Date Original

1942 December 03


Letter written by D. Palmer Patterson, Arkansas's director under the United States Employment Service, informing E. B. Whitaker, regional director of the War Relocation Authority in Arkansas, that the Governor would not allow Japanese Americans out of the camps to work in Arkansas.

Biographical/Historical Note

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9022, creating the War Relocation Authority (WRA). The WRA selected ten sites in which to imprison more than 110,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, over two-thirds of whom were American citizens. Two of these centers were in the Arkansas Delta, one at Rohwer in Desha County, and the other at Jerome in sections of Chicot and Drew counties. Over 16,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated in these two centers between October 1942 and November 1945. The Norfolk Dam was approved for development by Congress under the Flood Control Act of 1938, and the United States Army Crops of Engineers started construction in 1941. Funding for this project, however, was not awarded until the Flood Act of 1941, which included authorization for hydroelectric power. The United States was in need of more power plants to increase wartime manufacturing. The Utah Construction Company and Morrison-Knudsen Construction Company were contracted to build Norfolk Dam. During World War II, this project suffered from lack of manpower since most of the working age men were being drafted into the military.

Physical Description

Letter, 8" x 10"


Adkins, Homer Martin, 1890-1964; Evacuation of civilians; Military assistance; Military camps; Camps; War; Japanese; Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945; World War, 1939-1945--Concentration Camps--United States--Arkansas; Internment camps; Relocation camps; labor; Employment; Dam construction; Dams; Unemployment


Patterson, D. Palmer

Geographical Area

Little Rock, Pulaski County (Ark.)




MS.000404, Box 4, Folder 112, Item 56

Resource Type



Homer M. Adkins papers, MS.000404


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Letter, D. Palmer Patterson to E.B. Whitaker, Homer M. Adkins papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History


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Additional Content

Hazel Retherford papers, MS.000643; Amon Guy Thompson papers, MG04582-MG04586; Austin Smith papers, 1942-1945, MG04350; Beauty Behind Barbed Wire: The Arts of the Japanese in Our War Relocation Camps, MG01299; Community Analysis Reports and Community Analysis Trend Reports of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946, MG03846-MG03847; Japanese Camp papers, MG03848-MG03869



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Letter, D. Palmer Patterson to E.B. Whitaker