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Census Records

To acquaint its readers with opportunities for genealogical research in the National Archives, each issue of Prologue will describe federal records of particular interest to the genealogist and local historian. Readers with suggestions about topics or problems relating to federal records, which they would like to see featured, should write to James D. Walker, Prologue, National Archives (GSA), Washington, DC 20408.

Genealogy Notes for the winter 1972 issue included a table listing federal population census schedules available on interlibrary loan from the archives branches of the federal records centers. Changes in the location of certain microfilm and new additions are indicated in the revised table on page 117. Prologue will continue to list additional census microfilm as it becomes available at federal records centers.

Local History and Federal Records on Microfilm

The response to the above invitation has been almost overwhelming. A number of readers have requested research assistance with local, state, private, and foreign records or have suggested topics of dubious value or of interest to only a few readers. It is not our intent to discourage letters but rather to clarify our policy. We can offer assistance only with research problems directly related to federal records, and we will publish only articles of interest to a wide audience. We will try to be as responsive as possible to our genealogical public, but many elementary problems presented to us can be solved by a visit to a local genealogical, historical, or public library or by consulting a good genealogy textbook. Basic genealogical source materials are mentioned in each Genealogy Notes section, and others are listed in leaflets included in a free genealogical kit available from the National Archives and Records Service (NNC), Washington, DC 20408.

Besides census material, many records of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government dealing with regional or local issues and events are of value in local historical research. Jane F. Smith, in “The Use of Federal Records in Writing Local History: A Case Study," Prologue 1 (1969) : 29-51, has pointed out that many existing local histories would have to be rewritten, or at least revised, if all relevant federal records were to be used in writing local history. By using a variety of records in the National Archives she developed the pattern of settlement and the pioneer history of Linden Township in Wisconsin. Herman R. Friis in the same issue of Prologue demonstrated the use of federal cartographic materials in writing

Federal Population Census Schedules Available
at Archives Branches of Federal Records Centers*

Federal Records


Federal Population Census Schedules


Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, 1850 and 1880

New York



Kansas City

New Jersey, New York, 1850 and 1880
Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, 1850 and
1880; West Virginia, 1880
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South
Carolina, Tennessee, 1850 and 1880
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, 1850 and 1880
Dakota Territory, 1880; lowa, 1850 and 1880; Kansas, 1865, 1875, and 1880;
Kansas Territory, 1855; Minnesota, Missouri, 1850 and 1880; Nebraska, 1880
and 1885; Nebraska Territory, 1860
Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, 1850 and 1880
Arizona Territory, Colorado, 1880; New Mexico Territory, Utah Territory, 1850
and 1880; Wyoming Territory, 1880
California, 1850 and 1880; Nevada, 1880
Idaho, Montana, 1880; Oregon, 1850 and 1880; Washington, 1880

Fort Worth


San Francisco


*See inside cover for complete addresses.

the history of southern Wisconsin in the early nineteenth century. Through documents and maps in the custody of the National Archives and explanatory footnotes, both authors show how federal records can be effectively used in local history and even to some extent in genealogical research.

Because not all of the records cited by Smith and Friis have been microfilmed, not all are available at the federal records centers. Some, however, are included in M236, Territorial Papers of the United States: The Territory of Wisconsin, 1836-1848. The introduction to the series on roll.1 and the pamphlet accompanying the microfilm publication identify the records of eleven federal agencies found in twenty-six separate record groups at the National Archives and the Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland. Both the microfilm,

which may be purchased, and the pamphlet are available from the National Archives and Records Service (NATS), Washington, DC 20408.

Other microfilmed volumes of the Territorial Papers of the United States that will be of interest to the local historian are in M721: Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, 1787-1803; Territory South of the River Ohio, 1790-96; Territory of Mississippi, 1809-17; Territory of Indiana, 180016; Territory of Orleans, 1803-12; Territory of Michigan, 1805-37; Territory of Louisiana-Missouri, 1803-21; Territory of Illinois, 1809-18; Territory of Alabama, 1817-19; Territory of Arkansas, 1819-36; Territory of Florida, 1821-28; and Territory of Florida, 1839-45. Some of the original volumes included in this microfilm publication are no longer available for purchase.


Some of the documents identified in this series have also been microfilmed: M200, Territorial Papers of the United States Senate, 1789-1873; M431, Interior Department Territorial Papers relating to Colorado, 1861-88; M430, Alaska, 1869-1911; M249, Arizona, 1868-1913; M428, Utah, 1850-1902; M364, New Mexico, 1851-1914; M310, Dakota, 1863-89; M204, Wyoming, 1870-90; M192, Montana, 1867-89; M191, Idaho, 1864-90; and M189, Washington, 1854-1902. Additional records relating to some territorial officials mentioned in the Territorial Papers of the United States can be found in microfilm editions of letters of application and recommendation written during the administrations of the following presidents: M406, John Adams, 1797-1801; M418, Thomas Jefferson, 1801-09; M438, James Madison, 1809-17; M439, James Monroe, 1817-25; and M531, John Quincy Adams, 1825-29.

