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Guide to the Wayne M. Collins Papers, 1918-1974 (bulk 1945-1960)
BANC MSS 78/177 c  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Tule Lake Defense Committee History
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Wayne M. Collins Papers
    Date (inclusive): 1918-1974
    Date (bulk): (bulk 1945-1960)
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 78/177 c
    Creator: Collins, Wayne M.
    Extent: Originals: Number of containers: 33 boxes, 4 cartons Microfilm: 38 reels Linear feet: 18.75
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: Consists of selected material remaining from Collins' San Francisco legal practice. Major portion of collection is devoted to his work as legal representative for the Tule Lake Defense Committee from 1945 to 1960. Includes correspondence, litigation documents for mass civil and equity suits filed for renunciants, individual case files, and financial files for the Committee's trust accounts. Also includes Collins' legal files representing his civil liberties and general law practice, including case files and other materials concerning East Indian deportation, Levering Act/Loyalty Oath controversy, estate files of Astaroth Haskell and Bruce Porter, and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. Also includes a small amount of personal papers, including family correspondence, genealogical, other biographical materials, and ephemera.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Preferred Citation [Identification of item], Wayne M. Collins Papers, BANC MSS 78/177 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley., BANC MSS 78/177 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Related Collections

    • Title: Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records,
      Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 67/14 c
    • Title: Records of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946: Field Basic Documentation, located at the National Archives...[microform],
      Identifier/Call Number: BANC FILM 1932.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Wayne M. (Mortimer) Collins Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by his son, Wayne M. (Merrill) Collins on March 22, 1978.

    Funding

    Funding for processing and partial microfilming provided by Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) Title III: Networking, Preservation and Statewide Resource-sharing grant for the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records Project, 1994-1996.

    Tule Lake Defense Committee History

    In late 1944 and early 1945, over 5,000 native-born United States citizens of Japanese ancestry interned at Tule Lake Segregation Center renounced their U.S. citizenship. As a result, these renunciants were classified "alien enemies" under the provisions of the Alien Enemy Act. On July 14, 1945, President Truman issued Public Proclamation No. 2655 authorizing their removal to Japan. San Francisco attorney, Wayne M. Collins, began advising the renunciants of their legal rights during August 1945. For those desiring to remain in the United States, the first step was an appeal by letter to the Attorney General, withdrawing their renunciation on the grounds that it had been the direct result of governmental duress, private coercion, and undue influence.
    After V-J Day the renunciants formed the Tule Lake Defense Committee to facilitate and finance what they foresaw as an extended legal process. Thirty-two committeemen and a five-person Executive Committee were selected from their ranks. The first Executive Committee (Chairman Harry Uchida, Yasuo Honda, Yoshiro Kaku, Fumio Masuoka, and George Tsuetaki) negotiated a verbal agreement with Collins to represent their legal interests and began raising money to finance the endeavor with pledges from members.
    On November 13, 1945, Collins filed two mass class equity suits (Abo v. Clark, No. 25294 and Furuya v. Clark,No. 25295) and two mass class habeas corpus proceedings (Abo v. Williams, No. 25296 and Furuya v. Williams,No. 25297) in the U.S. District Court at San Francisco. Representing approximately 1,000 renunciants, these cases sought to determine nationality, prevent removal to Japan, end internment, and cancel renunciation. The lawsuits immediately stayed the removal of the internees to Japan and forced “mitigation hearings.” These hearings, conducted in Tule Lake, California, Bismarck, North Dakota, and Sante Fe, New Mexico, resulted in the release and relocation of most of those in the enemy alien camps. Those remaining in enemy alien camps were eventually paroled into Collins' custody before the cancellation of their removal orders and their outright release. Collins and the Committee represented 4,754 persons in mass civil and equity suits. Of those, approximately 1,000 had their renunciations cancelled by final judgment, and administrative remedies were agreed upon for the rest.
    In addition to the renunciants, Collins and the Committee represented individuals stranded in Japan during the war or deported for renunciation and unable to return to the United States (strandees), and Japanese Peruvians deported to the United States from Peru during the war, who were subsequently being deported from the United States to Japan (Japanese Peruvians).
    Throughout the extended litigation, the Tule Lake Defense Committee maintained contact with the parties to the various suits and negotiations, informed them of progress, obtained evidence from and for them, and solicited contributions to defray expenses. They negotiated with Collins and monitored the trust fund created to disperse Committee funds until the disbanding of their Los Angeles office in 1958. The Committee remained a voluntary, unincorporated, nonprofit organization throughout its existence.

    Scope and Content

    The Wayne M. Collins Papers consist of selected material remaining from his San Francisco legal practice and a small number of personal papers, spanning the years 1918-1974.
    The major portion of the collection is devoted to Collins' work as legal representative for the Tule Lake Defense Committee from 1945 to 1960. It includes correspondence, litigation documents for mass civil and equity suits filed for renunciants, individual case files, and financial files for the Committee's trust accounts, which Collins managed. Also included are Collins' case files for the 1944 "stockade cases," in which he represented evacuees imprisoned for violations of Tule Lake's special project regulations prohibiting Japanese Nationalistic activities, and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) renunciant case files given to Collins in 1958 by Ernest Besig.
    The remainder of Collins' legal Papers contain selected files representing his civil liberties and general law practice from 1947 to 1963. These include case files and other materials dealing with East Indian deportation, the Levering Act/Loyalty Oath controversy, estates of Collins' friends, Astaroth Haskell and Bruce Porter, and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement of 1964. Collins' office files include extensive correspondence with the Society for Helping Boys and the Swedenborgian Churches of San Francisco, Tokyo, and South Africa.
    Finally, a small number of personal papers, including family correspondence, genealogical, and other biographical materials and ephemera are also included.