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April 29th, 1917

The French & British commissions are being entertained in Washington. Viviani, Joffri (sic) & Balfour. Their purpose is to stimulate and to determine the extent of our cooperation in the war. America’s plans call for bridging the atlantic with a thousand wooden vessels and the raising 4 or more drafts of ½ million men each. American participation in extensive & immediate acro work is being urged. Wilson’s conscription program has passed Congress tho the age limits have not been agreed on.

Slabsides, date unknown, photo from Earl Baker’s collection


This P.M. rode on wheel* with Ed Maar to Slabsides (at right). Mater** told me tonight that a 2nd operation is needed. She is very discouraged & I must do my all for her.

Work – all billed & posted, save Fairview. I sales off.

Am Reading the “Harbor” a find – written by E Poole.

Refused to sign H.A.R.’s extra time pledge. Not needed yet & don’t see the connection.

*I assume he means bicycle as they used to be referred to as “a wheel”. According to Google, this is about a 10 mile bike ride one way. Go, Earl! Also, Burroughs, owner of Slabsides, was still alive when this was written. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slabsides

**This is what he calls his mother. Spoiler Alert – she’s not doing so well…

May 15th, 1917

Have enlisted with NY Naval Militia. Porter & Rogers left Mon. for Ft. Slocum. The Mater takes it very hard – I would not have gone if I had known. She feels so despondent and blue. The Hon. Peter – even – talked with me about it. The office force is pretty well shattered. The Russian cause seems lost & the state is anarchy. The Germans hence gather fresh strength on the western front. America is now even – barely comprehensive of the task. The home too, is to be broken up – but that had to come – the work & rent was too much. How I’ve enjoyed it all & how slow appreciation has dawned on me now that it is to be lost. But if I make this step – the beginning of a new epoch – manhood – it has been for the best. Pater is a brick. Work lagging a little. “I” not off – effects – minor – of the war movement. Pok’s quotia, I hear, is 1600 available men.

(Earl is only 24 years old in 1917)