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Letters From The Turn Of The Century

No family historian can possibly explain the thrill of coming across some old letters squirreled away many years ago. Such was my delight when an elderly aunt forwarded a package of letters and pictures that had been saved for almost a hundred years. Two of my grandfathers brothers were military men, not generals nor war heroes with great memoirs, but simply a soldier and a sailor with wondrous stories to tell the folks back home.

The Richardson family lived in Box Iron, Maryland, in an area between Snow Hill and Public Landing in Worcester county. The first generation of the Richardsons arrived from England in the mid-1600's settling within 50 miles of Box Iron. Most of the family remained in the area over the next several hundred years. Great grandfather James Richardson and his family of nine children worked in Box Iron as truck farmers until 1903 when they moved to Salisbury. Most of the sons were beginning their business adventures at this time while two were journeying overseas in different and more worldly experiences.

Robert , the oldest brother, joined the Navy at the time of the Spanish American War. He was the first of a large close knit family to leave the remote corner of Worcester County, Maryland for a journey which took him around the world many times. Archie, ten years junior to Robert, set off to Europe as a soldier in World War I. Perhaps it was Roberts' grandiose tales of adventure which led Archie to pursue a similar trek. Their letters home were windows to the world for their brothers and sisters in the days before telephones and televisions.

Archie L. Richardson Letter November 27, 1918 from France

Robert Richardson Letter July 20, 1900 from Kure, Japan aboard USS Oregon

Robert Richardson Letter June 17, 1901 from Sydney, Australia aboard USFS Brooklyn

Robert Richardson Letter September 1, 1901 from Manilla, PI aboard USS Brooklyn

Robert Richardson Letter from Melbourn, Australia aboard USS Brooklyn

Robert Richardson Letter November 5, 1901 from Yokohama, Japan aboard USFS Brooklyn


September, 1998 web page author, George E. Richardson, III