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Authentic Signatures of Famous Soldiers and Leaders in History
Civil War Documents
Autograph Letter From The "Angel of the Battlefield" Clara Barton to Beast Butler
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Here is a wonderful ink autograph of Clara Barton (December 25, 1821 - April 12, 1912). Barton is known as the founded of the American Red Cross. During the Civil War she worked tirelessly to raise money for medical supplies for the soldiers and helped in saving thousands of lives with her efforts. This three page letter measures 5-1/4th inches by 8-1/4th inches in overall size. It is written entirely in Barton's hand and is from Geneva, Switzerland with a date of April 17, 1870 where she was living at the U.S. Consulate. Barton writes to General Benjamin Butler. Butler was a high ranking Union General during the Civil War and was known as "Beast" Butler by the southerns that he harshly treated. Barton is continuing her appeal on behalf of Dorence Atwater. Atwater was a Union soldier that was held prisoner at Andersonville. He kept a list of the soldiers that died in the prison camp and that list would be known as the Anderson Death Registry. This list allowed loved ones to know when their soldier had passed. He worked with Barton after the war to mark the graves of the soldiers. Their compassion for others made them strong friends. Her letter also includes a prophecy she had made five years prior, at the close of the Civil War and just after President Lincoln's assassination. With great concern for her friend, Barton writes in part: "...You have noticed, perhaps, that Mr. Chandler's new 'Consular Bill', (if passed) abolishes Dorence Atwater's consulate (Seychelles) - Only He who knoweth all things, knows how hard I strove, with my little power, and fast failing strength, under an opposing Administration, to secure it, and 'fit him out' as I should have done for a young sick brother, and he has traveled half 'round the world to reach it, and held it a trifle over a year. If really he must be set afloat again so summarily I shall still be glad that he has had it, for he has done well, - gained in strength, and health, - paid the last debt hanging over him through his court-martial and imprisonment [Atwater had to pay $300 to be released], had one year of peace and security, performed his duties well, and established himself as a competent, honest, and prompt Government officer capable of holding a position of much greater importance and trust...Others mean well, always speak me kindly - but it is only you who even help me to accomplish, and I pray your pardon General for the trespass which asks you to give this little matter one moments thought, (if you think proper) see that Mr. Atwater be left undisturbed or point out to Gov. Buckingham a suitable Consulate somewhere else, and have him demand it in the name of his state. Please do not let them make him some Consul's clerk, for he is more capable of standing at the head than most men whom he would be sent to serve. There will be Consul Generals appointed under that 'Bill' if it pass, of far less capability than Dorence Atwater...Perhaps I am unduly sensitive, but I dread to think of those sleek, comfortably situated tormentors of his at the War Dept. exulting over his discomfit. With all he has had to pay out of his little salary in this first year and a half of beginnings, I cannot imagine how he can have saved enough by this time to take him home again - true, it is very possible he might never want to go, but it is always cheerful, to feel that one can..." Barton then continues with her intriguing "prophecy" made following the war, writing: "I am neither a prophet, nor the daughter of a prophet, nevertheless, more than five years ago I made a prophecy, but no one would listen to me; and through all the intervening time I have openly proclaimed it, and no one would believe me, until now, within a few months, one here and there commences to discern for himself, and nods sagaciously, and believes himself the most far seeing of politicians, and wisest of men: They have all only to wait a little, to be wiser yet. I will not name my prophesy to you, my good friend, for you may not be ready to admit it yet, but in the day of its fulfilment you will be there to see... " This is a great autograph of this amazing American Hero. It is accompanied by a modern made xerox image of Barton.

Item #: A7973
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