|Nile Steamer, about 1936|
Photo from the Library of Congress. Photographer G. Eric Matson.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Thursday, December 25, 2014
|USS General M.C. Meigs. This photo|
taken July 1945 in Brazil.
|"Sudan Wadi Halfa RR Hotel From Garden 1936" by|
Matson Photo Service, photographer.
(G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection)
There we get another train to Khartoum, change to still another there, and go to Kosti to get another Nile steamer. From here to Kosti takes 5 days, and from Kosti to Juba takes 11 days on the steamer provided the boat does not get stuck in the floating islands of papyrus and “sud” that grow in the river. From Juba it’s only 5 hours by car to Aba. If all goes according to schedule we should be at Aba around December 8, which will be just 22 years to the day since we first sailed from New York for the Congo. Until a few hours ago it was still uncertain as to whether we would be able to get booking on the steamer that goes from Kosti to Juba. But this morning I heard that places that had been reserved for some others would be available for us.
A day or two after they reached Cairo his wife developed appendicitis, with perforation and peritonitis. An operation was done in the middle of the night, and what with penicillin and Sulfa she has recovered and is going to leave the hospital today after having spent nearly 3 weeks there. And then shortly after the wife was taken to the hospital the youngest son, aged 11, became ill with some peculiar sort of paralysis and has been in hospital ever since, unable to walk. No definite diagnosis has been made as yet, although they do not now think it is Infantile Paralysis . However, he is steadily improving, and since the Gripsholm is going to be late because of its engine trouble, the Stoughs will probably be able to catch…[illegible]… so good for the Klines who also came this way to get the Gripsholm and have been held up all this while, paying high hotel bills while waiting for it. But at that they are far better off than the Stoughs and our two weeks wait here is as nothing compared to the time the Stoughs have had.
Map created by George Meyers, Map Wizard. Thanks!
1. Abyssinia was an older term for Ethiopia, and the Rhodesias were Northern (now Zambia) and Southern (now Zimbabwe).
2. My mother and dad agree that this would refer to street cars, or trolleys.
3. Here is an additional source of information on the Meigs, which was laid down in September 1943, served in WW2 and the Korean War, and then while being towed to salvage in 1972, was caught in a gale and broke up on the rocks at Cape Flattery, Washington.
4.Rachel Winsor Stough died in March 1944 according to the Billy Graham archives.
5. Elizabeth Carolyn (Quackenbush) Stough. See her biographical sketch at the Billy Graham archives.
6. Infantile paralysis is an old term for poliomyelitis (polio). Phil Stough was later diagnosed with polio.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
|Aquitania passenger list, December 1923|
They went from England to Ost-end, Belgium and there got a ship to the Congo port of Banana.
Here is the link for the Wikipedia entry on the RMS Aquitania.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Mother speaking. Here we are again in this beautiful harbor of Naples. When we got up this morning we could see the islands at the entrance to the harbor. It was beautiful as we came slowly in. There is evidence of great damage in the harbor. Several sunken ships partly out of the water; the modern dock building where our ship is berthed is nearly a complete wreck from bombs. We can see other buildings that are wrecked too. The dock is swarming with Jeeps and all sorts of American war vehicles as well as American soldiers; for Italy is still under military rule. We are not to be allowed ashore at any of the places we stop. It's a State Department order for all passengers. We're sure sorry about this. Our next stop will be Piraeus, Greece. This morning a Flying Fortress and two fighters gave a real welcome as we came into the harbor. It was very thrilling as they circled low at top speed several times.
When we passed through the Straits of Gibraltar it was so lovely. The sea was calm and blue, and our first glimpse of Africa (home) were the lovely Atlas Mountains. The view of the Rock of Gibraltar was disappointing as we didn't go very close to it. There were school after school of porpoises playing that afternoon, a special exercise put on for our benefit I think. We have been wishing for you every time there was anything of interest. We miss you at every turn. My birthday was a secret between us. It was a happy day. I'm feeling younger instead of older, that's a fact! Maybe it's because I'm leading such a lazy life.
