Beautiful certificate from the National First Aid Association of America
issued in 1908. This item has the signatures of the Association's President, Clara Barton and Medical Director and is over 107 years old. Clara Barton was the founder of the Amercian Red Cross. The item has a crease on the upper left side not touching any print or signatures. Item was mounted with small residue on back not affecting the front. This historic document would look terrific framed.
Clara Barton's signature
In April 1905, Clara Barton established the National First Aid Association of America and served as honorary president for five years. The organization emphasizes basic first aid instruction, emergency preparedness and develops first aid kits. Ambulance brigades are formed in conjunction with police and fire departments, as well as in industrial settings.
Clara (Clarissa Harlowe) Barton, humanitarian and founder of the American Red Cross, was born on December 25, 1821, in North Oxford, Massachusetts. Named after the heroine of a Samuel Richardson novel, she was the youngest of five children of Captain Stephen Barton (1774-1861), and Sarah (Stone) Barton (1784-1851). Learning to spell and read at the age of three, Barton began her formal education both outside the home, under the instruction of Richard Stone, and inside, under the guidance of her much older siblings. At the age of eight, Barton left home to attend high school, but returned after a year. Her education then continued three years later under private tutors, Lucian Burleigh and Jonathan Dana. Her long career in humanitarian service also began at an early age, when from 1832 to 1834, she was the devoted nurse and companion of her brother David, who was an invalid due to a riding accident.
From 1839 to 1850, Barton taught in local schools in the North Oxford, Massachusetts, area. Then, in 1851, she attended the Clinton Liberal Institute, a coeducational academy managed by the Universalist Church of Clinton, New York. After her term at Clinton, Barton taught at Highstown, New Jersey (1851-1852), and then at Bordentown, New Jersey (1852-1854), where she established the first free public school in the community. When Bordentown officials hired a male president to run the successful school, Barton resigned. She then went to Washington, DC, where, with the help of Alexander DeWitt, a congressman from her home district, she got a job as a clerk in the U.S. Patent Office, as one of the first regularly appointed female civil servants. She held this position from 1854 to 1857, and then again from 1860 to 1861; the intervening years, during Buchanan's presidency, she spent at home.
The outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 began for Barton a long career in providing care for the sick and wounded. Remembered later as the "Angel of the Battlefield," Barton saw the need for women's help in nursing and caring for the sick and wounded, but until she got the necessary permission, women were not allowed in hospitals or on battlefields. In April 1861, she provided nursing care and supplies for the wounded of the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, involved in a Baltimore riot. After securing permission from Surgeon-General William A. Hammond to visit battlefields and to cross enemy lines, Barton brought aid and supplies to the wounded on sixteen battlefields, including those of Antietam, Fredericksburg, the siege of Charleston, and the Wilderness campaign.
Following the conclusion of the Civil War and until 1869, Barton held the position of the superintendent of the Missing Persons Bureau, during which time she located many of the bodies of Union soldiers who died as prisoners at Andersonville, Georgia, where she rebuilt the cemetery. Meanwhile, from 1866 to 1868, she traveled extensively, giving public lectures throughout the North and West. When her voice gave out, she went to Europe to rest, and there first learned of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
In 1863, inspired by Jean Henri Dunant's view that relief societies were needed to help the wounded in war, Gustave Moynier joined Dunant to gather support for a meeting of nations to form such a body. As a result, the International Committee of the Red Cross was formed and gained official status in 1864 at a convention in Geneva, Switzerland. By the time Barton learned of the Treaty of Geneva of 1864, 32 nations had signed the document, proclaiming that medical teams and facilities should be treated as neutrals in a conflict situation, and that the wounded deserved care. Before returning home to urge the United States to sign, Barton became involved with the International Committee during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1872). Besides caring for soldiers, she showed her inclination to move beyond simple handouts to help rebuild lives, as she set helped civilian women in Strasbourg, France, earn money for food by setting up an exchange system in which the women sewed needed clothes and received money for food in return.
