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USA : The Merci Train : Library of Congress - Washington DC

Updated : April 19, 2015

"The Merci Train" - "The Gratitude Train" - "Train de la Reconnaissance Francaise"

Table of Contents :

Small stories :

David C. White - Farmer in Kansas Ruth Nathanson - High school senior from New York City


Individual states :
Bold = new content. (G) = can be seen on Google Streetview.

Arizona - Alabama - Arkansas (G) - California (G) - Colorado - Connecticut - Delaware (G) - Florida (G) - Georgia - Hawaii - Illinois - Indiana - Iowa (G) - Kansas - Kentucky - Louisiana (G) - Maine - Maryland - Massachusetts - Michigan - Minnesota - Mississippi - Missouri - Montana - Nebraska - Nevada - New Jersey - New Hampshire (G) - New Mexico - New York - North Carolina - North Dakota - Ohio - Oklahoma - Oregon (G) - Pennsylvania (G) - Rhode Island - South Carolina (G) - South Dakota (G) - Tennessee (G) - Texas - Utah (G) - Vermont - Virginia - Washington (G) - Washington DC - West Virginia (G) - Wisconsin - Wyoming (G).



On this page :
Letters - Photos - Photos of individual gifts - Lists etc.



Letters & photos at the Library of Congress - Washington DC

It should come as no surprise that the Library of Congress ( LOC ) in Washington DC has some material regarding the "Gratitude Train".

A few photos have been digitalized, ( use the search term : "gratitude train" ), but the rest can only be viewed in person at the LOC.

The non-digitalized material is found at "Prints & Photographs Reading Room" in the Madison building, room LM337.

Ask for folder : "LOT 5899".

This material was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Duncan Emrich in 1952. Duncan Emrich was from 1945 chief of the Archives of the American Folk Song section of the LOC.

His connection to the "Gratitude Train" in 1848 / 1949 remains to be researched. what

The images below are photographs taken by me of all the items in the "5899"-folder.
Click on a picture to enlarge it.

I have taken for granted that you, dear reader, don't need direct links to i.e. Wikipedia, but that you can do your own searches using you favorite search engine.


Letters

The letters are all regarding the French Gratitude Train organizing committee and the various notes / letters and requests that the committee received regarding the "Gratitude Train" and the individual gifts.

The allocated number ( i.e. #23 ) is mine and only for my own convenience.
  • "Appreciation"-letter with translation made in 1948 / 1949.[ # 02 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress jean chantel merci gratitude train library of congress jean chantel Presumably from a Mr. Jean Chantel
    or Jean Chauvel what

    Jean Chauvel was in fact an "Ambassadeur de France" around 1949.

    If this is not Jean Chauvel but Jean Chantel - then - no doubt he meant it the same way as many tourists like to think of themselves as "good-will" ambassadors of their home-country.



  • "Appreciation"-letter with translation made in 1948 / 1949.[ # 03 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress Jean Schlumberger merci gratitude train library of congress Jean Schlumberger From Monsieur
    Jean Schlumberger
    presumably the French
    jewelry designer.

    Written on the letter-head of the French organizing committee.




  • "Appreciation"-letter with translation made in 1948 / 1949.[ # 04 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress Mario Meunier merci gratitude train library of congress Mario Meunier From Monsieur Mario Meunier
    - the French writer and Greek scholar.



  • Letter from the fashion firm "Worth".[ # 10 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress fashion house worth Description of the gift from Worth.



  • Letter from the small village "??????-les-Bains" in the "Hautes-Pyrenées" .[ # 11 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress The village donates a health-treatment - and the voyage - to an American soldier.

    The donation is hand-written on the official letter-head of the French organizing committee



  • Letter from the Organization "Oeuvre en faveur des enfants mutilés victimes de la guerre".[ # 12 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress children mutilated Organization helping the children mutilated in the war gave a series of gifts.



  • Hand-written note regarding gifts from "Garde Républicaine".[ # 13 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress garde republicaine


  • Hand-written note with dedication from Madame de Margerie what[ # 16 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress Madame de Margerie Alan Seeger Fortnightly of Chicago The gift-giver - Madame de Margerie what - would like that her gifts :
    • "Autograph of [Marcel] Proust" is given to "Chicago Fortnightly Club"what
      [ The Fortnightly of Chicago : Women's society founded to enrich the intellectual lives of its members ]
    • "Autograph of Guy----" is given to "Harvard University" as a souvenir of "Alan Seeger".
      Presumably the Alan Seeger who was an American poet who fought and died in World War I during the Battle of the Somme serving in the French army.