As soon as you can get some films send us some snapshots. I'm longing already for a picture of you. Would you like to have your picture taken for us and have some cards made like we did last year? If so, do, and send the bill to the Mission office. Send Christmas cards to all our friends. Even though the ocean is now between us nothing can ever separate you from my heart. I love you more than ever and think of you daily and pray for you and rejoice in all that God has enabled you to do. I marvel when I realize just 2 months and 5 days ago we left St. Louis. God has wonderfully undertaken and my heart is full of praise and thanks.
With oceans of love, and a kiss on every wave,
- According to Wikipedia, Naples was the most bombed city in Italy during World War II.
- The Flying Fortress, a nickname for the Boeing B-17, a heavy bomber used in World War II. This one was probably with the Fifteenth Air Force.
- Coralee's 45th birthday was October 26th.
Daddy speaking this time. I don't want the trip to slip by without a note to you even though Mother is writing to you. Certainly we can't complain of lack of time for the days are very long and we hardly know how to pass the hours away. But the ship is not always quiet enough to make writing an easy job for me. So far however we have had a quiet smooth trip of it so that Mother and I have been more or less able to enjoy every meal. Some folks it seems were made ill by some bad food but we escaped that.
With so many missionaries aboard we have been having some good meetings. Every morning at ten there is a prayer meeting. It was my turn to lead it this morning (Monday). There is another prayer meeting on Wednesday nights, and a preaching service on Sunday mornings. Last night we had a song and testimony service and an interesting feature of it was when the various groups told what fields they were going to. Most were going to various parts of Africa, some to Egypt and Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Irak, Iran, and India.
Among the passengers are Mr. and Mrs. Phillips of SIM. Maybe you remember them as they came to Congo with their little boy named Henry years ago. Henry is now at Stony Brook and I believe he is a roommate of the Stam boys. Miss McIntyre is also aboard. She is a missionary in the Sudan with the United Presbyterian Mission. She is a friend of Miss Quinche, and we met her also when she came to Congo on vacation years ago. And there are a Mr. and Mrs. Foster who are returning to S. Rhodesia under the S.A.C.M. Mrs. F is a sister of our Miss Frost, and they will probably be seeing her on their way south. Miss Pollock a close friend of Murray's family (Wheaton) is going to Ethiopia.
This morning at 7 we passed the Azores and some of the folks saw a couple of the islands. We didn't as we were still in bed. In a few days we will see Gibraltar and later Italy and Greece, but we will probably not be allowed to go ashore.
We miss you more than we can tell, but we are glad that we know you are in a good place and are having happy times together. We pray for you daily and we're sure the Lord will continue to meet your every need, and we praise Him for the peace He has given us about it.
I'll stop for now and maybe later will find something else to write about.
- Earlier variant spelling of Iraq.
- possibly Geraldine Julia Phillips? Can't find a reference to her husband's first name.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Constantly you have been in my thoughts, as we came on board, and have journeyed. Walking around on the steamer, looking at the sea sometimes, in the dining room, in dozens of ways, I'm reminded of you. The ocean has been very calm and the ship is nicely ventilated so we have both been good sailors so far.
It is so different traveling with so many people. There are 850 passengers. There people everywhere. Miss Kosher , the AIM girl going to Kenya has been having children's services every day. Sometimes there are as many as 50 children in the service. Each day we have prayer meetings at 10am. It has been a lovely time of fellowship. There are over 100 missionaries on board. As we get to know them it has been interesting to learn of their work. Some of the passengers are foreigners. Lots of Italians and Greeks, also some Jews and Egyptians. They are truly a strange lot.
