Walter Cline papers, 1942  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Cline, Walter, 1907-2006
Walter Cline papers
1942 (inclusive)
0.18 cubic feet (1 box)
Collection Number
6068 (Accession No. 6068-001)
Materials from Walter Cline's work as a Special Agent for the Farm Security Administration; he was tasked with the forced evacuation of Japanese and Japanese-American people from their homes on the West Coast to government camps
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Walter Cline (November 9, 1907-December 14, 2006) was born in a homesteader cabin in Badger Canyon, Washington, about 12 miles north of Clyde, near Walla Walla, in 1907. Walt graduated from Touchet High School in 1925, and, after working on his family's ranch for a few years, eventually enrolled in Washington State College (now Washington State University) in Pullman, Washington, where he earned his B.S. in Agriculture in 1932, and met his future wife, Theon Rosenkranz, whom he married on May 3, 1933. Walt managed to find a job as a clerk with the USDA in 1934, amidst the Great Depression. He and Theon moved to Portland, Oregon in 1935, where she gave birth to their son Robert in 1940. In 1942, the year this collection comes from, Walt worked as a special agent for the Farm Security Administration, which managed the forced evacuation of Japanese Americans from their homes on the West Coast to internment camps, and transferring the farms owned and operated by Japanese Americans to new owners. Walt joined the Navy as a Lieutenant and was stationed with his family in Washington, D.C. from 1944-1946. After the war he resumed his career with the USDA, returning to Portland, where his family lived until 1986. Walt retired from the USDA in 1968 after 32 years of service. Theron died in 2000, and Walt is survived by his three sisters, his son, and his two grandchildren.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Materials from Walter Cline's work as a Special Agent for the Farm Security Administration; he was tasked with the forced evacuation of Japanese and Japanese-American people from their homes on the West Coast to government camps. Papers span from March-May 1942, and include reports, telegrams, correspondences, evaluations, civilian exclusion orders, envelopes, field notes, schedules, questionnaires, and personnel lists and locations.

Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the forced relocation and incarceration in government camps in the interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who lived on the West Coast. 62% of the internees were United States citizens, but panic and paranoia of Japanese Americans' suspected loyalty to Japan mixed with racism forced these citizens to sell their land and move to internment camps with their families. Conditions in the camps were not good, and varied depending on where they were located. Families lived in barracks-like living areas, and were subject to curfews and were monitored at all times by armed guards. 20,000 Japanese American men served in the US armed forces during WWII, many trying to prove their "loyalty" to the country they were born in. On December 18, 1944, the Supreme Court ruled that loyal citizens of the United States could not be detained without cause, regardless of their culture descent. The exclusion order was rescinded on January 2, 1945. Thousands of people lost their property, homes, jobs, and possessions as a result of the internment. Japanese American families ultimately filed 26,568 claims totaling $148 million under the American Japanese Claims Act, $37 million of which was approved and distributed. In 1988, the Civil Liberties Act provided financial redress of $20,000 for each suriving detainee, and President George H. W. Bush issued a formal apology to all detainees in 1991.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Robert Cline retains right to publish and access from his digital collection.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 Original, Labeled Envelopes - Official Business March 26, 1942
1/2 Civilian Exclusion Orders
Orders (No. 23, 24, 27, 28, 34, 35, 65) for persons of Japanese ancestry in certain areas to report Civil Control Centers under penalty of law
April-May 1942
1/3 Bainbridge Island Evacuation Instructions March 20, 1942
1/4 Report on Planning Meeting for Forced Evacuation March 23, 1942
1/5 Letter of Thanks to Walter Cline
Thanking Mr. Cline for his assistance in the evacuation of all Japanese people from Berkeley. Includes photocopy
May 5, 1942
1/6 Walter Cline's Field Notes Regarding Farm Valuations
Handwritten notes on the back of a Farm Security Administration Control Station Return Notice concerning the valuation of the properties of Satsuki Nakagawa, Daisakuro (sp?) Kawono, Ruizo (sp?) Matsuoko, Masakichi (sp?) Nishimua, Herbert Tanouye, and Frank Moyeda. Farms grew plums, peaches, pears, and grapes.
1/7 Report of Hayaichi Wakayama Farm Case, Including Valuation of Land April 13, 1942
1/8 Telegrams to Walter Cline Regarding Transportation and Evacuation March 22-23, 1942
1/9 Tender of Service Information and Questionnaire (Blank) to Walter Cline April 14, 1942
1/10 Walter Cline's Crew Schedules for Various Evacuation Points May 1942
1/11 Location of Wartime Farm Adjustment District Officers and Special Field Agents March 25, 1942

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Evacuation of civilians--Washington (State)
  • Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
  • Personal Names :
  • Cline, Walter, 1907-2006--Archives
  • Corporate Names :
  • United States. Farm Security Administration--Officials and employees
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Business correspondence
  • Records (Documents)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)