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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.

[1932]

File consists of correspondence to and from H. W. Cooper pertaining to the construction of the penitentiary and matters regarding the personnel and prisoners; a warrant prepared by J. Cartmel pertaining to Mike Woiken, one of the prisoners; a chronology written in shorthand by H. W. Cooper regarding a search for an island to set up the penitentiary; the translation of a letter from Russian to English from an inmate to his wife; a report on the refusal of some prisoners to work; telegrams regarding the construction of the penitentiary; and an empty manila envelope belonging to B.C. Penitentiary.

[Letter from H. W. Cooper to Superintendent of Penitentiaries in Ottawa] re – temporary penitentiary, Piers Island

Item is a letter concerning the arrival of the keeper, clerk, and six guards in Piers Island on Aug. 8; the appointment of Goss as active deputy warden; personnel; first transfer of prisoners to Piers Island; field kitchens; fingerprinting the Doukhobors; and hiring an interpreter.

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