Los Alamos Ranch School Seizure Letter

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Los Alamos Ranch School Seizure Letter
by Henry Stimson

The Los Alamos Ranch School was a boarding school for boys in Los Alamos, New Mexico. During World War II, it was seized by the United States War Department and converted into Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the first atomic bomb was designed and built.



[DEC 1942]

Mr. A. J. Connell
President and Director
Los Alamos Ranch School
Espanola, New Mexico

Dear Sir:

You are advised that it has been determined necessary to the interests of the United States in the prosecution of the War that the property of the Los Alamos Ranch School be acquired for military purposes.

Therefore, pursuant to existing law, a condemnation proceeding will be instituted in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico to acquire all of the school's lands and buildings, together with all personal property owned by the school and used in connection with its operation. Although the acquisition of this property is of the utmost importance in the prosecution of the war, it has been determined that it will not be necessary for you to surrender complete possession of the premises until February 8, 1943. It is felt that this procedure will enable you to complete the first term of the regular school year without interruption.

You are further advised that all records pertaining to the aforesaid condemnation proceeding will be sealed, by order of the Court, and public inspection of such records will be prohibited. Accordingly, it is requested that you refrain from making the reasons for the closing of the school known to the public at large.

Sincerely Yours,
[Henry Stimson]
Secretary of War.