August 21, 2014

Can 143 Year Old Diaries Fly?

I have a question about traveling with priceless family heirlooms. The heirloom in this case is a Civil War diary written by my ancestor John W. Breedlove during his years in the Army. He started out writing it with pen and ink, but during hard times, when supplies were likely non-existant, he resorted to using berry juice. One of my cousins has custody of the diary and lives across the country from me. He is going to be flying here next summer, and when I talked to him the other day about the trip to visit the west coast, I asked him if he would consider bringing the diary along with him. His quick reply was that he didn’t think he could bring it with him because he was afraid to take it through the x-rays at the airports.

I realize that even asking him to bring it with him is somewhat selfish, but this might be the only way that the rest of us descendants would get to see it in person. A good majority of us live here in Washington, and it would be cost prohibitive for us to fly to Florida. We have asked him to take pictures of some of the pages of the diary, but he hasn’t done it yet. What really tugs at my conscience too is that he has told us there is a list of men who were hanged as deserters in the diary.

So, the question is, would the diary be safe going through security if he hand carried it from Florida to Washington? What’s your opinion?

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