William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
John Barr Letters, 1918
Meg Hixon, October 2011
John Barr letters
Trueblood, Ethel Mae (Polly)
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.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
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.
John Barr Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The collection is arranged chronologically.
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."
- Gare de l'Est (Paris, France)
- World War, 1914-1918--France--Paris.
- United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces.
- World War, 1914-1918--Refugees.