On-line Book
Book Cover
Cover Page


Table of Contents





Brief History

Gila River


Heart Mountain







Tule Lake

Isolation Centers

Add'l Facilities

Assembly Centers

DoJ and
US Army Facilities



Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Confinement and Ethnicity:
Barbed wire divider
An Overview of World War II
Japanese American Relocation Sites

by J. Burton, M. Farrell, F. Lord, and R. Lord

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Chapter 17 (continued)
Department of Justice and U.S. Army Facilities

Department of Justice Internment Camps
Santa Fe, New Mexico

In February 1942 the Department of Justice acquired an 80-acre site from the New Mexico State Penitentiary that included a CCC camp built in 1933 to house 450 men. By March the CCC camp was expanded to house 1,400 men. Housing included wood and tarpaper barracks and 100 "Victory Huts." All but 14 of the victory huts were later replaced by standard Army barracks (Culley 1991).

The camp originally held 826 Japanese American Issei, all men from California. One died at the camp, 523 were transferred to relocation centers, and 302 were transferred to U.S. Army custody. The last internee left the Santa Fe Internment Camp on September 24, 1942. The camp was then used to house German and Italian nationals until February 1943 when the U.S. Army transferred all civilian internees back to the Department of Justice. The Santa Fe camp was then expanded and by June 1945 it held 2,100 Japanese American men whose average age was 53.

Many of the new arrivals were from the Tule Lake Segregation Center and had renounced their U.S. citizenship. This included 366 of what the government considered the most active pro-Japan leaders at Tule Lake. In March 1945 a riot at Santa Fe began when the "Tuleans" were requested to turn in their sweat shirts with rising sun motifs. After the leaders of the protest were removed to Fort Stanton, a crowd gathered, rocks were thrown, and tear gas and clubs were used to break up the crowd. Over 350 internees were put in a stockade and 17 more were sent to the Fort Stanton segregation camp. There were no further disturbances at the camp even after another 399 internees from Tule Lake arrived.

After the end of the war the Santa Fe facility was used as a holding and processing center for other internment camps. As late as March 1946, 200 Japanese American men were transferred to Santa Fe from Fort Lincoln. However, by May only 12 of these remained. The camp closed shortly thereafter and all property was sold as surplus (Thomas et al. 1994). Today the camp site is within a residential subdivision. At the Rosario Cemetery, -1/2 mile east of the camp site, there are graves from two Japanese American men who died during the internment (Narvot 1999a). A State History Museum committee has proposed placing a plaque paid for with private funds at Frank Ortiz City Park overlooking the site, but as of 1999 local opposition has delayed the plaque's installation (Narvot 1999b).

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Last Modified: Fri, Sep 1 2000 07:08:48 pm PDT

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