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Clara Barton Discusses Natural Disaster Aid with
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Clara Barton Discusses Natural Disaster Aid with Foreign Friends, 14pp of 2 ALS with Additional 2 Related Letters

A group of two autograph letters signed by Clara Barton, with two additional related letters, dating from 1889-1894. In the earlier two letters, Barton describes the aftermath of the Johnstown Flood and receives flood aid from German Empress Augusta. Barton's descriptive letter is 2pp, measuring 8.5" x 11.125", Johnstown, Pennsylvania, dated October 16, 1889. On May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam on the Little Conemaugh River, fourteen miles upstream of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, failed and released a torrent of water, flooding Johnstown and killing more than 2,200 people. It was the worst flood in the United States in the nineteenth century. The American Red Cross, led by Clara Barton and including fifty volunteers, undertook a disaster relief effort from early June to October 1889.

In this interesting letter to "Lill", Barton apologizes for not writing sooner, describes the ongoing relief efforts, and expresses concerns about Lill's financial situation. The recipient of this letter may have been Lydia P. Haskell. It reads in full:

"My Dear 'Lill'
I wonder, and wonder what has come of you all these five months since I saw you. I have no means of knowing, but I cannot but think that some door has opened to you, and that you are easy and comfortable, but fearing as well for the worst, I am going to enclose a check in this, which, if you are as I left you, I want you to use for your immediate comfort, if on the contrary you are "all fixed," and in receipt of a good salary, as I hope, you can let it lie till I see you, which cannot now be long. I have thought, month by month to come back, but so great was the suffering here, and so urgent the needs, that it could not be done, but now, nearly every one has something. we have gone through with them not only by the thousands, but the tens of thousands, most of those who have a house at all to live in, have something in it, and if the money gets among them, they will get along even if the winter is cold and houses small & thin.
I am trying now to organize a benevolent society whose business it shall be to take our place and look after the needy. I believe we can accomplish it soon and after that we can go. I ought to have sent you slips of paper all summer, to tell what we were about, but I havent had time to read them myself. I often wonder if this world is as full and busy for other persons as it is for me, and yet I seem to do so little.
I hope you are well. dont go cold, nor uncomfortable in any way. get what you want and I will come to see you pretty soon.
Your affectionate sis,
Clara Barton

[Postscript:] Please find enclosed Draft on NY for Fifty Dollars. ($50)"

Accompanied by a related letter from a New York bank, 1p of a bifolium, measuring 5.5" x 8.5", New York, dated June 14, 1889. The bank informs Barton that German Empress Augusta had contributed through them to the Johnstown Relief Fund. It reads in full: "Her Majesty the Empress Augusta of Germany having instructed us through the Deutsch Effective & Wechsel Bank of Frankfurt, to pay you the sum of two hundred thirty seven 50/100 dollars for the Johnstown Relief fund, we telegraphed you today to that effect requesting you to draw on us for the amount mentioned." Queen of Prussia and German Empress Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1811-1890) was the mother of Barton's close friend Louise, the Grand Duchess of Baden (1838-1923).

The two later letters are correspondence between Barton and Louise, regarding another natural disaster and recent striking in the area. On August 27, 1893, a major hurricane struck the southeast coast of the United States near Savannah, Georgia, killing an estimated 1,000-2,000 people, making it the seventh deadliest hurricane in U.S. history. It hit the sea islands of South Carolina and their predominantly African American residents particularly hard. The American Red Cross established a warehouse for food and clothing in Beaufort, South Carolina, to aid the survivors. Despite another hurricane that struck north of Charleston, South Carolina, the relief campaign declared success after ten months, when the population of the Sea Islands were again living in decent houses and producing their own food. Barton's fascinating and lengthy letter of more than 2,000 words is 12pp, measuring 5" x 8", Camp Royal, Thousand Islands, New York, dated September 10, 1894, and reads in part:

[Note on verso:] "First draft of a letter written to Her R.H Grand Duchess of Baden from Camp Royal 1000 Islands September 10, 1894 / The letter for some cause did not 'take' well in the Press book hence this should be retain till better copied."

