ALS : Autograph Letter SignedAutograph Letter Signed, in which Clara Barton, founder and president of the American Red Cross mentions her address for the opening session of the NAWSA annual convention.  Single sheet folded to 4-1/2 x 6-3/4", off-white lined paper. Folded to fit an envelope. In this brief handwritten letter, Barton writes in part, "This is the opening day of the suffrage meeting [1893 Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association]. I am to say a few words on Harriet Austin at 2 o'clock. All remains 'in statu quo' / Love to all. Affn." She signs large in her hand, "Clara Barton".
A famed educator and civil servant, Barton discovered her exceptional capacity for the organization and distribution of medical supplies and services during the Civil War. With war's end, she continued to act upon her concern for soldiers by undertaking the mammoth and unhappy task of identifying the remains of those who had died at infamous Andersonville Prison. Even this work had to be funded by private donations rather than public funds. The hitherto timid Barton took to the lectern to raise monies; one authority writes "she made about three hundred speeches throughout the Union States." No doubt it was this tour and its resulting publicity that established her name so firmly as the premier Civil War nurse.
By 1869 Barton's health was in tatters and she sought respite in European travel. The trip introduced Barton to the Red Cross established just six years earlier in Geneva, Switzerland. At forty-eight Clara Barton dedicated herself to building an American Red Cross. She expanded its mission to natural disasters as well as war such as the Johnstown Flood. Even in her '70s Barton was an active and aggressive leader, traveling to Florida, the staging grounds for American troops during the Spanish American War, and later to Cuba. And from 1869 until her death, Clara Barton was a firm woman suffrage supporter. She attended and spoke at the first woman suffrage convention held in Washington, DC in January 1869 and there met Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton for the first time. Anthony recognized how valuable an ally Barton could be for the movement. Because of her role in the Civil War, Barton would draw men as well as women when she spoke. Later when foreign countries recognized her Red Cross work with impressive medals, Anthony would urge her to wear them all when making an address. Though the Red Cross absorbed virtually all of her time and energies, Miss Barton regularly attended suffrage conventions and meetings and/or sent letters of support. She attended the 1888 International Council of Women and appeared on stage with Lucy Stone, Frances E. Willard, Julia Ward Howe, Isabella Beecher Hooker, and Matilda Joslyn Gage, which has been described as "The most eminent galaxy of women ever assembled upon one platform". When Miss Barton sought to formalize ties with the federal government, suffragists urged politicians sympathetic to them to approve the charter. In very good condition.