It has been nice to get acquainted with our own AIM group. Mr. and Mrs. Felton and their two little girls Charlotte and Linda are going to Tanganyika. We don't see so much of them because they eat in the first sitting. All the rest of us eat in the second sitting. Since we don't have children it is swell, for our breakfast is not until 9:15 so you see we are being very lazy. Actually the days have seemed endlessly long. The motion of the ship has taken away our desire to study and it's hard to read without getting a headache. I think it is a little better now so maybe we'll get our sea legs and be able to get some things accomplished. The voyage stretches endlessly ahead. They tell us it will take 22 days from NY to Alexandria. We stop in Naples and in Greece but I'm not sure just when as yet. It would be a nice change if we could go ashore and see these places.
We are dreading arriving in Egypt as it has not been possible to make arrangements ahead. we'd like so much to find steamer connections for the folks going to East Africa. There are a large number of missionaries wanting to go that way. Then too we'll probably have an awful crowd trying to get accommodations to go up the Nile like we want to journey. Wish you girls were with us, then we'd be more interested in seeing sights in Egypt. But we'll try to take an extra look at interesting things for you and at least tell you about it.
For several days we have been seeing lots of seaweed which tells us we're travelling in the Gulf Stream. Yesterday we passed a ship but no sharks or fish and the waves have been so "muke muke" you'd be disappointed. Even the sunsets have been minus due to clouds although it has been nice and sunny each day.
- E. Geneva Kosher.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
In which Ralph describes life at sea on the Gripsholm, traveling with 850 other passengers to Alexandria, Egypt.
Dear home folks,
There's no excuse for not writing now - a quiet sea, an hour and a half before supper, and nothing to do. It's a lazy life and pleasant enough as long as the sea behaves, but we have more than two weeks longer after 5 days at sea and it will be a great day when the trip is over.
Thanks for your letter received a little before we sailed. Sorry we didn't get it answered before leaving, but we weren't sure of leaving until three days before and that gave us very little time to get a thousand and one last minute things done, especially as one of the days was Sunday. Our passport arrived from Washington on Friday, a holiday. The Belgian and Egyptian consulates were closed that day and open on Saturday only from 10:00 to 12:00. Friday evening we drove out to Connecticut and spent the night there and came into New York the next morning for our visas. Saturday afternoon we had to spend in Brooklyn on business. Sunday we had to speak twice, having a farewell service in the evening at the church in Hawthorne in whose missionary home we had been staying. Monday was another rush day, ending with a trip from New Jersey to Brooklyn for a farewell at the AIM home and then returning to New Jersey. We were required to be on the boat at Jersey City at 9:30am, but we didn't sail until 7:00pm. In the end we had to leave some matters of business undone, to be finished by correspondence after sailing.
But we are glad for this chance to get over, for opportunities to get passage nowadays are very few and far between. our going this way via Egypt is not ideal for us as it means sending our freight including the car another way and means a long journey up the Nile with many changes from rail to boat en route. However we save a good deal of money this way and get out to the field months ahead of the time we would arrive by the next passage in sight, which would be in January.
Our ship is carrying a motley crowd - well over 100 missionaries, a great many business people,and Jews going to Palestine, a lot of Greeks going to Greece and Cyprus, some Italians and Egyptians and a bunch of deportees - 850 passengers in all. That makes it a very different kind of trip from the one we made coming home with only 9 passengers in all. But all in all it is pleasant and interesting.
We passed the the Azores this morning and some of the folks saw a couple of islands. In a few days we will be at Gibraltar and according to rumor will later stop at Naples, Piraeus near Athens, and at Salonica or Thessalonia, then getting off at Alexandria in Egypt. We hear that we will not be permitted to leave the ship in Italy or Greece. We have seen Naples but would enjoy a trip to Athens which is just a few miles from the port. I suppose we should visit Palestine too, but I doubt if time and funds will permit or if we will have the necessary permits.
In our party are 8 of our mission going out for the first time - two young couples and four young ladies, some going to Tanganyika, others to Kenya and the rest to Congo. There are also some missionaries from the Sudan on board with whom we had got acquainted while they were on vacation in Congo years ago. We are having daily prayer services on board as well as daily services for children and church services on Sunday. The Catholics and Jews have their services as well.
[Personal portion redacted.]
