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Clara Barton Writes “my strength as an American
Item Details
Description

Clara Barton Writes Long Letter from Germany to Her Friend in Washington

"Up to the measure of my strength as an American Woman I am ready to do, and anxious to do any work that would help to take and hold up woman as woman...."

This very long (more than 2,400 words) and interesting letter by Clara Barton from the western border of Germany tells of her relief work in Europe, her health, her desire to return home, and her interest in the women's rights movement in the United States.

CLARA BARTON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Lydia P. Haskell, February 20, 1872, Karlsruhe, Baden, Germany. 8 pp., 8.5" x 10.75". With addressed envelope, 5.75" x 3.25". Expected folds; some edge or fold tears; some cross-hatched text; very legible text.

Excerpts:
"some thing has made my eyes so weak and miserable that I have not been able to write for a month."

"This is a court town, and I am expected to spend an evening at least each week at the palace, and there are princesses residing in their own palaces whom I visit often. This constitutes my main society. It is intelligent, beyond description, and lovely society, and makes by far the greenest spot I have found in Europe. It compensates a little for the sterility of my first year and a half abroad."

"One year ago today I cannot tell you how hard I was working, and what a weight of care I had resting upon me, and I commenced my work in Paris in June, at the end of the 'commune' too weak to walk up and down stairs."

"since the time I speak of in Paris, I have been well enough to carry through my entire campaign of relief in Belfort, Montbeliard and make a second and parting visit to my old work women of Strasbourg. This was perhaps one of the most satisfactory things I ever had it in my power to do. I went in the Holy days and called them all unexpectedly to me and gave them a supper, a social evening, and a Christmas tree or rather two, for one would not hold all I had for them. I gave to each a new bright purse of freshly coined silver. They were so honored, so grateful, three hundred hard handed, dark faced women, who had lived through trials which no words can tell, rough women, to whom no one spoke words of respect, women who could join a mob if need be, and yet good at heart after. Three hundred such women came through the storm and darkness and visited me like ladies all & drank with me."

"there are other persons, who I sometimes see by the journals, and friends tell me, do remember and say courteous and kindly things about me in their public addresses. some of them are persons to whom I never wrote and would not dare to, even to thank them, and do not know their proper addresses, for instance, Tho W. Higginson and Julia Ward Howe, and Mrs. Livermore--and after this I have no further intimations, and already I have burdened your clear brain too much with little directions. A word to the wise is all that is needed. I have said too much, only pardon me and don't tell anyone that I suggested at all. Just follow your own course, if you send, let it be with your compliments please, and never mine."

"How I do want to see you, to be with you some, to exchange thoughts once more on this side of the Eternal river. My faith is always good and strong that we shall meet on the other side. I never give that up. I am always so sure that I get strength and help from the brave souls gone before, so sure am I that they sometimes send me a good inspiration, and help me to clear up my clouded track a little when it is too dark that I can never for a moment doubt that they hold the end of the rope on the other shore and will take the spirit hand when I reach it out to them, but you are here Lill on this side, and I want to see you as you are here, once more, or some more it will not prevent our meeting there."

"And you are in the Patent office, the old place that I remember so well, and I know it is better for your being there. Always it needed just such as you there, be as independent, brave, and free spoken as you choose it will do good."

"And now about my future I can only speak for the immediate. I should be in London now. Only that I am desired by the Boston French Relief Society to close up their financial and charitable work in France. I have been at this nearly two thirds of a year, always making progress, but always there is more to do, always new demands."

"And now the one great question, greater than all others for us, viz. what our noble women are doing, I have left untouched.... I want later to speak with you of all these great questions, and learn from you what must be done in the future. Up to the measure of my strength as an American Woman I am ready to do, and anxious to do any work that would help to take and hold up woman as woman I want to do, and you who are there and with your good clear head read it all will write your benighted sister soon, and tell her all about it."

