100 Letters of Love
Sailing for Ireland


A 12-month US passport was issued to Bella Murphy Barker on March 10, 1922 "for the purpose of traveling to the British Isles to visit relatives."  The document described Bella as 5' 3" tall, medium mouth, round chin, brown, straight hair, medium complexion, and an oval face.  The British Passport Control Office in New York issued a 12-month visa for the United Kingdom to Belle on April 3.



Passport Photo
Nancy, Bella, and Sheila Barker
March 1922



On Wednesday, April 26, 1922, Belle,  Ana M. (Nancy), and Julia M. (Sheila), departed New York aboard the Cunard White Star Lines' RMS Scythia bound for the port city of Cobh (Queenstown), County Cork, in the Free State of Ireland.

During the previous five months, significant events had taken place in Ireland.  Until December 1921, all of Ireland was part of the British Empire.  On December 6, Ireland became partitioned:  Dominion status was granted for 26 counties south and west, including counties Kerry and Cork; the nine counties which comprised Ulster province in the northeast remained part of the Empire and became known as Northern Ireland.  On January 7, 1922, the treaty was ratified by the Irish Parliament, the Dail, thus forming the Irish Free State.



The British R. M. S. Scythia


Bella Murphy Barker
This was the name as it appeared on her passport, with an a at the end of her first name.  She signed her letters Belle, with an e at the end; for this reason I refer to her as Belle on this web site.
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