According to latest word from our girls they seem quite happy where they are and we trust they will remain so. These long days on the ship with little to do makes us think about them a good deal, especially as so many things remind us of our trip home together.
I just got out of the swimming pool and had a fresh water shower - a real treat on this boat. I guess that is what makes me so pepped up and long winded. I'll stop for the present and perhaps add to this a few days hence sine it can't be mailed for a long time anyway.
Friday, May 9, 2014
- Possibly the Harold Feltons, who were missionaries under the Africa Inland Mission in Kenya.
- Burnetta Wambold – teacher at Rethy. Possibly from the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area. The boys at Rethy played tricks on her, including letting a mouse run through the classroom. She was so scared that she jumped up on her chair. Mom remembers doubling up with laughter. Mom remembers her as being a very good teacher.
- Hortense Quinche
- Herb and Muriel Cook started out at Aba and were reassigned when the mission press was moved to Rethy, a more central location.
- Mother of Muriel Cook.
- Marty Pontier
- Ralph and Ellen Davis
- Bob Davis became an AIM missionary in Kenya. During childhood Edith and Esther went hunting lizards together with Bob.
- Mary Grimshaw’s sister. The Grimshaws were AIM missionaries at Todro and Mom thinks that both Ruth and Mary were born there. Ruth was an SIM missionary in Nigeria for 40 years. She died on Easter Sunday, 2014.
- The Gittings and Feltons were AIM missionaries in Kenya.
- Bill Deans, stationed at Nyankunde at the printing press. Plymouth Brethren, out on the field many years. Mom remembers that he served as a chaplain to some Congolese troops who went to Palestine in World War II.
- Hortense Quinche.
- At Hampton Du Bose Academy, Zellwood, Florida.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Hawthorne, New Jersey
October 15, 1945
Well, here we are, spending our last evening in America for a while, and all ready to get on the boat tomorrow morning. Everything is in order, passport, visas, vaccinations, etc. We are supposed to be on the boat before 10AM, and to set sail soon after. The boat will take us to Alexandria, and I think it may stop at Greece on the way. We have just come home from the farewell meeting at the Brooklyn home. There are ten altogether in the outgoing AIM party besides two small children. There will also be many other missionaries on board from other missions – 27 from the Sudan Interior.
From Alexandria we will probably go to Congo by train and Nile steamers. I think it will take us six weeks or so to get to Aba. We will let you know when we arrive.
The Trouts are in Brooklyn waiting to sail. They area awaiting their re-entry permits. Eddie and Nellie (1) have not received their permits as yet, but we expect they will be able to follow us within a few weeks.
[Personal portion redacted.]
And so – goodbye for now, and the Lord bless you!
- Eddie and Nellie Shuit.
Monday, April 21, 2014
- The motorship Gripsholm. See this link for further details. Interesting to note that the Wikipedia article says the Gripsholm was used as an exchange and repatriation ship between 1942 and 1946. But here we have an example of the ship sailing with American passengers to Alexandria.
- Eddie and Nellie Shuit, fellow AIM missionaries.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
[Personal portion redacted.] If you see any of the Gospel Center folks please give them our greetings and tell them we remember them in prayer with thanksgiving constantly. Let them know that all is well with us and that the Lord is blessing in the work in many different ways. Now the night is far spent, and so is the five grammes of letter space, so must close. Coralee promises to write before long – and we hope you will do the same!
- World War II started in September 1939, and mail routes through the Mediterranean would have become problematic after Italy declared war on Great Britain and France on June 10, 1940. There is a comprehensive and fascinating history of the Clipper routes here.
- Apparently this has changed. From a brief review of “delayed twin birth intervals” it appears that the present approach is to allow the second twin as much time as possible in utero, to encourage development. The incidence of twins in the United States is much higher due to the prevalence of in vitro fertilization, and I saw reports of delays of up to 93 days! The instance reported here is unusual though both for the time frame, and the fact that these twins were probably full term.