While resting in England and Dansville, New York, during the years 1872 to 1881, Barton worked towards American affiliation with the International Red Cross. Finally, on March 1, 1882, President Chester A. Arthur signed the Geneva Treaty; the year before, Barton had organized the American Association of the Red Cross. President James A. Garfield appointed her its first president. Barton also served as the American governmental delegate to the international Red Cross conferences in Geneva, Switzerland (1884); Carlsruhe, Germany (1887); Rome, Italy (1890); Vienna, Austria (1897); and St. Petersburg, Russia (1902). At the 1884 conference in Geneva, Barton secured the adoption of an "American amendment" which authorized the Red Cross to help not only in times of war, but in times of natural disaster and calamity during peace.
Nine years after the United States signed the Geneva Treaty, Barton began urging Congress to both incorporate the Red Cross as an official national body, with political and economic support, and pass a bill, which would protect the organization's insignia from fraudulent uses by others. Unfortunately, both bills died in committee. Barton then met with her advisors, and at the first board meeting in almost ten years, reached decisions regarding the executive committee, the local societies, and membership, and drafted a new constitution. At this time, the name was changed from the American Association of the Red Cross to the American National Red Cross.
During her presidency, Barton also personally led the organization's assistance in the aftermath of numerous disasters, including the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, flood (1889) and the Armenian massacre (1893), and provided aid and supplies to Cuban rebels before and during Spanish-American War (1894-1899). Her mission was not only to grant immediate relief but also to supply materials for rebuilding houses and lives.
In 1897, Clara Barton set up the Red Cross Headquarters in Glen Echo, Maryland. Three years later, in 1900, President William McKinley finally signed a bill, which both incorporated the American National Red Cross under a federal charter and, to some degree, protected the insignia. By this time, disagreements over Barton's inability to delegate authority and her insistence upon total control of the organization's finances led to a revolt of the board of directors in 1902, started by Mabel Thorp Boardman. Then, in 1903, after a U.S. Senate investigation, which revealed poor business practices, President Theodore Roosevelt withdrew federal patronage from the American National Red Cross. The following year, Barton resigned, and Mabel Thorp Boardman became the new president. Barton then served as president of the National First Aid Association, which endeavored to teach first aid to people nationwide, from 1905 to 1912.
Clara Barton died on April 12, 1912 of chronic pneumonia, at her home in Glen Echo, Maryland. Joint funeral services were held in Glen Echo and in Oxford, Massachusetts, where she is buried.
Clara Barton Chronology 1861-1869
April 12, 1861
Civil War begins with the firing on Ft. Sumter, South Carolina.
April 19, 1861
Riots, Baltimore, Maryland.
En route to defend the nation's capital, the 6th Massachusetts Infantry is attacked by mobs of southern-sympathizing Baltimoreans as the soldiers walk across town between train stations. They arrive in Washington, D.C. beaten and with several members of their regiment dead. Miss Barton finds them temporarily quartered in the Senate Chamber of the U. S. Capitol and provides supplies from her own household for their comfort. An overwhelming response to her request for additional supplies for the troops marks the start of her legacy as one who receives, stores, and distributes supplies during the Civil War.
July 21, 1861
Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run), Virginia.
Miss Barton attends Federal wounded as they arrive in Washington, D.C. Establishes a distribution agency after receiving additional supplies following an advertisement in the Worcester (Massachusetts) Spy.
Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman, publishes an account of an 1859 battle between French and Austrian forces near Solferino, Italy. In Un Souvenir de Solferino, he outlines a need for wartime relief societies. Clara Barton is unaware of this publication.
March 21, 1862
Father, Stephen Barton, dies in North Oxford, Massachusetts after inspiring Clara Barton toward patriotic support for the country.
August 3, 1862
Gains official permission to transport supplies to battlefields.
August 9, 1862
Battle of Cedar Mountain (Culpepper), Virginia.
This is the first documented battle at which Clara Barton serves on the field. Arriving on August 13, she spends two days and nights tending the wounded. Before leaving, she also provides assistance at a field hospital for Confederate prisoners.
August 28-30, 1862
Battle of Second Manassas (Bull Run), Virginia.
September 1, 1862
Battle of Chantilly, Virginia.
Arriving at Fairfax Station after the battles, Miss Barton tends the wounded and prepares the injured for train evacuation to Washington, D.C.
September 14, 1862
Battle of South Mountain, Maryland.
Aids wounded at battles near Harper's Ferry, Virginia (West Virginia) and South Mountain.
September 17, 1862
Battle of Antietam, Maryland.
