The following letter was written to my Grandmother, Ida Bailey Crow August 31, 1919 by Joseph F. Taylor who she was supposedly engaged before visiting her sister in Alabama where she met my grandfather and married him in 1909. J. F. Taylor's nickname was Boss. The name on the back of the picture on the left is Mr. Boss Taylor and the date is January 2, 1903. The mystery comes in with the picture of the young man with the exceptional mustache. It is inscribed on the back to Ida Crow TAYLOR. I do not know who this man is and the picture is not dated.
Mrs. Ida Hearn
As I have so much leisure time have begun to think of my old time friends, it has been so long I don’t know which of us wrote last. I am going farther away from U.S.A. every day. Was still stationed in Paris until 20th of Aug. Then I was one of 27 men selected for the American Military Commission to Armenia. It is to investigate the cruelties of the Turks, etc. We arrived by train in Brest, France 21st and sailed on the Martha Washington passenger ship the 23rd. Our only stop was Gibralter, the famous British Fort. I have seen Spain-Portugal-Sicily-Malta and the next will be Greece-our next stop in Constantinople, Turkey. We stay there a few days and then cross the Black Sea to Baturn, Russia, then auto to different places in Armenia, expect to get back to Paris about Nov. 1st, there 10 days and then to Washington D.C. I was rather glad to get way from Paris for awhile, but miss my French mademoiselle. We have had a lovely trip so far, nice weather and the sea is almost smooth enough for a canoe. Arrive in Constantinople about the 2nd. Don’t know what kind of reception we’ll get as the Turks are hostile against the Americans. However, we are well armed and will give them a run for their money. This is a large U.S. shop and is chartered especially for this trip. We travel first class, electric fan in room, music while you eat (ha ha) some style. I don’t know if I will ever be satisfied in America again.
I am in good health now. Will try and write again on the trip and please answer soon. I love to hear from you all.
As ever your best friend.
45 Ave. Montaigne
% Maj. Gen. James G. Harbord
Chief American Military Commissioner to Armenia
Our mail is sent from Paris to Constantinople by motorcycle twice weekly
The pictures and letter were in a suitcase in my aunt's attic that I drove to Oklahoma City and rescued over 20 years ago. I think my little grandmother had some secrets.