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Clara Barton sends a printed letter that was sent to the hundreds of people who sent messages during her illness.
Printed Letter Signed: "Clara Barton", 1p, 5½x7. Glen Echo, Maryland, 1911 June 1. Circular letter to "Dear Friend", dated June 1, 1911, sent to the hundreds of people who sent messages during her illness. The type is set in Old English and her signature is in purple ink. She ends the letter with a poem: "It were easy to search for the gems of the sea, The jewels and gold his in mountain and lea; The thin veins of silver that line the green sod, But health is of wisdom and strength is of God." On the integral leaf, Barton has written an unsigned two-page Autograph Letter, dated 1911 June 20, to "My Dear loving and beloved secretary" concerning her recovery and explaining that she has used this printed letter to reply to her many well-wishers. In full: "How shall I answer that marvelous letter that came, as it was intended, just at the hour when we would all have most longed to be together. I was too weak (for the hot wave had just struck me) to send even a gasp back, but the cool lovely days since have given me better strength till I am quit (sic, quite) myself again. As you see I am trying to return printed thanks for the scores of charming letter of the [2 words illegible]. I have not yet [lower portion of letter cut away] for me, so kindly, and I can get the privilege to slip one in once in a while. How are all - Dear sister Harriette - our good Roseane, and your own dearest self. The best Secretary ever invented. Sure, some good should return for so much of faithful work- But dearest, I warned you all, from the beginning not to take Jonah on board your little craft. It would never have been noticed without and sailed on safely and obscurely = But with him on board. Ah me! dearest, You learn only too bitterly how it is." [lower portion of letter cut away]. 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. Barton, 89 years old when she wrote this letter, died ten months later, on April 12, 1912, from complications from a cold. Slightly creased. 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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