Miss Barton and her wagons arrive on the field with the Army of the Potomac prior to the battle. She provides surgeons with desperately needed medical supplies. During the battle she is nearly killed when a bullet passes through the sleeve of her dress, killing the wounded man she is attending. Although lacking medical training, at the insistence of a wounded soldier she extracts a bullet from his cheek, using her pocket knife. Working for several days following the conflict, Miss Barton is weakened by typhoid fever.
Sept. - Nov. 1862
Travels with the Army of the Potomac as it pursues the retreating Confederates into Virginia. Provides aid to the wounded at several minor skirmishes, and accompanies patients to hospitals in Washington, D.C.
December 13, 1862
Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Miss Barton assists in a divisional hospital of the IX Corps, which is established at the Lacy House (Chatham). She remains in the field through most of the month, following the rout of the Federal Army.
Arrives at Hilton Head, South Carolina in preparation for the anticipated bombardment of Charleston. Joins brother, Captain David Barton, an Army Quartermaster and fifteen year old nephew, Steven E. Barton, serving in the military telegraph office. Meets and befriends Colonel John J. Elwell.
Meets Frances D. Gage and assists in the care and education of former slaves and freedmen. Miss Barton develops an interest in the growing cause for equal rights among women and African-Americans.
August 10 - 11, 1863
Siege of Ft. Wagner, South Carolina.
Miss Barton helps to establish field hospitals and distributes supplies following the failed assaults.
January - May, 1864
Returns to Washington, D.C. to collect supplies and to recuperate.
Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House near Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Arranges for the opening of private homes for the care of wounded, with the assistance of Senator Henry Wilson, Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee.
Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia.
Fredericksburg continues to be an important hospital and logistical center for the Federal Army, as wounded pour in from the overland campaigns toward Richmond.
June 23, 1864
Miss Barton is placed in charge of diet and nursing at a X Corps Hospital near Point of Rocks, Virginia, appointed by Army of the James Commander Major General Benjamin F. Butler. The "flying hospital" serves the wounded in the almost daily fighting outside Petersburg.
The first Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded in Armies in the Field is held in Geneva, Switzerland, establishing the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Clara Barton is unaware of this event and the United States does not join the organization.
January - March 10, 1865
Cares for dying brother, Stephen Barton.
With the assistance of Senator Wilson, wins the approval of President Abraham Lincoln to address the problem of large numbers of missing soldiers. By authority of the President, establishes the Office of Correspondence with Friends of the Missing Men of the United States Army on March 11. Recognition by the War Department follows two months later. Directs four year search for missing men.
April 9, 1865
Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders to Union Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, signalling the end of the Civil War.
Andersonville Prison, Georgia.
Aided largely by records kept by prison survivor Dorance Atwater, Miss Barton helps to locate and mark the graves of the nearly 13,000 Federal soldiers who died in captivity there. She raises the U. S. Flag at the dedication of Andersonville National Cemetery, August 17.
February 21, 1866
Testifies during the 39th Congress concerning her experiences and observations while working in Andersonville, Georgia. Her testimony is recorded in the Reports of the Committees of the House of Representatives.
March 10, 1866
The U. S. Congress appropriates $15,000 to reimburse Miss Barton for expenses associated with her search for missing men.
1866 - 1868
Delivers over 200 lectures throughout the northeast and midwest, telling of her Civil War experiences. Shares the platform with such prominent figures as Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Lloyd Garrison and Mark Twain. At times, she will earn $75 to $100 per lecture.
November 30, 1867
Meets Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The resulting friendships align Miss Barton with the suffrage movement.
Loses voice while delivering a speech, due to fatigue and mental prostration.
Closes the Office of Correspondence with Friends of the Missing Men of the United States Army, having received and answered 63,182 letters and identified 22,000 missing men.
On the advice of her doctor, travels to Europe to regain health. While visiting in Switzerland she meets Dr. Louis Appia, and, for the first time, hears about the International Red Cross.
July 18, 1870
Napoleon III declares war on Prussia and its German allies, beginning the Franco-Prussian War.
September 17, 1870
Meets the Grand Duchess of Baden Germany, Louise, daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm and establishes a life-long friendship. Under sponsorship of the Grand Duchess and the International Red Cross, Miss Barton leaves for the battlefield and the besieged city of Strasbourg, France. She meets Antoinette Margot, who becomes her co-worker, travelling companion and translator. In Strasbourg, they organize relief and establish sewing factories in order to provide clothing for the residents and employment for women.
