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Archival description
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[1934]

File consists of correspondence to and from H. W. Cooper regarding the release of Doukhobor convicts; the sequence of events from the arrival of the “Sons of Freedom” at the penitentiary; and Deputy Warden R. S. Douglass, his responsibilities at Piers Island Penitentiary, and his successful performance of duties . File also contains one letter from G. Sloan, Attorney General of B.C., to Hugh Guthrie, Minister of Justice, pertaining to policies towards the “Sons of Freedom”.

Correspondence and other documents

Series documents the imprisonment of Sons of Freedom convicts at Piers Island Penitentiary between 1932 and 1934, from its initial stage in search for an island to set up the prison to determining the conditions for release of the prisoners. The records, the majority of which consist of correspondence between senior officials, shed light on the construction and management of the prison, as well as the problems that the federal prison system encountered regarding both personnel and prisoners.
Series consists of textual records including correspondence, telegrams, and memoranda, most of which were written to or by H. W. Cooper. The remainder of the records were created by other authorities, prisoners, and relatives of prisoners. Series also contains a warrant written by J. Cartmel and a chronology written in shorthand by H. W. Cooper. Also included in the series is an empty manila envelope. The records in this series have been arranged into the following three files: 1932; 1933; and 1934.

Photographs

Series displays photographs taken on Piers Island showing the officers, guards, and matrons; male and female prisoners visiting through a fence that separates men’s and women’s compounds; female prisoners working; penitentiary buildings; penitentiary perimeter; vessel used for transferring prisoners; and a patrol boat. As there are no dates recorded for these photographs, it is not possible to determine the exact dates they were taken; however, based on the subject matter, it is assumed that dates of creation are between 1932 and 1934.

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