CLARA BARTON - MANUSCRIPT DOCUMENT SIGNED - HFSID 350434
Sale Price $2,125.00
Eloquently demands protection of the Red Cross symbol.
Manuscript Signed: "Clara Barton" circa 1893, three typed pages, 8 x 10½. American Association of the Red Cross President Barton issues a call for a meeting of the Official Advisory Board to consider the protection of the Red Cross Insignia. Her fight had begun shortly after the First Geneva Convention attended by governments from around the world in 1864. Barton fought for the U.S. Congress to ratify the Convention but fearing foreign entanglements the government would not ratify and acknowledge the Convention until 18 years later. After the chartering of the society in 1882, the charitable and international neutral symbol was also used for everything from snake oils, cigars, alcoholic beverages and later, her fiercest adversary, the burgeoning conglomerate Johnson & Johnson Company. This overwhelming misuse and lack of congressional action led Barton to call the first meeting of the association's Board in 1893. Ultimately, the Red Cross would receive limited protection with the organization's official chartering in 1900.
Barton's manuscript, in part: "...the insignia has been held as the one distinguishing sign of all war relief, personelle, and material for the use of armies at the field as well as the evidence of neutrality in the humane process of the administration of such relief. creation...that their emblem would possess attraction for outside parties, or that it could require protection from misuse or appropriation by them...it became noticeable thatbthe Red Cross, both sign and name had been adopted by enterprising individuals, and business firms as a trade mark for any wares...Following this, outside charitable societies, in no way connected with the Red Cross, commenced to assume the name and insignia and proceed to solicit money and materials...there are now in very few governments under which an unathorized display or use of the sign or name of the Red Cross is not a penal offence...The history of these transatlantic Red Cross nations is the history of our own "except these bonds" for our trespasses are still lamentably free and our national insignia is in bondage to them...At the formation of our national society in 1882, it was thought thatb there might arise serious questions of international, as well as national importance, wherein the society would find great need of the advices of the highest power of the land, and accordingly an Ex Officio Advisory Board was formed consisting of the President of the United States, as President of the Board, his Cabinet, and other members of the Government including the Surgeon-General of the Army. The subject was officially and individually presented to President Arthur and to each member comprising the Board formally accepted by each; and thus it has stood through every successive administration. Until the present time no question of sufficient moment has arisen to justify the calling of the Board; but now that this serious matter of Protection of the insignia, the property of the government and not ours, and which must be settled by Congress, comes before us...." Barton signs and annotates at the bottom of the third page: "Clara Barton President.". In black ink. Pages have horizontal creases. Staining present on page 3. Fine condition. Framed to an overall size of 32¾ x 29¼. Minor wearing at frame corners.
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