John Roy Brokenshire letters
Collection Scope and Content Note
Show all series level scope and content notes
This collection consists of 9 letters written by United States Navy sailor John Roy Brokenshire ("Roy") to a friend, Lillian Dow of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. In his first letter, dated June 7, 1917, Brokenshire described his arrival in Norfolk, Virginia, where he joined the crew of the USS Louisiana for duty in the Atlantic Ocean. He wrote about his journey from the Boston Navy Yard and gave his impressions of Norfolk, including comments on the weather and on the ships assembled there. He frequently shared his disdain for censorship, and suggested that he and Lillian utilize a code to evade such efforts, though no letters appear to have such a code. Brokenshire also wrote about life in the navy, including his experiences with laundry, referring to himself as " some washerwoman" (July 1, 1917). He felt that the war would continue well beyond the summer of 1917 (July 9, 1917) and discussed his opinions about an essay from the September 1917 issue of American Magazine, "The War Inside Myself," regarding the mindset of soldiers.