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ARMORED CRUISER USS TENNESSEE
CORRESPONDENCE ON 67 POSTCARDS
(August 1908 - February 1911)

From the sailor Jean Macoubrie to a lady in Kansas City Missouri, in legible hand throughout, providing many interesting observations from his travels, and giving a feel for Navy life at the time. Quotes are simply excerpts, not the full text, and are taken from the back unless otherwise indicated. Recipient's neat docketing on view side throughout. All views in color unless noted. Minor faults not mentioned. Listed chronologically. These items have been sold, but a record was maintained for historical purposes.

Full-size scans (or larger) of the images shown here can be obtained for $1.50 each. To order some, please click here.


USSTennessee_Aug2408_small.jpg (3818 bytes)




Aug. 24 '08 from San Francisco Ferry Station.
"Arrived here this morning 8 hours late, but feeling fine. Will write you as soon as I can. Had a grand trip and the sea is simply beyond belief." View shows St. Patrick Hotel when it was new (earlier center of the earthquake), and depicts cable car service on Geary Street (which ended in 1912). Shown left. c 

USSTennessee_Oct22'08Statue.jpg (385078 bytes)Oct. 22 '08 from San Francisco Ferry Station.
"San Francisco, California/Dear Sis: ...The weather here is fine, and I am eating ripe tomatoes and fresh grapes while you shiver." On the view side: "The crowds are thick here Sunday. This park is filled with many interesting thing(sic) that I will write of later. View shows statue of wine press in Golden Gate Park. acs

USSTennessee_Oct29'08FerryCancel.jpg (394257 bytes)

Oct. 28 '08 from San Francisco Ferry Station.
"San Francisco, Calif./...Never felt better myself and am as big as a house. Are you a D.A.R. yet?" View shows panorama of San Francisco from Nob Hill (maybe a pre-fire view).

HISTORICAL NOTE: The US Navy show of force along the Central & South American coast, reported below, came when the country of Columbia still objected to the construction of the Panama Canal.

USSTennessee_12-15-08_Gorgona.JPG (161227 bytes)Dec. 15 '08 from Ancon Canal Zone.
"U. S. S. Tennessee,/Panama/Canal Zone//...1600 of us go ashore tomorrow and will make trip along Canal route. Excursionists are thick out in the bay to see the big fleet. Coal ship also tomorrow...This is sure a beautiful country" (The Canal was still under construction, so a passage completely through was not possible.) View of Main Street Gorgona, Canal Zone. stamp removed. cm

USSTennessee_SantaAnnaChurch12-08-120.jpg (418879 bytes)Dec. 15 '08 at Panama City mailed next day at Ancon Canal Zone. "Panama City, Panama/Dec. 15, '08//...This is a beautiful country and the city looks to be quite large...May go around the Horn after leaving here. Awfully hot." View of Santa Anna Church in Panama. Beautifully centered stamp with Canal Zone overprint. p

Dec. 15 '08 At Panama City mailed next day at Ancon Canal Zone.
"Panama City/Dec 15, 1908//This is only a slight remembrance but is the best I can do until we get ashore. Bought this of(sic) a lady aboard ship…Write me cf. P.M. at New York City. U.S.S. Tennessee" Embossed Winsch Christmas greeting card with silver bell & holly. Canal Zone stamp damaged.

USSTennessee_01-04-09_Chile.jpg (172126 bytes)Jan. 4 '09 at Talcahuano Chile mailed Conception next day,  Valparaiso transit mark on 6th. Message on front: "U. S. S. Tennessee, Talcahuano Chile, Jan. 4 '09/Are at anchor in the Bay at Talcahuano. Am feeling fine as usual." View is Traiguen desde el camino á Victoria, published by Carlos Brandt (there was a large German settlement in Southern Chile at the time). 5- & 1-centavos Chilean stamps (underpaid?). c

USSTennessee_01-06-09Stamps-120.jpg (371269 bytes)Jan. 6 '09 at Concepcion Chile."Jan 6, '09/Having a fine time at Conception(sic)/...This is a pretty place and I am in love with it. Expect letters from home (and others) when I get back to the ship. Having fine weather." View of statue of Martinez Rosas in Conception, another Brandt-published card. 5- & 2-centavos Chilean stamps. c

