The Red Cross: Some Facts Concerning Clara Barton’s Work [Page 6 of 8]


Clara Barton National Historic Site, National Park Service

Clara Barton National Historic Site, National Park Service
Glen Echo, MD, United States

lara Barton organized the American Red Cross in 1881 with a few followers, members and supporters. By 1903, the American National Red Cross had local auxiliaries from New York to California. Thousands were involved. The national headquarters was located in Clara Barton’s Glen Echo home and staffed by unpaid volunteers and no national administrative budget. The growing organization needed a centralized administrative restructuring that Barton recognized, yet had not yet done. The lack of a centralized administration surfaced as a problem during the Spanish-American War in 1898. Barton was in Cuba for close to a year doing war relief work. A growing faction of Red Cross auxiliary members, mostly from the New York auxiliaries drifted into their own organizational structure. Mabel Boardman emerged as Barton opposition. This power struggle and the attacks on Clara Barton as the organization’s President continued to grow over the years and led to her resignation in 1904. Walter P. Phillips had known Clara Barton since 1878. He had served as a secretary to the organization for over 20 years. He is listed in this document as the Chairman of the Executive Committee. Phillips was an ardent Barton supporter and wrote this document in her defense against attacks by Boardman supporters. Also see CLBA 4539, The Red Cross March, a recording he dedicated to Clara Barton.

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  • Title: The Red Cross: Some Facts Concerning Clara Barton’s Work [Page 6 of 8]
  • Creator: Walter P. Phillips
  • Date Created: 1903
  • Location: Bridgeport, Conn.
  • Type: Booklet
  • Contributor: Clara Barton National Historic Site National Park Service
  • Original Source: http://www.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/clba/exb/American_Red_Cross/Resignation/CLBA4497_cover.html
  • Transcript: “In providing that the officers shall be elected annually, except the president, who MAY be elected for life, it was clearly the thought to recognize Miss Barton as all the world has recognized her, as peculiarly the embodiment of the Red Cross idea and principles, and whose life-work fairly entitles her to such recognition. Indeed, upon the resolution presented by Dr. A. Monae Lesser, as follows: - ‘Whereas, the members of the American National Red Cross are cognizant of the past unceasing and efficient labors of their President, Miss Clara Barton, and whereas they desire to express their appreciation and confidence in her as the president, be it resolved that Miss Clara Barton shall be the president of the American National Red Cross during her natural life, hoping that God may grant that she may be spared to hold this post for many years hence,’ the vote recorded included every one present in the affirmative and three excptions. To show the claims to priority of those present on the floor and voting, the following list is significant: Dr. Julian B. Hubbell, - Present on every field excepting Galveston; Mrs. Enola L. Gardner, - Mississippi River floods, Mt. Vernon cyclone, Johnstown, Port Royal, Cuba, Santiago – by land and sea: Dr. Joseph Gardner, - Johnstown, Port Royal hurricane, Cuba; Dr. Monae Lesser, - Havana and Santiago, Cuba, both extremes of the island; Mrs. Harriet L. Reed, - Johnstown, Port Royal hurricane, also charge of headquarters during Cuban work; Maj. James A. McDowell, - Johnstown, Cuba and Galveston; Gen. Wm. H. Sears, - Galveston,…”
  • Source: Clara Barton National Historic Site
  • National Park Service Catalog Number: CLBA 4539
  • Measurements: W 15.5, L 22 cm
  • Materials: Paper

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