About Me

Born August 4, 1894 in Auburn, New York to William and Alice Beardsley Woodruff Hills. Younger brother Carroll Beardsley Hills and younger sister Mary Day Hills. Educated at St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire and Princeton University, class of 1917

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Letter dated May 9, 1917


Dear Mother-

This will I am afraid be but just a line since there is really nothing that goes on to write you about. As you know well enough we got off Saturday. That day and Sunday I was very sick. The wind blew like blazes and the old boat just jumped all over the place. On Monday, however, I took a new lease on life and since then have been doing more than justice to all the meals that are put forward. The crowd on board are not particularly interesting. The fact is they are quite the opposite. There are about 90 missionaries, nearly that many ambulance drivers (of whom P.W.H. was one –Ed.) and about a dozen uninteresting women. With one exception: the actress of the Theatre Francaise, who as luck would have it, is as yet the only one that I have not met. Hunt and Stanley (Hunt Talmage from Princeton and Stanley Metcalf, a lifelong friend from Auburn who had been a Yale undergraduate and had also joined the ambulance service.-Ed.) and I do practically nothing all day but attend meals and sit around on deck reading. The meals are very good but even at that do not furnish the necessary amusement. I shall be frankly glad when we arrive since as you can well imagine all this is not too thrilling.

We seem from the map to be taking a rather southerly route, that is straight across instead of going any north(ward) and it certainly is an unfrequented one for as yet we have seen only three ships in the far distance, a whale and a school of porpoises. I got my inoculation Monday and will get the other before I get off the boat as the Doc says it is all right and none of them seem to have any visible effect. According to all the hot dope if we are not sunk we will land on Monday in time to catch the train for Paris that night. This is all the news and practically everything that as happened since we started so you can see that at its best it has been a very uneventful voyage up to the present. My French is improving wonderfully thru necessity tho it mostly consists of the sign language as none of the servants on board speaks a word of English.

This is about all now – if anything turns up I will write you some more but absolute placidity seems to characterize us all now more clearly than anything else.

With love,


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