USSTennessee_Jan7'09StampSide.jpg (288092 bytes)

Jan. 7 '09 at Concepcion Chile, mailed next day there, Valpariso transit mark on the 10th. "200 sailors from each ship are ashore…Am expecting mail from the States tonight." View of Callo Comercio (vista desde la Estacion) at Concepcion. 5- & 2-centavos stamps. c

Full-size scans (or larger) of the images shown here can be obtained for $1.50 each. To order some, please click here.

USSTennessee_Jan10'09_small.jpgJan. 10 '09 at Talcahuano Chile, mailed there on the 12th.
"$1 in US coin is worth over $3 in Chilian. Money rises and depreciates in value here and goes as low as $4 Chilian for $1 US. Thus a $5 gold piece equals from $16.50 to $20 Chilian at times. At present the market is at $16.50. This kind of speculation make many men rich in this country." Gorgeous strip of three 2-centavos stamps & Secn Recepcion Valparaiso auxiliary marking as shown.

USSTennessee_Jan10'09StampSide.jpg (413838 bytes) Jan. 10 '09 at Talcahuano Chile, mailed there on the 12th. "Jan 10, '09/Had a fine time ashore and saw many quaint and interesting scenes. A beautiful place and the prettiest Senoritas you ever saw. People mostly Spanish though some French and German and a very few English." View of Tomé (the port for Concepcion 20 miles to its north). Message side comment: "This is some miles inland but is quite important as a agricultural center." 5- & 2-centavos Chilean stamps, clear Secn Recepcion Valparaiso auxiliary marking. Long crease. c

USSTennessee_Jan21'09ShipCancel-120.jpg (360293 bytes)Jan. 20 '09 at Coquimbo Chile, gorgeous USS Tennessee cancel next day. "Coquimbo, Chile/Jan 20, 1909//...Leave here for Callao by Thursday probably. From there to Panama then Magdalena Bay and the 'States'." View of the Hibernia Savings & Loan Society (still in business we understand) in San Francisco lists deposit & reserve fund amounts. nc

USSTennessee_02-08-09_Library.jpg (177554 bytes)Feb. 5 '09 at Callao Perú, USS Tennessee cancel. "President of Peru called officially in Com.-in-Chief Pacific Fleet on Tennessee yesterday and all ships were in full dress. Customary salute of 21 guns was fired from each ship…The senior Admiral shifted his flag temporarily…" View is the showiest part of the interior of the public library in Lima. lpi

USSTennessee_Feb26'09PanamaFront-120.jpg (377628 bytes)Feb. 26 '09 at R. P. Panama. "U.S.S. Tennessee/Feb. 26,'1909//...Have been here since the 22nd and expect to remain 14 days." Fancy postcard with envelope enclosure (still there!) & glitter reading--A Note from U.S.S. Tennessee Panama. Apparently mailed as an enclosure itself, because there is no cancel. ps(m)g

USSTennessee_Mar109_small.jpg (3328 bytes)






Mar. 1 '09 at Canal Zone, USS Tennessee cancel then. "Mr. Davis was aboard the Tenn. On the occasion of our last visit here." black & white as shown, featuring Maj. Gen. Whitfield Davis, Governor of the Canal Zone. Wonderful! c

USSTennessee_March7'09Back.jpg (386918 bytes)Mar. 7 '09 at Punta Arenas Costa Rica, USS Tennessee cancel. "This is only a small place of some 2000 people but is connected with Cartago by R.R. Will only remain here about 4 days and then for Magdelina Bay Mexico.The Gov. has just come aboard. The American Consul came this morning." black & white view of Escuelas Municipales, Cartago Costa Rica shows inexpensive drainage down center of street (rather than gutters on both sides). n

USSTennessee_CartagoIglesia-120.jpg (323176 bytes)

Mar. 7 '09 at Punta Arenas Costa Rica, bold USS Tennessee cancel on March 17th. "The Governor and his staff just left the ship and was saluted with 13 guns." black & white view of Iglesia de San Nicolás at Cartago Costa Rica. c

Full-size scans (or larger) of the images shown here
can be obtained for $1.50 each. To order some, please click here.

