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and sick of armies. The Red Cross means, then, the people's help for suffering through military necessities (a help hitherto mainly ignored), and it is the result and the direct outgrowth of an international treaty, entered into by the civilized nations of the world for the mitigation of the sufferings from war, by first eliminating from its code all needless cruelties and old-time barbarities; and, secondly, by rendering neutral and exempt from capture all disabled soldiers requiring aid, all appliances, all material, and all personnel designed for them.
It is to be borne in mind, and not for an instant lost sight of, that while other methods leading up to these points have been always the outgrowth of the grandest human sentiments of mankind, they still remained sentiments, usually individual, and, beyond this, binding on no one ; or, if organized for the moment, were lost as soon ; while the Red Cross, embodying all these humanities, organizes and pledges the entire world, through its governments, to the one purpose and effort, and binds the whole by the stern sacredness of an international treaty, which no government will ever be found reckless and indecent enough to violate. The non-fellowship of the world would follow such an act. Indeed, no nation has a treaty it would hold so sacred in time of need.
Following a preliminary conference of 1863, a convention, composed of delegates appointed by and representing the heads of all the governments of the world, was held at Geneva, Switzerland, for the purpose of considering some method for mitigating the horrors of war, if wars must be.
our State Department ; the communications were all in foreign languages, and they seemed almost incomprehensible to the American mind.
“ From the year 1877 to 1881, we see Miss Barton in a new rôle. She translated, wrote, published, and lectured, all at her own expense, trying to educate some minds into the work of the Red Cross. In constant communication with the heads of foreign governments, with the eyes of all of them watching and waiting for the success of this patient, earnest, pleading woman with her stubborn nation, ready to publish the least progress in her task, it was not until 1881, at the commencement of President Garfield's administration, that her labors had any success. President Garfield and his Cabinet listened, comprehended, and approved.
President Arthur faithfully carried out his noble predecessor's idea. After one year's consideration, during which Miss Barton personally explained, before the Senate and House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Relations, the work of the Red Cross, the United States unanimously acceded to the Treaty of Geneva.
Since the adhesion of the United States to this treaty, there have been two International Conferences, to which Congress appointed Miss Barton as chief delegate to represent the United States. The conferences were com
And however disdainfully we at the present moment may curl our lips over the uselessness of such a consideration in the light of better methods, however scorn every thought of any effort in behalf of the woes of those who consent to deluge the world in blood, it is to be remembered that we ourselves at that moment were not altogether exempt from the perplexing problem of war, and did not, as now, present to the world the grand and beautiful “ Christian example ” of arbitration and peace, of which we are at present the most advisory and conspicuous of advocates. Indeed, whoever will take down from the shelves one of the volumes of decisions of our then Minister of State, Mr. Seward, will find there recorded that the reason given for the United States having declined official representation in the Convention of Geneva was not on the ground of high moral elevation, advanced views and consequent disapproval, but rather in this wise, that we were ourselves in the midst of a cruel and relentless war, which did not admit of time for considerations of that kind. This decision was the first block over which a woman ungracefully stumbled, when, thirteen years later, an attempt was made to officially call the attention of our government to the knowledge even of the existence of such a treaty among other nations.
This convention, which occupied several days, discussed as never before the great question of an international agreement for the neutralizing of certain departments of all fields of bat
posed of delegates sent by the heads of the nations adhering to the treaty. The first conference met in Paris, the second in Berlin, the third in Geneva, the fourth in Carlsruhe. Miss Barton was present at the two latter.
“ The legal application of the Red Cross to great national calamities, already referred to as the American Amendment to the Red Cross, is the work of Clara Barton.
“ The practical demonstrations of the administrations of the American Amendment, which Miss Barton has had to lead in and carry on, are : First, in the relief work of the Michigan forest fires ; second, in the overflow of the Mississippi River in 1882 ; third, in the cyclone of Lousiana in 1883, and the floods of the Ohio River in the same year ; fifth, in the overflow of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in 1884. In the drought of Texas in 1886. In the Mount Vernon cyclone, Ill., in 1887. In the yellow fever pestilence of Florida. And in 1889, when the world received the shock of the Johnstown horror, we see this wonderful being, like some subtle, silent, force, appearing noiselessly on a scene of such horrors as a Dante never conceived, and by the power of her wiil and a remarkable endurance, as if by the hand of an enchantress, work order out of horror and chaos, restoring life and comfort where all was before desolation and death !
“ These feeble words are all I can now say in this brief way of the work of Clara Barton—The Woman in the Red Cross !”
tle, and the protection of all the personnel and material designed for them.
The establishment, as it were, of a goal in the midst of the most relentless field of animosity and strife, where those who could no longer run could touch and be safe ; as if, in the midst of the wildest storm at sea, a haven could be established in mid-ocean where the disabled ships might find a harbor and rest.
The councils of this convention resulted in the formulation of a code of ten articles, which, upon solemn acceptance by the heads of each government, became the treaty of Geneva. These articles were as follows:
ARTICLE I. Ambulances (field hospitals) and military hospitals shall be acknowledged to be neutral, and as such shall be protected and respected by belligerents so long as any sick or wounded may be therein. Such neutrality shall cease if the ambulances or hospitals should be held by a military force.
ARTICLE 2. Persons employed in hospitals and ambulances, comprising the staff for superintendence, medical service, administration, transport of wounded, as well as chaplains, shall participate in the benefit of neutrality while so employed, and so long as there remain any to bring in or to suc
ARTICLE 3. The persons designated in the preceding article may, even after occupation by the enemy, continue to fulfill their duties in the hospital or ambulance which they may have, or may withdraw in order to regain the corps to which they belong. Under such circumstances, when the persons shall cease from their functions, they shall be delivered by the occupying army to the outposts of the enemy. They shall have specially the right of sending a representative to the headquarters of their respective armies.
