the thirty first [day of] December 1812. John Cooper. for 18 months “unless sooner discharged by proper authority.S. Second U.” He had received a 50-dollar bounty. 1813 to February 28. Infantry).15 Collectively.” and also included an oath of allegiance to serve the United States “honestly and faithfully against their enemies” and to obey the orders of the President and “the officers appointed over me according to the rules and articles of war. 1812. who served the duration of the war from June 25. Light Dragoons. First U. at which day he died at Williamsville. 1814.80). occupation (farmer). The record sheds no light on how Coveart arranged the substitution). 1814. 1814. and general good conduct” while serving as an orderly to Brig. Miller subsequently reenlisted on January 9. providing a list of clothing issued and a physical description that included Hutchins’s age (20).S. Infantry) offers a detailed picture of his total financial compensation for military service. Rodolphus Simons (23rd U. Gen. he presented himself as a substitute for James Coveart.S. Since Carman “Served faithfully until his Death. Harris. From August 1. to the Twenty-fifth day of Febr[uar]y 1815.19 Some of the pay vouchers also include records relating to officers’ subsistence accounts. (Coveart had originally enlisted on January 9. Most were of typical military age (20s– 30s). Infantry. Simons received $175 ($25 a month) as well as two rations per day (for 212 days) at 20 cents per ration ($84. the date of his enlistment. Graves (14th U. and place of birth (Fryeburg.” A recommendation for a temporary furlough rather than discharge also appears for George Shippey (Light Dragoons). who enlisted on August 2.” or “mulatto.” A pay voucher for deceased artillerist Henry Carman acknowledged pay due from October 31. now in my Possession.S. including the procurement of substitutes. African Americans identified in the records include Richard Boyington (Fourth U. his term of service having expired on the 4th day of December 1813 he is entitled to an honorable discharge. Charles Matthias. but apparently decided not to finish his five-year term of service. 1814. 1815.S. From Octo- Leaving the Army During Mr. York. Massachusetts). Shippey earned the furlough for “uniform sobriety. on August 4. N. In addition to Army pay due for his full term of service. Infantry).S.16 Subsidiary Discharge Records Add even More Detail about Soldiers Other supporting records can also appear with. The endorsement stated that Harrington “has served for and during eighteen months.” In all other respects. who received three months’ leave to return home from April 1 to June 30. and “has received his pay as appears by Capt.S. 1814. One such account for 2nd Lt. and Solomon Stanton (25th U. Light Dragoons. A handwritten enlistment paper for Andrew McMillen showed he joined the 23rd U.S. Infantry). 1809.17 Records of enlistment.Printed death certificates often included more information regarding the soldier’s service. aged 54. and after his death. some separations from service are documented by a simple note from the commanding officer recommending a discharge. at Sackett’s Harbor. 1813. but a few were considerably older. Capt. 1813. 1815. stated that Hazelwood was a private in Capt. George Haig’s Company.” the voucher also authorized three months of extra pay (although it did not specify to whom the outstanding sums should be remitted on behalf of the deceased).S. Madison’s War Prologue 57 . Samuel D. New York. Infantry) noted he “served the U. are part of this record series for a few soldiers.
were “lawfully joined together in holy matrimony” on January 17. Pennsylvania. who joined the First Light Artillery on September 26.” Further justifying Thomas’s release from service. 1795. New Jersey. on April 14.28 in military pay ($8 a month) as well as one ration per day (for 138 days). 1810.. 1813 to February 18. “Minister of the Lutheran Congregation at Philadelphia. joined the 23rd U. 1813.21 A handwritten marriage certificate also accompanied the death notice for John Uber (15th U. at Thomastown. noting the “generally infirm and disabled” condition of her husband. the declarations generally attempted to furnish appropriate grounds for discharge. Jr. submitted one such record to military authorities on May 4. Simons also employed a “waiter” or personal servant. Adonijah Marvin of Otsego County. by Rev. Massachusetts. New York.S. who likewise received $36. for 18 months.” ber 3. Several sworn statements occur from parents of minor-aged soldiers who enlist- ed without consent. The final reimbursement to Simons totaled $323. solemnized by the Rev. Left: Andrew McMillen.” Mary Sharp of New York City likewise attested to the illegal enlistment of her son. for or during any part of the time therein charged. 1802. who served in the same unit. The death certificate for William Briggs (Ninth U. a member of Capt. Massachusetts (then a part of the District of Maine). Foye was “the Father & by law the legal representative” of Jacob Foye. Thomas Briggs. which he verified as “accurate and just. 1814. aged 29.23 General Records Provide look At American Army as a Whole Another affidavit verifying the paternal relationship of a deceased soldier came from the selectmen or town officials of Wiscasset in Lincoln County.Left: Pay vouchers issued by regimental paymasters (or sometimes the paymaster of the military district) usually indicate the amount of pay due and/or the period of time for which pay was due. Marvin.”20 For several soldiers who died during the war. John McIntosh’s Company. 1812. the deposition confirmed that Wiscasset resident John J.60). Submitted by William Nickels. Infantry on May 17. verifying that his son. Light Artillery. who was killed at the Battle of York on April 27. consent. In the deposition. Thomas Sharp. Friederich Schmidt.” The elder Marvin asserted his son was now “desirous of obtaining his discharge from his said enlistment. Infantry). Infantry) includes an affidavit from his father.68.” A similar certificate for deceased artillerist Henry Carman confirmed his marriage to Deborah Bowen of Cumberland County. Thomas verified that William was “begotten on the body of his wife Mary” in May. showing he and Elizabeth Wirth of Philadelphia County.S. John Merrill. also at 20 cents per ration ($27. enlisted in Capt. Many such documents record the enlistment of “substitutes. 1813 “without the knowledge. and Warren Rice. Eli- 58 Prologue . additional records document birth or marriage information. or approbation of this deponent. while “still a minor under the age of twenty one years.S. William B. as inscribed in his record of enlistment. William Sharp. Mary apparently cited personal hardship. or received Money in lieu thereof. Holmes Parvin.” Simons also certified that he had not “drawn rations in kind from the United States. 1813. J.22 Some affidavits establish familial relationships while addressing legal issues relating to service.
