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Walter Rathbun writes from the S.S. Matanzas of the Ward Line and Ella-May writes from her home in New Orleans, Louisiana. Walter relates some of his onboard duties and says he wants to enter the U.S. Coast Guard School. He tells of his past relationships and of his past wild ways. These letters are the beginning of his courtship of Ella-May.
Scope and Contents Walter remembers saying goodbye to Ella-May seven years ago in 1909. He is transferred to the S.S. Pamco of the Ward LIne as a 2nd Officer, then returns to the S.S. Saratoga doing military duty since the ship is being turned into a hospital ship. He's taking an exam for chief mate, but needs to decide whether to take an officer job of "navigating Lieutenant" on an auxiliary cruiser. Ella-May writes about her job, family and friends.
Very few letters between Walter and Ella-May since they ended their relationship during this time. There are letters from Walter's father and brother, Charlie, both associated with ships. Walter is in Norfolk, Virginia, Newport News, Virginia and Woodstock, New York and works on ships S.S. Oglethorpe and S.S. San Pasqual.
Walter works on the S.S. Lorraine Cross in Argentina, Texas and Brazil. He marries sometime in 1922. Correspondence is with family members. Ella-May sends him a Christmas card on December 12, 1923.
Walter and Ella-May continue writing love letters to each other, interspersed with news of their daily activities and the problem of annulling his marriage. Walter's Mother writes to him regularly.