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Of Coercion and Accommodation: Looking at Japanese American Imprisonment through a Law Office Window

Abstract

Crucial to the implementation of the War Relocation Authority's (WRA) regulations of its detention camps for the uprooted Japanese American community of the West Coast were the WRA “project attorneys,” white lawyers stationed in the camps who gave legal advice to administrators and internees alike. These lawyers left behind a voluminous correspondence that opens a new window on the WRA's relationship with its prisoners, a relationship heretofore understood as encompassing coercion on one side and either compliance or resistance on the other. This article uses the voluminous correspondence of the project attorney at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming as a new lens for viewing the regulatory relationship between the WRA and the imprisoned community. It focuses on three of the many matters about which the project attorney gave advice: the design of the camp's community government, its criminal justice system, and its business enterprises. Evidence from this one law office suggests that on many key issues, the relationship between the WRA and the internees was marked not so much by coercion as by reciprocal accommodation, with each taking account of some of the preferences of the other. While the data are from just one of the ten WRA camps, they suggest a need to reconsider our understanding of how this American system of racial imprisonment operated.

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emuller@email.unc.edu
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He thanks the following people for helpful comments on at least one draft of the article: The anonymous reviewer for Law and History Review, Leslie Branden-Muller, Alfred Brophy, Alexa Chew, Andrew Chin, Dan Ernst, Andy Hessick, Karen Inouye, Tom Ikeda, Catherine Kim, Heidi Kim, Joe Kennedy, Lon Kurashige, Bill Marshall, Abby Muller, Brian Niiya, Greg Robinson, Deborah Weissman, and Alice Yang. Josephine Kim provided research assistance.

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1. The phrase is almost entirely incorrect. The episode was not an instance of “internment,” a process that can lawfully be applied to enemy aliens during a war, but was instead a form of detention without charges, unknown to the law, that was more like imprisonment. The episode also did not just touch “Japanese Americans;” approximately one third of those incarcerated were not Americans, but Japanese resident aliens.

2. See Executive Order 9066, February 19, 1942, 3 CFR 1092 (1943): “An Act to provide a penalty for violation of restrictions or orders with respect to persons entering, remaining in, leaving, or committing any act in military areas or zones,” 56 Stat. 173 (March 21, 1942); Yasui v. United States, 320 US 115 (1943); Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 115 (1943); Korematsu v. United States, 323 US 214 (1944); Public Proclamation 21, “Persons of Japanese Ancestry: Exemption from Exclusion Orders,” December 17, 1944, 10 Fed. Reg. 53 (January 2, 1945); and Ex parte Endo, 323 US 283 (1944).

3. For the reason noted in footnote 1, I will refer not to the “internment” but to the “imprisonment” or “incarceration” of Japanese and Japanese Americans. I will refer to those imprisoned with the word they use to refer to themselves—“internees”—as well as “inmates” or “prisoners.” I will not, however, refer to the camps as “concentration camps,” even though that is a historically authentic term used occasionally by everyone from the internees to President Roosevelt. Even at the time, the term's use was contested because, in the eyes of some, it invited unjust comparison to the camps established by the Nazis in Europe to imprison, enslave, and murder Jews and others. Compare Korematsu, 323 U.S. at 230 (Roberts, J., dissenting) (asserting that the government's preferred term of “relocation center” was “a euphemism for concentration camps”) with ibid. at 223 (Black, J., for the Court) (“we deem it unjustifiable to call [the relocation centers] concentration camps, with all the ugly connotations that term implies”). Over the decades, as the horrors of the Holocaust have become more fully and widely known, the term “concentration camp” has come to be even more deeply associated with the Nazis' various detention, slave labor, and death camps, all of which the Nazis administered with at very best a callous disregard for the well-being and survival of their inmates that characterized none of the WRA's camps in the United States. I will generally refer to the WRA camps as “prison camps” or simply as “camps.”

4. The leading source is Irons Peter, Justice at War (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983); a recent example is Daniels Roger, The Japanese American Cases: The Rule of Law in Time of War (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2013).