"Long as the interval of silence may be, your letters are always a surprise to me when they come. I cannot make it plain to my self how one so surrounded, so filled with cares & thoughts of such importance, of all the best and the highest of the world can keep in mind, and feel an interest in the life and doings of a simple woman confined to one country and that thousands of miles away…I was just home from a hard field of relief work in South Carolina and the weariness added to the intense heat of the summer so weakened me, that my eyes failed, and I could neither read nor write until recently, but thank God it is all passing away, and I am getting strong again…First in all the years that have intervened since we last met, I have worked very hard [?] relief fields, and in official duties at home, and naturally I have grown very old--my eyes have lost luster and the wrinkles have come apace….My home and our national headquarters are one and are always at Wash. -- our space is very large and several of my most needed assistants are always there; constitutes my household, it is their home, as it is mine. Thus I am never alone, nor a moment without official counsel, whatever may require to be decided or done, a part of my "staff" are legal men, and a part medical all standing high in their professions, and life, men to whom I can offer no salary. They accept their home with me, but nothing more; their services are given to the work, their fealty to me…I always wear the amethyst pansy -- for '[th?]'s remembrance, I have constituted it a part of my dayly wardrobe and wear it as sacredly as a locket was ever worn on the heart. no one expects to see me without it. all America that knows me knows that pansy, and for whom I wear it. Do you wonder then, when I say you are constantly in my thoughts. I do not wear it as a brooch at the throat but a few inches below, where I can see it myself--for I do not wear it for others but for you and me…a year ago the National Red Cross was asked to go to the sea islands on the coast of S.C. which had been entirely devastated by a hurricane sweeping over from the West India islands and striking our coast with great fury doing terrible damage to people and lands. We went in Sept 93, and only in June of this year 94 have we left that field...Before this reaches you however we shall be in our own home at Washington, where a Report of our last year at the Sea Islands is to be written, and it is said I am to commence something of that autobiography you had so thoughtfully suggested years ago. I hope to be able to do something towards it; but it is such a task…there is a more weighty and official matter which I so often want to speak to you of, and which has engrossed all the spare time of the entire Red Cross for years, viz our effort to Protect the name and insignia we have thus far failed, and I fear we are likely to ultimately fail--partly through the ignorance & apathy of our government and congress--but more & mainly the determination of tradesmen, inventors merchants and [?s] to appropriate it to their own use. They have commenced to use money freely in their efforts to prevent the passage of Bills for Protection…"

In the autumn of 1894, Clara Barton was also the guest of the Pullman family at one of their properties in the Thousand Islands area of the St. Lawrence River. One of George M. Pullman's sons, a Harvard-educated attorney, volunteered as the financial secretary for the American Red Cross, and he arranged for Barton to recuperate from her South Carolina labors on the St. Lawrence River. The generosity of the Pullman family no doubt colored Barton's perception of the famous Pullman Strike of May-July 1894, which she addresses at the end of this letter. She continues in part:

"It is just barely possible that the subject of our painful labor 'strikes' commencing in and about Chicago, and spreading largely over the country may have reached your eye or ears, and that Mr Pullman is held responsible for not consenting to arbitrate with the strikers. Mr Pullman is the one businessman in America who has had the courage, the firmness & rectitude to hold true under the pressure of anarchy, political demagogues, threats, the taunts of the press, and the danger of assassination--and set at naught the howling mob making no compromise with anarchists no concessions to their demands, and taught labor & laborers a lesson that no other man in America could have done..."

This letter is accompanied by a short missive from the Grand Duchess of Baden a few years later, 1p, measuring 5" x 8", [Karlsruhe, Germany], undated [c. 1870-1873]. On personal stationery she writes, "I am so sorry not to be able to see you today Can you come tomorrow at 5 o'clock? Louise."

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.

Louise, Grand Duchess of Baden (1838-1923) was born in Berlin as the second child and only daughter of German Emperor Wilhelm I and his wife Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. In 1856, she married Frederick, Prince Regent of Baden, and they had three children. When doctors deemed that his older brother Louis would not recover from insanity, Frederick became Grand Duke of Baden. Louise was deeply involved in charitable causes, maintained a correspondence with Florence Nightingale, and became a lifelong friend of Clara Barton after they met during the Franco-Prussian War.