Directs relief work in Paris for six weeks, establishes workrooms in Lyon, and provides assistance in Besançon and Belfort.
1872 - 1873
Suffers from nervous exhaustion and temporarily loses eyesight. Travels in Europe in attempt to recuperate.
Returns to the United States, but nervous strain continues to plague her. Her condition worsens when her sister, Sally Barton Vassall, dies May 24, 1874.
Moves to Dansville, New York, first to a sanitarium and later to her own home. Relaxation, a healthful diet, and congenial company allow her to regain her health. Meets Julian Hubbell, a chemistry teacher, who eventually becomes her most devoted worker.
1877 - 1881
Concentrates on educating the public and garnering support for an American society of the Red Cross. Writes and distributes the pamphlet, The Red Cross of the Geneva Convention: What It Is. Meets with President Rutherford B. Hayes to inform him about the Red Cross and enlists the aid of friends to help publicize the organization.
May 21, 1881
American Association of the Red Cross is formed. Miss Barton is elected President at a meeting held June 9 in Washington, D.C.
August 22, 1881
First local Society of the American Association of the Red Cross is organized in Dansville, New York. Over the next few months, additional chapters are formed in other towns and cities.
Michigan - Forest Fires. Some 1.5 million acres are destroyed and nearly 500 lives are lost in just over five hours. The American Red Cross assists in rebuilding more than 50 dwellings and distributes tons of materials. Dr. Julian Hubbell acts as the first American Red Cross field agent.
March 16, 1882
On March 1, President Chester A. Arthur signs the Treaty of Geneva. Following unanimous ratification by the United States Senate, the U. S. joins the International Red Cross.
Spring 1882 and 1883 Mississippi River - Floods.
Directs American Red Cross relief work during flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries, aboard the ship Mattie Belle.
Appointed Superintendent of Massachusetts Reformatory Prison for Women in Sherborn. She accepts the temporary position at the request of Governor Benjamin F. Butler, and resigns after eight months. Speaks at the International Conference on Prison Reform held in Saratoga, New York.
1884 - 1890
Delivers numerous lectures promoting the Red Cross.
February 1884 Ohio River - Floods.
Severe flooding leaves over 5,000 families homeless. Miss Barton directs the relief effort and the American Red Cross distributes $175,000 in cash and supplies.
Travels to Europe as one of three U.S. delegates to the International Conference of the Red Cross at Geneva, Switzerland. Official recognition accorded the "American Amendment," providing peacetime disaster relief, due in large part to Miss Barton's support.
Dansville, New York Typhoid Fever Epidemic. The American Red Cross provides financial and medical assistance to the stricken town.
November 1885 Galveston, Texas - Fires.
Railroads provide free transportation as the American Red Cross donates supplies, including 130 barrels of flour.
December 1885 Balkan War Relief.
At the request of the International Red Cross, American Societies provide financial assistance during the Bulgarian and Serbian War. The Depauw and St. Louis Societies in Missouri provide $500 and $200, respectively.
Moves to Washington, D.C.
Attends the National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) in San Francisco, California.
September 1886 Charleston, South Carolina - Earthquake.
Clara Barton travels to the scene and the American Red Cross donates $500. Offers made by Miss Barton for additional assistance are not accepted.
1887 Central Texas - Drought.
Miss Barton's report of the situation motivates the state legislature to send $100,000 to the stricken area.
Miss Barton volunteers the services of the American Red Cross at the National Drill and Encampment of the GAR in Washington, D.C. In six days, 200 cases of illness are treated in a mobile hospital.
Serves as delegate to the International Congress of the Red Cross at Carlsruhe, Germany.
Miss Barton attends meetings of various woman's suffrage associations and speaks at several of the rallies in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Serves as a vice president and is a featured speaker of the First International Woman's Suffrage Conference in Washington, D.C.
February 1888 Mount Vernon, Illinois - Tornado.
Miss Barton and the American Red Cross assist 3,000 homeless by providing food, shelter, clothing and establishing a school.
March 15, 1888
Brother, David Barton, dies.
August 1888 Jacksonville, Florida - Yellow Fever Epidemic.
Miss Barton visits the affected areas and coordinates relief with the Howard Association. Red Cross nurses immune to the disease are provided by the chapter in New Orleans.