27 Related Military Records Accessible in other Record Groups at nARA Other records are available at the National Archives to research military service in the Regular Army during the War of 1812. Curtis after the war. additional pay and bounty due. 1815. for example. deafness. Donophy[’s] U. 1813. 1813. the deponents most likely rendered the affidavit in order to facilitate the disbursement of the deceased soldier’s remaining military pay ($39. and the pay rate per day. and 160 acres of bounty land to his appropriate legal heir. The account for 2nd Lt.S. the lists identify various reasons why these soldiers proved unfit to serve.10 for 30 rations (1 ration per day at 17 cents per ration). He also received $5. Vermont. and lists of sick men at Greenbush Cantonment. Specific travel allowances calculated the distance to return home. After William Towson was discharged on June 12.S. dates of service. concern soldiers who failed to pass muster or inspection. Infantry show the names. and “lameness occasioned by habitual intoxication. for a total allowance of $75. to specific ailments including swollen legs. the Registers of Enlistments in the U. on September 30.S. jah Hall’s Company. Paymaster General Brem readily approved the extra pay on October 23. A number of affidavits relating to the Battle of Lake Champlain.”26 Other assorted lists include men discharged from Governor’s Island. ruptures. absent. place of residence. Infantry discharged at Fort Columbus.25 Several lists of dead. or discharged men from the 16th U. Rodolphus Simons for the period August 1813–February 1814 reveals that he received $25 per month and two rations per day at 20 cents per ration and employed a “waiter. term of service. Writing on behalf of 36 former soldiers of the 15th U.” Curtis requested “payment of three months extra pay. Disqualifications ranged from natural infirmities such as old age. Prologue 59 . Infantry who “acted as marines on board of Commodore W. the rate or miles of travel per day. blindness. In addition to name.S. and dates of enlistment and discharge. 45th U. and the General Military Hospital. 1812. February 14. The payrolls identify soldiers by name.S. and the total amount of subsistence allowed for the soldier to return home. recruits of the Sixth U. The lists also indicated the number of rations issued.20) and additional bounty ($18. identify various Regular Army soldiers who served with the American fleet. date and place of discharge. Fleet in the action of the 11th September 1814. April 26. he received six dollars to journey 600 miles from Buffalo to Baltimore (20 miles per day for 30 days at 20 cents per day). and idiocy.Right: Pay vouchers provide invaluable information about military pay and rations. and balances in pay for deceased soldiers who served during the early part of the war. and commencement of financial settlement.S. August 10. “incurrable siphilis. 1814. regiment. Most of the affidavits concern extra pay due for naval service. 1816. the cost of rations per day. 1813. Other lists of men discharged at Fort Mifflin and Province Island Barracks between May 20 and December 31. the number of days traveled. 1814. Also asserting Jacob Foye “was a minor and unmarried” at the time of his death. A few general payroll lists for discharged men provide additional information not mentioned in the individual pay vouchers and subsistence accounts.” also paid by the Army. 1814).73). In RG 94.24 Records of a more general nature also document information about multiple soldiers. who “lately died a soldier in the service of the United States” (he succumbed to a fever at Burlington.” epilepsy. rank.” the money being due in accordance with a postwar resolution of Congress allowing such compensation for soldiers who served in other military branches. such as the account submitted to Paymaster General Robert Brem by attorney Charles P. New York. Infantry.30.00). along with back pay ($46. unit (company and regiment). retained bounty ($74). rheumatism. from July 11 to December 9.
and 1855 are indexed in National Archives Microfilm Publication M313. 1850.31 In addition. Some applications were made by the veteran’s widow.gov/research/military/war-of-1812/1812discharge-certificates/discharge-certificates. War of 1812 Military Bounty Land Warrants. Arranged into several files. these files nonetheless provide evidence of the final disposition of the warrants. archives. Orderly books (containing handwritten transcriptions of orders issued and received) and company books are available for most units. the proof of marriage or parentage was required. and also personal data including age. and those issued under the acts of Congress of 1812. War of 1812. The registers are arranged by year. Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The company books usually contained descriptive inventories of enlisted men. Congress first authorized pensions for A handwritten marriage certificate accompanied the death notice for John Uber (15th U. provide the principal source of information. and statements relating to specific infirmities. and regimental assignment. physical description. The registers from 1798 to 1815 identify the name of the enlistee. the date he enlisted. • War of 1812 Discharge Certificates. but the majority of the papers relate to post– War of 1812 service. Researchers should request a search of the bounty land warrant application files even if an entry for the soldier is not found in either M848 or M313. 1894. 60 Prologue Fall 2011 .html. the enlistment papers generally show the name of the soldier. discharge.S. Infantry).S. Regular Army officers. The registers sometimes include notes about state militia officers. They also include the date and place of discharge and other notations such as where the soldier’s unit was stationed. Infantry. death and wounds. recruiting officer. The earlier file covers 1798 to July 14. 1813. place and date of enlistment.gov/publications/prologue/1991/winter/warof-1812. showing he and Elizabeth Wirth of Philadelphia County.S. 1798–1914 (National Archives Microfilm Publication M233). who was killed at the Battle of York on April 27. and finally the warrant number. including the First through Third Artillery (1812–1814).S. and U. then by first letter of the given name. issued by Army surgeons recommending discharges for invalid soldiers. One unit.28 Enlistment papers for 1798 to October 31. rank. his age.archives. inspection returns. regimental assignment. Some regiments maintained additional records such as morning reports. the First through 46th U. and are usually arranged by the year of the act of Congress that authorized the warrant. parent. deaths. the Regiment of Light Dragoons (1812–1815). man Regiments. go to www. were “lawfully joined together in holy matrimony” on January 17. While many veterans or their heirs sold the warrants to unrelated third parties. and desertion. including one for the War of 1812. letters sent and received by headquarters. Some bounty land warrants were issued at the time of the war. archives. Military Academy cadets. go to www. and rosters of men separated from service by transfer. place of birth. These records document the surrender of the bounty land warrant for a patent for federal land in the public domain. and the First and Third Rifle- To learn more about • Military Resources. occupation. age. and the name of the recruiting officer. accounts of clothing issued to troops.Army. and 1842 are indexed in National Archives Microfilm Publication M848. and others issued under the acts of 1812. or occasionally. 1912 (Entry 91) consist of two files of recruitment records for individual soldiers in the Regular Army. and then roughly chronological by date of enlistment. and in these cases.gov/research/military/war-of-1812/. a personal description. place of birth. Records of United States Army Commands. the Corps of Artillery (1814–1821). minor children. 1802. Arranged alphabetically by surname. 1784–1821. The veteran’s application provides evidence of his military service to prove his eligibility for a warrant. Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files (102 rolls). contain much of the same information. go to www. and desertions (1811–1814). military unit. Records of the Bureau of Land Management. and these are arranged alphabetically by name. and muster rolls. such as name. there are many bounty land warrant application files based on War of 1812 service in Record Group 15.html. lists of officers. and enlistment information. the certificates of disability are otherwise unorganized and difficult to use. a physical description. monthly returns. the Second U. with enlistment entries cataloged roughly alphabetically by the first letter of the soldier’s surname. 1814. 1815–1858 (14 rolls).29 Regimental records for Regular Army units that served during the War of 1812 are located in Record Group 98.30 Surrendered bounty land warrant files are in Record Group 49. Pennsylvania. • Genealogical Records of the War of 1812 (Prologue article). then by the number of acres. Certificates of disability (Entry 95). Infantry. also kept a ledger of discharges.