Other microfilm of interest in local history research and available on interlibrary loan from the archives branches of the federal records centers include:

M588, “War of 1812 Papersof the Department of State, 1789-1815. In time of war the duties of the Department of State have always been expanded. During the War of 1812 an act of Congress (2 Stat. 759) authorized the secretary of state to issue commissions of letters of marque and reprisal to private armed vessels permitting them to cruise against the enemies of the United States. Owners of merchant vessels filed applications for the commissions with the State Department or with collectors of customs. Many collectors were allowed to issue commissions received in blank from the Department of State to privateers. The collectors often sent the original applications to the department and periodically forwarded abstracts of the commissions they had granted. During the war the department also issued permits for aliens to leave the United States and received reports from U.S. marshals on aliens and prisoners of

war in their districts, reports from collectors of customs and State Department agents on the impressment of seamen, and reports from the department's secret agents on British movements in the Chesapeake Bay area. The department also had responsibility for negotiating the treaty at the end of the war.

M162, The Revolutionary War Prize Cases: Records of the Court of Appeals in Cases of Capture, 1776-87. These cases constitute a valuable source of documentary material for the maritime and commercial history of the revolutionary war and for the development of admiralty law. They are also useful for a study of prize procedures in particular states or colonies or for a comparative study of procedures in different

From the copies of the records of proceedings as well as from the numerous papers forwarded on appeal, which had been filed with or created by these lower courts, it is possible to determine the procedures used by most of them. These records should be of interest to economists, biographers, and naval, social, and legal historians. In them, for example, are evidences of the exploits of some of the early American naval heroes such as John Barry, John Manley, Daniel Bucklin, and Stephen Decatur; letters or documents signed by John Jay, Benedict Arnold, Alexander Hamilton, and other important revolutionary figures; significant source material on the British occupation and evacuation of Boston; copies of letters from Barry to Benjamin Franklin, John Laurens, and others; and a packet of private letters addressed by residents of British-occupied New York to friends and relatives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

M178, Correspondence of the Secretary of the Treasury with Collectors of Customs, 1789-1883. The letters reproduced in this microfilm publication relate to the various activities coming under the jurisdiction of the customs service in the early years of its history. They concern the collection of duties; the control of the importation and exportation of merchandise; the allowance of drawbacks; the entrance and clearance of vessels from U.S. ports; the detection and prevention of smuggling; the documentation of vessels; the outfitting, repair, and operation of revenue cutters and the overall administration of the revenue cutter service; the maintenance and operation of lighthouses and marine hospitals; and the enforcement of navigation and passenger laws and customs regulations. Some of the letters relate to the appointment and dismissal of naval officers, surveyors, and other customhouse employees and to requests for operating funds and statements of accounts.

M661, Historical Information Relating to Military Posts and Other Installations, ca. 1700-1900. The eight rolls of this microfilm publication reproduce the twenty-sevenvolume Outline Index of Military Forts and Stations, which contains historical information about military posts and other installations and related historical informa

tion for the period from about 1700 to 1900. The volumes also contain a few sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and twentieth-century references. The volumes are part of the records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780's1917, Record Group 94.

M248, Publications of the National Archives. This microcopy contains publications dated 1936-66 of both the independent National Archives and the National Archives and Records Service, with the exception of the Territorial Papers of the United States, the publications of the National Historical Publications Commission and the Offices of the Federal Register, Records Management, Federal Records Centers, and Presidential Libraries.

The microfilm publications mentioned above are available at your local library on interlibrary loan. Complete Standard Form 162, which may be obtained from your local librarian, and send it to the chief of the archives branch of the federal records center nearest your home.


The National Archives Advisory Council held its fall meeting October 20-21, 1972, in the National Archives Building. Archivist of the United States James B. Rhoads presided as chairman. Members of the council present were Louis Morton, representing the American Historical Association, Vernon Carstensen and William D. Aeschbacher for the Organization of American Historians, Clement E. Vose for the American Political Science Association, Harold F. Williamson for the American Economic Association, Jerome M. Clubb for the Social Science Research Council, Herman Kahn for the Society of American Archivists, Jean Stephenson for the National Genealogical Society, Rodman W. Paul for the Western History Association, ex-officio member Robert H. Bahmer, and public members Richard W. Hale, Charles E. Reid, and Jere A. Chase. Rhoads announced the reappointment of the following members to new three-year terms: Norman A. Graebner for the American Historical Association, William D. Aeschbacher for the Organization of American Historians, Glen Robinson for the National Education Association, and Lewis L. Strauss as a public member. Harold Williamson is retiring as the representative of the American Economic Association. Rhoads announced that Norman Graebner has been appointed chairman of the Joint Committee on Historians and Archives of the American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, and Society of American Archivists.

It was announced that legislation has been drafted for the establishment of a National Historical Records Commission. The archivist would be chairman in a relationship similar to that which exists between NARS and the National Historical Publications Commission. Prior to making grants, the new commission would have to approve plans for the preservation of historical records submitted by the states. This legislation is similar to the Historic Preservation Act and has been endorsed by the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission.

Differences between the National Archives and the Bureau of the Census over opening the 1900 census to research were discussed.

John M. Scroggins, chief of the planning and analysis branch, reported on new guidelines for the conduct of public advisory groups subject to the Federal Advisory Commission Standards Act, which controls the growth of advisory committees and assures their accessibility to the public. Rhoads announced that a notice of each meeting will be published in the Federal Register along with the agenda. Any council reports will be filed in the Library of Congress as now required, but council minutes will continue to be

of the

permanent records of the National Archives and Records Service.

The council voted to hold its next meeting at the new Federal Archives and Records Center in San Bruno, California, in March.

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