5. Only one feature of this administrative regime has drawn any scholarly attention: the bungling system the WRA and the military developed in 1943 to evaluate the internees' loyalty. See, for example, Muller Eric L., American Inquisition: The Hunt for Japanese American Disloyalty in World War II (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007); and Hayashi Brian Masaru, Democratizing the Enemy: The Japanese American Internment (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004).

6. There was telephonic and telegraphic communication between headquarters and the camps, but these were typically reserved for urgent matters.

7. Executive Order 9066, 3 CFR 1092.

8. Executive Order 9102, March 18, 1942. 3 CFR 1123 (1943).

9. Ibid.

10. See Ferguson Edwin and Leflar Robert, “The Law of the Relocation Centers,” George Washington Law Review 14 (1945–46): 564600, 566. This list is slightly misleading; two of the ten Relocation Centers, Manzanar and Colorado River (Poston), initially went into service as Assembly Centers in March and April of 1942 and were converted to Relocation Centers when the WRA took control of them from the Wartime Civil Control Administration. See Burton Jeffrey F., Farrell Mary M., Lord Florence B., and Lord Richard W., Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Centers (Washington, DC: National Park Service, 1999) Manzanar https:// www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/anthropology74/ce8.htm and Poston https:// www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/anthropology74/ce10.htm

11. See Ferguson and Leflar, “The Law of the Relocation Centers,” 566.

12. Ibid., at 567.

13. The WRA would have preferred higher wage rates––at least early in the life of the camps, before it shifted its energies to persuading internees to leave the camps for jobs in the nation's interior––but public protest demanded that no internee be paid more than the $21.00 per month paid to GIs. See Weglyn Michi Nishiura, Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America's Concentration Camps (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1976), 115 .

14. United States Department of the Interior, WRA: A Story of Human Conservation (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1946), 105 .

15. Ibid., 185.

16. Ibid., 187.

17. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Soil Conservation Service were not the only New Deal agencies that had an impact on the detention of Japanese Americans. As Jason Scott Smith documents in Building New Deal Liberalism: The Political Economy of Public Works, 1933–1956 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2006), 222–31, the Works Progress Administration had a significant hand in the construction and operation of the temporary assembly centers that housed Japanese Americans along the coast during the summer of 1942. This would be the WPA's last major undertaking before its demise at the end of 1942.

18. Ferguson and Leflar, “The Law of the War Relocation Center,” 580.

19. Embree John F., “The Indian Bureau and Self-Government,” Human Organization 8 (1949): 1114 .

20. See ibid. John Collier, the former Commissioner of Indian Affairs, disputed the accuracy of Embree's invocation of the War Relocation Authority as an analogy. See Collier John, “The Indian Bureau and Self-Government: A Reply,” Human Organization 8 (1949): 22 .

21. Poston was on reservation land of the Colorado River Indian Tribes and Gila River was on reservation land of the Gila River Indian Tribe. The BIA administered Poston and Gila River under agreement with the WRA throughout 1942, and in the case of Poston, all the way through December of 1943. See Bernstein Alison R., American Indians and World War II: Toward a New Era in Indian Affairs (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999), 84 .

22. Ibid., 83 (quoting a memorandum dated March 4, 1942 from Collier to Interior Secretary Harold Ickes).

23. June 18, 1934, c. 576, § 16, 48 Stat. 987.

24. The reality of the Indian New Deal for Native Americans differed significantly from the imaginings and aspirations of John Collier and his BIA team. The reform efforts failed to take root with some Indian groups, achieved at best mixed results with others, and ultimately “failed to endure because, in the last analysis, they were imposed upon the Indians, who did not see these elaborate proposals as answers to their own wants and needs.” Taylor Graham D., The New Deal and American Indian Tribalism: The Administration of the Indian Reorganization Act, 1934–45 (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1980), xiii . A more recent and much bleaker assessment of the results of the Indian New Deal can be found in the work of the anthropologist Thomas Biolsi. See, for example, Biolsi Thomas, Organizing the Lakota: The Political Economy of the New Deal on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1998).