roll 4). 2 Discharge certificate for Pvt. p. March 28. roll 6). November 16. pp. 1815 (M1856. p.S. 15th U. and Henry Carman. 2nd U. D. Discharge Certificates and Miscellaneous Records (M1856. Light Dragoons. pp. Infantry.A. enhancing the value of the discharges and related records as useful tools to document the lives of a select group of soldiers from the War of 1812.S. 1.S. 1815 (M1856. they had generally evolved into conventional light cavalry. 23 Affidavits of Adonijah Marvin. 1784–1821 (Washington. See also Claire Prechtel-Kluskens. National Archives Building. Preliminary Inventory of the Records of United States Army Commands. DC: National Archives and Records Service.S.C. p. and furlough for George Shippey. and these pension files are also in Record Group 15. and M. 1814 (M1856. q q q q Although the War Department normally did not retain certificates of discharge—either for the Regular Army or the volunteer services—the availability of such records for a portion of U. in Ibid. Research in the Land Entry Files of the General Land Office (Record Group 49) (Washington. 1. Preliminary Inventory NM64.” NGS NewsMagazine 31:3 (July–September 2005): 29. 1815. 1814 (M1856. 17 Recommendation for discharge. Providing a lit- any of personal information as well as a record of enlistment. 1815. 18 Authors John P Deeben is a genealogy archives specialist in . Claire Prechtel-Kluskens is a projects archivist in the Research Support Branch of the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington. and Lists of Men Discharged at Fort Mifflin and Province Island Barracks. 1813. Descriptive Pamphlet M1856 (Washington. p. March 2. roll 1). January 9. Corps of Light Dragoons. Smith.S. NAB. 21st U.S. She specializes in records of high genealogical value and writes and lectures frequently. Discharge Certificates and Miscellaneous Records Relating to the Discharge of Soldiers from the Regular Army. 12 Descriptive lists for Stephen McCarrier and Samuel Barnes. the discharge certificates offer a concise glimpse into a soldier’s wartime service. General Information Leaflet Number 67. Discharge Certificates. and William Peters. 29 Pendell and Bethel.. April 1. 23. 8 Lucille H. 1814. roll 2). Artillery. comps. 1814 (M1856. 2nd U. 9th U. June 23. 3. 9 Prechtel-Kluskens. 30 Maizie Johnson and Sarah Powell. 1949). and reasons why service terminated. Pendell and Elizabeth Bethel. RG 94. “War of 1812 Discharge Certificates. and John Uber. Leaving the Army During Mr. roll 2). Discharge Certificates and Miscellaneous Records Relating to the Discharge of Soldiers from the Regular Army. 28 Prechtel-Kluskens. 13 Certificates of death for Henry Carman. 9th U. 2. October . also available online at Archives. 2nd Regiment Light Dragoons.S. RG 94. April 23. 5 Ibid. Preliminary Inventory 17. 1997). 1816. Artillery. Madison’s War Prologue 61 . 3 Claire Prechtel-Kluskens. 6).S. Discharge certificate for Thomas Webster. In a few fortunate instances. 1792– 1815. Infantry (M1856. 15 Pay vouchers for Pleasant Hazelwood.S. 45th U. Records of the Adjutant General’s Office. 2nd U. degrees in history from Gettysburg College and the Pennsylvania State University. 1814 (M1856. Army veterans from the War of 1812 adds much substance to the details of their service. 22–55. Infantry.S. 1813. Discharge Certificates and Miscellaneous Records (M1856. July 9. 19 Substitute certificate for John Miller. DC (NAB). 28–29. 23rd Infantry. financial compensation for military service.A. March 14. Discharge Certificates. 2003). Light Dragoons. roll 5). pp. 1813 (M1856. Discharge Certificates. ibid. Rodolphus Simons. 16 Prechtel-Kluskens. roll 5). Discharge Certificates and Miscellaneous Records (M1856. William Briggs. 27 Payrolls of Discharge Men. the Research Support Branch of the National Archives and Records Administration. 4 Prechtel-Kluskens. DC: National Archives and Records Administration. RG 94.War of 1812 veterans in 1871. and Mary Sharp. 16th U. Light Dragoons. Infantry. Preliminary Inventory 17. p. Corps of Artillery. Artillery. Infantry (M1856.S.S. Infantry. The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict (Urbana: University of Illinois Press. p.. NAB. see Kenneth Hawkins. 76–77. Washington. 1814 (M1856.C. riding on horseback for offensive maneuvers and standing on foot for defense. DC: National Archives and Records Service. 2nd U. 20 Subsistence account for 2nd Lt. roll 2). ibid. D. Artillery. roll 1). December 21.S.S. 7–8. 5. 1792–1815 (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1856. however. 1 Enlistment paper for Andrew McMillen. 11 Descriptive list for William T.S. Affidavits Relating to Service on Lake Champlain.S. 14th U. Capt. 31 For more information. He earned B. roll 6). P Note on Soures Dragoons originally served as mounted infantry. 2nd U. 14 Certificate of death for William Hutchins. but their principal weapons still included a carbine (short-barreled musket) as well as a sabre. 1989). Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Adjutant General’s Office (Washington. pp. DC: National Institute on Genealogical Research Alumni Association and National Archives and Records Administration. roll 5). 22 Marriage certificates for Henry Carman. Infantry. May 17. and to their widows in 1878. 1780’s–1917. extra or unexpected details—including birth and marriage information and parental relationships—occur in these records as well. rolls 5–6). By the 18th century. regarding the nativity of his son. 26 Lists of Dead and Absent Men. 1812 (M1856. roll 6). 10 Discharge certificate for Gabriel Caves. NAB. May 4. 6 Ibid. John B. roll 5). 11. 1st U. John Warring. Record Group 94 (RG 94). March 21. Infantry. roll 2). Infantry. November 3. Hickey.gov. Donald R. 25 Paymaster General Robert Brem to Charles P Curtis. 7 Prechtel-Kluskens. Elisha Harrington. rolls 2. 1813 (M1856. Discharge Certificates. Discharge Certificates. 21 Affidavit of Thomas Briggs. Washington. 39th U. 23rd U. Long’s Co. 1966). 24 Affidavit verifying the minority of Jacob Foye.
Were you familiar with these records before you started research for this book? or was this your first experience at the national Archives? This was my first experience at the Archives. It really is a classic American success story. and eventually took on Wall Street in one of the most successful congressional investigations ever conducted. securities fraud. Charles E. Pecora tried not to get lost in the arcane details. you thank Richard McCulley and William H. One of his aides said that the staff “looked with astonishment at this man who. and class action litigation. Pecora was far from infallible. There are. The subject is unimportant. the officers of National City Bank were grilled by Pecora. I decided I should read it. through the intricate mazes of banking syndicates. with a phenomenal memory. national Archives staff who helped you with your requests for records from the Senate Banking and Currency Committee hearings.michaelperino. I knew that Pecora had given his oral history in the early 1960s as part of the Columbia University oral history project. Pecora had such an incredible life story—he immigrated to the United States from Sicily in the late 1800s when he was five years old. He has testified in both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives and has written extensively on regulation. he was flat-out wrong. Thirty-eight states had closed their banks. But given the quick pace of the investigation. in a field new to him. I don’t think his few missteps mattered very much. You are a professor of law at St. His ignorance about the finer details of Wall Street practice occasionally led him astray. but it tangentially involved the Pecora hearings. became a prominent New York prosecutor. I believe. I was completely hooked. How do you think Pecora fared in terms of understanding the complicated issues of securities? Pecora didn’t know much about Wall Street. and although I didn’t think it was going to be terribly relevant to my book. Over the next four decades.” Of course.AUTHORS ON THE RECORD the hellhound of wall street by hilary parkinson In 1933. who investigated the causes of the 1929 crash in his role as chief counsel for the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency. I still feel that I only scratched the surface of what is available in these records. And 10 days later. John’s University whose area of expertise is in securities regulation and securities fraud. market deals. The country’s financial system teetered on the verge of collapse. and one in four families had lost their life savings. and it would begin with Ferdinand Pecora. Davis. His website is www. the name Ferdinand Pecora is unknown to most Americans. never forgot a name. He grew up in a basement tenement on the west side of Manhattan and quit school when he was just 15 when his father was injured in an industrial accident. He had spent a dozen years as a prosecutor in New York. and Richard and Bill were enormously helpful. and he knew that the way to win over a jury was not to dwell 62 Prologue Fall 2011 . it’s actually surprising how accurate he was. Michael Perino is the Dean George W. John’s University School of Law in New York. chicanery of all sorts. I felt compelled to tell the world about this unsung legal hero. A few times. It is a treasure trove for anyone interested in the inner workings of the financial industry during the 1920s and 1930s. over 170 boxes of documents at the National Archives from the investigation. Michael Perino Although he was responsible for sweeping reform in the United States banking system. which made his performance in the hearings all the more remarkable. never made an error in a figure. went to night law school. Reform was needed. By page 10. Mitchell—chairman of that bank and former adviser to three Presidents—resigned in disgrace. Ferdinand Pecora was an excellent lawyer. Pecora supported his family. Although I spent many days there. but not a Wall Street expert. He was a quick study. in your acknowledgements. the United States was gripped by the Great Depression. and never lost his temper. In the end. Matheson Professor of Law at St. Ultimately. He is also a former Wall Street litigator. What made you decide to tell his story? I actually set out to write an entirely different book.com. For 10 days. the results of the investigation would lead to stronger federal oversight on the activities of banks and the stock market.