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 Discusses Natural Disaster Aid with

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0017: Clara Barton Discusses Natural Disaster Aid with

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Lot 0017 Details

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Clara Barton Discusses Natural Disaster Aid with Foreign Friends, 14pp of 2 ALS with Additional 2 Related Letters

A group of two autograph letters signed by Clara Barton, with two additional related letters, dating from 1889-1894. In the earlier two letters, Barton describes the aftermath of the Johnstown Flood and receives flood aid from German Empress Augusta. Barton's descriptive letter is 2pp, measuring 8.5" x 11.125", Johnstown, Pennsylvania, dated October 16, 1889. On May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam on the Little Conemaugh River, fourteen miles upstream of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, failed and released a torrent of water, flooding Johnstown and killing more than 2,200 people. It was the worst flood in the United States in the nineteenth century. The American Red Cross, led by Clara Barton and including fifty volunteers, undertook a disaster relief effort from early June to October 1889.

In this interesting letter to "Lill", Barton apologizes for not writing sooner, describes the ongoing relief efforts, and expresses concerns about Lill's financial situation. The recipient of this letter may have been Lydia P. Haskell. It reads in full:

"My Dear 'Lill'
I wonder, and wonder what has come of you all these five months since I saw you. I have no means of knowing, but I cannot but think that some door has opened to you, and that you are easy and comfortable, but fearing as well for the worst, I am going to enclose a check in this, which, if you are as I left you, I want you to use for your immediate comfort, if on the contrary you are "all fixed," and in receipt of a good salary, as I hope, you can let it lie till I see you, which cannot now be long. I have thought, month by month to come back, but so great was the suffering here, and so urgent the needs, that it could not be done, but now, nearly every one has something. we have gone through with them not only by the thousands, but the tens of thousands, most of those who have a house at all to live in, have something in it, and if the money gets among them, they will get along even if the winter is cold and houses small & thin.
I am trying now to organize a benevolent society whose business it shall be to take our place and look after the needy. I believe we can accomplish it soon and after that we can go. I ought to have sent you slips of paper all summer, to tell what we were about, but I havent had time to read them myself. I often wonder if this world is as full and busy for other persons as it is for me, and yet I seem to do so little.
I hope you are well. dont go cold, nor uncomfortable in any way. get what you want and I will come to see you pretty soon.
Your affectionate sis,
Clara Barton

[Postscript:] Please find enclosed Draft on NY for Fifty Dollars. ($50)"

Accompanied by a related letter from a New York bank, 1p of a bifolium, measuring 5.5" x 8.5", New York, dated June 14, 1889. The bank informs Barton that German Empress Augusta had contributed through them to the Johnstown Relief Fund. It reads in full: "Her Majesty the Empress Augusta of Germany having instructed us through the Deutsch Effective & Wechsel Bank of Frankfurt, to pay you the sum of two hundred thirty seven 50/100 dollars for the Johnstown Relief fund, we telegraphed you today to that effect requesting you to draw on us for the amount mentioned." Queen of Prussia and German Empress Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1811-1890) was the mother of Barton's close friend Louise, the Grand Duchess of Baden (1838-1923).

The two later letters are correspondence between Barton and Louise, regarding another natural disaster and recent striking in the area. On August 27, 1893, a major hurricane struck the southeast coast of the United States near Savannah, Georgia, killing an estimated 1,000-2,000 people, making it the seventh deadliest hurricane in U.S. history. It hit the sea islands of South Carolina and their predominantly African American residents particularly hard. The American Red Cross established a warehouse for food and clothing in Beaufort, South Carolina, to aid the survivors. Despite another hurricane that struck north of Charleston, South Carolina, the relief campaign declared success after ten months, when the population of the Sea Islands were again living in decent houses and producing their own food. Barton's fascinating and lengthy letter of more than 2,000 words is 12pp, measuring 5" x 8", Camp Royal, Thousand Islands, New York, dated September 10, 1894, and reads in part:

[Note on verso:] "First draft of a letter written to Her R.H Grand Duchess of Baden from Camp Royal 1000 Islands September 10, 1894 / The letter for some cause did not 'take' well in the Press book hence this should be retain till better copied."