25. See Collier John, From Every Zenith (Denver: Sage Books, 1963), 125–27.

26. See Hauptman Laurence M., “Africa View: The British Colonial Service and American Indian Policy, 1933–1945,” The Historian 48 (1986): 359–74.

27. See ibid., 362–64.

28. Cohen Felix S., “Colonialism: A Realistic Approach,” Ethics 55 (1945): 167–81.

29. Gilbert Jess, Planning Democracy: Agrarian Intellectuals and the Intended New Deal (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015), 81 .

30. Ibid., 94.

31. Ibid., 95.

32. Ibid., 95; see also Glick Philip M., “The Coming Transformation of the Soil Conservation District,” Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 22 (1967): 4553, at 48.

33. See Taylor, The New Deal and American Indian Tribalism, 112; Biolsi Thomas, “‛Indian Self-Government’ as a Technique of Domination,” American Indian Quarterly 15 (1991): 2328, at 27 (arguing that under the Indian New Deal; “[t]he locus of power did not change; it remained in the BIA”).

34. See Taylor, The New Deal and American Indian Tribalism, 149.

35. See, for example, Department of the Interior, WRA: A Story of Human Conservation; and Myer Dillon S., Uprooted Americans: The Japanese Americans and the War Relocation Authority during World War II (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1971).

36. A notable exception is the work of Lon Kurashige. See Kurashige Lon, “Unexpected Views of Internment,” in Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II, ed. Muller Eric L. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2012), 103–16; and Kurashige Lon, Perfect Storm of Exclusion: Asian Americans, Political Debate, and the Making of a Pacific Nation (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

37. Daniels Roger, Concentration Camps USA: Japanese Americans and World War II (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1971), 102 .

38. Ibid., 102.

39. Ibid., 105.

40. Ibid.

41. Ibid., 119.

42. Ibid., 106.

43. Weglyn, Years of Infamy, 117.

44. Ibid., 119.

45. Drinnon Richard, Keeper of Concentration Camps: Dillon S. Myer and American Racism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), 10 .

46. Ibid.

47. Ibid., 47.

48. Ibid., 44.

49. Ibid., 69.

50. Ibid., 74.

51. Ibid., 40.

52. Ngai Mae M., Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 177 . Ngai's work is unquestionably the most recent influential work, but it is not the most recent. Deserving of greater attention is Lon Kurashige's provocative essay entitled “Unexpected Views of the Internment” in Colors of Confinement. Kurashige draws attention to the antiracism and tolerance for cultural pluralism in the WRA's program, as well as the agency's belief in the loyalty of the large proportion of its charges.

53. Ngai, Impossible Subjects, 177.

54. Ibid.

55. Ibid., 179.

56. Ibid., 180.

57. The work of Greg Robinson shares much with Ngai's more reflective assessment of the WRA. Robinson convincingly depicts the WRA as a buffer against reactionary voices from the military and the congressional delegations and emphasizes the good faith in the agency's assimilationist policies. See Robinson Greg, After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012), 73 ; and Robinson Greg, By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), 192–99. Robinson also correctly notes that the WRA's administration of the camps was considerably “less invasive” than the military's operation of the temporary camps or “assembly centers” where Japanese and Japanese Americans were housed in mid–1942, immediately after their uprooting. Greg Robinson, “War Relocation Authority,” Densho Encyclopedia http://encyclopedia.densho.org/War_Relocation_Authority/ (accessed February 14, 2017). Robinson characterizes “the legacy of the WRA” as “mixed and evolving.” See ibid.

58. Robinson, By Order of the President, 181.

59. Ibid.

60. Ibid., 180.

61. See also Paik A. Naomi, Rightlessness: Testimony and Redress in U.S. Prison Camps since World War II (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016), 20 (“Whether compliant or resistant, internees remained imprisoned”).