The investigation had started the previous March and had largely been ineffective. however. and I think he knew that presenting endless testimony about the ins and outs of Wall Street would be counter-productive. The first federal securities laws. Roosevelt understood that maxim perhaps better than anyone else. Pecora was a gifted courtroom lawyer. and I did research in a number of other archival collections as well. it looks increasingly likely that we have missed our opportunity for meaningful reform. Mitchell. That was how he created the clamor for reform. His jury was the American public. It all hit close to home for Roosevelt because he had a long personal banking relationship with City Bank. is why these efforts did not have the same success. his then chief of staff. Rahm Emanuel. As the 2008 financial crisis slips farther and farther into the past. The hearings take place at the very end of the Hoover administration. Roosevelt remains a background figure until his inauguration. Congress created the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the causes of the financial crisis. days before the inauguration of Roosevelt. Over the course of just 10 days. and he certainly deserves the lion’s share of the credit. It was the Washington equivalent of the perfect storm—the precise combination of crisis and scandal necessary to pass major reform legislation. When Roosevelt took office in March 1933. there was not a single federal law that regulated how Wall Street operated. the chairman of the National City Bank of New York (today’s Citigroup). It sold worthless bonds to investors without fully disclosing the risks. federal deposit insurance (a reform Roosevelt initially opposed).on the minutiae. Roosevelt’s motivation to capitalize on the crisis is well known. manipulated its stock price and the stock prices of other companies. Senator Carl Levin held hearings in the spring of 2010 on Goldman Sachs and released a scathing report on the investigation earlier this year. are ephemeral. His focus seems to be on creating an inaugural speech that will motivate and comfort Americans while addressing the financial disaster. He decided to put the leader of the largest bank in the country on the stand in Washington at the peak of the banking crisis of 1933. and the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission all flow from the abuses Pecora uncovered. The more relevant question. My book focuses on the few weeks after Pecora’s appointment as committee counsel in the winter of 1933. I think. Pecora was the master of the telling anecdote—he was able to spin compelling narratives out of the most confusing welter of complex details. Pecora showed that the bank and its securities trading arm had engaged in all sorts of unsavory behavior. The outgoing and incoming Presidents were in contact with each other. There was one Roosevelt quote that really stood out for me. Did your time at the Roosevelt library shed any new light on Roosevelt’s motivations? When President Obama took office in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. he had to tell them a story that was easy to understand. Charles E. although that independent commission was more closely modeled on the 9/11 Commission than the Pecora investigation.” Anyone reading this book can’t help but wonder why history seems to be repeating itself recently when it comes to banks and investment firms. But Pecora turned it all around when he subpoenaed one of the leading bankers of the day. Were you able to explore the archives at both Presidential libraries? I spent a good deal of time at the Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park. The wrongdoing Pecora uncovered and the desperate condition of the country gave Roosevelt the political climate he needed to change that. After researching and writing this book. His genius was his ability to convert complex economic problems into simple morality plays. Although the banks were in their death throes during the 10 days of hearings. What surprised me was Roosevelt’s close personal connection to the scandal. and lavishly compensated its executives as the country plunged into depression. Those political moments. Authors on the Record Prologue 63 . but fortunately I was able to rely on previously compiled primary documents from the Hoover administration and the rich body of secondary material that has been written about the interregnum. If he really wanted public support for reform. said that politicians should never let a good crisis go to waste. Roosevelt told a visitor from another Wall Street firm: “My gosh. Shortly after he took office. do you think the Senate will be looking for another Hellhound? I think there have already been some attempts to recreate the success of the Pecora hearings. I did not make it out to the Hoover Library. I feel Charlie took my money. But he was also the beneficiary of impeccable timing.
National Archives at Chicago. October 19. Austin Museum Day with live music by The Eggmen. Wheaton. MISSOURI October 8.archives. October 30. Continuing exhibition: “What’s Cooking. November 16. Johnson Library.” National Archives at Chicago. Carter Library. For up-to-date event information. 404865-7100. Ford Presidential Museum. Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Gerald R. 734-205-0555. 773-948-9001. the Federal Courts in Chicago. Continuing exhibit: “James B. Continuing exhibit: “Our Plain Duty”: FDR and America’s Social Security. Exhibit: “Slavery and Freedom in Black and White: The African American Experience in 19th-Century Newspapers. October 18. Through November 30.” Call to register. September 25. Carter Library. Teacher workshop: “Over There. 773-948-9001. gEORgIA Through October 15. October 25. Carter Library. INDEpENDENCE. 1872–1991. 404-865-7100. Forum: “50th Anniversary of the Missile Gap. 202-357-5000. ANN ARbOR. 512-7210200. 512721-0200. November 10. and the Expansion of Citizenship. National Archives at Chicago.” Bush Library. Eisenhower’s Civil Rights Legacy. Author lecture: Tom Brokaw. The White House Years. September 26. November 3. October 6. Author lecture: Peter Eichstaedt. 404-865-7100. Destiny of the Republic. The free Calendar is available from National Archives and Records Administration. 404-865-7100. 845486-7745. Continuing exhibit: “Gerald Ford in Mao’s China. Roosevelt Library. 404-865-7100. Carter Library. 404-865-7100. September 24. or on the web at www.” Call to register. Lecture: James Baker. Exhibit: “Quilts of Valor. Forum: “Hemingway’s Boat. 979-691-4000.” National Archives at Chicago. KANSAS Continuing exhibit: “Eisenhower: Agent of Change. 512-7210200. Author lecture: Twesigye Kaguri. NEW YORK ATLANTA.” Ford Museum. Eisenhower.” Johnson Library. 773-948-9001. National Issues Forum: “A Nation of Debtors. 773-948-9001. Carter Library. 404-865-7100. Author lecture: Candice Millard. October 1–2. 785-263-6700. MASSACHUSETTS Opening September 2011. Veterans Day Program: Eisenhower Library. Exhibit: “In Her Voice: Jacqueline Kennedy on the White House Years. Jr. 800-833-1225. Continuing exhibit: “America: 1908–1973. gRAND RApIDS. 770-968-2100. A School For My Village. November 12. 866-JFK-1960. Forum: “A Conversation with Stephen King. Explore the World War I Home Front.” Ford Library. NW. Calendar of Events (SC. Talkin’ Truman: Screen Gems. The Time of Our Lives. Author lecture: Simon Winchester.” Ford Library. Civil War Symposium: “1861: The War Begins. Lecture: Bill Keller. 616-254-0400. 845486-7745. My Song: A Memoir. bOSTON. Over Here. 785-263-6700.” Eisenhower Library. 700 Pennsylvania Avenue. MICHIgAN Continuing exhibit: “The Remarkable Life and Times of Gerald and Betty Ford. Johnson Library. Forum.” Ford Museum. Carter Library. Eisenhower Library. Washington. AbILENE. Atlantic. 866-JFK-1960. 512-721-0200. Author lecture: Jim Newton. Exhibit: “ArtPrize 2011. Continuing exhibit: “Family Feud: How the Nike and BOMARC Missile Debate Changed Military Relationships. ILLINOIS Continuing exhibit: “Becoming American: Immigrants.” Kennedy Library. September 25. IL. Truman Library.” Kennedy Library.” Kennedy Library. Ford Museum. Author lecture: Harry Belafonte. 785-263-6700.” National Archives at Atlanta. with William Coleman and Thurgood Marshall. 785-263-6700. Pilar. October 17. CHICAgO. October 23. “Left to Right. Room G-1). DC 20408. Uncle Sam?” National Archives Building. 785-263-6700. Forum: “FDR’s Inner Circle: Domestic Affairs.C. November 17. 616254-0400. 616-254-0400. 785-263-6700. Permanent exhibit: “The Public Vaults.” National Archives at Chicago. D. 734-205-0555. 512-721-0200. 866-JFK-1960. 773948-9001. 845-486-7745. Eisenhower Library. MICHIgAN Continuing exhibit: “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World. October 12.” Call to register. Parsons: More Than a Judge. consult NARA’s Calendar of Events. October 18. September 21–October 9. 866-JFK-1960. Carter Library. 50-Year Retrospective. 202-357-5000. former editor of the New York Times. Author lecture: Jeff Frieden.gov/calendar. Roosevelt Library.” National Archives Building. Lost Decades: The Making of America’s Debt Crisis and the Long Recovery.” Eisenhower Library. TExAS Continuing exhibit: “Left to Right: Radical Movements of the 1960s.” Eisenhower Library.” Johnson Library. Lecture: Harry Middleton on Mikhail Gorbachev. Johnson Library. 64 Prologue Fall 2011 . COLLEgE STATION. November 11. November 9. HYDE pARK. “FDR’s Inner Circle: Foreign Affairs.” Kennedy Library. AUSTIN. TExAS Continuing exhibit: “Headed to the White House. November 7.EVENTS WASHINgTON.” an exhibit at the Johnson Library.” Cantigny First Division Museum. Consuming the Congo: War and Conflict Minerals in the World’s Deadliest Place. Roosevelt Library.
