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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS S When I started editing these letters, I had no idea how much I would be learning about the world inhabited by my ancestors. My task became far easier because of the kindness and generosity of friends and family who answered my persistent questions and listened to me lament the slow progress of my work. So, thank you to all— especially my beloved husband Lawrence Riley, who has the patience of a saint and who has supported me with enthusiasm and with love. My James and Houston families deserve medals, too. Ashley James and Anna Bush filled in details that I did not know about Willis, Anna Houston, and our grandparents and great aunts and uncles. In the course of my research, I found Rod Hudson, great-grandson of Uncle Charley Hudson, who supplied extensive information about Charley and his wife, Clothilda. Here in Connecticut, I came to know descendants of the James patriarch ’s first and third wives—Gertrude Thompson, great-granddaughter of Anna Webb, and Beatrice Marone, granddaughter of his third wife, Anna Phillips. Gertrude’s interview with Louise and with Helen’s husband Frank Chisholm provided background that helped me understand more about them and the other James siblings. Likewise, Bea helped to solve the mystery of Bertha’s dislike of West Indians and gave me valuable information about relatives I didn’t know I had. xxi I am also indebted to several friends without whom this work would not exist. Writer Gina Greenlee provided much-needed editorial services that helped me shape and trim the narrative through its first and second drafts. Genealogist Judith Johnson and the staff at the library of the Connecticut Historical Society shared their vast knowledge and expertise on Connecticut’s history, helping me locate information and suggesting avenues of research. Mark Wilson, a retired professor of English at the University of Hawaii and a wonderful friend to my mother and to me, directed me to information about the schools in Hawaii where Helen worked and suggested other avenues of research. My friend and fellow journalist Nick Sambides Jr. provided sources for information about the Civil War and made many perceptive suggestions to improve the narrative. xxii Acknowledgments ...


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