Warren F. Perkins, Jr. ("Frank") wrote 36 letters to his parents in Providence, Rhode Island, while traveling and working in Canada, the Midwest, and New York from 1904-1906. He commented on his life and work in Chicago; Saint Louis; Topeka; and Kokomo, Indiana, and also discussed his travels to the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis and his work on a houseboat in and around the state of New York.
Collection processed and finding aid created by Clements Staff, September 1997, and Meg Hixon, June 2013
Scope and Content:
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.
Biographical / Historical:
Warren Francis Perkins, Jr. ("Frank") was born on April 8, 1881, the son of Warren Francis and Ariadne Perkins of Providence, Rhode Island. His siblings included Daisy, Hiram, and Carol. From 1904-1905, Perkins traveled around the Midwest, working in machine shops in Chicago, Saint Louis, and Topeka. In 1906, he worked on a houseboat in and around the state and city of New York. He and his wife, Eva Park Perkins, later lived in Providence, Rhode Island. Frank Perkins died on August 15, 1969.
1996. M-3320.2 .
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.
The collection is arranged chronologically, with one undated item placed at the end.
Rules or Conventions:
Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
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