  • Letter regarding gifts from "Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne".[ # 18 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne The fashion industry in Paris also contributed to the Gratitude Train giving each of the 49 boxcars a box with a puppet / mannequin dressed in a handmade / tailormade dress.



  • Personal letter from Mr. Jay with translation from 1948 / 1949.[ # 24 & # 19 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress jay merci gratitude train library of congress jay


  • Letter regarding the statue of George Washington.[ # 23 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress George Washington merci gratitude train library of congress George Washington merci gratitude train library of congress George Washington 1 French woman and 4 French men gave the statue of George Washington by Taveau.



  • Translated letter from the "Institut de France - Academy of Sciences".[ # 63 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress Institut de France - Academy of Sciences Benjamin Franklin Jean Jacques Caffiori Giving the original plaster of the bust of Benjamin Franklin,
    by Jean Jacques Caffiori, made in March 1777.



Photos

The images are "photos" of "photos" - not scans.

  • Photo of Josephine Baker singing / celebrating at a party.[ # 26 ]

    Front & back
    merci gratitude train library of congress Josephine Baker merci gratitude train library of congress Josephine Baker

    It is un-certain whether this photo / party actually has anything to do with the Gratitude Train. what
    The party, due to the elaborate hats, would be a St. Catherines day party, held in France on November 25th.

    Copies of this photo has been for sale on i.e. www.ebay.com :
    merci gratitude train ebay Josephine Baker


  • US-ambassador Jefferson Caffery reviews gifts / paintings with Paris Mayor Pierre de Gaulle[ # 27 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress jefferson caffery pierre de gaulle merci gratitude train library of congress jefferson caffery pierre de gaulle merci gratitude train library of congress jefferson caffery pierre de gaulle

    "Pierre de Gaulle" was the brother of "General Charles de Gaulle". It is Jefferson Caffery to the left.


  • Warehouse-door - Receiving gifts[ # 30 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress Open for receiving gifts :
    08:30 - 12:00 & 14:00 - 18:00



  • Giving gifts[ # 34 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress Givers giving gifts in Paris.

    Each gift is noted
    and the "Gratitude"-card is filled out.

    [ Sauvageot - Photo # 3 / ?? ]



  • Poudroux[ # 35 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress Poudroux merci gratitude train library of congress Poudroux merci gratitude train library of congress Poudroux Mr. and Madame Poudroux
    is choosing the item
    they are giving to the
    "Gratitude Train".

    [ Sauvageot - Photo # __ / ?? ]



  • Sorting the packages / gifts
    • [ # 36 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress Sorting the packages in Paris.

      The numbers and names on the wall
      would presumably be identifying
      each of the 49 boxcars / states.

      [ Sauvageot - Photo # 9 / ?? ]


    • [ # 41 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress Sorting the packages in Paris.

      The numbers and names on the wall
      would presumably be identifying
      each of the 49 boxcars / states.

      [ Sauvageot - Photo # 11 / ?? ]


    • [ # 53 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress Sorting the packages in Paris.

      The numbers and names on the wall
      would presumably be identifying
      each of the 49 boxcars / states.

      [ Sauvageot - Photo # 5 / ?? ]



  • Fashion house of Lanvin[ # 38 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress Fashion house of Lanvin merci gratitude train library of congress Fashion house of Lanvin Fashion house Lanvin employees
    preparing the Lanvin doll / mannequin.

    [ Sauvageot - Photo # __ / ?? ]



  • Gare d'Orsay - Van[ # 42 ]

    merci gratitude train library of congress Gare d'Orsay merci gratitude train library of congress Gare d'Orsay Reception of gifts - Paris - Gare d'Orsay.

    [ Sauvageot - Photo # __ / ?? ]



  • Un-packing and registration of gifts
    • [ # 45 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress All packages were opened and the contents registred.


    • [ # 46 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress All packages were opened and the contents registred.