USSTennessee_GreetingsFromTheGolden-120.JPG (246494 bytes)


(date unclear) at Magdalena México. "Will write a long one as soon as target practice is over." View with glitter added sends Greetings from the Golden Gate (no bridge yet, of course). cg

Mar. 31/Apr. 1 at Magdalena Bay México, USS Tennessee cancel. "Only one of the things that go to make our ship famous" referring to the view showing sailors sticking their heads through the target at which they set a world record for accuracy with a 6-inch gun at 10 knots and 5000 yards. (We doubt it could be done better today!)

USSTennessee_Apr7'09CancelOnShip-120.jpg (381367 bytes)April 6 at Magdalena Bay México, USS Tennessee cancel next day. "Leave here about the 15th to escort the Jap fleet to Seattle in time for the opening May 30." (Referring to the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.) View shows a San Francisco post office that is still there. nm

USSTennessee_Apr10-10-120.JPG (435354 bytes)

Apr. 10 '09 at Magdalena Bay México, USS Tennessee cancel same day.
"This picture flatters the place…The smallest city in the world." Referring to the desolate view of the structures along Magdalena Bay, in Baja California. m

USSTennessee_Flower_small.jpg (4607 bytes)




Apr. 14 '09 at Magdalena Bay México, nice USS Tennessee cancel. "The tug 'Navajo' will leave for the States tomorrow and will carry mail…Will leave here as soon as the California finishes target practice." Embossed floral card commemorating their record target practice March-April 1909. (The best floral postcard we have ever seen.) fs(m)

Apr. 23 '09 at Oakland California, cancelled there same day.
"April 23/Just arrived but am too busy to write now. Am ashore for 48 hours liberty." View shows statue & fountain on Market Street In San Francisco.

USSTennessee_Apr25-09-120.jpg (340536 bytes)Apr. 25 '09 at Oakland California, fine USS Tennessee cancel. "Heard Patrick Conway's Band at Idora park in Oakland last night." Front annotation: "Just back from 48 hrs. liberty and sure enjoyed myself." View shows the Grant Monument at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. n

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USSTennessee_4-28-09StampSide-120.JPG (357970 bytes)Apr. 25 '09 at San Francisco California, complete USS Tennessee cancel on 28th. "Am finding a hard time to write to my best friends…having the time of my life here." On advance view of Seattle showing Second Avenue north from James street, with numerous streetcars. n

USSTennessee_04-28-09_Actor.jpg (182544 bytes)






Apr. 26 '09 at San Francisco California, well struck USS Tennessee cancel. "Had a great banquet aboard ship yesterday and all hands are taking castor oil today as a result." View shows a Chinese actor in full dress at a rehearsal. ct

USSTennessee_4-28-09ImageOfShip.jpg (378920 bytes)Apr. 28 '09 at San Francisco California, fine USS Tennessee cancel same day. "Haven't had time to write." View shows U.S. Armored Cruiser Tennessee under steam at sea, with much pertinent information printed on the back. Interesting. (For example, I did not realize that torpedoes were tested by surface ships such as this before they were put into submarines.) s(m)

Full-size scans (or larger) of the images shown here
 can be obtained for $1.50 each. To order some, please click here.

May 17 '09 at San Francisco California, clear USS Tennessee cancel.
"We are to take part in the Memorial Day exercises at Tacoma. Will give an exhibition artillery drill…" black & white view of the Culebra Cut in the Canal Zone.

May 26 '09 at Tacoma Washington, complete USS Tennessee cancel.
"Two Jap cruisers came in yesterday" on Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition card showing the Administrative Building.

May 28 '09 at Tacoma Washington, complete USS Tennessee cancel.
"We parade on shore tomorrow and leave the next day for Seattle." Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition card shows the Oriental Foreign Exhibit Building.

