3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 16, 2021 9:17 AM by Shane Bell

    Locating records for Treasury Department employee, 1860s

    Lloyd Belton Newbie

      Hello History Hub Community!


      I'm trying to find any records on someone who I believe was one of the earliest black employees to work at the Treasury Department. His name was Antero J. Barboza (1841-1897) and he was originally from Brazil. From the US congressional serial sets, I've managed to figure out that he worked as a messenger in the office of the Secretary of the Treasury from 1867-69. Along with Solomon Johnson, he appears to have been one of the first black employees to work at the Treasury. He may have also been one of the only black foreigners employed by the US federal government at the time.


      I'm hoping to find any records relating to his time working in the Treasury Department. Would there be any record of his background and qualifications; his application to work there; his entrance exams; and/or any letters regarding promotions? I note that NARA has some records in Record Group 56 but none seem to be digitized. Are any of these materials online, and if not, can one pay for copies? Also, is there anywhere else I can look, e.g. digitized collections? I live overseas and so won't be able to access NARA archives, even when they open post-Covid.


      Thanks very much for your help.





        • Re: Locating records for Treasury Department employee, 1860s
          Shane Bell Wayfarer

          Dear Mr. Belton,


          Thank you for posting your inquiry on History Hub.


          Official Personnel Folders covering the period 1850-1951 are held at the National Archives at St. Louis.  According to information on their website, they do have records from the Department of Treasury in these holdings.  The listing on their website indicates these folders begin for Treasury in 1883.  However, you may inquire with them to see if Mr. Barboza has a file.  Information on these files and their contact information can be found here: https://www.archives.gov/st-louis/opf


          The vast majority of RG 56 (Treasury Department) records are held at The National Archives at College Park.  According to the Guide to Federal Records, it appears there are some personnel related records among their holdings.  https://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/056.html#56.3.2  You may contact them via this email: archives2reference@nara.gov


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.