    • Anne-Marie Max painting boxcar[ # 43 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Anne-Marie Max Gare Saint Lazaire merci gratitude train library of congress Anne-Marie Max Gare Saint Lazaire Anne-Marie Max
      putting the final touches
      on the boxcar "J 54858",
      that ended up being
      the "New Hampshire" boxcar.

      This is obviously a "staged" photo,
      publicity photo, - what we today
      would call a "photo-op".


      Copies of this photo has also been for sale on i.e. www.ebay.com : merci gratitude train ebay Anne-Marie Max Gare Saint Lazaire


      A very similar photo : merci gratitude train library of congress Anne-Marie Max Gare Saint Lazaire could be seen in newspapers
      all over the USA from Oct. 21, 1948.
      till the end of December 1948.


      Both photos were presumably taken at the Gare Saint Lazaire in Paris.
      This would be where the 49 boxcars were being repaired and painted by the French.


    • Various gifts - bust - painting[ # 49 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress Various gifts :

      Bust of Franklin D. Roosevelt. what
      Statuette.
      Statue of Virgin Mary with Jesus child.
      Painting of l'Arc de Triomphe.



    • Christmas scene[ # 55 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress Christmas tree.

      Woman what
      receiving booklet
      from children in front
      of christmas tree

      [ Sauvageot - Photo # __ / ?? ]



    Photos of individual gifts

    The images are "photos" of "photos" - not scans.

    Several of the individual gifts were mentioned in various newspaper articles and a few can even be traced to a specific US-state. A couple of these can still be found today ( 2015 ). See the page of the specific US-state for details.

    The allocated number ( i.e. #23 ) is mine and only for my own convenience.

    • Pamflet describing the "Garde Républicaine de Paris".[ # 01 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress garde republicaine de paris merci gratitude train library of congress garde republicaine de paris merci gratitude train library of congress garde republicaine de paris merci gratitude train library of congress garde republicaine de paris merci gratitude train library of congress garde republicaine de paris


    • Picture of "Jerome Napoléon" by "Gros" in 1807.
      This picture received quite a lot of publicity. However the newspaper articles often said that it was a picture of the "Emperor Napoléon". [ Yes - there is more than 1 Napoléon wink ]

      • Note regarding the picture of "Jerome Napoléon" by "Gros".[ # 21 ]

        merci gratitude train library of congress Jerome Napoleon Count of Montfort Note explains that the picture was given by
        "The Prince Napoléon - Count of Montfort".

        The person in the picture is of the givers great-grand-father
        - the last of "Napoléon's" brothers.


      • Picture[ # 58 ]

        merci gratitude train library of congress Jerome Napoleon Count of Montfort merci gratitude train library of congress Jerome Napoleon Count of Montfort


      • Picture[ # 62 ]

        merci gratitude train library of congress Jerome Napoleon Count of Montfort merci gratitude train library of congress Jerome Napoleon Count of Montfort merci gratitude train library of congress Jerome Napoleon Count of Montfort merci gratitude train library of congress Jerome Napoleon Count of Montfort



    • Church bell - "Jeanne d'Arc"[ # 28 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Jeanne d'Arc Rouen merci gratitude train library of congress Jeanne d'Arc Rouen
      [ Sauvageot - Photo # 15 / ?? ]
      Reproduction and model of the church bell "Jeanne d'Arc"
      given by the Municipality of Rouen.
      merci gratitude train library of congress Jeanne d'Arc Rouen
      © Fonderie Paccard near Annecy.

      The real church bell was big.



    • 6 medals in a presentation box[ # 29 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress

      The gentleman on the right presumably is Mr. Maurice Artiguenave. what

      One (the top) medal is not recognizable. The other 5 medals have profiles of human heads. 4 medals have one head. One medal have 3 heads. All heads are in profile and in relief.

      The bottom right medal could be of US-general George Patton. what


    • Puppet - doll - from Nice [ # 31 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress puppet Nice merci gratitude train library of congress puppet Nice Puppet donated by the city of NIce ( Cote d'Azur ).

      On the piece of paper is written :
      "La ville de Nice au People Americain ------- amitie ----l'expression de profonde gratitude".

