Los Angeles, Cal. 1912. Created shortly after Clara Barton’s death for distribution at that year’s Woman’s Relief Corps Convention in Los Angeles. Printed on one side with vignette of Clara Barton and facsimile signature. Minor fraying along bottom edge, some faint toning. A near-fine piece of rare ephemera. Cream-colored ribbon. 3 in. x 8 in. Item #17130
Barton (1821 – 1912) was one of the earliest members of the Woman’s Relief Corps (WRC), which was founded in 1883 as an auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic, an advocacy group for veterans of the Union Army. The WRC focused on establishing pensions for the women who provided medical care to the Union Army and on supporting the families of soldiers who had been killed or injured during the Civil War. In 1892, the WRC and its president, Annie Wittenmeyer (1827 – 1900), successfully lobbied Congress to pass the Army Nurses Pension Law, which granted pensions to Wittenmeyer and other Civil War nurses.
Barton’s involvement in the WRC was a natural extension of her work to establish the American Red Cross, which she founded in 1881. Barton was also an acquaintance of both Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, and was involved in suffrage and civil rights activism — two causes also in accordance with the work of the WRC. Barton was the most decorated woman in America, who counted among her awards the International Red Cross Medal, the Prussian Iron Cross, the Cross of Imperial Russia, and the Golden Cross of Baden.