|Charles and Lula McIver and their "quartet" of children|
|James Joyner and Charles Duncan McIver|
With a gregarious and engaging personality, McIver encountered many interesting acquaintances as he made his way north. He wrote to Lula the evening of September 4 (on Park Avenue Hotel stationery), telling her of meeting a Captain E. J. Parish of Durham, who suggested that he go into business for the American Tobacco Company. He was obviously flattered and intrigued by the thought of a career change. When he arrived in New York, he met with Mr. Mebane, who tried to persuade McIver to postpone his European trip and instead, stay in New York to discuss taking a job there. It is apparent by his letter that McIver was seriously pondering this offer, but it would have to wait until he returned. While he was in New York, McIver also had the opportunity to meet “Dr. Booker Washington,” likely referring to Booker T. Washington, the African American educator and orator, with whom he had a relationship through the Southern Educational Board.
|Correspondence from New York|
While in New York he met his friend, James Joyner, and finalized their travel plans. After considering several different ocean liner companies (including the White Star Line, which would later launch Titanic), they decided on the S. S. Blucher, of the Hamburg-Amerika Line. The friends booked first class passage and also purchased tickets for their return trip October 20, departing from Boulogne, France, and arriving in New York on October 28.
As the ship departed from New York, McIver took the time to quickly write a note to Lula “to say another goodbye,” assuring her that he was well and that his he liked his ship’s quarters very much. He signed the letter, “I love you Sweetheart, I tell you I do. Love to the dear quartet (his children Annie, Charlie, Verlinda, and Lula Martin). Affy (affectionately) your husband, Charles Duncan McIver.” And with this note, written at 11am, he began his European adventure.
|The S. S. Blucher|