Monday, November 28, 2011

Amanuensis Monday – Bob Seeks Employment in America

“An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.”

This could include the following: transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some we never met - others we see a time in their life before we knew them.

Here is a letter from Bob (Ward), living in England, to his Uncle William Ward in America. Bob is seeking employment and relocation advice from his uncle.

  [Letter Transcription]
c/o 3 Cumberland Villas
Milton Road
Feb. 16 - 1913
Dear Uncle William.
   I am writing you to this address with the hope that should you have moved from it the letter will find its way to you.
   I have it in my mind that you are coming over to England this year, am I correct? because if you do, I want to return with you for the States;  please let me know either way.
   Now I’ve made two changes since you were last over  the first was I got a job in London with a firm of Floating Dock Specialists and from them I came to this place which is opposite Tilbury Docks on the Thames I am now an assistant Mechanical Engineer with a Large Cement Combine £7.000.000 Capital   where I’ve been 18 months and I am fed up with the English system of Engineering.  we are too conservative and ____.  I should be glad if you would give me some advice upon the following.
   What district is most suitable _ to make for,?  I mean where is your Mechanical Engineering quarter?
   What salary ought I to expect as say an Engineer’s Designer, I am getting here 55/- per week?
   Would 50£ carry me over and keep me say 3 months in America  supposing I was that time looking for a berth?
   What time of the year is considered best for arriving in the States?
   I shall be extreemly glad if you can give me any guide of help with regard to the numerous questions and I should also be glad if you would indecate on a paper map the district referred to.
   I have no startling news but I believe you are aware of my Fathers condition and position he does not alter much and keeps on in the same poor style from monthe to month.
   Mother seems to me getting older but manages to keep herself occupied but at times naturally gets a little low spirited    the remainder of the family are all in good health and I hope to hear you and all are in best health   our company by the way has several monopolies in the Cement Industry.  recently have erected on Vancouver Island a cement factory which is to commence output this August and they are now contemplating putting a plant in South Africa and they have plenty of Directors sons and nephews ready to do the tripping.
      Wishing you good health and awaiting news.
      Yours Sincerely

Addressed to:
Return to:
Mr. Wm. Ward
      Los Angeles Co
Stamped REGISTERED Gravesend  No. 69

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