2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 15, 2019 7:08 PM by Christy Bonnett

    1912-1913 Jesse Clifford Steele DOJ files

    Christy Bonnett Wayfarer



      I had previously requested 1913 Honolulu, Hawaii court documents from NARA for Jesse Clifford Steele's (aliases - James C Steele and Jesse W Clark). You found them in San Francisco and I received them. Thank you so much!


      In my further research I discovered that there was 1913 Department of Justice correspondence between a Raven Rock, West Virginia federal official and Honolulu, Hawaii DA Brekons regarding Jesse, this case and his conviction. The correspondence indicated that based on the Hawaii investigation and conviction, the West Virginia DOJ office was investigating Jesse.


      Jesse Clifford Steele was born 10 Oct 1881 in Raven Rock, West Virginia.


      Would you please let me know how I may request the DOJ documents? The time frame would run from approximately November 1912 to March 1913 and possibly beyond that date.


      Thank you!


        • Re: 1912-1913 Jesse Clifford Steele DOJ files

          Dear Ms. Bonnett,


          Thank you for posting your response on History Hub!


          The records for West Virginia’s Department of Justice are maintained at the state level, you may find the contact information for this agency here.

          If Jesse was prosecuted in a federal court, the records would be, as you suggested, at the National Archives at Philadelphia (RE-PA) (email: philadelphia.archives@nara.gov).


          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: 1912-1913 Jesse Clifford Steele DOJ files
              Christy Bonnett Wayfarer

              Thank you so much, Becca. The court case was prosecuted in a federal court. Hawaii Territory did not have a bigamy law in 1913 so they brought in a federal district attorney to prosecute. The court records were found at NARA's San Francisco location. As there was communication between the West Virginia federal department of justice and the federal DA in Hawaii, that would lead me to believe that the DOJ communication records between the two locations are at NARA.


              Thank you for letting me know that the Philadelphia NARA office would have those communication records.