Seattle, WA: Ca. 1943. 9 original pencil sketches made at the segregated Seattle Washington army camp, Camp George Jordan, by John Caldwell, likely an African American service man. We locate a John Caldwell born in 1920 in Illinois who enlisted in San Francisco on 23 November 1943 in San Francisco (US World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938 - 1946).
At Camp Jordan, African Americans were housed separately from whites by a road dividing the camp in half. The camp was located on Spokane Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, and was first established by the U.S. Army’s Port of Embarkation Administration in July 1942. It eventually served as a trucking company, transporting troops from Fort Lawton and Fort Lewis to ships for duty overseas.
The camp was named in 1943 in honor of African American Sergeant George Jordan, 9th US Cavalry ("Buffalo Soldiers"), recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in New Mexico in 1881. Jordan was born into slavery and was illiterate when he first joined the Army.
The sketches include:
1 of Camp Jordan showing the entry gate and barracks
5 of women including 3 African Americans (one is drawn up at bat, for baseball), on sketch paper
and 3 portraits of entertainers Louis Armstrong, Humphrey Bogart, and possibly Dorothy Lamour, Joan Crawford (sketched on board).
12 x 9". Ruffled at edges, creased. Good + condition. Item #24892