Clara Barton Museum

My dear Miss Barton

Clara Barton and Frederick Douglass had a long and warm relationship.

This is one letter Douglass wrote to Barton.

 Courtesy of LOC

Courtesy of LOC

Courtesy of the LOC

Courtesy of the LOC

Rochester: April 10th 1869

My dear Miss Barton:

I am just home from one of those wearing western towns, which I need not describe to you; and find your letter written with a tired hand and at a late hour.  Jan: 26. In fulfillment of your promise to write me the result of your interview with General Butler: I sincerely thank you for this letter. It tells me anew, of your devotion to suffering humanity is every form and of every Colour. While in the west, I saw a paper in which it was stated that you have already opened an establishment in Washington to gain employment to destitute colored women willing and able to work. I have seen nothing on the subject since. Your energy, zeal and influence lead me to believe that you are successfully at work. Have you really opened an establishment of any considerable dimensions? Do you find that the result justifies the undertaking? What can I do to help forward the Effort? I hope to be in Washington soon and will there be very glad to see you and learn all abou the good work in which you are engaged.

I have come home half sick. My system is much out of joint, but I hope that a few days of the quiet of house will set me all right again.

Believe you how [sic] Gen’l Butler as powerful in action as in word. It was a huge undertaking for you to encounter this General and seek to [sic] his judgement on the side of your wisely benevolent enterprise and much have been exceedingly gratifying to you, as it certainly is to me, to know.

Transcriber’s Note

You can view the original letter here.

The transcriber was not able to locate the specific article to which Mr. Douglass is referring however, it’s possible that the substance of that article mirrored this one, transcribed below:

War Upon Taxpayers

Miss Clara Barton wants Congress to give her two hundred thousand dollars worth of property, situate in the District of Columbia for the benefit of the man and brother, whom she proposes to educate for future congressional and presidential duties. The gentle Clara is strongly recommended for the position and the money by the erudite paternal Sumner, but, strangely enough, the New York Tribune favored the Freedmen’s Bureau scheme of perennial support for the man and brother, but it denounces occasional old clothes and intermittent dollars, even when dispensed by the fairy fingers of the amiable Clara. Horace surely lost his gallantry with his hat.

The New Orleans Crescent, April 3, 1869

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