Nance (Afton Dill) Papers
Owning Institution: Japanese American National Museum
About this CollectionThis is a collection of roughly 265-300 letters written by Japanese American students who were incarcerated in American concentration camps, including Heart Mountain, Wyoming and Poston, Arizona during World War II and all addressed to their pre-war teacher, Ms. Afton Dill Nance. Also included in this collection are pictures of Ms. Nance and her students, probably taken in the late 1970s to early 1980s. Ms. Nance taught English and Social Studies at Malaga Cove School in Palos Verdes, California shortly before the war. The student letter writers range from 12 to 15 years of age and most of the letters are written by Paul Kusuda from 1942-47. The letters range in topic from saying goodbye as one student informs Ms. Nance of her family's intent to repatriate back to Japan to a disillusioned teenage boy who talks of the recent Manzanar riots to teenage girls talking of their leisure activities and studies in camp, and resettlement outside of the camps.
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