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Barton, Clara.

LETTER: ALS, Feb 5, 1906.


"Affections, Clara Barton"
Barton, Clara. Autograph letter signed, "Clara Barton," to Miss Kensel; Glen Echo; Monday, February 5, 1906; single leaf of heavy-stock grey paper; recto and verso; black ink.
"Miss Kensel" was Mary Kensel, the secretary of the National First Aid Association, and Barton's close friend; Kensel was 26 years old in 1905 - when she acquired the post as Barton's secretary - and Barton was 84. Kensel married Roscoe Wells, who served as the Association's treasurer, vice president, and assistant to the president (Barton).
A warm, concerned letter from Barton to Kensel; she briefly discusses some practical financial matters, and then informs Kensel that:
My dress maker is here for a couple of days, in view of the suffrage convention in Baltimore, 7th to 13th. You are all too hard-worked to think of it - but [           ] will realize that the Banquet, and U.R.C. meeting comes just in the middle of this - viz from tho 12th to 14th - and Miss Anthony's birthday reception is on the 15 - what a mix up it all is to one interested in both - I am bound to disappoint some of them.
Barton goes on to reveal her dependence on Kensel and Wells: "I am constantly worrying a little for me to do - about you and Roscoe. It will be most disastrous that if either of you break down - for one means both - as the other is sure to over do, when one fails." She insists that Kensel give her some work to do herself, and even writes that Kensel and Wells need assistants, "and the money to pay them with." In closing, she writes, "It is long past midnight but I could not sleep for thinking of you two tired children."
After her resignation from the Red Cross, Barton founded and headed the National First Aid Association. Although she organized the Association out of her home in Glen Echo, Maryland, its headquarters were located in Boston.
A wonderful personal letter: evidence of Barton's affection toward, and treatment of, her secretary, and a link to Susan B. Anthony and the women's suffrage movement.  
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