62. Rita Takahashi's regrettably unpublished dissertation, “Comparative Administration and Management of Five War Relocation Authority Camps” (PhD diss., University of Pittsburgh, 1980), also takes a considerably more nuanced approach to the WRA than the work of Daniels, Weglyn, and Drinnon. She helpfully notes the freedom that WRA officials at the camp level had in implementing headquarters-level policy judgments, and sees a range of internee responses stretching from active cooperation to active resistance. However, the analysis is forcefully driven by a commitment to applying Amitai Etzioni's tripartite classification of the means of control within organizations, and the rigid focus on Etzioni's three categories of coercive, material, and symbolic control methods ends up producing more of a typology of camp officials' control strategies than a look at modes of interaction.

63. In characterizing these investigations, the literature has depicted them as the undertaking of a monolithic government. In truth, the WRA approached the loyalty screening process more sympathetically to the Japanese American community, and with greater understanding of the distinction between cultural identity and security risk, than did the other agencies it worked with (and against). See Muller, American Inquisition.

64. At all but one of the camps, a succession of lawyers held the role of project attorney. Only at Gila River did a single lawyer, James Terry, staff the Project Attorney's Office from start to finish. At Heart Mountain, three men held the permanent position between October of 1942 and December of 1945, with four others serving briefly as acting project attorneys while searches for replacements for departing attorneys were underway.

65. The WRA project attorneys were, with one brief exception, all men. One woman, Mima Pollitt, served for about a month as project attorney at the Granada Relocation Center in Colorado in 1945.

66. United States Department of the Interior, Legal and Constitutional Phases of the WRA Program (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1946), 53 .

67. Ibid.

68. Ibid.

69. Ibid.

70. Historical Decennial Census Population for Wyoming Counties, Cities, and Towns http://eadiv.state.wy.us/demog_data/cntycity_hist.htm (accessed February 14, 2017)

71. Ibid.

72. Burton et al., Confinement and Ethnicity,

73. Solicitor's Memorandum No. 10, Revised (December 2, 1942), Record Group 210, National Archives and Records Administration (hereafter NARA), Washington, DC.

74. Ibid., 1.

75. Department of the Interior, Legal and Constitutional Phases, 45.

76. Ibid., 46.

77. The project attorney correspondence cited in this article is housed in the War Relocation Authority collection of the Robert A. Leflar Papers in the Special Collections department of the University of Arkansas Libraries in Fayetteville, Arkansas (hereafter “Leflar Papers”).

78. The biographical information is from Jerry W. Housel, Obituary, Powell (Wyo.) Tribune, May 14, 2001 http://powelltribune.com/news/item/5730-jerry-w-housel (accessed February 14, 2017); Rough Draft of footnote to McGowen's “Development of Polit. Inst. On the Public Domain,” John McGowen Papers, American Heritage Center, Laramie, Wyoming; and Brenton Ver Ploeg, e-mail message to author, November 18, 2015.

79. Apart from their relative youth, these WRA lawyers “in the field” had little in common with the generation of liberal, ambitious, reform-minded, largely Ivy-League-educated New Deal lawyers so ably profiled in Peter Irons' monograph The New Deal Lawyers (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).

80. “Jerry Housel, Project Attorney,” Heart Mountain Sentinel, April 3, 1943 http://archive.densho.org/ArchiveAssets/dao_text.aspx?&v=d&i=denshopd-i97-00122 (accessed February 14, 2017); “Jerry W. Housel” (obituary), Powell Tribune (Powell, WY), May 14, 2001. http://powelltribune.com/obituaries/item/5730-jerry-w-housel (accessed February 14, 2017).

81. War Relocation Authority, “War Relocation Authority Tentative Policy Statement” (May 29, 1942) http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/jarda/ucb/text/cubanc6714_box025c01_0002_2.pdf (accessed February 14, 2017)

82. See U.S. Department of the Interior, Community Government in War Relocation Centers (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1946) http://drc.ohiolink.edu/handle/2374.GODORT/22?value=Concentration%20camps%20United%20States&type=subject&ztype=subject&focusscope=2374.GODORT/1&mode=browse (accessed February 14, 2017); U.S. Department of the Interior, WRA: A Story of Human Conservation, 83–86.

