Preston-Woodward correspondence  1845-1858
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Collection Scope and Content Note

Warren F. Perkins, Jr. ("Frank") wrote 36 letters and postcards to his parents in Providence, Rhode Island, while traveling and working in Canada, the Midwest, and New York from February 21, 1904-July 15, 1906. In his first letter, Perkins discussed his attempts to find work in Chicago and the strike-related violence he witnessed there (February 21, 1904). In August and September 1904, he traveled to Toronto and Niagara Falls before settling in Saint Louis, Missouri, where he first stayed at "Camp Lewis," a tent city. While living in Saint Louis, Perkins and his companions occasionally visited the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and traveled to the surrounding area. He complained about inflated prices resulting from the exposition, described his accommodations, and discussed his series of blue-collar jobs. His letter of October 16, 1904, contains a sketch of his boarding house.

In November 1904, Perkins left for Topeka, Kansas, where he considered further travel to Omaha, Nebraska (November 28, 1904). By December, he had returned to Chicago, where he again reported on labor disputes, striking workers, and a contentious mayoral election in early 1905. In May 1905, Perkins wrote to his family from Kokomo, Indiana; he drew a map of Kokomo in his letter of May 30, 1905. A final group of 7 letters pertains to his time working on a houseboat in upstate New York and around New York City in June and July 1906. He described the boat and commented on his experiences on the Erie Canal, on the Hudson River, and in New York City. Perkins reached Connecticut by the time he wrote his final letter on July 15, 1906.

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