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CLARA BARTON. Autograph Letter Signed: "Clara Barton", 4p, 4¾x6½, conjoined leaves. New York City, 1905 May 30. To Mr. L.C. Powell ("E.P." written in unknown hand in pencil above "L.C."), Clinton, New York. Begins: "My dear Mr Powell". In full: "If you had planned a temptation for me, you could scarcely have been more successful. Among the cherished memories of a life that holds some recollections very dear, none are more often or more tenderly reverted to than quiet C[illegible] Clinton. I see the faces that always greeted me with kindly smiles and hear the voices full of gentle scholarly wisdom; they helped me on in life. The memory of [two words illegible] Barker. - Blessed be her name - has been an inspiration to me. With what loving, humble gratitude would I lay my wreath of [illegible] on her honored grave! There may still be there those who remember the strong kind face of the genial old Landlord Samuel Bertram - and his kind, clear headed motherly wife. Whatever little trials came to me, in my strange home, they were my refuge - I could no longer see the long halls where we gathered but I trust that old home week will call back some of those who did gather to tell over the residents of the day and hover about the registers till the warning bell struck ten o clock and lights out - So shall the warning bell soon strike for us all. But let us trust that when this feeble flickering light shall disappear it is only to usher in another with rays fadeless and Eternal. Gratefully yours". Handwritten postscript: "P.S. If any would ask for me will you kindly tell them that only lack of time keeps me from them. I am well, strong and as busy at work as they ever knew me in those far away early days. My best love is theirs -". After teaching for more than ten years, a 29-year-old Barton had attended the Liberal Institute in Clinton, New York, an advanced school for female teachers, for a year before accepting a teaching position in New Jersey. In April 1905, the month before she wrote this letter, in which she says she is "well, strong and busy at work", Barton, who was 83 years of age, had founded the National First Aid Association of America. She would live for another seven years, serving as honorary President of the organization for five of them. 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. She established the American Red Cross in 1882 and served as the organization's President until June 16, 1904, when she resigned from her "lifelong presidency". Barton, who had originally planned to organized a Red Cross in Mexico, then founded the National First Aid Association of America, which taught first aid classes, developed the original first aid kits and helped to organize community ambulance brigades. In 1907, The Story of My Childhood, the first and only volume of her planned multi-volume autobiography, was published. Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. ¼-inch tear at lower left blank edge of first page, which has pinhead-size hole at upper left blank margin. Slightly soiled. Overall, 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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