Porto Rico* Line Cruise Advertisement

Accession Number



SNOW, SubgroupDames/Janes


When Miss Ruth Snow was campaigning for the office of Clerk of Court in 1926, she pointed to her record of only 2 weeks vacation in 7 years to emphasize her sense of duty.** After she was elected, however, Miss Snow treated herself to more frequent and more exotic excursions. In November of 1927, she sailed to Bermuda aboard the SS Fort St. George and in 1929, the SS Santa Marta took Miss Snow to Panama. After the McMath (see SNOW.5.1932/BUNTE DIANA) kidnapping trial and the Franklin Bearse Grand Jury hearings in 1933, Miss Snow surely needed a vacation. In 1934 she sailed on the SS Borinquen*** to Puerto Rico where it is thought she obtained this sea shell as a memento of her trip. Miss Snow had two regular traveling companions: Betsy Hallett,**** a widow from Yarmouth who dealt in antiques, and Margarilla Holway of Sandwich, who as Chief Clerk at the Barnstable County Registry of Deeds worked just as hard as Miss Snow.

*After acquiring the island of Puerto Rico from Spain in 1898, the US anglicized the name, changing it to “Porto Rico.” Congress voted to change it back to “Puerto Rico” in 1931.
** The trip was not a frivolous frolic. She spent the time off in Baltimore as a guest of her close friend Mrs. George H Chipman, nee Mabel Hallett, who was recently married and likely just setting up house. Mabel and Ruth bad been chums since childhood and had frequently traveled together (once to South Carolina) to visit friends. In 1915, Ruth hosted a bridal shower and movie party” for Mabel on the occasion of her engagement to George Hovey Chipman, a brush salesman from Baltimore.
** *The SS Borinquen was completed in 1931 at the Fore River shipyard (see PRATT.7.1942/FORE RIVER) in Quincy, MA. At the time, it was the largest passenger vessel ever built in a New England shipyard. According to newspaper accounts of the ship’s shakedown cruise (launch testing the ship’s performance), Borinquen is the “ancient Indian name for ‘Porto Rico.’ ”
**** Betsy’s daughter, Clara, as president of the Hyannis League of Women Voters, circulated the papers necessary to nominate Miss Snow for Clerk of Courts in 1926 (see SNOW.1.1926/PENNANT).


sea shell

Verification Reference

Borinquen Ship’s Manifest Passenger List


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“Porto Rico* Line Cruise Advertisement,” Institute for Clew Studies, accessed November 29, 2020, http://instituteforclewstudies.com/items/show/24.