83. Community government was not mandatory; the WRA would not force a community to ratify or accept the government structure proposed by its elected representatives. See U.S. Department of the Interior, Community Government in War Relocation Centers, 13.

84. See ibid., 11–13; Department of the Interior, WRA: A Story of Human Conservation, 85–86.

85. WRA: A Story of Human Conservation, 85.

86. Department of the Interior, Community Government in War Relocation Centers, 7; see also Hayashi, Democratizing the Enemy, 108.

87. See War Relocation Authority, “War Relocation Authority Tentative Policy Statement.”

88. See Ferguson and Leflar, The Law of the Relocation Centers, 588–89; and Department of the Interior, Community Government in War Relocation Centers, 7.

89. See Department of the Interior, WRA: A Story of Human Conservation, 84.

90. Jerry Housel to Philip M. Glick, October 10, 1942, Leflar Papers; see also M.O. Anderson, Heart Mountain Relocation Center Community Government Final Report (undated) http://content.cdlib.org/view?docId=ft0d5n98jg&brand=calisphere (accessed February 14, 2017).

91. Housel to Glick, October 10, 1942, Leflar Papers.

92. Ibid.

93. See “Make Plans for Self-Government System,” Heart Mountain General Information Bulletin, Series 24 (October 10, 1942) http://archive.densho.org/Core/ArchiveItem.aspx?i=denshopd-i97-00094 (accessed February 14, 2017) (“‛In forming a permanent government the residents of the center should take into consideration the wisdom and counsel of the Issei group,’ Housel declared.”).

94. Housel to Glick, October 17, 1942, Leflar Papers.

95. Housel to Glick, October 10, 1942, Leflar Papers; see also Housel to Glick, October 17, 1942, Leflar Papers.

96. See WRA Administrative Instruction no. 34, August 24, 1942 http://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/cdm/ref/collection/pioneerlife/id/16015 (accessed February 14, 2017).

97. Housel to Glick, October 10, 1942, Leflar Papers. Housel also described a somewhat more convoluted system of resubmission of an Issei-disapproved measure to the lower Nisei chamber in a later letter. Housel to Glick, October 17, 1942, Leflar Papers.

98. Housel to Glick, October 17, 1942, Leflar Papers.

99. Glick to Housel, October 22, 1942, Leflar Papers.

100. Housel to Glick, November 17, 1942, Leflar Papers.

101. Housel to Glick, November 24, 1942, Leflar Papers.

102. Housel to Glick, December 3, 1942, Leflar Papers.

103. Housel to Glick, December 16, 1942, Leflar Papers.

104. See Anderson, Heart Mountain Relocation Center Community Government Final Report.

105. See Housel to Glick, February 25, 1943, Leflar Papers.

106. Ibid.

107. See Housel to Glick, April 9, 1943, Leflar Papers.

108. Although only one third of the camp's population was Issei, they were all of a generation that was old enough to vote. This was not true of the Nisei, the sizable majority of whom were children or teenagers.

109. Housel to Glick, April 9, Leflar Papers.

110. See Department of the Interior, Community Government in War Relocation Centers, 50.

111. Housel to Lewis Sigler, April 22, 1943, Leflar Papers.

112. Ibid.

113. An election in March of 1943 had put one Nisei on the temporary council. The other nineteen members were Issei. See Anderson, Heart Mountain Relocation Center Community Government Final Report.

114. See ibid.

115. Nelson Douglas W., Heart Mountain: The History of an American Concentration Camp (Madison, WI: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1976), 92 .

116. Department of the Interior, Community Government in War Relocation Centers, 71. It is well documented that the WRA often overruled actions taken or approved by community councils in the camps, to the internees' understandable disillusionment and frustration. See Thomas Dorothy S. and Nishimoto Richard, The Spoilage: Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement During World War II (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1946), 44 .

117. “War Relocation Authority Tentative Policy Statement.”

118. See Anderson, Heart Mountain Community Government Final Report; “Temporary Court System Planned,” Heart Mountain General Information Bulletin Series 8 (September 11, 1942) http://archive.densho.org/Core/ArchiveItem.aspx?i=denshopd-i97-00079 (accessed February 14, 2017).

