Five days following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Wyoming Governor Nels Smith sent a letter to all of the county sheriffs in the state, asking for a list of Japanese-Americans in their jurisdiction. The lists were to be returned to Smith and then forwarded to the FBI office in Denver, Colorado. Smith also wrote later to the U.S. War Department regarding rumors of a relocation center being built in Wyoming to house Japanese aliens for the duration of the war. Smith said Wyoming would do its part, but added that the internees had to leave the state as soon as possible.
Not everyone however, opposed the camps. Some individuals felt that any wartime industry would be a boost to Wyoming’s stagnant economy, particularly to help alleviate a farm labor shortage. Explore more reactions by Wyomingites to the camp in this section.