WASHINgTON October 14.” National Archives at Atlanta. Call 866-840-1752 for more information. fORT WORTH.” National Archives at Fort Worth. October 13. 206-336-5115. MISSOURI Continuing exhibit: “Picture This!” National Archives at Kansas City. 7.” Bring your questions.education@ nara. 800-410-8354.” Reagan Library. “First Friday. Opening October 21. 319-643-5301. WEST bRANCH. “Fundamentals of Genealogy. Through October 22: Exhibit: “Lee and Grant. October 9. September 27. National Archives at Philadelphia.archives. “Genealogical Research in Military Records. “Home School History–Documents of Early Federal America. YORbA LINDA.” Open House at One Bowling Green. 510-374-4242. Hoover Library.” with Christopher Stowe. 770-968-2100. gov/research/genealogy/events/.” Hoover Library. For up-to-date information. CALIfORNIA Ongoing exhibit: “The Pentagon Papers: Declassified.” Nixon Library. To make reservations. pENNSYLVANIA Continuing exhibit: “Libra Curio. “Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors. “Start Your Engines: American Race Cars at the Reagan Library.” National Archives at Atlanta. National Archives at Seattle. pENNSYLVANIA October 12.” at the Kansas City Archives. consult the monthly Calendar of Events and www. Author lecture: Delia Ray Howard. Events Prologue 65 . Family History Game show at Ellis Island. 714-983-9120. November 10. November 12. Grant. To make reservations.” National Archives at Atlanta. SEATTLE. 319-643-5301. Naturalization Ceremony. Through October 30. November 4. “Brick Wall” Genealogical Discussion Group. 866-8401752. Continuing exhibit: “New York: An American Capital” at the Federal Hall National Memorial. SEATTLE. contact ftworth. October 10. 215-6060100.gov. 319-643-5301.” National Archives at Philadelphia. Genealogy workshops are conducted throughout the year. October 19. 800833-1225.” National Archives at Fort Worth. 215-606-0112.” National Archives at Kansas City.” Truman Library. Workshop: “Getting to the Source– Primary Sources for Education. 770-9682100. ARKANSAS Opening October 1. “Exploring Records of the Custom House. October 8. Exhibit: “A Fairy Tale Christmas. 800-833-1225. ATLANTA. National Archives at New York City. 866-8401752. National Archives at Kansas City.pHILADELpHIA. 816-268-8000. Hoover Library. National Archives at New York City. contact ftworth.education@nara. LITTLE ROCK. 319-643-5301. Exhibit. NEW YORK. Tours (Archives Month). National Archives at Seattle. November 15. NEW YORK October 11. 800-410-8354. 770-968-2100. “Maximizing Your Census Research. “Forever Free–Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation. Exhibit: “The President’s Photographer. KANSAS CITY. 816-268-8000. October 4. Author lecture: Wendy McClure. in partnership with Kansas City Public Television. Opening November 19. “Lee and Grant. Hoover Library. 206-336-5115. “Webinar on Native American Genealogy. 206-336-5115.C. Genealogy Fair. TExAS October. November 4.” National Archives at Atlanta. National Archives at New York City. November 11. IOWA September 23. Continuing exhibit. 816-268-8000. NEW YORK. MISSOURI October 15. “Native American Research Online: 1896 Applications & Dawes Rolls. gEORgIA September 24. “Afro-American History Genealogy. pHILADELpHIA.” Fiske Genealogical Library. GeNealoGy eveNtS WASHINgTON. 816-268-8000. SIMI VALLEY. KANSAS CITY.” Clinton Library. National Archives at Seattle. Annual Open House. NEW YORK October 20.” Truman Library. Exhibit: “Nathan Sawaya: Art of the Brick. 215606-0100. Lee and Grant Speaker Series: “The Presidency of Ulysses S. CALIfORNIA Through October 23. The Wilder Life.” Reagan Library. Talkin’ Truman: “The Military Career of a Missourian.” National Archives at Atlanta. October 15. 770-968-2100. 770-968-2100. Exhibit: “School House to White House.” National Archives at Seattle. D. 206-336-5115.” National Archives at Philadelphia. National Archives at Kansas City. Here Lies Linc.” Hoover Library.gov. 866-840-1752. “Webinar on Military Records at the National Archives. WASHINgTON September 28. 319-643-5301.
Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids. Mrs. They moved to Washington.NEWS & NOTICES Services for Betty Ford are Held at Ford Museum in Grand Rapids Friends and the family of Betty Ford paid tribute to the former First Lady on July 14. She was a member of Graham’s auxiliary dance company and appeared in a number of venues.800 came to the museum from July 8 to July 13 to sign the condolence books. including Carnegie Hall. Ford not only raised awareness of breast cancer by talking about her own experiences. Rosalynn Carter. In October 1973. eventually becoming minority leader. In Grand Rapids. Ford became the first unelected President. Mrs. Ford was the driving force in creating the clinic to treat individuals with drug and alcohol abuse problems.” Carter said. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and shared the Congressional Gold Medal with her husband in 1998. she moved to New York City. after Nixon resigned because of the Watergate scandal. she was active on several other issues. Nixon nominated Ford to succeed Agnew. During her tenure as First Lady. These documents focus primarily on national security matters. Jack. 2011. Ford. who is remembered for using her status as First Lady to advocate for victims of breast cancer and substance abuse and talked about her own experience with them. however.000 individuals. “Millions of women are in her debt today.S. They were married in 1948. Since its creation. Among those speaking at her funeral on July 12 was another former First Lady. nearly 4. Ford’s coffin. Nixon library Releases Declassified Documents on National Security The Richard M. she remained active in the women’s rights movement. Nixon Library released more than a halfmillion pages of documents on July 21. The textual release includes more than 4. continuing to lobby for the ERA. The next August. including U. They had four children. it has treated some 90. Michigan. After high school. she returned to Grand Rapids and met and married William Warren. Elizabeth Ann Bloomer was born in 1918. and Susan. including her own struggle with alcohol and pain killers. as she was buried next to her late husband at the Gerald R.000 came to the museum the evening of July 13 and the morning of July 14 to file past Mrs. nearly all of them pertaining to speechwriting and congressional relations. A few. in whole or in part. Michael. In 1941. California. The marriage ended in divorce after five years. Congress confirmed him quickly. where Ford became more involved in House GOP politics. as the result of mandatory review requests from individual researchers and as a consequence of the 25-year systemic review program. where she studied with dance pioneer Martha Graham and became a fashion model. when Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned after pleading no contest in a bribery scandal. Ford. In 1947. She broke with conservative orthodoxy and supported the Equal Rights Amendment and the pro-choice position on abortion. died July 8 at the Eisenhower Medical Center near her home in Rancho Mirage. and she was never afraid to speak the truth even about the most sensitive subjects. a University of Michigan and Yale Law School graduate then running for a seat in Congress. were declassified documents pertaining to foreign affairs. After her husband left the Presidency. two weeks before he was elected to his first term. intelligence analysis of Ambassador 66 Prologue Fall 2011 . Mrs. The Eisenhower Medical Center is home to the Betty Ford Clinic. About 5.000 pages that were declassified. Visitors to the Ford Museum pay their respects at Betty Ford’s coffin. she met Gerald R. Steven. President Richard M.
NARA staff archivist Trevor Plante. who had received them on consignment from the family. The other is the request to Lincoln for the endorsement. Reading copies of speeches are those Roosevelt read from when he delivered his remarks. allege that Barry Landau and Jason James Savedoff. What makes them valuable are handwritten changes or notes in the margin he might have made and his signature or initials. Early in 2009. It also charges the pair with stealing documents and other objects from the New-York Historical Society and the Maryland Historical Society. Document Signed by lincoln Returned to Files at NaRa Two Civil War–era documents. and Bill Panagopulos examine the returned Lincoln document at the National Archives. Landau’s assistant. returned the documents to the National Archives on behalf of a Rhode Island family that owned them but preferred to remain anonymous. The New York dealer had purchased the documents from Panagopulos. Edwards. NARA investigative archivist Mitchell Yockelson saw documents in the catalog of a New York autograph dealer that appeared to belong in a Civil War– era commission branch file held by the National Archives. the National Archives honored two brothers who recognized several Civil War documents offered for sale on eBay that they had used at a National Archives facility. NARA’s Office of the Inspector General and the agency’s Holdings Protection Team are continuing to work with the Justice Department on this case.to Vietnam Ellsworth Bunker’s cables regarding negotiations with South Vietnam’s President Thieu in 1972. Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park. News & Notices Prologue 67 . the Reverend Billy Graham. New York. handed down July 28. One document includes a lengthy. Bill Panagopulos of Alexander Autographs. Maryland. Savedoff was released on bail. Their cooperation eventually led to the arrest of a former National Archives intern and the return of more than 160 stolen items. Connecticut. Archivist David Ferriero. The indictments.000-page congressional relations office collection. Henry Edwards as chaplain of a military hospital in Hagerstown. which contains the White House speechwriting staff office files from 1973 to 1974 and the 300. and Alexander Historical Auctions. It stated that four of them had already been sold for $35. Also included are small White House name files (Alpha files) on Shirley Temple Black. of Stamford. Pending the next steps in court. policy toward Latin America. Henry Kissinger’s meetings with the Chinese leadership before President Nixon’s February 1972 trip. In 2007. have been recovered by the National Archives. and U. Panagopulos had received them on consignment from the family. handwritten endorsement by Lincoln of the Rev.S. The bulk of the textual release in July consists of the 200. Landau has been allowed to go home to New York under electronic surveillance.000-page David Gergen collection. and Charles “Bebe” Rebozo.000. conspired to steal seven “reading copies” of Roosevelt’s speeches and other items from the Roosevelt Library in December 2010. two Men Charged with Stealing Documents from Roosevelt library A federal jury in Baltimore. has indicted two men for conspiracy to steal historical documents from NARA’s Franklin D. Inc. and two other cultural institutions. The documents were from the file of Rev. Panagopulous was thanked for his role in returning the documents to the Archives with a small ceremony in late August. one bearing the signature of President Abraham Lincoln and apparently removed at some unknown time in the past. in 1862. The indictment also says they were planning to sell for profit the seven documents. Maryland.
MasterCard. p. 42–44. pp.S.pUbLICATIONS Microfilm and Digital Publications Microfilm and digital publications are produced by the National Archives and Records Administration to make records holdings more widely available for research. p. p. National Archives at Riverside. RG 94. Records of the Adjutant General’s Office. 34 (right). gov/research/order) to National Archives Trust Fund. 208-PU-83S(2). 111-SC-192258-S. and Northeastern Florida Ports. Selected Department of Justice and U. Mint. 72 (right). Make checks payable to the National Archives Trust Fund. 49. Europe. p. Kennedy Library.archives. p. 27 rolls) Master Abstracts of Enrollments Issued for Merchant Vessels at South Carolina. 34 (center). Collection of Von Hardesty. 7–11.gov. expiration date. 23 (left). MD 20740-6001. 37–39. p. January 1815–June 1911 (M2151.654C. 68 Prologue Fall 2011 .S. p. Boards of Investigation. RG 41. p. 1876–1944 (M2136. 41. pp. Boston. pp. 32 (top). 44-8A-286. RG 15. Penguin Press. pp. TIME magazine. 71. 1 roll) For descriptions of the contents of National Archives microfilm publications. Supreme Court Records Concerning Mexican Revolutionary Activities in the United States. House of Representatives. Discover. 33 (center). p. Flat Hammock Press. Customs Service. 1 roll) Franklin Peale’s Report on His Visit to Europe in the Service of the U. C. 33 (right). 56. 22 (left). 20 rolls) School Files from the General Correspondence of the Alaska Division. 63. 32 (center and bottom). Picture Credits Cover. 67. 24 (left). RG 59. Provide the account number. 51 (top). 306-NT-727-B153. p. visit Order Online at www. RG 165.S. 58–60. Coast Guard. 111-SC-135-720. College Park Airport Museum Archives. National Archives at Kansas City. RG 36. 12. and American Express are also accepted. p. German Information Center. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 22 (right). and Boards of Inquest of the Navy Department. 24 (right). 30 (left and right). Ford Library. 47 (top). Current projects include the filming of military service records of the United States Colored Troops (Civil War). General Records of the Department of State. and cardholder signature. Records of the Office of Strategic Services. 15 rolls) Register of Courts of Inquiry. 50. 54–55. RG 45. National Personnel Records Center. 24–25 (bottom).S. photo by Earl McDonald. 30 (center). 26 (left). 52. 33 (left). 51 (bottom). archives. p. Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs. 1833–35 (M2137. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Georgia. p. 40. 66. back cover. 34 (left). RG 26. RG 75. p. 14–16. p. College Park. p. 26 (right). pp. pp. Gerald R. 36. 1 roll) District Files from the General Correspondence of the Alaska Division. RG 233. John F. p. 47 (bottom). Records of the U. Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs. RG 104. National Archives Microfilm Publication M1856. Telephone: 1-800-234-8861. 8601 Adelphi Road.S. Records of United States Army. 111-SC184714. Form 72 Order. VISA. RG 75. Library of Congress. 55 (inset). 31. Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library. 62. 62. USS Constitution Museum. p. Publications can be purchased for $85 per microfilm roll or $125 per CD-ROM through Order Online or by submitting an order form (available on www. 18. 1 roll) Record of Life Saving Medals Awarded. 1906–1922 (M2131. pp. 13 (clockwise from upper left). pp. RG 226. Michael Perrino. Cashier (NAT). 21. Daniel Collection. p. 23 (right). p. 1908–1934 (M2149. pp. p. 28–29. pp. 1919– 1948. 1861–1917 (M2135. 342-FH-4A-7724. Records of the U. 72 (left). p. 306-N-154304C. Bureau of Indian Affairs. 1780’s– 1917. RG 549. 111-SC-96967. inside front cover. RG 125. E. photos by Alexander Morozov. p. Lyndon Baines Johnson Library. RG26. p. 1908–1934 (M2150. courtesy of Stephen Biesty. Consult the roll list or table of contents for the series before ordering specific rolls. Library of Congress. fax: 301-837-0483. 63. p. A descriptive pamphlet (DP) is available where indicated. Records of the U. RGs 60 and 267.
Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration has been telling readers about the rich resources and programs of the National Archives. Cashier. to 4 p. its regional facilities. eastern time. COMING UP: Prologue will have articles that explain how the hand of Walt Whitman shows up in Justice Department records.S. MD 20740-6001.what's new in the past? FOR MORE THAN 40 yEARS.gov/publicationsprologue/.archives. how the Marine Corps used dogs during World War II. To start your subscription. VISIT US ONLINE AT: www. Prologue Subscriptions. Make checks payable to the National Archives Trust Fund. 9 a. National Archives Trust Fund. how deck logs reveal the extent of damage on the attack on Pearl Harbor. ✮ How inept diplomacy may have “lost” Central America for the United States. 8601 Adelphi Road. College Park.m. Credit card orders may also call toll free 1-800-234-8861 or 202-357-5482 weekdays. officials on Vietnam cost him dearly. and how typos show up in the Constitution. mail this form to the National Archives and Records Administration. ✮ How John Brown may have been America’s first terrorist – or not. In every issue you will find thought-provoking and entertaining articles—based on research in the Archives’ magnificent holdings of original documents—on American history and on the activities of the agency. the annual subscription rate is $24 ($30 outside the United States).m. ✮ How Benard Falls’s warnings to U. . Subscriptions outside the United States are $30. and the presidential libraries. SOME RECENT ARTICLES IN Prologue INCLUDE: ✮ How the Archives retrieved a treasure trove of FDR records. Discover American Express Card expires Check VISA MasterCard Account number Signature ________________________________________________________________________________________ Name ______________________________________________________________ Address _________________________________________________________________________________________________ State ______________________________________ ZIP __________________________ City ______________________________________________________________________________________ Please allow up to 10 weeks for delivery of first issue. Prologue Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration 1 year (4 issues) is $24.
photographs. Army 3rd Infantry “The Old Guard” Fife and Drum Corps. Foundation board members Richard Eliasberg and Marvin Weissberg. As well as featuring the full “Discovering the Civil War” exhibition.C. “Discovering the Civil War” also was complemented with an exhibit of loaned artifacts and documents specific to the First Michigan Light Artillery. where it had previously been displayed. and to attend commemorative speeches and live musical performances. David joins a distinguished list of past honorees: Tom Brokaw. historical KEN LORE President. the Civil War Conservation Corps. “Discovering the Civil War” now travels to the Houston Museum of Natural Science (opening October 14.tHe FouNDatioN for the National Archives Foundation to Honor David M. thanks to the generosity of philanthropist David M. David is the perfect choice to receive the Foundation’s highest honor. “The Great Charter. Ken Burns. the Tawani Foundation. David McCullough. and many individual donors. as well as other locations throughout the country during the Civil War sesquicentennial. he has lent a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation to the White House. along with rare and previously unseen Civil War letters. D. “Discovering the Civil War” Traveling Exhibition Off to Great Start More than 21. D. featuring a special threeday showing of the Emancipation Proclamation. which includes an elegant dinner in the Rotunda Galleries of the National Archives Building. the Seedlings Foundation. the Foundation was pleased to partner with the National Archives in another successful Fourth of July celebration in Washington. The Records of Achievement Award is the Foundation’s annual tribute to an individual whose work has cultivated a broader national awareness of the history and identity of the United States. a rare 1823 Stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence to the State Department. the exhibition in Dearborn also invited visitors to walk through a living history camp. this summer for a chance to view the original Emancipation Proclamation as the National Archives Experience traveling exhibition “Discovering the Civil War” made its first stop on a national tour. Visitors on the National Archives steps enjoyed the presentation of the colors by the Continental Color Guard and a performance by the U. Annette Gordon-Reed. We will present the award at our annual Gala in November. Rubenstein. America’s founding fathers used Magna Carta as inspiration for the creation of a new set of documents that recognized individual rights and liberties in their new country. Magna Carta. Today. Rubenstein at Annual Gala In the 13th century. Hundreds of years later. Foundation Supports July 4th Celebration at the National Archives This summer. O’Brien Gallery at the National Archives Building in Washington.” established that no one—not even the king—is above the law. will be chaired this year by Caroline Kennedy and Edwin Schlossberg. Rubenstein.000 visitors waited in line as long as eight hours outside the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. complete with reenactors in period attire. diaries. Foundation for the National Archives 70 Prologue Fall 2011 . and patents. and James McPherson.” Among the items displayed was an original 10-pounder Parrot cannon that saw service by the battery at the Battle of Chickamauga. In recognition of his passion for history education through the use of primary documents. Michigan. the national law firm Dykema. The festivities were made possible in part by the generous support of lead sponsor John Hancock Financial as well as the Foundation’s newest corporate sponsor. the National Gallery of Art. 2011) and the Tennessee State Museum. These regionally specific Civil War artifacts underscore the widespread and farreaching nature of the national struggle. Brian Lamb. The Foundation-supported exhibition. Battery A “Loomis Battery. Charters of Freedom have come together at the National Archives. the 1297 Magna Carta and the U. Ferriero. and the first official map of the United States published after the Revolution to the Library of Congress—all of which are used to increase public awareness of our nation’s history. but also through his funding of a state-of-the-art re-encasement of the landmark British document to preserve it for future generations. maps. originally presented in two parts in the Lawrence F. In addition to his loan of Magna Carta to the National Archives. petitions. Following remarks by Archivist of the United States David S. the Foundation for the National Archives is pleased to present its eighth annual Records of Achievement Award to David M..C. and other venues. not only through his commitment to return Magna Carta to the National Archives. David Rubenstein embodies the spirit of this award. the late John Hope Franklin.S. was made possible thanks to the generous support of AT&T. The black-tie event. With his dedication to inspiring a deeper appreciation of America through the use of original records.S.
In return. Andrés is the Chief Culinary Adviser of the current National Archives Experience exhibition.gov. Chef José Andrés and his family joined Archivist of the United States David S. All benefits of the Patron level. The Foundation for the National Archives Prologue 71 . gifts. All benefits of the Guardian level. July 4th parade.000).. including: Patron ($60) • Complimentary subscription to Prologue • Priority admission to the National Archives Experience through the Special Events entrance • Advance notice of William G. or write to us at foundationmembers@nara. McGowan Theater programs and Archives activities through the monthly Calendar of Events • 10-percent discount year-round.archives. visit www. and high-profile public programs. Army 3rd Infantry “The Old Guard” Fife and Drum Corps performs in front of the steps of the National Archives on July 4. Historical reenactors also were on hand in the Rotunda to chat with visitors who came to see the original Declaration. plus: • Personalized guided tours of the National Archives Experience • Invitations to additional receptions throughout the year Founder ($1. Ferriero and a historical reenactor on the National Archives’ July 4th float in the annual parade.gov/nae/support. All benefits of the Benefactor level. members enjoy special recognition. The Archivist was joined on the float by award-winning chef José Andrés and his family. The Foundation for the National Archives supports the National Archives and Records Administration in developing programs. All benefits of the Founder level. For more information on how you can help others experience the National Archives. All benefits of the Advocate level. the National Archives’ float was featured prominently as the lead float in the Washington. and privileges. “What’s Cooking.. and materials that tell the story of America through the holdings in NARA. plus: • National Archives box for archival storage • Invitations to attend exhibition openings in the Lawrence F. projects. plus: • Complimentary catalog from an exhibition at the National Archives Experience • Invitations to attend special receptions at exhibition openings Conservator ($750). enjoy Special events Members of the Foundation for the National Archives help to fund cuttingedge exhibitions.500). contact the Foundation at 202-357-5946.archives. and online • Invitations to members-only tours • National recognition in the Foundation’s Annual Report and on the website Family ($100). D. online educational activities. O’Brien Gallery Guardian ($500). at the Archives Shop in Washington. presenting visitors with an opportunity to experience the passion and intensity of that founding document. All benefits of the Patron level. and programs of the National Archives Experience. Uncle Sam?” Scholar ($2. plus additional seasonal discounts. plus: • Invitation to a private dinner with members of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the National Archives and National Archives leadership For an additional $50 added to any level of membership. plus: • Signed copy of a book related to programs and exhibitions at the National Archives Experience • Invitations to a July 4th breakfast and priority seating for the ceremonial reading of the Declaration of Independence on the steps of the National Archives Building The U. To learn more about the Foundation. All benefits of the Conservator level.C.S. exhibition openings. young professionals may join the Young Founders Society to enjoy networking at special receptions. plus: • A copy of an educational children’s publication and surprise gift from the Archives Shop • Advance notice of family programs at the National Archives Experience Advocate ($125). Other activities at the Archives included the chance to sign a fullsize facsimile of the Declaration of Independence and listen to patriotic and historic stories in the Boeing Learning Center. plus: • Reproduction of a significant historical document • Exclusive opportunity to participate in lecture programs organized by the Foundation Benefactor ($250).gov/ nae/support or call the Membership Office at 202-357-5946.Foundation Members Support national Archives.C. In addition. D. all intended to inspire citizens to explore their documentary past and cultivate a deeper understanding of American history. reenactors participated in a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. To become a member of the Foundation. please visit http://www.
