We’re off to the National Archvies!

Karen and I are headed to College Park, MD, next week to spend three days at the National Archives. Prior to statehood, the US Department of the Interior, Office of the Territories, contracted with Morningside Hospital for the care of Alaskans with mental illnesses. The federal records for these years are at the National Archives.

We are very excited about two record groups in particular:

Letters Received and Related Records concerning the Alaskan Insane, compiled 1900-1911: National Archives, College Park, MDThis series consists of letters received, copies of contracts, telegrams, vouchers, lists of patients, and other records.  Some of the correspondence refers to policy, but most of it concerns the custody and care of mental patients, discharge of cured individuals, and related topics.

Record Group 126, Records of the Office of the Territories: This record group includes 26 boxes pertaining to the care of the insane in Alaska. 

The records will undoubtedly provide more information about the operation of Morningside Hospital and its relationship with the federal government. Of course, our greatest hope is that the boxes at the National Archives contain patient lists. If the patient lists are not there, we’re out of ideas and pretty much at a deadend.

Please contact us if there are particular records that interest you. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed.

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