June 1 '09 at Seattle Washington, USS Tennessee cancel.
"The formal opening of the Exposition took place at noon today…The ships are crowded with visitors every day." Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition card shows the Agricultural Building.

USSTennessee_06-09-09_AYPExpo.jpg (130094 bytes)






June 9 '09 at Seattle Washington, USS Tennessee cancel. "Was much disappointed in the Exposition…Address me at the Bremerton Navy Yard for the rest of the summer." sepia-tone Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition card showing their allegorical painting & its explanation. ew

June 26 '09 at Bremerton Washington, clear USS Tennessee cancel.
"Will be here till Sept. 15 probably, undergoing extensive repairs." View shows officers quarters on shore.

July 7 '09 at Bremerton Washington, USS Tennessee cancel.
View shows a totem pole at Pioneer Square in Seattle.

(unclear date) at Bremerton Washington, USS Tennessee cancel.
"Getting the ship in condition to leave and there is still much to do." View shows streetcar passing the Central Building in Seattle.

Aug. 25 '09 at Seattle Washington, complete USS Tennessee cancel.
Alaska-Pacific-Yukon Exposition real photo shows a fountain & several buildings near to it.

Sep. 27 '09 at Honolulu Territory of Hawaii.
"Have some Hawaiian stamps for you…Sent Lena something yesterday. Imported direct from China…" View shows Bishop Museum at Honolulu. Flag cancel.

Sep. 28 '09 at Honolulu Territory of Hawaii.
"Have seen much that has left a lasting impression on me." View of Oahu College, Punahou, Honolulu.

Sep. 29 '09 at Honolulu Territory of Hawaii.
"Coal ship Oct. 1st for the next long lap of the cruise." Flag card with Honolulu spelled over it in firecrackers.

USSTennessee_09-30-09_HawaiianVolcano.jpg (169432 bytes)



Sep. 30 '09 at Honolulu Territory of Hawaii. "This will leave on the U.S.S. Concord which sails for home tomorrow." View of volcano Mauna Loa erupting. hv

USSTennessee_AdmiraltyNative_small.jpg (3108 bytes)






(uncertain date) at Admiralty Islands, South Seas. Probably unique real photo is explained on back: "This was snapped at close range while a war canoe was at our port gangway." Magnificent! The finest Admiralty Islands postcard we have ever seen.

Full-size scans (or larger) of the images shown here
 can be obtained for $1.50 each. To order some, please click here.



Nov. 1 '09 at Manila Philippine Islands, complete USS Tennessee cancel. "On the other side is a photo of 'Spitz' the ship's mascot" dog. Real photo mailed on arrival there.

Nov. 1 '09 at Manila Philippine Islands, USS Tennessee cancel.
"A photo of the Royal Palace at Honolulu. It is now used as the Administration Bldg. By the Territorial Government." Probably a unique sepia-tone real photo of the only royal palace in the US.

Nov. 1 '09 at Manila Philippine Islands, complete USS Tennessee cancel.
"Of course we will have a big dinner that day…" on an embossed art Thanksgiving card with gold highlights.

December 8 '09 at Manila Philippine Islands.
"Will leave for China on the 10th inst." black & white of Legaspi Monument at Manila. Manila cancel on 2-centavos stamp.

Dec. 10 '09 at Manila Philippine Islands, USS Tennessee cancel.
"I have been too busy with the battle practice which we just completed." View of Soler Monument in Botanical Gardens in Manila.

HISTORICAL NOTE: The China visit of this ship
occurred about a year or so before their Emperor was thrown out.

Dec. 26 '09 at Shanghai China, blurry US Offices cancellation.
"Had a dandy Christmas dinner yesterday aboard ship." View shows the Public Garden (more like a park) in Shanghai.

Dec. 27 '09 at Shanghai China, Chinese stamp & cancel there.
"Know the city like a book." View of Hongkew side from the Public Garden. PHANGA transit cancel of the I. J. P. 28.12.09 is clearly struck.