- Eugenia Brown, sister of Paul Brown who served at Banda. She was a single woman who finally married after she retired in the U.S. She loved orchids and grew lots of them, and painted them too. Mom remembers her with fondness.
- The presidential campaign of 1940 was between Franklin D. Roosevelt (running for an unprecedented 3rd term) and Wendel Willkie. Roosevelt won handily.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
July 27th, 1928
Dear home folks,
It is ages since I've written so it's about time I got busy. The letters we have had from you people have been so interesting and fine. They mean much to us. When the mail comes it sure is fine to find several home letters falling to our lot. Sometimes there are no letters from any of you and then our mail days are very blank.
Perhaps you'd be interested to know that we only get mail once in every two weeks. The mail is carried from the ocean liner up the Nile by river boat and train. From Rejaf it is brought to Aba by truck and from Aba to Aru it is carried by native runners. It is a five day journey.(2) It arrives here in a sealed canvas bag and there never ceases to be lots of excitement and confusion when that bag makes its appearance. We're all so keen, it's most like Christmas every time.
[Personal portion redacted.]
There are several children on the Mission station here. Mr. and Mrs. Kemptner have three, two girls and a boy. Also Mr. and Mrs. Pontier have a little boy. They have fine times together. They play mostly just by themselves with their nurse boys. Usually the white children have a so-called nurse boy who goes with them when they go out to play. His chief job is to see that they keep on their helmets and that they don't get into mischief. For usually the mothers are busy with their departments of the work.
The children keep very well and here at Aru it seems to suit them very well. They of course have to take quinine every day just as we do and sleep under mosquito nets. They learn to speak the native languages very quickly and they use it a great deal, especially on their nurse-boys when the nurse boy keeps them from wading in mud puddles or some similar disastrous attraction.
We are having heavy tropical rains now and the gardens and roses are doing very well. I have been trying to get a rose garden growing near our house, also to get lawn in too.
The men are pounding the anthills into powder for the floors in our house now. I hope soon the veranda floor will be in so I can get some porch boxes started. They are going to be made of bamboo, it is very plentiful here, and then will be lined with banana leaves, then filled with dirt. We will try and get some pictures when the house is done so you all will have a clearer idea of this "grand" palace of ours.
We are so anxious to get moved into our new house for where we are living now it leaks like anything every time it rains. Our bedroom floor is wet nearly all the time it leaks so badly there. The grass roofs we use at present out here do not last very long especially if they are not carefully done.
The medical work still goes on and is very interesting to us. Lately we have been badly in need of supplies and medicines but even in spite of this we have enjoyed meeting those poor sick folks and doing what we can to help them.
I have been busy today sewing curtains for the guest room. They are very fancy, perhaps not stylish but they at least look fresh. They are made from blue chambray I got from Montgomery Wards for 10 cents a yard. They have a bias striped strip going down one side.
[Portion redacted including discussion of a list of items Coralee requests from the home folks. I include this portion because of her comments.] I would like about six packages of wax paper, just roll it together like a magazine and wrap it so and mail it that way, just mark it paper. Some folks have it sent just in an old magazine a package at a time but perhaps it will be less trouble to send it all at one time. I want it to use for lunches. I have to put up so many lunches and out here in this hot sun the sandwiches get very dry unless they are wrapped in wax paper.
The other things just mark as "notions" and don't put a high value on them - mark less than they cost because the duty is judged according to the way they are listed on the outside slip. You'll notice on the slip there is a "neck-tie". Ralph say he'd like a new one - his are all so old and faded I guess he thinks he'd like a change.
Now I must go along as it is getting near bedtime. [Personal portion redacted.] Again many many thanks for all that you folks have done for us and we pray God will richly repay you all.
Ralph and Coralee
- This letter is out of order - it was previously marked as being in 1939, but internal evidence places it more likely in 1928.
- The entire journey from Rejaf to Aru is mapped by Google at 385 km, and should take 7.5 hours. The journey from Aba to Aru is (depending on the route) between 164 and 200 km, duration about 4 hours.