Hampton Roads: Welcome Home!

On February 22nd, 1909, Washington's Birthday, the fleet arrived in Hampton Roads.  They were met by President Roosevelt and a proud nation of people cheering and waving their success.  Norfolk was jammed with families and visitors from all across the nation who and come to greet the fleet upon their arrival home.  Hotels were packed and many stayed as far away as Richmond to have an opportunity to see the returning fleet of battleships.


Return Home Silk

souvenir of our cruise around the world

This is a silk scarf approximately 14" x 14" that was sold at the end of the cruise and probably available in Hampton Roads.

The silk pictures the battleships of the fleet in life savers with the admirals and president.  Both Sperry and Evans are included.  The ships that were selected to be included were from  the second leg of the cruise and does not include the Maine or Alabama.

In the background is a world map depicting the route of the ships as they made their journey.





Above is a scarf that was available for purchase in Norfolk.  Measuring 20" x 20" it included the ships and admirals with a map of their journey.  At left photography studios made postcards for sailors that were ringed with postcard images of the ship and titled with their achievement.  Every ship had a card that documented each port of their historic journey.  There were endless souvenirs to purchase and send.

Same day photographs of the Mayflower with the president and images of the battleships firing a salute as they arrived from sea.  Many of the postcards would be sold for years to come in the Hampton Roads area as a historic moment in the life of the city.  By this time all of the ships were using the postal cancellations they had received and cards can be found sent to everywhere in the country.  Stamps of the cruise, "the Franklin" were change to "the Washington" as they arrived back in the States.



Welcome Home door card 001

uncle sam's warships

This creative card featured Uncle Sam with a booklet that open and the 16-battleships spill out in a long string.  It was quite popular and many were sold with Sperry and Roosevelt.  It was also available with Admiral Evans and Roosevelt for those who preferred "Fighting Bob."

Welcome Home door card open 001



my cruise with "fighting bob" and the big sixteen 1907-1908

Realizing the historic nature of his trip, Musician, Second Class C. E. Wise, of the USS Kansas went ashore in San Francisco and bought a scrap book that he could save souvenir postcards during the trip.  "My Cruise with "Fighting Bob" was on the cover and word of his replacement were being said, but the scrapbook he found was nicely organized and had a place to write in his itinerary, he bought it.

During the next ten months he didn't take the scrapbook out much accept to put a card or two in and now and then record some dates.  Most of free energies were put towards sending cards and letters home and visiting places during his port visit.  The cards he kept for the book were of his personal interests and the "left-overs" from those he didn't mail.  At homecoming in Hampton Roads he added some to round things out and stored things away to be found 100-years later.



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