|Louie Love Padgett, passport application photo|
|US Passport application|
The first document that got my attention was Louie's passport application which he obtained prior to going to China to teach.(1) Rather than the standard two pages, his application covered five pages due to the accompanying letters. Continuing to turn pages provided new facts and information to add to what we already know about Louie.
This application included information about his first passport, a military passport issued 1 Jan 1918 by the War Department. The family had heard that Louie had taught in France following his service in World War I, and the 1918 date seems to support this. A soldier would not have need for a passport, but an individual remaining in a foreign country in a civilian capacity would need one. Included on the application is the statement that he resided in France from Jan 1916 to 17 Jul 1919, giving more information related to his military service and possible later time as an American residing in France.
His proposed itinerary for traveling to China is part of the application. From it we learn that he planned to sail from Vancouver on the Empress of Asia, leaving on 26 April 1921. His travel would take him from Vancouver to Japan, finally arriving in China for his teaching position. His application for a late April journey is stamped 9 April 1921; apparently paperwork moved more rapidly in those days.
Also included in his application are letters pertaining to his employment at the school in China. His two-year teaching contact was with the International Committee of the Young Men's Christian Association for teaching in one of the private school in China.
|Letter from YMCA accompanying the passport application|
The final document in Louie's passport application was another letter from the YMCA detailing the passport application process and information concerning the payment of taxes.
|Registration as US citizen with US consul in China|
I ended up being pleasantly surprised by how much more we now know about Louie just by turning the pages of some standard government documents.
(1) US Passport Applications, 1795-1925, database and images; Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 May 2013); citing National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925; Collection Number: ARC Identifier 583830 / MLR Number A1 534; NARA Series: M1490; Roll #: 1561.
(2) US Consular Registration Applications, 1916-1925, database and images; Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 May 2013); citing US Department of State, Division of Passport Control, Consular Registration Applications, Roll #: 32734_620305173_0275.
(3) Bonner, H R. "Salary Outlook for High-School Teachers." The School Review vol. 30, no. 6 (June 1922). Online archives. JSTOR.org. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1078017 : 2013.