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Reference books
on the
Great White Fleet

"Other nations may do what you have done, but they'll have to follow you."
Teddy Roosevelt
February 22, 1909

 What did Military History Magazine have to say?

The largest and
most diverse
collection of GWF items ever found!
Take a look.


Auckland, New Zealand

Site-Seeing in New Zealand

Auckland NZ

August 12, 1908

Dear Papa,

It is said that the mail does not leave for two weeks and perhaps you will get my letters from Sidney before you get this, however the envelope will be something to save as a souvenir of my visit to NZ.

We arrived here last Sunday morning and were treated by all sorts of river and coast crafts.  We anchored in two columns and the Virginia was assigned to an anchorage right close to the Connecticut and near the landing.


A card from Frank showing the view up Queen Street in Auckland.

Went ashore on Monday from 1 pm till 12:30 am and took in the sights.  The city has a population of 83,000 and seems to be a very prosperous place.  The buildings are not very high and are old fashioned in construction.  Did not see a passenger elevator during my day sight-seeing.



The town is quite hilly and transportation is furnished by means of train (trolley) cars.  From the center of the town to certain limits you can ride for 2 cents American beyond it costs from 4 cents up, depending on the distance.  The railways are under the ownership of the Government.  The capitol of the island being Wellington.

Visited the museum where the relics of the native inhabitants (Maoirs) are for exhibit and saw very interesting things, among them a war canoe 70 feet long and 7 feet beam holding 100 men and cut out by means of fire and stone axes.  Saw where the Govern lives while in Auckland.  Also an old iron mill one of the old land marks, by means of which the sailors of olden days used to steer their course into the harbor.

At this point the island is only 9 miles wide and a canal through would save a days journey to Sidney.

Walking through the streets one can see many of the native inhabitants who have come in from their reservations in order to see the sights.  The men and married women have their chins tattooed which fact makes them quite ugly looking.  The people down here dress very old fashioned compared to our mode of dressing and talk in the genuine English style.  Mrs. Prathers would feel quite as if she were back in England again.

Restaurants are called tea and lunch rooms and, meals are not served in a very beautiful manner but are inexpensive.  A fair dinner being procurable for 2cs/6D about 36 cents our money.  You are not given any check but pay when you go out.  Fruit is bought and sold by the pound.

The visit of the American Fleet

(selected pages below)










Most all of the illuminating is done by means of gas even the Fleet decorations on the streets and building is done by this method.  Pictures of Roosevelt and King Edward are seen everywhere.  The American and English flags being entwined around or between them.

It costs a Chinaman or Jap $500.00 an examination both mental & physical to get into the country.  This is the way they protect themselves from the Yellow-Peril.  They seem very hospitable and come out to the ships in large numbers.  Newspaper men and photographers from Sidney & Melbourne are very busy taking pictures for their city newspapers.

I sent you under separate cover a fleet edition of one of the papers which I hope will reach you in time.  The sun rises at about 7:00 am and sets at 5:05 pm at the present date.  Temp at 1 am 46 degrees at 12 pm 57 degrees.

Will encloses several stamps which you can keep or give to some boy or girl saving them.  Will write again from Sidney.  Love to Mother,

Affectionately, Frank

Will be at sea between Auckland and Sidney on birthday."

Additional Cards, letters, and items from the Frank Lesher Collection



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