May 31, 1889 Johnstown, Pennsylvania - Flood.
Arrives to direct relief operations on scene with over 2,000 dead and thousands of homeless victims. During four months of work over $200,000 in supplies and $39,000 in cash are provided. This disaster relief program becomes the most celebrated effort in the early history of the American Red Cross.
Red Cross provides disaster relief following fires in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a drought in South Dakota and severe storms across Kentucky, Texas, and Iowa.
A building is constructed for Miss Barton as part of Edwin and Edward Baltzley's National Chautauqua in Glen Echo, Maryland, a few miles northwest of Washington, D.C. The building will primarily be used as a Red Cross warehouse for several years.
Writes poem The Women Who Went to the Field.
March 1892 Russian Famine Relief.
Supervised by Clara Barton and Julian Hubbell, the American Red Cross sponsors its first overseas operation. Flour and cornmeal shipments feed 7,000.
1893 - 1894 Sea Islands, South Carolina - Hurricane.
After a hurricane and tidal wave leave over 5,000 dead, the American Red Cross labors for ten months to aid the predominantly African-American population of the barrier islands.
1896 Turkey - Armenia Famine Relief.
Travels to Armenia to assist starving and sick citizens, encouraging farming, hygiene, and domestic industry. Miss Barton distributes over $115,000 in aid, despite the dangerous conditions during religious wars.
February 28, 1897
The warehouse in Glen Echo, Maryland becomes Clara Barton's permanent residence and national headquarters for the American Red Cross. She occupies the remodeled house until her death in 1912.
Directs American Red Cross relief work in Cuban resettlement camps. This humanitarian work on behalf of civilians continues until 1900.
February 15, 1898 Explosion of the U. S. S. Maine.
"I am with the wounded," Clara Barton writes to President William McKinley following the explosion of the U. S. S. Maine, as she and American Red Cross workers are already on the scene in Cuba. The blast kills 266 crew members. Two days earlier, she had dined aboard the ship with Captain Charles Sigsbee.
April 25, 1898 U. S. Declares war on Spain.
Clara Barton continues to coordinate civilian relief, establishes orphanages, and supports military hospitals. The first relief ship to enter the harbor at Santiago following its surrender is The State of Texas, with Miss Barton and Red Cross workers aboard. Also meets Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, and provides supplies and cares for wounded Rough Riders and other soldiers following skirmishes near Siboney.
Elected Honorary President of The National Society of the Spanish War. Miss Barton resigns from the position after learning from Susan B. Anthony that the society did not accept African-American members.
Publishes The Red Cross in Peace and War.
June 6, 1900
Incorporation of American National Red Cross provides for a limited protection of the insignia.
September 8, 1900 Galveston, Texas - Hurricane and Tidal Wave.
Based in Galveston and Houston, Miss Barton directs her last major field relief work in the wake of a storm which left 6,000 dead. In two months, the operation distributes $120,000 worth of money and supplies and one and a half million strawberry plants.
Heads U. S. delegation to the International Conference of the Red Cross in St. Petersburg, Russia.
American Red Cross establishes short-lived Department of First Aid for the Injured.
Although aligned with the Universalist Church, Clara Barton becomes a defender of Mary Baker Eddy and the Christian Science faith. Like many people of the Victorian era, Miss Barton also has interests in faith healing, astrology, and spiritualism.
December 1903 Butler, Pennsylvania - Typhoid Fever Epidemic.
Miss Barton travels to the scene, distributes supplies, and then turns the relief project over to local authorities.
Publishes A Story of the Red Cross.
May 14, 1904
Resigns as President of the American National Red Cross, in wake of mounting criticism of her management style, ability and age.
Establishes the National First Aid Association of America and serves as honorary president for five years. The organization emphasizes basic first aid instruction, emergency preparedness and develops first aid kits. Ambulance brigades are formed in conjunction with police and fire departments, as well as in industrial settings.
Publishes The Story of My Childhood. Miss Barton intends to publish a series of short autobiographies detailing her life. This is the only volume she completes.
April 12, 1912
Clara Barton dies at her home in Glen Echo, Maryland at the age of 90. Burial follows in the family cemetery plot in Oxford, Massachusetts.
History from Wikipedia and OldCompanyResearch.com.