      It is not known who the smiling gentleman is. what

      But where exactly is his right hand ? wink



    • Model af horse-carriage - Louis XV

      • # 32
        merci gratitude train library of congress Museum of Compiegne merci gratitude train library of congress Museum of Compiegne This model of a horse-carriage is being placed with a white background for taking photographs.

        The carriage presumably is the same as item # 06 below.


      • # 06
        Letter from the gift-giver.

        merci gratitude train library of congress Museum of Compiegne From Mr. Robiquet - Museum of Compiegne.

        Written instructions / explanation regarding the gifts that the museum gave.

        Presumably the letter refers to the photo above of the carriage.



    • 4 boys with more than 14 small puppets / dolls[ # 33 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress Group of 4 boys - presumably orphans and/or injured in the war - with at least 14 small puppets with regional dresses and a map of France detailing regions.



    • French army uniform[ # 37 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Marcel Matuchet Tirailleurs Indigenes Soupir merci gratitude train library of congress Marcel Matuchet Tirailleurs Indigenes Soupir A french officer's full dress uniform.
      Belonged to Marcel Matuchet.

      Unit : 4' regiment de Tirailleurs Indigenes.

      Killed on November 06, 1914 at Soupir (Aisne)

      Gift from his parents.

      [ Sauvageot - Photo # __ / ?? ]



    • Bugle[ # 39 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress bugle verdun merci gratitude train library of congress bugle verdun Bugle belonging
      to a French officer
      killed at Verdun.

      Given by his family.

      [ Sauvageot - Photo # 28 / ?? ]



    • Tri-cycle[ # 40 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Tri-cycle from 1893 pennsylvania merci gratitude train library of congress Tri-cycle from 1893 pennsylvania Tri-cycle from 1893.
      Top speed : 50 km/h - 31 miles / hour.

      This gift can actually be traced to the Pennsylvania boxcar.

      [ Sauvageot - Photo # 30 / ?? ]



    • Statue[ # 44 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Statue of Ugolin by Carpeuax Indiana Memorial Union merci gratitude train library of congress Statue of Ugolin by Carpeuax Indiana Memorial Union merci gratitude train library of congress Statue of Ugolin by Carpeuax Indiana Memorial Union merci gratitude train library of congress Statue of Ugolin by Carpeuax Indiana Memorial Union

      Replica - Statue of "Ugolin" by Carpeuax.

      This gift can actually be traced to the Indiana boxcar,
      and the statue is currently ( 2014 ) at the "Indiana Memorial Union" ( the Union ) at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.


    • Earth[ # 47 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Marthe Comtesse de Fels Chemin des Dames merci gratitude train library of congress Marthe Comtesse de Fels Chemin des Dames Box - containing earth being admired
      by Marthe, Comtesse de Fels, one of the
      people behind the "Gratitude Train".
      From the battlefields of "Chemin des Dames".

      Arranged and given by
      1089th Section des Médaillés Militaires
      du Chemin des Dames
      Vailly-sur-Aisne



    • Puppet / Mannequin Lecomte[ # 48 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress fashion house Germaine Lecomte merci gratitude train library of congress fashion house Germaine Lecomte Puppet - mannequin
      made by the fashion house Germaine Lecomte.
      Writing on back of picture
      states that its made by the workers
      at the fashion house.



    • Table with 6 drawers[ # 50 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Madame Ch. Schneider merci gratitude train library of congress Madame Ch. Schneider Beautiful table with 6 drawers on top.

      Given by Madame Ch. Schneider.



    • Table "Christofle" set with plates, cutlery etc.[ # 51 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Christofle merci gratitude train library of congress Christofle Table beautifully set with
      • Plates.
      • Cutlery
      • Candles
      • Glasses
      • Soup tureen

      On back of photo : "Table Christofle" presumably meaning
      that it was a gift from the company Christofle based in Paris.


    • Cupboard[ # 52 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Madame Lagaze merci gratitude train library of congress Madame Lagaze merci gratitude train library of congress Madame Lagaze Given by
      Madame Lagaze



    • Spinning wheel[ # 54 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Spinning wheel merci gratitude train library of congress Spinning wheel Spinning wheel that belonged
      to the givers great grandmother



    • Model of war room[ # 56 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Model of war room Rheims merci gratitude train library of congress Model of war room Rheims Model of the US-army general HQ
      aka the "war room"
      made by children from
      a school in Rheims.

