29 October 2007

Letter to Cullen Coates

Dear Cullen,
I am very happy you found me on Internet. I would have never thought by your name that we are both descendants of the same Swiss immigrant who traveled to the USA in the 19th century. I know thanks to you that he fought at the American Civil War. Martin Polin served only one year to the army but nearly fifty years after, in 1912, he wrote a long long description of that very impressive year. Thank you for sending me the transcript and bringing to life the name of my great great father. Your mother and my grandfather were first cousins, and by the brief exchange we had we can fill some gaps of the knowledge we have over the Polin's. I want to go further and I would like to know how was their life in Switzerland.

For many years I had been trying to imagine with more detail the history and the story behind Martin Polin and his son Joe. I am confident you would help me to know more. I know it is a huge puzzle with most of the pieces already lost but I would be happy with whatever pieces I find.

Here Martin's letter, one of the bibles he brought from Zillis CH written in Romanesque and a photo of Cullen Coates. All photographs by C. Coates.

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