Background: Two weeks after leaving home in Poynette, Wisconsin and joining the army my grandfather finds himself living in an army camp on the grounds of the American University in Washington, D.C.
From the Journal of John Rodney Jamieson
Sunday Oct 7th, 1917- Have day off today, Arm still sore. Visited Washington including White House, Capital, Wash. Monument, etc.
Monday Oct 8th– Am on guard tonight. Weather dank and wet. This is what you get for joining the army. ? ? today.
Tuesday Oct 9th–Still on guard until 4:30 P.M. Weather wet? still ? today. Feet wet tonight with no change of shoes.
Wednesday Oct 10th– Rec’d pack equipment today. Getting ready to go. Transferred to Headquarters today.
Thursday Oct 11th–Inspection or false start today. First drill with packs on back.
Friday Oct 12th– Not much doing as it is raining. Drill this A.M. but started raining at noon.
Saturday Oct 13th- Worked in supply storehouse today. Inspection of barracks at 1:00 P.M. Went to vaudeville show at night.
Sunday Oct. 7th- At the time that Poppa visited the White House in 1917 women did not yet have the right to vote. It’s possible that there were women protesting in front of the famous building at the time he was there. Although brought there by their desire to vote, some also protested America’s involvement in the ‘Great War’. Voting rights for women was not an issue that President Wilson supported but apparently the women protesting for the vote in front of the White House helped change his mind. After some of the women were arrested and sent to jail they went on a hunger strike. Fearing negative publicity President Wilson agreed to support the movement and on August 18th 1920 the 19th amendment was ratified giving women the right to vote.
Saturday night Oct. 13th- Poppa went to the Vaudeville show, likely with some other soldiers.
Note: My grandfather wrote in a small day calendar. At places it is hard to read his writing. When I was unable to decipher what was written I substituted a ‘?’. Here is the journal page for the first part of October 2017. Remember he didn’t have a pocket calendar for 2017 so he used one from 2013 and wrote in the correct day of the week. What do you think he wrote on Monday, October 8th and on Tuesday the 9th?
Next Week: Figuring Out the Job
“President Woodrow Wilson Picketed by Women Suffragists.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2017.
http://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/19th-amendment”The American Vaudeville Museum Archive.”
The American Vaudeville Archive Special Collections. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2017.
3 Replies to “100 Years ago this week: A Rainy Week in Washington, D.C.”
This is fun, Chris. Thanks for sharing your grandfather’s story.
I received an email from Michel B. who lives in France and is a retired engineer. He has interpreted the journal entries that I could not decipher. Thank you Michel! Here is what he is suggesting:
(In his email he highlighted his contributions in red font. However, colors did not transfer to this blog format. His suggested changes are now in upper case, not red.)
I red the pages of the diary you published on your blog.
I can propose you some attemps in deciphering the words with (?). in red in the text.
Sunday, Sept. 30th, 1917- Still in the Mess House from 5:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M. with but 2 hours off. Amy Thomas called today caught me in MESS HOUSE CLOTHES.
Monday Oct 8th- Am on guard tonight. Weather dank and wet. This is what you get for joining the army. GIVE US MACKINAW TODAY.
Tuesday Oct 9th-Still on guard until 4:30 P.M. WEATHER WETTER . Still IN today. Feet wet tonight with no change of shoes.