Manuscripts/Mixed Material [The Life of Jim Davis]
Week ending October 18, 1938
Helen S. Hartley
Identification No. 0149-5147
Federal Writers' Project Dist.2
WPA Project 4454, Mobile, Ala.
536 Short Cedar St.,
THE LIFE OF JIM DAVIS
Written by Helen S. Hartley
Jim Davis was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, British West Indies, in the year 1878. He was a happy youngster. having everything that any child could wish for, a good home, fine mother and father, and two brothers. He began to mingle with older boys when he was eleven years of age, and soon began to hear the wonderful stories of other countries. One day while loitering on the street, he was approached by a Sea Captain, who asked him if he would not like to take a job as cabin boy on his sailing ship “Red Jacket”. Miraculously the opportunity that he was longing for had come, and he could now go out into the world and seek his fortune. So it was, that as a boy of eleven, he started on a journey that led him to foreign shores, never more to return to his native land.
One whole year or more he was on the Red Jacket as a cabin boy, and enjoying the thrill of handling the sails with the crew when he was off duty. He saw much of the world during those years, the ship having touched England; Cardiff, Wales; Buenos Ayres, Argentine; Russia; Germany and many other seaports of the world, not to mention the different ports in the U.S., that his ship touched. Again the wanderlust seized him and the desire to see more of those foreign ports was strong within him, so one bright Friday morning, while the Red Jacket was in Mobile, tied up at the foot of Lipscomb Street, Jim with several others of the crew, jumped the ship. It was not long before the little twelve year old West Indian boy found himself alone. For one week he lived as he could, getting odd jobs for food; sleeping where he could, he did not care if he suffered a little from hunger and cold for his whole future lay ahead of him; but at the end of