Clara Barton to the American People
Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly
By Reverend Peter MacQueen
Page 6 of 7
The photograph caption read, “The Red Cross dock at Santiago – Spanish soldiers waiting for distribution of rations. – Governor’s Palace on the hill in the background.”
“Spontaneously someone on the deck began to sing, ‘Praise God from whom all blessing flow.’ The grand old hymn was taken up by the Red Cross staff, by the crew, by everyone on board. It showed how full our hearts all were. Then, as if to round it off and make it yet more appropriate, some clear, sweet voice began: ‘From Greenland’s icy mountains to India’s coral strand.’ You know the shore formation here is coral, and we sang that hymn with all our souls in it. Then darkness fell, and all was still; the tropic night came on, so beautiful and sown with stars. It was a new era in history. So shall they say to future centuries did the Americans conquer Santiago.
“Next morning we saw the flagship New York come sailing into the bay. ‘Here comes Sampson at last,’ I thought, ‘to take the laurels of his victory. They will come with a mighty parade in their great ships of steel.’ But no; he has only one ship. He glides slowly up to us; he casts anchor astern of the State of Texas. Then Admiral Sampson and Commodore Schley come aboard and thank us and congratulate us. They stay all day and watch us as we unload. At the sound of a bell eighty stevedores begin to unload, and in three days the ship is empty.
‘Admiral,’ I said, ‘there was some doubt about our being able to unload.’ ‘Miss Barton,’ replied Sampson, ‘tell the world that the Red Cross Society don’t need any advice. She only needed an opportunity. If any trouble happens you, let me know.’
We are helping the soldiers, though, as I said, the money to buy these…”
Clara Barton National Historic Site, CLBA 4512