119. See Anderson, Heart Mountain Community Government Final Report; “Temporary Judges and Alternates Named,” Heart Mountain General Information Bulletin Series 10 (September 14, 1942) http://archive.densho.org/Core/ArchiveItem.aspx?i=denshopd-i97-00080 “Judges, Alternates Approved,” Heart Mountain General Information Bulletin Series 12 (September 17, 1942) http://archive.densho.org/Core/ArchiveItem.aspx?i=denshopd-i97-00082 (accessed February 14, 2017).

120. Ferguson and Leflar, “The Law of the Relocation Center,” 584.

121. Housel to Glick, October 17, 1942, Leflar Papers.

122. See Housel to Glick, December 31, 1942, Leflar Papers; Housel to Glick, March 11, 1943, Leflar Papers. Kiyoichi Doi was a colorful figure. In his mid-40s during his captivity at Heart Mountain, the Hawaiian-born Doi had practiced law in Ogden, Utah, and Los Angeles, California before the war. Doi arrived at Heart Mountain before the camp had a project attorney and set up a legal aid office of sorts to assist the community. When Jerry Housel arrived as project attorney, Doi resisted efforts to shift the camp's legal business to Housel's office; the project attorneys suspected that Doi continued doing legal work for internees and charging them fees—without a Wyoming law license, which he surely could not have obtained—long after such private enterprise was forbidden. Doi suffered something of a public embarrassment when, after several years of adjudicating gambling cases as chair of the Judicial Commission, he himself was picked up by Heart Mountain's internee police force in a gambling raid. See Byron Ver Ploeg to Edwin E. Ferguson, March 8, 1945, Leflar Papers.

123. Anderson, Heart Mountain Community Government Final Report.

124. Housel to Glick, April 9, 1943, Leflar Papers.

125. Glick to Housel, March 31, 1943, Leflar Papers; see also Sigler to Housel, April 17, 1943, Leflar Papers.

126. See Mackey Mike, Heart Mountain: Life in Wyoming's Concentratoin Camp (Sheridan, WY: Western History Publications, 2008), 40 .

127. The story of the crime and subsequent trial is relayed in Jerry Housel's weekly report dated October 17, 1942. See Housel to Glick, October 17, 1942, Leflar Papers.

128. Housel to Glick, October 17, 1942, Leflar Papers.

129. Ibid.

130. The story of the Kaihatsu and Kimura case is told in three consecutive weekly reports by Jerry Housel. See Housel to Glick, March 4, 1943, Leflar Papers; Housel to Glick, March 11, 1943, Leflar Papers; and Housel to Glick, March 18, 1943, Leflar Papers.

131. Glick to Housel, March 25, 1943, Leflar Papers.

132. Glick to Housel, April 6, 1943, Leflar Papers.

133. Housel to Glick, March 25, 1943, Leflar Papers. Terada's brother was charged with simple assault and battery. See Housel to Sigler, May 6, 1943, Leflar Papers.

134. Housel to Glick, March 18, 1943, Leflar Papers.

135. Housel to Glick, April 1, 1943, Leflar Papers.

136. Ibid.

137. Housel to Sigler, May 6, 1943, Leflar Papers.

138. Housel to Glick, May 13, 1943, Leflar Papers.

139. See Housel to Glick, October 24, 1942, Leflar Papers.

140. Housel to Glick, April 1, 1943, Leflar Papers.

141. Ibid.

142. Housel to Glick, April 9, 1943, Leflar Papers.

143. Ibid.

144. Sigler to Housel, April 17, 1943, Leflar Papers. When Irvin Lechliter served as interim project attorney at Heart Mountain for 3 months after Housel departed in June of 1943, he was outraged by this system of supposedly “voluntary” contributions to the Community Activities Trust in lieu of a fine, calling the payment a “shakedown” of the defendant. Irvin Lechliter to Glick, July 8, 1943, Leflar Papers. After Lechliter left, however, the practice resumed.

