Teacher and humanitarian (1821-1912) best known for founding the relief organization the American Red Cross. ALS signed “Clara Barton Pres., Am. Nat'l Red Cross,” one page, 8.5 x 11, The American National Red Cross letterhead, October 4, 1889. Letter to Maj. S. W. Hill, a quartermaster in the National Guard who helped to organize the response to the Johnstown Flood. In part: "I hasten to thank you for the good service you have rendered me. Mr. Logan came directly, took our orders for all we shall need in that line, and will send them at once. It was a pleasure to meet him. This favor goes into the large pile of the same, already received at your hands." In very good condition, with creasing, light staining and toning, minor loss to the lower corners, and splitting to folds partially repaired with tape on the reverse.
The result of a catastrophic dam failure, the Johnstown Flood occurred on May 31, 1889, killing over 2,200 people. The American Red Cross, led by Barton, undertook its first major disaster relief effort, and donations poured in from around the world—the collection totaling $3,742,818.78, with contributions coming in from 18 foreign countries, including Russia, Turkey, France, Great Britain, Australia, and Germany. Barton remained in the area from June through November, working tirelessly to rehabilitate the devastated population. This letter, written toward the end of her stay in Johnstown, represents a significant turning point in the public disaster relief role of the American Red Cross.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.