F.A. ANDERSON, YEOMAN USN
Title: 1918 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A NAVY YEOMAN ENJOYING PHILADELPHIA'S SIGHTS AND TRYING TO STAY FREE OF THE FLU
Book Condition: Fair+
Size: 24mo - over 5" - 5¾" tall
Publisher: IOWA PHILADELPHIA NEW YORK  1918
Seller ID: 0002178
On offer is an interesting, original World War I era diary handwritten by F.A. Anderson, an American yeoman in the U.S. Navy and devout Christian who details his travels, training and duties related to his service for America in 1918. The diary spans July 23, 1918 - Feb 28, 1919, and chronicles the author's time in Iowa, The Great Lakes, Philadelphia and New York City. Anderson's diary begins in the summer of 1918 with Anderson as a third class Yeoman who is being moved from company to company at the end of World War 1. When we meet Anderson, he is visiting Co. 434 at Camp Boone in Iowa, working under Commander Earl Osmon (a sheet metal worker from Nettle Creek, Grundy County, Illinois). While there, he was inoculated for typhoid and discusses a day in the life of a yeoman, including the varied work he was assigned, "chow time" at the base, and preparations for the Camp's Inspection Day. While Anderson does not discuss very much about the war itself, he is a keen traveler and, as he moves from Camp Boone to Camp Perry at the Great Lakes, finally settling in Philadelphia, he uses descriptive language to catalogue his travels. From his observation of a church service in Farragut Ravine (in the Great Lakes), where he felt that "God was close", to his time traveling through Mount Union, "the prettiest place [he] had ever seen" on his way to Philadelphia, Anderson leaves no detail unrecorded. The real meat of the diary takes place from Sept 9, 1918 onward, where Anderson stays and works in Philadelphia, under an officer he and his fellow yeomen call "Buffalo Bill" (due to his resemblance to the original). While it is clear that Anderson works hard, he also has ample time to tour Philadelphia and attend services in many local churches. On his first few trips through the state he didn't "think much of" Philadelphia, but he warms to the state as time goes on. His travels take him all over the state, and he comments on several local landmarks including: the Bethany Brotherhood House, site of the Battle of Germantown, Independence and Congress Halls, Betty Ross' House, Strawberry Mansion, Fairmont Park, Schuylkill River, William Penn's House, Quaker Meeting Hall, Christ Church (where he sat in George Washington's pew) and Carpenter's Hall in Old Philadelphia. Anderson was actually out touring the state on October 6, 1918, during the Philadelphia's Flu Epidemic. He notes that all "places of gathering" were closed, and that they were re-opened by November 3rd. His entry on November 7, 1918 is full of excitement: "Rumour that the armistice had been signed causes greatest excitement in the history of the nation. Navy yard workmen quit work. All whistles etc. on boats blow. Streets fill with people blowing horns and throwing confetti." By Christmas Day, 1918, Anderson has passed his exam for Yeoman 1st, and he concludes his diary with a trip to New York City, having recently completed his health tests as a step to receiving his discharge papers from the army. This diary would be a fascinating read for anyone interested in Philadelphia in the 20th century, or those who are interested in the life of a yeoman at the conclusion of World War 1. Also of note, several days of the diary are written in code, notably Halloween 1918 is chronicled in code. Overall condition is fair to good. Some pages have water damage but you can still make out the handwriting. Author writes in pen and pencil. Some damage to the interior spine of the book but it is in tact, and all pages are in tact. Author has written his own dates in so some entries are quite long and others are short. Author has filled 28 pages or so, approximately ¼ of the 4x6 book, with narrative and, if you flip to the back of the book you will note three of names and addresses and the author has tipped in pages of printed naval ranks.
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