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Clara Barton sends an autograph letter of thanks for the picture.
Autograph Letter Signed: "Clara Barton", 2p, 5x6½ lined sheet, conjoined leaves. Glen Echo, Maryland, 1911 January 2. To Mr. Frederick Meserve, New York. In full: "I thank you inexpressibly for that good picture of Mrs. Howe. I have been outraged these last years, by the cuts that have been allowed to appear; and from what I can judge from the newspaper cuts of the picture in question regarding its place in Fanuel (sic, Faneuil) Hall, I do not wonder that the "Art Commission" objects. I have, of course, no possible idea of the nature of that objection, but I know what mine would be. If its admission is asked on the grounds of "Authorship of The Battle Hymn". They should present the representation of the Author as she was when it was written, showing the strength and force of character that could create such a production. The picture of Mrs. Howe in her days of failing strength, and feebleness, may maybe more tenderly dear, and precious to the loving hearts of her children, and immediate family, than words could express. It is most fitting on their walls - but for the general public, no! Mrs. Howe herself, would not prefer it! But I am saying too much - Again thanking, gratefully as always". Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. 2 paper clip impressions at upper margin of first page. Fine condition. Accompanied by original envelope initialed: "C.B." in return address, 6¼x3¾. 2-cent stamp affixed, postmarked Glen Echo, MD., January 3, 1911. Addressed by Barton to: "Mr. F.H. Meserve, #74, Broadway, New York, N.Y-". Lightly creased at lower right corner. Slightly soiled. Overall, fine condition. Written just 15 months before Barton's death (April 12, 1912). New England teacher and Red Cross President (1882-1804), CLARA BARTON (1821-1912) wrote this letter to FREDERICK H. MESERVE, a collector of early American photography, thanking him for sending a lovely portrait of JULIA WARD HOWE, best known as the author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" (1862). Howe had died three months earlier, and no doubt the photographs printed in the newspapers were exceptionally poor. Both Barton and Howe had witnessed the shocking reality of war during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Barton was inspired to help through her nursing while Howe had been moved to help the spirits and morale of the troops through her patriotic hymn. During the War, Barton first organized the means of distributing medical supplies to doctors and field hospitals and relief supplies to soldiers and civilians. While visiting Europe (1869-1870), the Franco-Prussian War led the young nurse to utilize her organizational abilities and repeat her relief endeavors. At this time, she learned of and became involved with the International Red Cross. Her subsequent founding of the American branch (1882) encouraged the U.S. to sign the Geneva Treaty (1882) for the treatment of wounded during battle and the return of the dead. Barton was solely responsible for the clause that provided for Red Cross aid to civilians during disasters, such as earthquakes or floods, as well as for soldiers during war. Meserve was an astute businessman and historian who specialized in Lincolniana. In the year of this letter, he published Photographs of Abraham Lincoln. Two items. Framed in the Gallery of History style: 43¾x22¼.

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Born: December 25, 1821 in Oxford, Massachusetts
Died: April 12, 1912 in Glen Echo, Maryland

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