Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
John Barr Letters, 1918

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, October 2011

Summary Information
Title: John Barr letters
Creator: Trueblood, Ethel Mae (Polly)
Inclusive dates: 1918
Extent: 8 items
Abstract:
This collection is comprised of 8 letters written by John Barr to his girlfriend, Ethel Mae ("Polly") Trueblood, of Cleveland, Ohio, during his World War I service with the YMCA near Paris in 1918. In these love letters, Barr discussed his experiences near the front, his negative opinions of the Germans, and the nature of his daily work.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2005. M-4439.4.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

John Barr Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically.


Biography

John Presley Barr traveled to France on May 14, 1918, to assist in the YMCA's work with the American Expeditionary Forces, and worked in Paris throughout the summer of 1918.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is comprised of 8 letters written by John Barr to his girlfriend, Ethel Mae ("Polly") Trueblood, of Cleveland, Ohio, during his World War I service with the YMCA in Paris in 1918. In these love letters, Barr discussed the nature of his daily work and his experiences. Despite being located near the front and witnessing some of the horrors of war, he maintained a positive attitude, and optimistically told Polly, "One has to be here to fully realize the importance of winning the war. And we are going to win" (June 27, 1918); however, he did not brook any tolerance toward the "Jerrys," "Boches," and "Huns," whom he often disparaged in his letters. Along with his descriptions of life in France and frequent proclamations of love and hope for the couple's future, he responded angrily to reports of strikers in the United States, questioning their loyalty and reinforcing the importance of men in the American Expeditionary Forces. In the letter of September 14, 1918, Barr attached a clipping from the June 7, 1918 issue of Stars and Stripes, featuring an article about war refugees captioned "Helpless Victims of the Hun."

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Courtship.
    • Gare de l'Est (Paris, France)
    • World War, 1914-1918--France--Paris.
    • YMCA.
    • United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • World War, 1914-1918--Refugees.
    Contributors:
    • Barr, John Presley.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   6, World War I Small Collections Folder   1
    John Barr letters,  June 27, 1918-September 23, 1918 [series]