USSTennessee_Jan110_small.jpg (4427 bytes)
Dec. 28 '09 at Woosung China, complete USS Tennessee cancel. "Yesterday the American Ladies of Shanghai gave a dinner to 1,000 men from the American ships in this port." black & white view shows white people burning dozens of opium pipes in Shanghai--nice! cs

Jan. 6 '10 at Yokohama Japan, Japanese stamp & cancel there.
"Cold but much more pleasant than China." Hand-colored view of people enjoying the cherry blossoms at Yokohama.

Jan. 10 '10 at Yokohama Japan, complete USS Tennessee cancel.
"The picture on the other side was taken just before the fleet broke up. Before we arrived at Woonung" China. Probably unique sepia-tone real photo of the California & South Dakota astern of them in heavy seas. Wow!

Jan. 14 '10 at Yokohama Japan, USS Tennessee cancel.
"Gods represent the different ages./Interior of a Chinese Joss House in Shanghai" probably unique sepia-tone real photo with handwritten caption as indicated.

Feb. 18 '10 at Bremerton Washington, USS Tennessee cancel.
"The sun has not shone since we have been up here. Cold rain and snow all the time." View shows outdoor concert at a bandstand in Evergreen Park there.

Feb. 19 '10 at Bremerton Washington, complete USS Tennessee cancel.
View shows battleships at the Navy Yard there.

Apr. 8 '10 at Panama, complete USS Tennessee cancel.
"Sorry I haven't a Panama stamp for this. We leave the 13th." View shows the Canal Hotel, heavily screened against mosquitoes, at Pedro Miguel.

USSTennessee_April10'10.jpg (47714 bytes)

Apr. 12 '10 at Ancon Canal Zone, overprinted Panamanian stamps as shown.
"Preparing to coal ship tomorrow." View shows Canal Cut at Bas O Bispo looking south.

May 18 '10 at Bahia Blanca, Argentine Republic, Argentine stamp & cancel.
"Have been running back and forth between Maldonado, Montevideo and here for a week or more." (Cities mentioned are in Uruguay.) View shows the Municipal Building at Bahia Blanca.

May 26 '10 at Bahia Blanca Argentine Republic, USS Tennessee cancel.
"Expect to leave for Montevideo in the morning." Probably unique sepia-tone real photo of an ornate urn presented to the US Navy by the Spokane Naval T…

June 11 '10 at Montevideo Uruguay, Uruguay stamp & cancel.
"Am one of over 100 candidates out for the football team and am trying out for quarterback against others. Am in perfect physical condition and feel confident." View shows Lago del Prado in Montevideo.

June 19 '10 at Rio de Janeiro Brasil, Brasilian stamp & cancel.
"Thanks to the 'girls' for a box of swell French Nougat." black & white view of Viaducto da E. F. Central, with a lot of pipe in the foreground.

Sep. 4 '10 at Portsmouth New Hampshire.
"Will leave here probably Fri morning and hope to arrive in K. C. on Sunday morning." View shows Daniel Webster's house at Portsmouth. Flag cancel.

Sep. 4 '10 at Portsmouth New Hampshire.
"Being ashore on liberty…attended church services this morning." View shows building at the Navy Yard where the Russo-Japanese War came to an end.

Sep. 12 '10 at Kansas City Missouri.
"Setting along fine." View showing a busy South Water Street in Chicago.

Sep. 25 '10 at Chicago Illinois.
"Leave 10.35 for Boston." View shows Seventh Regiment Armory in Chicago. (This was a large place for the urban training of troops & for the storage of their equipment.)

"Oct. 24 '10 at Portsmouth New Hampshire, clear USS Tennessee cancel.
"Here is a bunch of the fellows with whom I am more closely associated with aboard ship…" explaining the probably unique real photo showing several sailors, some with rifles.

Dec. 23 '10 at Norfolk Virginia.
Conveying Christmas greetings on the back of a view of Old Saint Paul's Church at Norfolk.

Feb. 26 '11 at New Orleans Louisiana, USS Tennessee cancel.
"New Orleans and the Mardi Gras…The city is ours."

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USS TENNESSEE 1908 - 1911
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