After a cruise on Santana with Powell. Right: Designation of Home Port of Vessel for Humphrey Bogart’s yacht Santana. Bogart owned the 55-foot Santana for 12 years. In the heyday of Hollywood. longer than any of the other 11 owners of the yacht. yachting was certainly a sign of the good life. in 1943. Bogart fell in love with the boat and bought it for $50. The former owner is fellow Hollywood actor Dick Powell. he was also a serious sailor in his private life. until his death in 1957. Among the records of the National Archives at Riverside.. is evidence of the nautical side of his life. Bryan is listed as the Collector of Customs for the Port of Los Angeles. The “Designation of Home Port of Vessel” signed by Bogart confirms the yacht Santana’s home port as Los Angeles. This sheet names all the owners of the vessel from the builder to its first owner to Eva Gabor’s husband to actors George Brent. and Dick Powell. Ray Milland. son of the three-time Democratic Presidential candidate and Wilson’s Secretary of State. The short tenures of Milland (three months) and Powell (15 months) suggest that their movie studios were behind the purchases for publicity reasons. The Vessel Documentation Case File for the Santana also contains pages signed by Powell. and Brent on their own Designation of Home Port applications. He was appointed to that post by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938 and served four terms for a total of 15 years. The documents contain an additional historical footnote. Another famous name in American history appears on the applications—William Jennings Bryan. His immediate predecessors as owner are listed together on another document. California.BOAT PieCeS oF HiStoRy Bogie’s umphrey Bogart paired his passion for acting with his passion for the sea. the General Index or Abstract of Title. P H Humphrey Bogart and his wife.000 in 1945. While he piloted boats in a few of his movies. . Jr. Milland. Mayo Methot.
CA 92886-3903 714-983-9120 www. MA 02125-3398 617-514-1600 / 866-JFK-1960 www.nixonlibrary.O. OH 45439-1883 937-425-0600 NARA–Central Plains Region (Kansas City) 400 West Pershing Road Kansas City. DC 20408-0001 202-357-5400 E-mail: inquire@nara. CA 93065-0600 805-577-4000/ 800-410-8354 www. Box 25307 Denver. Ford Museum 303 Pearl Street. Eisenhower Library 200 Southeast Fourth Street Abilene.fdrlibrary. 162 Fort Worth. 12th Floor New York. KS 67410-2900 785-263-6700 / 877-746-4453 www. Ste. MO 64108-4306 816-268-8000 NARA–Central Plains Region (Lee’s Summit) 200 Space Center Drive Lee’s Summit. TX 75057 972-353-0545 www.gov Gerald R.gov John F. Ste.trumanlibrary. MA 02452-6399 866-406-2379 NARA–Northeast Region (Pittsfield) 10 Conte Drive Pittsfield. GA 30294-3595 404-736-2820 NARA–Great Lakes Region (Chicago) 7358 South Pulaski Road Chicago.S. Clinton Library 1200 President Clinton Avenue Little Rock. CA 92572-7298 951-956-2000 NARA–Pacific Region (San Francisco) 1000 Commodore Drive San Bruno. IA 52358-0488 319-643-5301 www. PA 19154-1096 215-305-2000 NARA–Southeast Region 5780 Jonesboro Road Morrow. TX 78705-5702 512-721-0200 www.marist. CA 94066-2350 650-238-3500 NARA–Pacific Alaska Region (Seattle) 6125 Sand Point Way.fordlibrarymuseum. AR 72201-1749 501-374-4242 www. IL 60629-5898 773-948-9001 NARA–Great Lakes Region (Dayton) 3150 Springboro Road Dayton.edu Harry S. KS 66219-1735 913-825-7800 NARA–Southwest Region 2600 West Seventh Street. MD 20740-6001 301-837-3290 Gerald R.gov National Archives and Records Administration 8601 Adelphi Road College Park. CO 80225-0307 303-407-5700 NARA–Pacific Region (Riverside) 23123 Cajalco Road Perris.gov Richard Nixon Library–College Park 8601 Adelphi Road College Park. Ford Library 1000 Beal Avenue Ann Arbor. 3150 Lenexa.T N atioNal a rchives National Archives and Records Administration 700 Pennsylvania Avenue. NY 10014-4811 212-401-1620 NARA–Mid Atlantic Region (Center City Philadelphia) 900 Market Street Philadelphia.O. Kennedy Library Columbia Point Boston. NY 12538-1999 845-486-7770 / 800-337-8474 www.hoover. GA 30307-1498 404-865-7100 www.georgewbushlibrary.org Lyndon Baines Johnson Library 2313 Red River Street Austin. MD 20746-8001 301-778-1600 NARA–Southeast Region 4712 Southpark Boulevard Ellenwood.archives. PA 19107-4292 215-606-0100 NARA–Mid Atlantic Region (Northeast Philadelphia) 14700 Townsend Road Philadelphia.reagan. Roosevelt Library 4079 Albany Post Road Hyde Park.lbjlibrary. NW Washington.tamu. Highway 24 Independence. TX 76140-6222 817-551-2051 Presidential libraries Herbert Hoover Library 210 Parkside Drive P. IL 62295-2603 314-801-9250 NARA–National Personnel Records Center (Military Personnel Records) 1 Archives Drive St. NW Grand Rapids. MI 49504-5353 616-254-0400 Jimmy Carter Library 441 Freedom Parkway Atlanta.edu George Bush Library 1000 George Bush Drive College Station. Building 48 P.edu William J. AK 99501-2145 907-261-7800 NARA–National Personnel Records Center (Civilian Personnel Records) 111 Boulder Boulevard Valmeyer. Louis.clintonlibrary.org Dwight D.utexas.org Ronald Reagan Library 40 Presidential Drive Simi Valley.gov George W. MO 64050-1798 816-268-8200 / 800-833-1225 www. MI 48109-2114 734-205-0555 www.gov Franklin D. MO 63138-1002 314-801-0800 Washington National Records Center 4205 Suitland Road Suitland.jfklibrary.jimmycarterlibrary. TX 76107-2244 817-831-5620 NARA–Southwest Region 1400 John Burgess Drive Fort Worth. MD 20740-6001 301-837-2000 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .org Richard Nixon Library 18001 Yorba Linda Boulevard Yorba Linda. MA 01201-8230 413-236-3600 NARA–Northeast Region (New York City) 201 Varick Street. TX 77845-3906 979-691-4000 bushlibrary. GA 30260-3806 770-968-2100 aNd r ecords a dmiNistr atioN NARA–Rocky Mountain Region Denver Federal Center. Bush Library 1725 Lakepointe Drive Lewisville. MO 64064-1182 816-288-8100 NARA–Central Plains Region (Lenexa) 17501 West 98th Street. Box 488 West Branch. Truman Library 500 West U. NE Seattle.gov NARA–Northeast Region (Boston) 380 Trapelo Road Waltham. WA 98115-7999 206-336-5115 NARA–Pacific Alaska Region (Anchorage) 654 West Third Avenue Anchorage.
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