The two pens and attached nibs are believed to be original to the Clara Barton National Historic Site Collection.

Pen Holder
c 1900-1925
Mother of pearl, metal. L 10.8, W 0.4 cm
Clara Barton National Historic Site, CLBA 1051

Pen Nib
c 1900-1925
A.W. Faber, New York 2
Metal. L 6, W 5 cm
Clara Barton National Historic Site, CLBA 1050

Pen Holder

Ivory, metal. L 17.4, W 0.5 cm
Clara Barton National Historic Site, CLBA 650


No. 42 Spencerian Dome point.
Metal. L 4.1, W 0.8 cm
Clara Barton National Historic Site, CLBA 651
The Spencerian Script was a cursive writing style widely used and taught in America from the 1850s until the early 1900s. It was developed by Platt Rogers Spencer around 1840. This was in use during the later years of Clara Barton’s teaching career. Ellen Spencer Mussey was a daughter of Platt Spencer. She was an educator, promoter of women’s rights and a practicing lawyer.

She was an early advocate for Clara Barton’s establishment of the American Red Cross and a charter member of the organization. In 1900, she was elected Vice-President of the American Red Cross. This was a short lived appointment, as Mussey was also among the Red Crossers growing dissatisfied with Barton’s managerial style. Following their arrival in Texas after the Galveston Hurricane, September 8, 1900, Miss Barton was not feeling well. Mussey believed that Barton should return to Glen Echo. She made secret arrangements to return Barton to her home the next day. Clara Barton informed of this, proceeded to Galveston the next morning and Mussey was sent back to Washington, D.C. by train. Stephen Barton, Barton’s nephew, remained in Galveston as the Vice-President of the American Red Cross. Mussey was an ardent supporter of Boardman, Barton's challenger for American Red Cross presidency.

Also of note, Henry C. Spencer was President of the Spencerian Business School of Washington, D. C. in 1891 and offered Spencerian writing classes during the grand opening year of the Glen Echo Chautauqua Assembly. By local tradition, it was following Henry Spencer’s death by pneumonia that a rumor of his death by malaria contracted at Glen Echo spread, thus contributing to the ruin of the Glen Echo Chautauqua.

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