145. Byron Ver Ploeg to Glick, July 14, 1944, Leflar Papers.

146. Ibid.

147. Ver Ploeg to Glick, July 27, 1944, Leflar Papers.

148. See Ver Ploeg to Edwin E. Ferguson, March 22, 1945, Leflar Papers.

149. Ver Ploeg to Ferguson, March 30, 1945, Leflar Papers.

150. This sentence perplexed Project Attorney Byron Ver Ploeg, who noted in his report to headquarters that the statutory minimum sentence for a gambling offense in Wyoming was a fine of $300. “I am not informed as to just how this statute is circumvented,” Ver Ploeg wrote, “but apparently this is another one of those cases where information concerning the law is not nearly as valuable as information concerning the practice in a particular locality.” Ibid.

151. Ver Ploeg to Ferguson, November 2, 1944, Leflar Papers.

152. See Muller Eric L., Free to Die for their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 7699 .

153. Ver Ploeg to Ferguson, November 2, 1944.

154. McGowen to Glick, October 8, 1943, Leflar Papers.

155. Donald Horn, serving very briefly as acting project attorney at Heart Mountain after the sudden death of John McGowen, noted in a report to headquarters in April of 1944 that “the members [of the judicial commission] overlook the seriousness of the[ ] assault and battery cases.” Donald T. Horn to Glick, April 3, 1944, Leflar Papers. In a letter on June 16, 1943, WRA Solicitor Philip Glick emphasized to Heart Mountain's Acting Project Attorney Irvin Lechliter “the need for sterner action by the Judicial Commissions and Project Directors, with more severe penalties.” Glick to Lechliter, June 16, 1943, Leflar Papers.

156. Heart Mountain General Information Bulletin Series 5, September 5, 1942 http://archive.densho.org/Core/ArchiveItem.aspx?i=denshopd-i97-00076 (accessed February 14, 2017) Housel to Glick, December 22, 1942, Leflar Papers.

157. Housel to Glick, December 22, 1942, Leflar Papers.

158. Ferguson and Leflar, “The Law of the Relocation Centers,” 598. The Rochdale Principles are the [b]asic guidelines for cooperation and characteristics that distinguish cooperative organizations from other groups.Shaffer Jack, Historical Dictionary of the Cooperative Movement (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1999), 196 . See also ibid., at 44.

160. See ibid.

161. See Tyson Thomas N. and Fleischman Richard K., “Accounting for Interned Japanese-American Civilians During World War II: Creating Incentives and Establishing Controls for Captive Workers,” Accounting Historians Journal, 22 (2006): 167–202, at 171–72; Jones Derek C. and Schneider Donald J., “Self-Help Production Cooperatives: Government-Administered Cooperatives During the Depression,” in Worker Cooperatives in America, ed. Jackall Robert and Levin Henry M. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), 5784 ; and Cannon Brian Q., “Power Relations: Western Rural Electric Cooperatives and the New Deal,” Western Historical Quarterly, 31 (2000): 133–60.

162. Housel to Glick, October 17, 1942, Leflar Papers.

163. Housel to Glick, November 17, 1942, Leflar Papers.

164. See Glick to Housel, January 16, 1943, Leflar Papers.

165. See Housel to Glick, January 9, 1943, Leflar Papers.

166. See Ver Ploeg to Glick, June 22, 1944, Leflar Papers.

167. Ver Ploeg to Glick, July 27, 1944, Leflar Papers.

168. Ver Ploeg to Glick, July 20, 1944, Leflar Papers.

169. Ver Ploeg to Edwin Ferguson, October 12, 1945, Leflar Papers. The volume of business is, at first glance, surprisingly large. It must be remembered, however, that internees who worked in the camp earned a monthly salary of between $12.00 and $19.00 per month, many internees went out of camp on “seasonal leave” to do paid agricultural work, some internees received income from properties and business ventures back on the West Coast, and internees were able to access their bank accounts if they were not frozen. Therefore, although the imprisoned community was anything but wealthy, the camp's retail stores and service businesses nonetheless managed to do a sizable amount of business over the more than 3 years that they operated.

