Our National Chaplain
Clara Barton Installed in Royal Style
Clara Barton, President of the American Branch of the National Red Cross Association, having been elected as National Chaplain of WRCby Ninth National Convention, after her departure for the Pacific Slope, her installation was deferred until Oct. 2nd, when she was installed by past National President Elizabeth D’Arcy Kinne, at a brilliant reception tendered for her at the Occidental Hotel, San Francisco.
Besides representatives of The Relief Corps and the Grand Army of the Republic, there was present a full attendance of uniformed officers of the United States Army, stationed at San Francisco, in recognition of Clara Barton’s relations to the regular Armyby virtue of her office as President of the Red Cross Association.
Gertrude Gallagher, California’s faithful correspondent, who forwards an account,refers to the happy coincidence which associates Clars Barton’s initiation as a life honorary member of the Woman’s Relief Corps in 1886, and her installation as National Chaplain in 1891, with San Francisco and Lincoln Corps. In this connection is interesting to turn to page 125 1nd 129, Proceedings of the Fourth National Convention, as follows:
Initiation of Clara Barton
Mrs. R.J. Russell, Department President of California, stated that there were many who desired to be initiated during the Convention. Objections raised by National Senior Vice President, Mrs. Kinne and Mrs. S.A. Parker, Department President of Massachusetts. The National President Mrs. Fuller replied: “This can only be done by vote of Convention:but I would state that an 8important communication or request, has been received from the Grand Army of the Republic, asking that a lady whom they all venerate, whom they all delight to honor a lady who was as familiar to them during the war as their mothers—Miss Clara Barton, be made a member of our Order at this Convention.
Mirs. Annie Wittenmyer, National Chaplain: “It was my privilege to know Miss Barton During the War. Her case was a peculiar one, and I take pleasure in seconding the motion.
Freedom of the Relief Corps Conferred
The National President, Mrs. Fuller announced the first order of business was the initiation of Miss Clara Barton.
The President of the Lincoln Corps of San Francisco, Mrs. [ ] , and her staff,occupied the respective chairs and conducted the services, Miss Barton being initiated in the usual form. Mrs. Sherwood, Past National President, explained the objects of the Red Cross Association and alluded to the Iron Cross of Germany inferred upon Miss Barton for distinguished services in the Franco-Prussian War, stating that Miss Barton was the only woman who had been thus honored.
Mrs. Sherwood desired that the Convention should secure an appropriate for its newly initiated member. Moved by Mrs. Wittenmyer, that the National Convention suspend Rules and Regulations and a badge of a National Officer be presented to Mis Clara Barton, to which shall be suspended by a red cross by a yellow silk ribbon.
Motion carried by a raising vote
Moved by Mrs. Sherwood a committee of three was appointed to prepare a distinctive badge of honor for Miss Clara Barton, her name to be engraved across the bar, in place of word “President” and the red cross suspended from the bar. Mrs. Sherwood stated further that it was intended that the freedom of National Convention, Departments, and Corps be extended to Miss Barton.
Voted on motion by Mrs. E. Florence Barker, Past National President, that the committee has full power. The chair appointed Mrs. Kate H. Sherwood, Mrs. E Florence Barker,, and Mrs. Elizabeth D’Arcy Kinne a committee to procure the badge.
––Proceedings Fourth National Convention, pages 125-129.
Oue New National Chaplain
As instructed by the Fourth National Convention, the committee proceeded to act at once, and invested Clara Barton with a badge of pure California gold, properly inscribed and embellished with diamonds.
At the Ninth Convention intended was reiterated , and a certificate of honorary membership ordered the recipient. Later she was made National Chaplain by a rising vote.
National Tribune Washington, D.C. Thursday, October 22, 1891