The Name - The Legend - The Man
Texts and images from John Law memorabilia entrusted to the NY Correction History Society by his daughter, Dr. Suzanne Law Hawes.

Page 4 of 7 pages (so far).

JOHN BRENDEN LAW
by Suzanne Law Hawes
(Part III)

John was accepted to Notre Dame University in the fall of 1925, probably recruited because of his athletic ability. Knute Rockne was at Notre Dame, someone whom John greatly admired. Given that John was the son of a bricklayer who had four other children to support, it is hardly likely that the family paid for his college education.

A letter to his parents on September 17th, 1925 from NDU Freshman Hall says:

John Law letter from Freshman Hall:
Above is a reduced size image of the letterhead and first lines of John Law's Sept. 17, 1925 letter from Notre Dame Freshman Hall to "Dear Mom and Papa."

At left is an image of students at the barracks -like Freshman Hall in the 1920s.

For more about Freshman Hall and a readable version of the top portion of the John Law letter, click either image here.

I just came in from a mean workout. Things look promising so far for me, in fact, I have been playing with what they consider up to and including today, the first team. However, we scrimmage the Varsity team Saturday. That will be the final answer who is on the team. I hope I can making a showing then. There is (sic) nine teams working out. That's just the freshmen alone.

Don't let the boys (his brothers) repeat any of this until you get my next letter. The probable reason why I manage to stand the gaff is the fact that I am descedent (sic) of the hardy Law stocků.

In the English class we were asked to write a composition. I chose as a subject "The Power of Music." It gained favorable comment from the Prof. He marked it 4 on a basis of 5.

Yesterday in the marketing class the Prof. talked about London and how a good many things were being Americanized over there at the present time. It certainly makes you feel as though you knew a little more than the rest whenever someone talks of European cities that you have visited.

John Law letter from SS President Lincoln:
The above ship illustration and the Dollar Steamship company logo, below right, appear on the SS President Lincoln stationery that John Law used to write his July 2, 1927, letter to his mother.

Below left is an image of the SS President Lincoln, a 14,124 gross ton ship. Her length was 535ft x beam 72ft, one funnel, three masts, twin screw, with a speed of 17 knots.

For a readable image of the first page of the letter and for more information about the ship on which crew member John Law wrote it, double click on any of the three images in this caption box.

I hardly think he was even in London so I though(t) I had the edge on him 'cause I was there and noticed the change myself. There is surely a benefit in traveling.

John included pictures he had taken of the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the crew (of his ship) with London Bridge in the background and

last of all is our wipers quarters. Only I can appreciate the splendor of this picture. Note the bottles, old shoes, newspapers and everything else which adds to the dumpish-like atmosphere. Number 8 [photo] is yours truly and my "mate" Linker on the forward deck. Winnie [John's brother] will see the search light that he noticed from the dock the last trip.

Another letter, dated July 2, 1927 with a letterhead of Dollar Steamship Line, says that:

I am writing this one day out of Yokohama in order that I may be able to mail it as soon as I get ashore. (The weather was a blanket of fog, taking twelve days from Seattle)

He also comments on the excellent food, saying that the meals are the "best of any of the ships I have been on yet.

Seaman John Law's mystery rickshaw photo.
Left is a detail from a seaman John Law photo showing the young Dollar Steamship Line crew member in a rickshaw during shore leave in an Asian port but which one? His summer 1927 voyage aboard the SS President Lincoln included Yokohama, Kobe, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Manila. Click on the image to access the full photo in enlarged sections showing some features of the unknown city.

The time will pass quickly after we make the first port for from there on its different ports with only a day or so in between. Our schedule runs something like this Yokohama, Kobe, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Manila then back to Hong Kong, Shang Hai, Kobe, Yokohama and then to Honolulu. From there to San Francisco.

In August of this trip he was promoted to Able Bodied Seaman and he was going to take the examination while they laid over in San Francisco for the AB's ticket.

There should probably be a letter from Rock but you had better keep it until I send for it. I don't have to look for an invitation this year.

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John B. Law was a member of the State Commission of Correction at the time of his death in 1962. To learn more about the SCOC, click its logo left to access its web site.

The image selections and captions on this web page are by the NYCHS webmaster.