This collection contains one box of three letters addressed to Virginia B. Lowers, a former high school teacher at University
High School in Los Angeles, California. The letter from Masaru Teshiba contains information regarding his experiences as an
incarceree mostly while at Tule Lake Segregation Center, the letter from Thomas A. Reeves details his combat experiences,
and the letter from W.W. [Escherich] describes events during his trips to Maui, Tientsin China, and Okinawa.
On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which gave the military the authority to
exclude any citizen who posed a threat to national security. As a result, approximately 120,000 Japanese-Americans living
on the West Coast were removed and incarcerated in concentration camps. The Tule Lake Incarceration Center was the largest
of the ten concentration camps with approximately 18,000 internees, and was located close to the California-Oregon border
near the town of Newell, California and 10 miles south of the town of Tulelake. On February 8, 1943, the War Department and
War Relocation Authority (WRA) distributed a questionnaire in order to assess the loyalty of those housed in concentration
camps. The questionnaire was difficult and complex, which led to uncertainty and confusion. Failure to complete the questionnaire,
as well as questions answered in an unsatisfactory manner caused a great number of incarcerees to be deemed “disloyal” and
sent to Tule Lake Segregation Center- the designated location “disloyal” incarcerees.Located south of Bismarck, North Dakota, Fort Lincoln Internment Camp initially held German and Italian seamen who were captured
in U.S. waters in 1939. After the outbreak of World War II, Fort Lincoln was expanded so it could hold both Japanese and German
internees, but shortly after their arrival in 1942, the Japanese-American internees were transferred to other camps. Fort
Lincoln would remain solely a German occupied camp until February 1945, when approximately 650 “recalcitrant” Japanese Americans-
many of whom had renounced their American citizenship, were transferred from the War Relocation Authority (WRA) camp in Tule
Lake, California, and internment camps in Santa Fe, New Mexico to Fort Lincoln. Later that year, over half of the internees
at Fort Lincoln were deported to Japan.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives
and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical
materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.