Clara Barton (1821-1912) was born in Massachusetts and received a good education though she was painfully shy. Her parents persuaded her to become a schoolteacher and she received her teacher's certificate in 1839. After working as a teacher for a dozen years, she attended the Clinton Liberal Institute in New York to continue her education. In 1852, she successfully opened a free school in Bordentown, the first free school in New Jersey. Demoted after the town built a new school building and hired a male principal, Barton quit. In 1855, she moved to Washington, D.C., and began work as a clerk in the Patent Office, the first woman to receive a substantial clerkship and equal pay with a man. After three years, the administration of James Buchanan fired her because of her "Black Republican" political views. After living with friends in Massachusetts for three years, she returned to Washington and took a position as temporary copyist in the Patent Office. After the Baltimore Riot of April 1861 against Massachusetts troops, Barton nursed forty of the victims back to health and learned valuable lessons about aiding soldiers. She began collecting medical supplies and distributing them to soldiers. In August 1862, she received permission from Quartermaster Daniel Rucker to work on the front lines. Throughout the war, she distributed medicine and food to wounded soldiers in close proximity to the battles of Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. In 1864, General Benjamin Butler placed her in charge of hospitals at the front of the Army of the James. For her Civil War service, Barton became known as the "Angel of the Battlefield" and the "Florence Nightingale of America." After the war, she ran the Office of Missing Soldiers in Washington, helping to locate the remains of more than 22,000 missing soldiers. She also lectured about her experiences and became associated with the women's suffrage movement and the civil rights movement for African Americans. In 1869, she became acquainted with the Red Cross in Switzerland and aided military hospitals during the Franco-Prussian War. In 1881, she founded the American Red Cross and became its first president. She continued to work in the field in response to natural disasters and wars as late as 1900.

Lydia "Lill" P. Haskell (1822-1892) was born in Maine. After teaching in the grammar school in Augusta, Maine, she later worked as a teacher in New Jersey, where she met Clara Barton, and they became lifelong friends. Haskell worked as a clerk in the Patent Office in Washington, D.C. into the 1880s.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

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Clara Barton Writes “my strength as an American

Estimate $600 - $700
May 26, 2021
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Starting Price $200
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0016: Clara Barton Writes “my strength as an American

Sold for $1,500
24 Bids
Est. $600 - $700Starting Price $200
Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, Artwork, Comic
May 26, 2021 10:30 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 25%

Lot 0016 Details

Description
...

Clara Barton Writes Long Letter from Germany to Her Friend in Washington

"Up to the measure of my strength as an American Woman I am ready to do, and anxious to do any work that would help to take and hold up woman as woman...."

This very long (more than 2,400 words) and interesting letter by Clara Barton from the western border of Germany tells of her relief work in Europe, her health, her desire to return home, and her interest in the women's rights movement in the United States.

CLARA BARTON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Lydia P. Haskell, February 20, 1872, Karlsruhe, Baden, Germany. 8 pp., 8.5" x 10.75". With addressed envelope, 5.75" x 3.25". Expected folds; some edge or fold tears; some cross-hatched text; very legible text.

Excerpts:
"some thing has made my eyes so weak and miserable that I have not been able to write for a month."

"This is a court town, and I am expected to spend an evening at least each week at the palace, and there are princesses residing in their own palaces whom I visit often. This constitutes my main society. It is intelligent, beyond description, and lovely society, and makes by far the greenest spot I have found in Europe. It compensates a little for the sterility of my first year and a half abroad."

"One year ago today I cannot tell you how hard I was working, and what a weight of care I had resting upon me, and I commenced my work in Paris in June, at the end of the 'commune' too weak to walk up and down stairs."

"since the time I speak of in Paris, I have been well enough to carry through my entire campaign of relief in Belfort, Montbeliard and make a second and parting visit to my old work women of Strasbourg. This was perhaps one of the most satisfactory things I ever had it in my power to do. I went in the Holy days and called them all unexpectedly to me and gave them a supper, a social evening, and a Christmas tree or rather two, for one would not hold all I had for them. I gave to each a new bright purse of freshly coined silver. They were so honored, so grateful, three hundred hard handed, dark faced women, who had lived through trials which no words can tell, rough women, to whom no one spoke words of respect, women who could join a mob if need be, and yet good at heart after. Three hundred such women came through the storm and darkness and visited me like ladies all & drank with me."