      Multi-subject project
      combining math - art -
      history and geography.

      [ Sauvageot - Photo # 17 / ?? ]


    • Banner tapestry[ # 57 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress banner tapestry merci gratitude train library of congress banner tapestry A banner tapestry
      made especially for
      the "Gratitude Train"
      by an unknown woman.

      [ Sauvageot - Photo # ___ / ?? ]


    • Framed medal embroidery[ # 59 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Medaille Militaire merci gratitude train library of congress Medaille Militaire 732* Section des
      Médaillés Militaires
      Bourg en Bresse
      Ain - France

      A leurs
      Camarades
      Americains
      merci gratitude train library of congress Medaille Militaire

      The real
      "Médaille Militaire"

      [ Sauvageot - Photo # 22 / ?? ]


    • Flowerpot - Jardinière[ # 60 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Flowerpot  from Rouen merci gratitude train library of congress Flowerpot  from Rouen Flowerpot from Rouen
      - presumably made of faience
      with fine gold decorations.

      Likely from the 18th century.



    • Spinning wheel[ # 61 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress Spinning wheel merci gratitude train library of congress Spinning wheel "Vieux rouet pour filer le lien offert par une fancaise en hommage de reconnnaissance au people américain"

      [ Sauvageot - Photo # __ / ?? ]



    Lists etc.

    Various lists made by and for the French organizing committee.

    The allocated number ( i.e. #23 ) is mine and only for my own convenience.

    • List of gifts, numbered 1*-153*, received by the local committee "Paris - Ile de France" for the "Gratitude Train".[ # 05 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress As you can see from the numbering,
      not all gifts have been listed,
      so this must be viewed as a list
      of the more interesting gifts.



    • List of gifts, numbered 1*-18*, with translation made in 1948 / 1949, received by the local committee "Paris - Ile de France" for the "Gratitude Train".[ # 07 & # 15 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress

      merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress


    • Hand-written note listing the gifts from the City of Paris.[ # 08 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress


    • List of the more interesting gifts, numbered 1*-389*, received at "La Samaritaine".[ # 09 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress merci gratitude train library of congress

      "La Samaritaine" is presumably the large department store ( closed around 2005 ) in Paris near the Pont Neuf.


    • List of committee members from the committee : "Comité Paris - Ile de France" [ # 14 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress committee paris ile de france merci gratitude train library of congress committee paris ile de france
      • Présidente : Comtesse André de Fels
      • Président : Monsieur Raymond Rodel
      • Membres executifs :
        • Mesdames -
          • Bonnet
          • Wilfrid Baumgartner
          • de la Grange
          • de Potestad
          • Jacques Chastenet
          • le Bec
          • Francois-Poncet
          • Herbette
          • de Gaulle
          • de Beaumont
          • Peignot
          • de la Baume
          • de Margerie
          • Henri Claudel
          • Theodore Rousseau
          • Paul Landowski
          • Maurice Petsche
          • Hottinguer
          • Giscard d'Estaing
          • de Dampierre
      • Déléguée à la presse :
        • Christina Poirson
      • Secrétaire Générale :
        • Mme. Lecomte-Mayer

      Some of the names are well-known : "Bonnet" - "de Gaulle" - "Giscard d'Estaing".
      Henri Bonnet was the French ambassador to the USA.


    • Note explaining the committee speeches etc. [ # 17 ]

      merci gratitude train library of congress My translation :
      All the speeches made on French Radio by Mr. George Delamare is being translated by Madame R. Seydoux member of the Gratitude Train Committee of "Paris - Ile de France" and will be forwarded to the proper authoreties in the USA by Mademoiselle [ Anne-Marie ] Max.
      ..................

      These speeches are an important documenattion of what happened on a daily basis at the various local Gratitude Train committees.



    • The history of the "Gratitude Train" with translation from 1948 / 1949[ # 20 & # 22 ]

      French original - almost statutes :
      merci gratitude train library of congress history merci gratitude train library of congress history merci gratitude train library of congress history merci gratitude train library of congress history


      Translation :
      merci gratitude train library of congress history merci gratitude train library of congress history merci gratitude train library of congress history Missing page 4



      Poor translation of other French text similar to the history :
      merci gratitude train library of congress history merci gratitude train library of congress history




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