170. These conditions cannot have played the determinative role. The populations of all of the other WRA camps endured similar conditions, but embraced the cooperative form for their business enterprises.

171. Housel to Sigler, January 26, 1943, Leflar Papers.

172. McGowen to Glick, November 19, 1943, Leflar Papers.

173. Housel to Glick, March 25, 1943, Leflar Papers; Ver Ploeg to Glick, August 4, 1944, Leflar Papers; Ver Ploeg to Ferguson, December 7, 1944, Leflar Papers; and Ver Ploeg to Ferguson, February 1, 1945, Leflar Papers.

174. Ver Ploeg to Glick, June 22, 1944, Leflar Papers; Glick to Ver Ploeg, July 18, 1944, Leflar Papers; Ver Ploeg to Glick, July 27, 1944, Leflar Papers; Glick to Ver Ploeg, August 5, 1944, Leflar Papers.

175. The project attorney worked on many matters that placed him either in a more adversarial and perhaps domineering role toward the internees, such as when he was participating in the screening of their loyalty, or in a more supportive role, such as when he was providing basic legal services to individual internees on matters including divorce, personal injury, income taxation, and the protection of real and personal property back on the West Coast.

176. Housel to Glick, October 17, 1942, Leflar Papers.

177. Housel to Glick, November 17, 1942, Leflar Papers.

178. Jerry Housel in discussion with the author, September 1997, Laramie, Wyoming.

179. Ibid.

180. Jerry Housel to Philip Glick, May 18, 1943, 4, Leflar Papers. When Housel wrote this, tense and even violent uprisings had recently taken place at both the Poston and Manzanar camps.

181. Ibid., 5.

182. Jerry Housel to Philip Glick, June 3, 1943, 5, Leflar Papers.

183. Ibid.

184. The case of Jerry Housel nicely illustrates the dramatic oversimplification in Alexander Leighton's division of WRA staff into the “people-oriented” (for whom the internees were “people first and Japanese secondarily”) and the “stereotype-oriented” (for whom the internees were the inverse). Leighton Alexander, The Governing of Men: General Principles and Recommendations Based on Experience at a Japanese Relocation Camp (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1946), 8188 . Jerry Housel was both.

185. Dorothy Swaine Thomas notes, “High Points in Conversation between DST and Dillon Myer, Tozier, Glick, and Barrows,” January 20, 1944, Records of the Japanese Evacuation and Resettlement Study, Reel 92, quoted in Smith Jason Scott, “New Deal Public Works at War: The WPA and Japanese American Internment,” Pacific Historical Review 72:1, 63–92, at 91.

186. Henshaw Jonathan, “Beyond Collaboration and Resistance: ‘Accommodation’ at the Weihsien Internment Camp, China, 1943–1945,” in Cultural Heritage and Prisoners of War: Creativity Behind Barbed Wire, ed. Carr Gilly and Mytum Harold (New York: Routledge, 2012), 152–53. The term “accommodation” derives from historian Philippe Burrin's study of the Nazi occupation of France. See Burrin Philippe, France under the Germans: Collaboration and Compromise (New York: The New Press, 1996), 460–62.

187. Henshaw, “Beyond Collaboration and Resistance,” 153.

188. Ward James Mace, “Legitimate Collaboration: The Administration of Santo Tomás Internment Camp and Its Histories, 1942–2003,” Pacific Historical Review 77 (2008): 159–201, at 159–61.

189. Burrin, France under the Germans, 461–62.

He thanks the following people for helpful comments on at least one draft of the article: The anonymous reviewer for Law and History Review, Leslie Branden-Muller, Alfred Brophy, Alexa Chew, Andrew Chin, Dan Ernst, Andy Hessick, Karen Inouye, Tom Ikeda, Catherine Kim, Heidi Kim, Joe Kennedy, Lon Kurashige, Bill Marshall, Abby Muller, Brian Niiya, Greg Robinson, Deborah Weissman, and Alice Yang. Josephine Kim provided research assistance.

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Law and History Review
  • ISSN: 0738-2480
  • EISSN: 1939-9022
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