"there are other persons, who I sometimes see by the journals, and friends tell me, do remember and say courteous and kindly things about me in their public addresses. some of them are persons to whom I never wrote and would not dare to, even to thank them, and do not know their proper addresses, for instance, Tho W. Higginson and Julia Ward Howe, and Mrs. Livermore--and after this I have no further intimations, and already I have burdened your clear brain too much with little directions. A word to the wise is all that is needed. I have said too much, only pardon me and don't tell anyone that I suggested at all. Just follow your own course, if you send, let it be with your compliments please, and never mine."

"How I do want to see you, to be with you some, to exchange thoughts once more on this side of the Eternal river. My faith is always good and strong that we shall meet on the other side. I never give that up. I am always so sure that I get strength and help from the brave souls gone before, so sure am I that they sometimes send me a good inspiration, and help me to clear up my clouded track a little when it is too dark that I can never for a moment doubt that they hold the end of the rope on the other shore and will take the spirit hand when I reach it out to them, but you are here Lill on this side, and I want to see you as you are here, once more, or some more it will not prevent our meeting there."

"And you are in the Patent office, the old place that I remember so well, and I know it is better for your being there. Always it needed just such as you there, be as independent, brave, and free spoken as you choose it will do good."

"And now about my future I can only speak for the immediate. I should be in London now. Only that I am desired by the Boston French Relief Society to close up their financial and charitable work in France. I have been at this nearly two thirds of a year, always making progress, but always there is more to do, always new demands."

"And now the one great question, greater than all others for us, viz. what our noble women are doing, I have left untouched.... I want later to speak with you of all these great questions, and learn from you what must be done in the future. Up to the measure of my strength as an American Woman I am ready to do, and anxious to do any work that would help to take and hold up woman as woman I want to do, and you who are there and with your good clear head read it all will write your benighted sister soon, and tell her all about it."

Clara Barton (1821-1912) was born in Massachusetts and received a good education though she was painfully shy. Her parents persuaded her to become a schoolteacher and she received her teacher's certificate in 1839. After working as a teacher for a dozen years, she attended the Clinton Liberal Institute in New York to continue her education. In 1852, she successfully opened a free school in Bordentown, the first free school in New Jersey. Demoted after the town built a new school building and hired a male principal, Barton quit. In 1855, she moved to Washington, D.C., and began work as a clerk in the Patent Office, the first woman to receive a substantial clerkship and equal pay with a man. After three years, the administration of James Buchanan fired her because of her "Black Republican" political views. After living with friends in Massachusetts for three years, she returned to Washington and took a position as temporary copyist in the Patent Office. After the Baltimore Riot of April 1861 against Massachusetts troops, Barton nursed forty of the victims back to health and learned valuable lessons about aiding soldiers. She began collecting medical supplies and distributing them to soldiers. In August 1862, she received permission from Quartermaster Daniel Rucker to work on the front lines. Throughout the war, she distributed medicine and food to wounded soldiers in close proximity to the battles of Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. In 1864, General Benjamin Butler placed her in charge of hospitals at the front of the Army of the James. For her Civil War service, Barton became known as the "Angel of the Battlefield" and the "Florence Nightingale of America." After the war, she ran the Office of Missing Soldiers in Washington, helping to locate the remains of more than 22,000 missing soldiers. She also lectured about her experiences and became associated with the women's suffrage movement and the civil rights movement for African Americans. In 1869, she became acquainted with the Red Cross in Switzerland and aided military hospitals during the Franco-Prussian War. In 1881, she founded the American Red Cross and became its first president. She continued to work in the field in response to natural disasters and wars as late as 1900.

Lydia "Lill" P. Haskell (1822-1892) was born in Maine. After teaching in the grammar school in Augusta, Maine, she later worked as a teacher in New Jersey, where she met Clara Barton, and they became lifelong friends. Haskell worked as a clerk in the Patent Office in Washington, D.C. into the 1880s.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

WE PROVIDE IN-HOUSE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE.

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