ARTICLE 4. As the equipment of military hospitals remains subject to the laws of war, persons attached to such hospitals cannot, on withdrawing, carry away any articles but such as are their private property. Under the same circumstances an ambulance shall, on the contrary, retain its equipment.
ARTICLE 5. Inhabitants of the country who may bring help to the wounded shall be respected and shall remain free. The generals of the belligerent powers shall make it their care to inform the inhabitants of the appeal addressed to their humanity, and of the neutrality which will be the consequence of it. Any wounded man, entertained and taken care of in a house, shall be considered as a protection thereto. Any inhabitant, who shall have entertained wounded men in his house, shall be exempted from the quartering of troops as well as from a part of the contributions of war which may be imposed.
ARTICLE 6. Wounded or sick soldiers shall be entertained and taken care of to whatever nation they may belong. Commanders-in-chief shall have the power to deliver immediately to the outposts of the enemy soldiers who have been wounded in an engagement, when circumstances permit this to be done, and with the consent of both parties. Those who are recognized, after they are healed, as incapable of serving, shall be sent back to their country. The others may also be sent back on condition of not again bearing arms during the continuance of the war. Evacuations, together with the persons under whose directions they take place, shall be protected by an absolute neutrality.
ARTICLE 7. A distinctive and uniform flag shall be adopted for hospitals, ambulances, and evacuations. It must on every occasion be accompanied by the national flag. An arm badge [brassard ] shall also be allowed for individuals neutralized, but the delivery thereof shall be left to military authority. The flag and arm badge shall bear a red cross on a white ground.
ARTICLE 8. The details of execution of the present convention shall be regulated by the commanders-in-chief of belligerent armies, according to the instructions of their respective government and in conformity with the general principles laid down in this convention.
ARTICLE 9. The high contracting powers have agreed to communicate the present convention to those governments which have not found it convenient to send plenipotentiaries to the international convention at Geneva, with an invitation to accede thereto; the protocol is, for that purpose, left open.
ARTICLE 10. The present convention shall be ratified, and the ratification shall be exchanged at Berne, in four months, or sooner if possible.
The nations adopting the Treaty are :
Netherlands, November 29, 1864.
Spain, December 5, 1864. Sweden and Norway, Dec. 13, 1864. Denmark, December 15, 1864. Baden, December 16, 1864.
Greece, January 17, 1865. Great Britain, February 18, 1865. Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Mar. 9, 1865. Prussia, June 22, 1865.
Turkey, July 5, 1865. Wurtemberg, June 2, 1866.
Hesse Darmstadt, June 22, 1866. Bavaria, June 30, 1866.
Austria, July 21, 1866. Portugal, August 9, 1866.
Saxony. October 25, 1866.
Pontifical States, May 9, 1868.
Bolivia, October 16, 1879.
Argentine Republic, Nov. 25, 1879. Peru, April 22, 1880.
United States, March 1, 1882. Bulgaria, March 1, 1884.
Japan, June 5, 1886. Luxembourg, October 5, 1888.
The United States of America was the thirty-second in order. This treaty has changed not only the methods of procedure of the medical and hospital departments of all armies, but their insignia, flags, etc. There is but one military hospital flag in the world to day. The commander who knows his own, knows that of the enemy, and he breaks an interpational treaty if he knowingly turns even a gun or a stray shot upon it. The convoy of prisoners under escort bearing that sign is safe ; no officer can fire upon that unarmed and defenseless body of men by “mistake”; no “mistake "can be made nor pretend to be made. No captured men can longer suffer for lack of food; the world is pledged to supply this want, and the way is opened to do it. No fields nor hospitals can lack attendance, nursing, nor the necessaries of life ; to this relief the way is opened. No wounded men can lie unat
tended upon a field, and no attendant upon them can be captured. No distinction can be made in the care of the sick and wounded. By the articles of the treaty, all are non-combatants, all neutrals, and hence one common relation for all.
At the conclusion of the convention, the body of gentlemen of Switzerland who had convened it were designated by choice of the governments as the international head by whom all general intercourse between nations upon the subject of warrelief should be directed, and through whom all communications should be made. This is the “ International Committee of Geneva.”
The first action of a country after the adoption of the treaty, is to form a National Society, or committee, through which the International Committee may communicate with the government of that country. To this National Society is committed the care of all communications from the International Committee to the government of a country, whether relating to the work of war relief in other nations, or to their methods of advancement, e.g. to observe if the provisions of the treaty are duly regarded by its military departments ; if the suitable orders are given for the spread of such knowledge among the troops at the field ; if the appropriate insignia is worn by them; the arrangement for attendance upon international conferences in which the government is represented, and reports to foreign powers on such occasions. Naturally, but one National Society or body of administration in a country is, or can be, recognized, either by the government at home, or the international authorities abroad, on the same principle that but one Department of War, or State, could be recognized. To this body is submitted the direction of such aid as shall be rendered by its country for the relief of suffering from the calamities of war in other countries, such aid always passing through the neutral hands of the “ International Committee" for application ; thus wisely avoiding national jealousies. The best inventions and most improved machinery and methods for the convenient handling, nursing, and treatment of disabled persons from whatever cause, in either military or civil life, for the last twenty-five years, are directly traceable to the thought and endeavors of the Red Cross, through its wise encouragement thereof, and the necessities revealed upon the fields of war which it sought to relieve.
To turn now to the little part taken by our government and people in this world-wide humanity, we shall find ourselves subjects for the adage of the “short horse soon curried.” As