Clara Barton sends an autograph letter on behalf of the Red Cross
asking to meet Major E. A. Burke.
Autograph Letter Signed: "Clara Barton", 2¼p, 10¾x8½,
conjoined page. Washington, D. C., 1885 February 17. To Major E. A.
Burke, Director General of the World's Exposition at New Orleans. In
full: "O am rejoiced to learn that you are in our city, and should seek
you out: to tell you in person and get a last hand shake if I were able to go
out. It was so right a thing that you should be sent for to come and speak for
yourself, if you were equal the the [sic] additional fatigue of the
journey!! I have been for the last month recommending it fearing only your lack
of strength. But I felt that all things would be set in order, if
[illegible] you could be here, and say how it was. And now I am confident
it will be and feel that your 'midnight of woe' is past, and the morning lecture
I know well how hard a thing it is to be expected to, and to really do
'something with nothing;' but it uses up life! In all people you will be
compelled to see while here and whom it will do you good to see. I know there
will be no moment for me, and joyfully as it would be for me, I shall not even
invite it. I shall probably not be again strong enough to return to New Orleans,
(I too have done something with writing) and thus we may never meet again, but
the best wishes of my heart, and my best hopes are for and with the success of
your great Ami masterly undertaking. God Bless you, my dear friend, And Keep
you- faithfully yours ". Clara Barton (1821-1912), who had served on the
battlefields of the Civil War, became acquainted with the International Red
Cross of Geneva while working abroad during the Franco-Prussian conflict and
established the American Red Cross in 1882. She served as the organization's
President until June 16, 1904, when she resigned from her "lifelong
presidency". In April 1905, the year before this document was signed, Barton,
who had originally planned to organized a Red Cross in Mexico, founded the
National First Aid Association of America, which taught first aid classes
(likely the reason for the Diplomas mentioned in this letter), developed the
original first aid kits and helped to organize community ambulance brigades. She
would serve as the organization's honorary President for five years. In
1907, The Story of My Childhood, the first and only volume of her planned
multi-volume autobiography, was published. In 1891, Edward and Edwin Baltzley
had built a three-story, 30-room home in Glen Echo, Maryland for Barton.
Remodeled in 1897 as the headquarters of the American Red Cross,
the home temporarily served as a warehouse and was crammed with thousands
of items to assist victims of wars and natural disasters. Barton would live in
the home until her death. Ink smudged at some words (all legible). Staple holes
at upper left corner. Minor paper separation. Fold creases not near signature.
Otherwise, fine condition.
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