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Clara Barton sends an autograph letter about how busy she is.
Autograph Letter Signed: "Yours lovingly/Clara Barton" as President of the American Red Cross, 3 p, 5x8 lined sheet. Washington, D.C., 1886 June 29. To "My dear dear Mrs Talbot". In full: "I have recd a delightfuly (sic) kind letter from Mr Houghton, and have replied to him directly; not as well as such a letter deserved, for in all the haste of the present moments of preparing for leaving my work for a couple of months, - with a world of outside pressure, I can do nothing well - All this is so kind of both Mr H. and your own dear self - That one time I am coming all the way to Boston to see and thank you both -- I only hope it can be this autumn. And how dearly I wish I were going to Santiago or you to St. Paul to our respective meetings. how soulfull (sic) it would be for me. I am inclined to the belief, = the idea having come to you - that you really will go over and return with the children - how could you get so much rest, and pleasure at the same time in any other way - y es - do go - it will so enhance their pleasure - I can be reached through my present address at any time as my letters will be send on from point to point after me - I have [two words illegible] clerks [2 words illegible] answer them at home in my absence - but it only amounts to a little [illegible] for the time being, & every one is told that I am away. And will reply in person, no doubt, when I return, which means a perfect swamp of work when I get home. I am going to be wiser this time and imitating Genl Pope keep 'Hd. Qrs. in the saddle' & be free when the fight is ended. I shall live in hopes of seeing you some time this year. Please give precious regards to your good husband and believe me always." Handwritten postscript: "You recollect that 'counter irritant' of a society formed by a person of ill will. - That Mr. Steve Barton, That [illegible] nephew of mine told you about - once which troubled me not a little these first hard years. - You will be glad to know that it all died so dead as not even to show a tombstone. Just fell by the weight of its own malice - and never a blow was struck back, nor a word spoken." Barton, who had been living in Dansville, New York from 1876-1886, had moved to Washington, D.C. in March 1886, just three months before writing this letter. In the summer of 1886, she attended the National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) in San Francisco, California, which is likely the reason for the absence from her work that she mentions in this letter. New England schoolteacher Clara Barton (1821-1912) began her charitable work during the American Civil War, organizing a means of distributing medical supplies to doctors and field hospitals and relief supplies to soldiers and civilians. While visiting Europe (1869-1870), she utilized her organizational abilities to help victims of the Franco-Prussian War. During that time, Barton became involved with the International Red Cross, and she returned home determined to establish a similar organization in the U.S. Her subsequent founding of the American branch of the Red Cross in 1881 encouraged the U.S. to sign the 1882 Geneva Treaty that ensured the treatment of the wounded during battle and the return of the dead. From 1882 to 1904, Barton served as President of the American Red Cross, often personally taking on relief cases until she was in her 80s. In September 1886, six months after writing this letter, Barton traveled to the scene of an earthquake in Charleston, South Carolina. On behalf of the American Red Cross, she donated $500 to the devastated area, but her additional offers for aid were not accepted. Lightly creased. Light show through of writing. Soiled at 1 line of writing (all legible). 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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