Lindlom, Axel
Collection of Letters by Axel Lindblom, Swedish American sailor aboard the U.S.S. Decatur, 1902, to his brother Knut

sixteen letters, 51 pages, inscribed in ink and pencil, primarily dated 1902, but includes one letter dated 1894 from Knut Lindblom to his brother Axel, several letters in Swedish, some minor wear and soiling, else in good legible condition.

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Axel Lindblom, a Swedish immigrant to America writes to his brother and fellow immigrant Knut, describing his life as a sailor, first aboard the U.S.S. Wabash and then the Decatur. He also discusses family life, and writing to his mother and sister who were still back in the “old country.”

       Sample Quotes:

      “New London, Sept. 8th [1902] on board U.S.S. Decatur

       Dear Brother,

            … You want me to tell you some thing about terms and things on board a sea going ship. Well, this torpedo boats are altogether different from the “white ships”. In this boats you can do almost any dam thing you please. You get up at seven o’clock in the morning get your breakfast at 7 30 at eight o’clock sweep down deck, take a look all over and see that everything are all right and that is about all you have to do if you are not going in or out a harbor. No different if you are in harbor or if you are to sea that never any more work to do.  The only work in the ship I hate is to coal ship. You have to see this “Chinas shoe” after two hours under a coal can about 2-3 inches coal dust all over and 5-6 foot coal on deck After one of this coalings it generaly take two to three hours to clean up the ship and you self not counting one or two hours to wash you cloths. …”

       “U.S.T.B.D. Decatur, Norfolk, VA Oct. 12, 1902

        Dear brother!

           … Well brother we are going to leave Norfolk for West India the 15th of this month. The first place we are going are Port Royal S.C. where we are going to stay 5 days, the second place are Key West, stay two days, next place are San Juan West India and after that we are going to Cuba and meet the heavy fleet and go all round West India islands…”

       “U.S.S. Decatur San Yuan Porto Rico W. I. Nov 23, 1902

        Dear brother!

            … Now a few words about myself. After we left Key West we have been in a dozen different places in the West Indie islands stoping at most a day in each place. One of the plases we been is Matineque (I don’t know if I spell it right) but you know, the place wher the big volcanic aryption (?) destroyed the whol city. All you can see of the town is a big pile of ashes a dead tree or palm that is nothing to me, but at the same time it is very intresant when you know that it ones was a town under your feet. In a few days we are going to South America and stay with the south atlantic fleet for a week or so and after that return to West India again …”

       “U.S.S. Decatur Culebra Island Dec. 18, 1902

         Dear brother!

              … As you properly have seen in the papers the guvernement are using 500 sailors from different ships to dig a canal through a narrow strip of land in Culebra island. Well, the 25 of Nov. I was send to dig too and … I digged and digged from 8 in the morning till noon then I got a new “job”. During dinner hour that day a steamlaunch sunk outside the canal in 16 foot water and of course we had to get them up one way or another…”