Colonel Young's Letters Home

An old, yellowed piece of letter paper with cursive handwriting
An image scan of Charles Young's final letter home to his wife, Ada.

National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, Wilberforce, Ohio

Imagine being a soldier away from your family and friends for weeks and months at a time, sacrificing to defend our country. Your encounter with fellow soldiers was a unique and professional relationship where brotherhood through friendships was nurtured. During the turn of the 20th century, the only way soldiers were able to communicate with their family and friends was to write letters to chronicle experiences of achievement, growth, and excitement. Colonel Young often wrote home to his family and friends to share what he was experiencing, and in turn he wanted to know about their life experiences in order to maintain relationships and connections. Throughout Young’s military career, he wrote hundreds of letters which give a glimpse into the life of a Buffalo Soldier. Here, read the transcript of Charles Young's final letter home to his wife, Ada.

Please note: the transciption is taken word-for-word from Charles Young's letter. All words appear as-written from his letter and have not been spell corrected in this transcription.

Page 1

Monrovia, Liberia
10, November, 1921

My dearest Ada,
I hope this letter reaches you upon your arrival in New York and that it will find you well and more cheerful than you seemed to be in your last. I did everything mortal man could do to come to you. But really now it was my fault, was it dear heart?

You did not want that difficult Sunday trip. I have always maintained that it was the Meditteranean Trip that you and I would do together: Morocco, Tunis, Tripoli, Egypt and the Pyramids. This is the one whose pleasure I look forward to with you.

I got all the arrangements you were making for me for my Music etc, and for those to take advantage of it next summer when we go back to France together. I have applied to come for 4 months to States on or about April 1st. We shall do 2 of those "moons" there and 2 in France, west co has?

I start Sunday the 13th down coast to

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Fernando Po, Cameroons, Nigeria, Gold Coast, etc. gone about a month and a half. First hand information is what I want. Especially do I want this kind of knowledge of the Psychology of the people.

Beau and Atwood's contract of 2 years expires next month. They propose to come home. I think Nabors wants to stay.

Now let me say what you can do for me on that side of the Pond:

1.Tell Du Bois I shall bring his chair with me when I come in April.

2. I have traded the Denver Lots for Mineral Land in Texas thru Curtis, who thinks I must gain by it. I sent the Deed signed from him and promised him that you would forward the "Abstract of Title" as soon as you got home. Send it to: "Mr. Paul W. Curtis, c/o McCoy Hotel, El Paso, Texas." You will find it with the Denver Papers, Deeds, etc - Don't fail to do this.

3. Straighten out the mortgage papers with Mr. Kennedy in Xenia, if his statement was not right.

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4. You had better close out your Oakland Property as it does not seem to be paying you. Of course you know best, but I advised 3 years ago when property was up. Suit yourself however it is yours.

5. I approve your Unity-Work and want you to prosecute. I am glad for you.

6. Help ma to get the pension again.

I shall write the kids to-day and also dear Loulouze. Did she get the last money I sent her for Kikik? I note all you say about Kikik from hair to music. I dreamed I saw her last night and her own hair was not so woefully bad. I think if Aunt May had had money to buy Ox-Marrow and huile de Quinine her hair would not have been impossible.

Give my love to Du Bois, Burroughs, Kinekla Jones, and everybody at home. Where is Caliman?

Don't worry too hard at home and don't worry. - So the "Old man" is gone! - May God rest his soul. He certainly wore mima out.

Forever and a day, the one that loves you,

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Did you get the Ivory necklaces I sent you for your foto?
You know they are the rage in both London and Paris, "West Africa" says. Also, the black monkey fur has come in again!

Last updated: June 10, 2018