In my previous "Thanks for Traveling Frederick!" post, I mentioned a passport application filled out by my great-grandfather, Watson (Frederick) Emory Webster, a.k.a. "The Traveling Dentist." So, here it is! Frederick's passport application dated April 17, 1907.1 He actually filled this out while he was in Mexico. The source citation states that this was an Emergency Passport Application (Issued Abroad). Hmmm. Interesting.
So, what information is contained in this passport application?
- Frederick E. Webster stated he was a native and loyal citizen of the United States.
- Frederick applied to the Consul at Guaymas, Mexico for a passport for himself. (Guaymas is located in the southwestern part of the Mexican state of Sonora. Why was Frederick there?)
- Frederick was born in Athens, Ohio. (His birthplace is Coolville, Athens, Ohio.)
- Frederick was born on February 14, 1870. (That's weird. His actual birthdate is February 14, 1864. So, why did he say he was born in 1870?)
- Frederick stated that his father was a native born citizen of the United States.
- Frederick stated that his permanent residence in the United States was El Paso, Texas. (Hmm. Why was he living in El Paso, Texas?)
- Frederick's occupation was listed as a dentist. (No surprise here.)
- Frederick stated that he left the United States on January 19, 1907.
- He also stated that he was temporarily living in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico.
- Frederick stated that he intended to return to the United States within eighteen months.
- Frederick stated that he desired the passport for the purpose of traveling in South America. (This is an interesting tidbit of information. Frederick eventually ended up living in Brazil and passed away there in 1946. My grandfather Debs, who was Frederick's son, and my mother were born in Brazil.)
- Hurray! Frederick's signature is on the document.
- Hurray again! We get a description of the applicant (Frederick).
- Description of Frederick E. Webster
- Age: 37 years old
- Stature: 5 feet 5 inches tall
- Forehead: Very high (bald)
- Eyes: Blue
- Nose: Medium
- Mouth: Large
- Chin: Medium
- Hair: Brown
- Complexion: Light
- Face: Full
- Identifying Witness for Frederick Webster – R. M. Black from Little Rock, Arkansas (Hmm. I wonder how Frederick knew this man. Did Frederick ever travel or live in Little Rock, Arkansas? Actually, I know Frederick was in Clarendon, Arkansas in 1899. And that's not too far from Little Rock. Frederick was awarded a patent in 1899. In this patent it states that Frederick was from Clarendon, Arkansas. If you'd like to see this patent, I shared it in a blog post. You can read about it by clicking HERE. It's pretty cool. And yes, it has to do with dentistry. And there are sketches of his invention included too.)
Thanks for reading!
© 2013 Copyright by Jana Last
1 Source Citation: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Emergency Passport Applications (Issued Abroad), 1877-1907; Collection Number: ARC Identifier 1187503 / MLR Number A1 515; NARA Series: M1834; Roll #: 21; Volume #: 35. Source Information: Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007.↩