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This collection of correspondence and postcards is a rare chance to follow the experiences of a sailor during the entire cruise around the world through details letters sent to his family. Few of the collection that I have seen have more than a few letter. This collection has more than one from each port visit and a collection of postcards supporting the letters. Milton was a Third Class Electrician on the USS Georgia, the same ship as Brown & Shaffer, the two photographers that created postcards. Milton purchased many of their cards and are part of this collection. To present this collection I have tried to make it interesting by showing pages of the letters and also transcribing them for easy reading.
AT SEA - DECEMBER 5, 1907
Received your welcome letter today also postcards and book and can not understand where you managed to find them. It must of been an accident because when I was there we looked high and low and could not find a trace of them.
We left this morning for Hampton Roads and will join the fleet there and leave December 16 for the Pacific Coast. My only hope is to get down where it is warm so we won't freeze to death. It has been awfully cold here the past week and I nearly froze to death. Tuesday we took 1800 tons of coal aboard and I was on deck nearly all day in the rain and snow and then had to run a search light at night. The next day we took provisions aboard and at Hampton Roads we take on ammunition.
I suppose I did do wrong by breaking my liberty but I seen the First Lieutenant he said no 48 hours was enough and so I just extended it myself. I got just what I expected and not worrying or kicking. I had a good time and that is all I care.
So you received my $15 dollars you can either send it to Paul or put it in the bank and in another month will will get $15 more and so fort 12 months. I expect to send home more but not for awhile as next pay I will only draw $8 and pay after that will be ten and will not get $15 until I am 2nd Class which will be in 2 months.
There is not much to write about so can not write a very long letter. So Mother was too a flinch party and had a good time. I have almost forgotten how to play than as it is a long time since played and don't expect to play again for awhile.
I will write and give you all the information that I can on my trip. I am glad I am going because it will give me an opportunity to see something I have never seen and may never see again. I think my journey will be a pleasant one.
Father you advice is very good and should have paid more attention before as I grow older. I begin to see my mistake I made in the beginning but I have no one to blame but myself. I am glad the neck-scarf comes in handy and will try and send Roger one later but just now I am too busy to reading my letters. I know how busy you are and do not expect a long letter from you dear old dad but just a word to let me know how business is and I am satisfied.
Give my love to all and kiss Peter for me and I hope to hear from you all real soon.
From your loving son,
M. H. Willard
USS Georgia c/o P.M.N.Y. N.Y.
The above real photo postcards were sent home by Willard in his letters from Trinidad. They are interesting for the handwriting, "Mayflower - Ships in full dress previous to departing Hampton Roads & "Teddy's" review. Dec 16, 1907" and "Fleet putting out to sea. Dec 17, 07" Both in the same handwriting on the negatives. These could be made by Brown & Shaffer as their cards have similar handwriting but normally in the margins.