National Archive Blog Post #1

Sean Thomas

On Friday September 27th, our class went on our first trip to the National Archives in DC for our research project. It was an incredible experience and was the first time that I have done archival research and been able to go through historical documents. However, while doing the work was very interesting to me, the result of my research was rather dry. This was my first time doing work in an archive, so It took me a while to get into the groove of searching through documents. One mistake that I now understand I made was that I looked at every file in order that was in my box. In the future however, I will first pull out the files that we as a group requested because those ones we know will contain useful information. However, reading through all of the files resulted in me only making it through one box, and only finding one file that we could use.

The one relevant case file I did find however was a very interesting one. It involved an eighteen year old Mexican man named Frank Miller. He had a passport, and legally crossed the border into the US everyday in order to work, returning to Mexico at night where he lived. However, one day he decided not to return to Mexico, which is why he was deported. What connects this file to our case was the fact that another reason given for his deportation was the fact that Frank had Syphilis, a disease that was used as the basis for deportation and denial of entry.

Assistant Commissioner General, New York, N.Y., to Inspector at El Paso, Texas., 1918, File 54395- 73, accession E9, Subject Correspondence, 1906-1932, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, RG 85 (National Archives, Washington, DC).

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