Raab Acquires Manuscript Library of Clara Barton

The Raab Collection announced today that it has acquired a remarkable archive from the private library of Clara Barton, documents which chart the dawn of the American Red Cross and groundbreaking moments in her own life. Some are unpublished.  This archive remained with the Barton heirs until now.

“This archive tells an important and inspiring story about the beginning of public health in this country and the creation of one of the most important such organizations not only in this country but the entire world,” said Nathan Raab, author of The Hunt for History (Scribner) and principal at The Raab Collection.

Over the past decades, Raab has discovered and sold some of the most important archives and documents worldwide, and counts among its clients not only the esteemed Huntington Library, but the Library of Congress, Harvard, Yale, & Princeton Universities, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the British Library, and many other collecting institutions, as well as a generation of serious private collectors.  Raab founders have served on the boards of institutions from the Rosenbach Library to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to educational boards.

Seven Groups of Great Importance

1 – An American Treasure: The Foundation Documents of the American Red Cross, and a History of that Organization, From the Personal File of Its Founder, Clara Barton

These are Barton’s own copies, in her hand

They document the humanitarian effort to establish an American branch of the International Red Cross, and Barton’s grand vision, which became a reality

2 – In Seeking to Expand the Reach of the Red Cross, Clara Barton Sketches the History of the Founding of the Red Cross in a Plea for Funding Addressed to the House and Senate of the United States

She writes this remarkable history in proposing to expand the reach of the Red Cross, establishing local associate branches around the country, and dreaming of its being the instrumentality of relief work nationwide

She sought Congressional funding for that purpose, saying that the Red Cross could take the burden of disaster relief off of the government

3 – Clara Barton Undertakes Her Very First Relief Work for the Red Cross

From 1870: A historic group of 3 documents permitting her to aid the Swiss Army, and the victims of the Franco-Prussian War, under the auspices of the International Red Cross, including her handwritten letter of acceptance

4 – Clara Barton’s Hand-written Report on the Sixth International Conference of the Red Cross, Held in Vienna in 1897

She states: The Red Cross is the “one universal emblem of humanity”

She discusses the fight to get Congress to protect the Red Cross name and symbol, which she calls “humanity’s sacred emblem”

5 – Clara Barton’s Pass to the First U.S. Exhibition in Which the American Red Cross Exhibited

This was the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition held in New Orleans in late 1884, just two years after the American Red Cross was chartered by Congress

6 – The Red Cross’s First Official “Appeal to the American People” for Support: a Printed Circular, Signed in Print by Frederick Douglas and Clara Barton Together

Just 6 days after the U.S. Senate ratified the Red Cross Treaty, and 22 days after President Arthur signed it, the American Red Cross issues its first appeal to the American people for funds

The call is signed by Clara Barton, Robert Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and other notables

7 – Clara Barton and the International Red Cross Conference of 1892, With the Official Commitment of the United States Government to Participate, and the Issues to Be Brought Before the Organization for Consideration

The commitment is contained in the original letter of the Secretary of State enlisting Barton’s aid; there are also 10 pages detailing the measures to be discussed by the conference

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