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An Unusual Letter from Cuba:

James Lovegrove Marlin's "Banana Leaf" Letter

Contributed by Joan Eddy 
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General: This letter is interesting, not so much for the news it contains, but for the way it was done. James Lovegrove Marlin wrote a letter home on a banana leaf! See the enlarged image below! The letter was written October 25, 1898 to his mother, Mary Minerva Marlin.

In Cuba, paper began to be difficult for the troops to obtain. Letters were written on all sorts of scraps of available paper. James Marlin was a bit more innovative.

Text of the letter:

"Havana, Cuba

Dear Mother:

I take great pleasure in writing ------ (these? this from Cuba????) I don't know how it will be when it gets up there  I guess it will be frozen but it will be a nice letter if it keeps  you can press it till it dries out.

There is not much news here everything is keeping quiet here.

We take a bath everyday in the fountain which is in the center of the park.

I am going down to go through the marine barracks  I may get some relicks from there well I will come to a close  did you get the pictures I sent up?  Well this is all for the present"

Letter written on banana leaf

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