Clara Barton Autograph Letter Signed Regarding POW Dorence Atwater -- ''...I am neither a prophet, nor the daughter of a prophet, nevertheless, more than five years ago I made a prophecy...''

Interesting autograph letter signed by Clara Barton, appealing to General Benjamin Butler on behalf of POW Dorence Atwater, and also regarding a prophecy she had five years ago, at the close of the Civil War and just after President Lincoln's assassination. Dated 17 April 1870, Barton is concerned with the plight of her friend Dorence Atwater, the POW who helped Barton identify and mark the graves of over 13,000 soldiers at Andersonville Prison. The federal government subsequently fined and imprisoned Atwater for not releasing his ''Death List'' of the Andersonville soldiers, but after a public outcry, pardoned him and then (with Barton and Butler's help) appointed him as Consul to the Republic of Seychelles.

Barton, however, was concerned that the same group who had imprisoned Atwater was now attempting to remove his Consular appointment. Letter reads in part, ''...You have noticed, perhaps, that Mr. Chandler's new 'Consular Bill', (if passed) abolishes Dorence Atwater's consulate (Seychelles) - Only He who knoweth all things, knows how hard I strove, with my little power, and fast failing strength, under an opposing Administration, to secure it, and 'fit him out' as I should have done for a young sick brother, and he has traveled half 'round the world to reach it, and held it a trifle over a year.

If really he must be set afloat again so summarily I shall still be glad that he has had it, for he has done well, - gained in strength, and health, - paid the last debt hanging over him through his court-martial and imprisonment [Atwater had to pay $300 to be released], had one year of peace and security, performed his duties well, and established himself as a competent, honest, and prompt Government officer capable of holding a position of much greater importance and trust.

The first day that I saw the 'Bill', I addressed a note to Governor Buckingham, also Mr. Sumner, asking, if Mr. Atwater must lose his present Consulate, that another be given him, and I hoped that with these two applications, I could feel secure, and satisfied, without troubling you. - but it is impossible. Others mean well, always speak me kindly - but it is only you who even help me to accomplish, and I pray your pardon General for the trespass which asks you to give this little matter one moments thought, (if you think proper) see that Mr. Atwater be left undisturbed or point out to Gov. Buckingham a suitable Consulate somewhere else, and have him demand it in the name of his state. Please do not let them make him some Consul's clerk, for he is more capable of standing at the head than most men whom he would be sent to serve. There will be Consul Generals appointed under that 'Bill' if it pass, of far less capability than Dorence Atwater...

Perhaps I am unduly sensitive, but I dread to think of those sleek, comfortably situated tormentors of his at the War Dept. exulting over his discomfit. With all he has had to pay out of his little salary in this first year and a half of beginnings, I cannot imagine how he can have saved enough by this time to take him home again - true, it is very possible he might never want to go, but it is always cheerful, to feel that one can...''

Barton then continues with her intriguing ''prophecy'', writing, ''I am neither a prophet, nor the daughter of a prophet, nevertheless, more than five years ago I made a prophecy, but no one would listen to me; and through all the intervening time I have openly proclaimed it, and no one would believe me, until now, within a few months, one here and there commences to discern for himself, and nods sagaciously, and believes himself the most far seeing of politicians, and wisest of men: They have all only to wait a little, to be wiser yet. I will not name my prophesy to you, my good friend, for you may not be ready to admit it yet, but in the day of its fulfilment you will be there to see...Clara Barton''.

Beautifully penned letter runs three pages, written from the U.S. Consulate in Switzerland, where Barton was then residing. Letter on card-style stationery measures 5.25'' x 8.25''. Folds and light chipping, otherwise near fine condition. With full transcription.

Price: $2,000
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Clara Barton Autograph Letter Signed Regarding POW Dorence Atwater -- ''...I am neither a prophet, nor the daughter of a prophet, nevertheless, more than five years ago I made a prophecy...''Clara Barton Autograph Letter Signed Regarding POW Dorence Atwater -- ''...I am neither a prophet, nor the daughter of a prophet, nevertheless, more than five years ago I made a prophecy...''Clara Barton Autograph Letter Signed Regarding POW Dorence Atwater -- ''...I am neither a prophet, nor the daughter of a prophet, nevertheless, more than five years ago I made a prophecy...''Clara Barton Autograph Letter Signed Regarding POW Dorence Atwater -- ''...I am neither a prophet, nor the daughter of a prophet, nevertheless, more than five years ago I made a prophecy...''
Clara Barton Autograph Letter Signed Regarding POW Dorence Atwater -- ''...I am neither a prophet, nor the daughter of a prophet, nevertheless, more than five years ago I made a prophecy...''
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