Fonds 77-037 - United States. Armed Forces. Northwest Service Command: Records of the Canol Project and Alaskan Highway fonds

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United States. Armed Forces. Northwest Service Command: Records of the Canol Project and Alaskan Highway fonds

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    • Attributions and conjectures: Title based on the contents of the records.

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    • Microfilmed 1974 (Creation)

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    17 microfilm reels

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    Custodial history

    The microfilms were purchased by the Trent University Archives from the United States' National Archives in Washington, D.C.

    Scope and content

    The microfilms are of records of the United States army, Northwest Service Command and 6th Service Command dealing with the Canol Project and the Alaska Highway Project, including reports, general orders, histories, maps and charts, minutes of meetings and conferences, and demobilization plans. These records also contain international agreements between Canada and the United States. The records on the microfilm date from 1940 to 1946.

    BIOGRAPHY / HISTORY: The early 1940's saw the rapid development of Canadian-American relations brought about by the pressures of World War II. These new relations included military co-operation and economic co-operation exemplified by the Ogdensburg Declaration of August 1940 and the Hyde Park Declaration of April 1941. An area of concern for both Canada and the United States was the region known as the Canadian northwest (north of 60th parallel, west of the 110th meridian). After the Japanese attack on the military base of Pearl Harbour, December 7, 1941, the United States military became increasingly concerned over the safety of Alaska. American military leaders decided that the Canadian northwest was the ideal region on which to build secondary lines of communication to Alaska. This led to the development of the Alaska Highway and the Canol pipeline project to provide transportation into and out of Alaska and petroleum products for the military bases which were quickly cropping up in the area. Both of these projects were under the supervison of the Northwest Service Command of the United States Military and lasted from 1942 to 1945.

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    The microfilm was purchased from the National Archives, Washington, D.C.


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        The original records are located in RG 338 at the National Archives, Washington, D.C.

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        Related books in Trent University Special Collections:

        Schwatka, Frederick. Report of a military reconnaissance in Alaska made in 1883. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1885. F 908 .S44 SE

        • Schwatka was a 1st lieutenant in the 3rd regiment of the Cavalry in the U.S. Army. Schwatka and 6 others left Portland Oregon on May 22, 1883 and sailed north to Alaska. He and those in his party undertook reconnaissance from Chilkoot Inlet, Alaska, to Fort Selkirk, on the Yukon River. His orders were clear: “In view of the frequent reports of the disturbance of the peace between the whites and Indians in Alaska, and the indications that the present condition of affairs must lead to serious hostilities between the two elements in the near future, you are hereby directed to proceed to that Territory for the purpose of gathering all information that can be obtained that would be valuable and
          important, especially to the military branch of the Government.” (p.119). He rafted the full length of the Yukon River. Includes much information on the tribes and villages this group visited as well as 20 maps. Schwatka made this reconnaissance trip before the official border between Alaska and Canada clearly was established.
        • See also a popular version of this government report published 9 years later: Schwatka, Frederick. A summer in Alaska: a popular account of the travels of an Alaska Exploring Expedition along the great Yukon River, from its source to its mouth, in the British North-West Territory, and in the Territory of Alaska. St. Louis, Mo.: J.W. Henry, 1894.

        Edelstein, Julius C. Alaska comes of age. New York: American Council Institute of Pacific Relations, 1942. F 909 .E3 1942 SpC

        • A reminder of Alaska’s strategic importance. “But today Alaska’s value to the United States is no longer counted in terms of the fish, nuggets and furs that add to the national wealth and income. Alaska’s current worth is the concern of strategists rather than of economists; upon the correct use of Alaska in our war plans may depend the fate of our times.” (p. 4)
        • Supplying Alaska in wartime was of great concern and reported are the moves made to build an international highway (The Alaska-Canadian or Alcan Highway) from Ft. St. John British Columbia to Fairbanks, Alaska. In this pre-Cold War time with Russia as a wartime ally, a road all the way through Alaska into
          Siberia is contemplated.

        Driscoll, Joseph. War Discovers Alaska. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1943. F 909 .D75 1943 SpC

        • In the Second World War, the push eastward of Japan and especially the Japanese attack at Dutch Harbor, Alaska re-awakened American interest in Alaska. The author says ”Alaska, heretofore a land without people is bound to develop rapidly from here in, and those who are there now can grow up with the country and get in on the ground floor.” (p. 172)
        • The author see opportunity: “With a view to ultimate colonization of the great open spaces of Alaska, the Department of the Interior has listed southeastern Alaska, the Kenai Peninsula and the Matanuska and Susitna Valleys as regions for large-scale industrial and agricultural exploitation.” (p. [352])
        • The book describes people, places and events in Alaska in order to awaken interested in that territory

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        Microfilm. Set 26.

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