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1919-1920 US Virgin Islands Immigration Letters


In 1917 the Danish West Indies transferred to the United States. This brought about complex questions of citizenship and immigration policy.


The following communications written between officials of the US Government and US Virgin Island demonstrate the state of confusion over applicable immigration procedures.


Read how the fate of Robert Morris (alias Clifford Luna), a black British sailor arriving to the US Virgin Islands on a French vessel, brought the issue of immigration to the forefront of the officials' attention.


List of Officials:

C. C. Timmons, US Virgin Islands Government Secretary (Lt. Governor) from 1919-1921

Rear Admiral Joseph W. Oman, US Virgin Islands Governor from 1919-1921

Darwin O. Curry, Virgin Islands Collector of Customs

Isidor Weishaar, Assistance Commissioner of Immigration, Puerto Rico office (see obituary in top left column)

L.E. Evans, US Commissioner of Immigration, Department of Labor

Rear Admiral George Ramsey Clark, Judge Advocate General, US Navy, 1918-1921


The 1919-1920 letters:


August 4th, 1919, from US Virgin Islands Collector of Customs Curry to US Virgin Islands Governor Oman


March 8th, 1920, from US Assistant Commissioner of Immigration Weishaar(Department of Labor, Puerto Rico) to US Virgin Islands Immigration Officer


March 15th, 1920, from US Virgin Islands Government Secretary Timmons to US Assistant Commissioner of Immigration Weishaar


March 16th, 1920, from US Commissioner of Immigration Evans to US Virgin Islands Government Secretary Timmons


May 31st, 1920, from US Virgin Islands Government Secretary Timmons to US Virgin Islands Despatching Secretary, in reference to US Navy memo of April 23rd, 1920


June 5th, 1920, from Department of the Navy to US Secretary of Labor (Quoting US Virgin Islands Governor Oman)


June 5th, 1920, from US Virgin Islands Government Secretary Timmons to US Commissioner of Immigration Evans


June 7th, 1920, from US Navy Judge Advocate General to US Virgin Islands Governor Oman


June 11th, 1920, from US Commissioner of Immigration Evans to US Virgin Islands Government Secretary Timmons


June 25th, 1920, from US Virgin Islands Government Secretary Timmons to US Commissioner of Immigration Evans