"Long as the interval of silence may be, your letters are always a surprise to me when they come. I cannot make it plain to my self how one so surrounded, so filled with cares & thoughts of such importance, of all the best and the highest of the world can keep in mind, and feel an interest in the life and doings of a simple woman confined to one country and that thousands of miles away…I was just home from a hard field of relief work in South Carolina and the weariness added to the intense heat of the summer so weakened me, that my eyes failed, and I could neither read nor write until recently, but thank God it is all passing away, and I am getting strong again…First in all the years that have intervened since we last met, I have worked very hard [?] relief fields, and in official duties at home, and naturally I have grown very old--my eyes have lost luster and the wrinkles have come apace….My home and our national headquarters are one and are always at Wash. -- our space is very large and several of my most needed assistants are always there; constitutes my household, it is their home, as it is mine. Thus I am never alone, nor a moment without official counsel, whatever may require to be decided or done, a part of my "staff" are legal men, and a part medical all standing high in their professions, and life, men to whom I can offer no salary. They accept their home with me, but nothing more; their services are given to the work, their fealty to me…I always wear the amethyst pansy -- for '[th?]'s remembrance, I have constituted it a part of my dayly wardrobe and wear it as sacredly as a locket was ever worn on the heart. no one expects to see me without it. all America that knows me knows that pansy, and for whom I wear it. Do you wonder then, when I say you are constantly in my thoughts. I do not wear it as a brooch at the throat but a few inches below, where I can see it myself--for I do not wear it for others but for you and me…a year ago the National Red Cross was asked to go to the sea islands on the coast of S.C. which had been entirely devastated by a hurricane sweeping over from the West India islands and striking our coast with great fury doing terrible damage to people and lands. We went in Sept 93, and only in June of this year 94 have we left that field...Before this reaches you however we shall be in our own home at Washington, where a Report of our last year at the Sea Islands is to be written, and it is said I am to commence something of that autobiography you had so thoughtfully suggested years ago. I hope to be able to do something towards it; but it is such a task…there is a more weighty and official matter which I so often want to speak to you of, and which has engrossed all the spare time of the entire Red Cross for years, viz our effort to Protect the name and insignia we have thus far failed, and I fear we are likely to ultimately fail--partly through the ignorance & apathy of our government and congress--but more & mainly the determination of tradesmen, inventors merchants and [?s] to appropriate it to their own use. They have commenced to use money freely in their efforts to prevent the passage of Bills for Protection…"

In the autumn of 1894, Clara Barton was also the guest of the Pullman family at one of their properties in the Thousand Islands area of the St. Lawrence River. One of George M. Pullman's sons, a Harvard-educated attorney, volunteered as the financial secretary for the American Red Cross, and he arranged for Barton to recuperate from her South Carolina labors on the St. Lawrence River. The generosity of the Pullman family no doubt colored Barton's perception of the famous Pullman Strike of May-July 1894, which she addresses at the end of this letter. She continues in part:

"It is just barely possible that the subject of our painful labor 'strikes' commencing in and about Chicago, and spreading largely over the country may have reached your eye or ears, and that Mr Pullman is held responsible for not consenting to arbitrate with the strikers. Mr Pullman is the one businessman in America who has had the courage, the firmness & rectitude to hold true under the pressure of anarchy, political demagogues, threats, the taunts of the press, and the danger of assassination--and set at naught the howling mob making no compromise with anarchists no concessions to their demands, and taught labor & laborers a lesson that no other man in America could have done..."

This letter is accompanied by a short missive from the Grand Duchess of Baden a few years later, 1p, measuring 5" x 8", [Karlsruhe, Germany], undated [c. 1870-1873]. On personal stationery she writes, "I am so sorry not to be able to see you today Can you come tomorrow at 5 o'clock? Louise."

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.

Louise, Grand Duchess of Baden (1838-1923) was born in Berlin as the second child and only daughter of German Emperor Wilhelm I and his wife Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. In 1856, she married Frederick, Prince Regent of Baden, and they had three children. When doctors deemed that his older brother Louis would not recover from insanity, Frederick became Grand Duke of Baden. Louise was deeply involved in charitable causes, maintained a correspondence with Florence Nightingale, and became a lifelong friend of Clara Barton after they met during the Franco-Prussian War.

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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