SHE FEARS HER LETTERS ARE DEPRESSING SO, ALTHOUGH THEY ARE WRITTEN,
SHE IS NOT SENDING THEM.
CLARA BARTON. Autograph Letter Signed: "C B", 1p,
5x6¾. No place, no date, Saturday. To "Dear children". In full:
"As I look at my letter by day light after a nights sleep I wonder if I am
not looking at the darkest side and borrowing trouble that does not exist. In
any thing I know you may be having encouraging success with your classes, and
has been no occasion to fear all the difficulties that pictured themselves to me
and my few depressed letters may do you more harm than otherwise. I think
this is the fourth that lies on my table, unsent, though just that few. But I
must send something and hope with all my heart that I may hear that better days
have come. I am so far away and the mist is so thick." 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. Staple holes in upper
left corner. Otherwise, fine condition.
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