Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A Proclamation
His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick

Whereas Clarissa Harlowe Barton was born on Christmas Day, 1821, in North Oxford, Massachusetts; and

Whereas The youngest child of Stephen and Sarah Barton, Clara was never at a loss for education from her four siblings, who took it upon themselves to instruct her in such disciplines as spelling, arithmetic, geography, and athletics; and

Whereas Following an impressive tenure as an educator in Worcester County, Massachusetts, and in a school in North Oxford which she had established herself, Clara desired a change and enrolled in the Liberal Institute in Clinton, New York, an advanced school for teachers; and

Whereas During the Civil War, Clara advertised for supplies and distributed goods to wounded soldiers directly to the front lines before her appointment to the position of Superintendent of Union Nurses, where she persuaded President Lincoln to allow her to begin a letter-writing campaign to search for missing soldiers; and

Whereas After the war, Clara traveled to Europe to regain her health, and it was there that she learned of the Red Cross and the Treaty of Geneva – a treaty signed by 12 nations designed to provide relief for sick and wounded soldiers – which she vowed to incorporate in the United States; and

Whereas Thanks to her diligent efforts, the United States signed the Geneva Agreement in 1882 and formed the American Red Cross in 1881, which Clara would serve as President until 1904; and

Whereas Clara Barton passed away on April 12th, 1912, yet her immortal words, “You must never so much as think whether you like it or not, whether it is bearable or not; you must never think of anything except the need, and how to meet it,” ring true to this day,

Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim December 25th- 31st, 2011, to be

Clara Barton Days (Week)

And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this fifteenth day of December, in the year two thousand and eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

By His Excellency                  

Deval L. Patrick                      
Governor of the Commonwealth      

William Francis Galvin             
Secretary of the Commonwealth  

God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts