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

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