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The Red Cross

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The Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

The International Committee of the Red Cross was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1864 by Henri Dunant as a result of the horror of the Crimean War. The Red Cross congresses were the first “Geneva Conventions”.

Crimean War,; Henri Dunant was a co-recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901


The American Red Cross was founded by Adolphus Simeon Solomons and Clara Barton in New York, May 1881, who lobbied the International commitee in Geneva for admittance which was accepted in 1892. New York City was nearing the end of a massive influenza epidemic at the time, blamed on poor Russian immigrants who crowded into slums after escaping the pogroms of their motherland.

Adolphus Solomons from Brooklyn, NY, who served the ARC as vice-president, was also the American agent of the Baron de Hirsch Fund and founder of the American Jewish Historical Society as well as a prominent businessman in Washington, D.C.

Clara Barton and A. Solomons attended the Red Cross convention in Geneva in 1894 where Solomons was elected as vice-president of the International organization. In less than 10 years time, before the ARC received its official charters, Barton resigned her post as the elected president “with resentment” over unresolved conflicts, citing a rift with Solomons as the cause.

In 1900, the US Congress issued the American Red Cross a charter for its services in the Spanish-American War providing  trained nurses. The Army created its own Nursing Corps in 1901 and the Red Cross continued to train nurses and volunteers as home health aids.

A second charter to the ARC was issued in 1905, “reincorporating” and formalizing the executive structure of the organization under the control of the Tafts and Daniel Coit Gilman (Johns Hopkins Univ. president), co-founders of Yale’s Skull and Bones society, and naming the President of the US as the nominal head.

“The First World War helped transform the American Red Cross into a powerful social force. At the onset of the war [1914], the ARC had 562 chapters and about 500,000 members…by the end of the war, there were 3,724 chapters, 17,000 branches, and over 31 million members (adults and children)”…   The Junior Red Cross, set up for American schoolchildren, open to all girls and boys for the requisite pledge of 25 cents per child;

In 1917, before the US officially entered WWI,  Pres. Wilson appointed Henry Pomeroy Davison to direct the ARC and chair its War Council. Davison, who had been a senior partner of JPMorgan & Co., initiated a campaign for donations with a goal of $100 million, money that would co-sponsor mobile laboratories and supply trains with the Rockefeller Foundation. [John D. Rockefeller’s mother, Eliza Davison, may have been a relation]. H.P. Davison’s two sons, F. Trubee Davison and H.P. Davison Jr., were directors of the CIA and Time magazine respectively.

1917 RED CROSS COMMISSIONS to Russia and Roumania: were mobilized in Chicago on July 28, 1917 and five days later sailed from Vancouver to Yokahama, proceeded to Vladisvostock and Harbin (Manchuria) by special train over the Trans-Siberian Railroad to Petrograd. A second train followed with a destination to Archangel, Russia. Coincident with the arrival of the American Red Cross, the Bolsheviks won control of the Petrograd Soviet in September of 1917. Dates of the Russian Revolution:

Prinicipal members of the Commission to Roumania:

Lt. Col. Henry W. Anderson, Dr. Francis Peabody, Bernard Flexner, Dr. Harry G. Wells, Dr. Robert C. Bryan, Dr. Roger G. Perkins

Commission to Russia – Major Charles Turner Williams, who was a friend of Henry P. Davison and a banker with Fidelity Trust Co. of Baltimore, was at the port of Archangel during the arrival of supply ships –decribed the docking of the Portonia on Sept.11, 1917– and reveals that many of the major events of the Revolution took place in an area in front of the Hotel Europe. Maj. Williams also describes the supervisor at Archangel, Lt.Col. William B. Thompson, as “pro-Bolshevist”. The American public and many of the leadership believed that desperation in Russia would force it to drop out of the war (unless resupplied by the allies) which would free up the German army to leave the Eastern front and join the fighting in France. Thompson was to say “There is enough food in Russia. The food situation, in the opinion of the Commission, is primarily a matter of transportation and ecomonic adjustment”. The Bolsheviks were suspected of having made their own peace with the Germans regardless, and the chaos of revolution ensured it was no longer able to mount an offensive.

William Boyce Thompson, born in Virginia City, Montana in 1869, became a wealthy industrialist as the owner of Newmont Mining, the third wealthiest mining operation in the world, and he also established a premier reseach institute for plant physiology in Yonkers. Technically, the commander of the Red Cross Commission to Russia was Dr. Frank Billings, who was noted to have always believed himself to be on a “scientific mission”, however, the powerful cadre of J.P.Morgan associates at the head of every Red Cross agency left little in question about its larger purposes.

It was the task of the Red Cross War Council “to raise great sums of money for the support of the work to be done..upon a great scale” and “transform it into an efficient arm of the government”. Red Cross work was an extension of the revitalization of the House of Morgan, which had taken losses from the collapse of the New Haven Railroad and other overcapitalized properties. “The beginning of the European hostilities, however, found JPMorgan&Co. fortuitously appointed fiscal agent in the United States for the British and French governments. As such it took charge of the vast war purchases of the Allies…The crisis for the banking house was averted.”

The ARC chief of the Commission to France, Maj. Grayson M.P. Murphy who was a senior VP of Guaranty Trust, was later involved in the “Plot to Seize the White House”, a military coup d’etat that was staged for 1934 and foiled by Gen. Smedley Butler.

Meanwhile, during WWI the services of the Red Cross were just as desperately needed elsewhere: “A flood disaster in Tien-tsin, which rendered 400,000 Chinese destitute, made American assistance urgently necessary in October, 1917. At the request of the American Minister to China, the American Red Cross formed a relief organization headed by Roger Green, of the Rockefeller China Medical Board, and provided an initial fund of $125,000 for its use.”

The scope of activity and funding of the American Red Cross during the last year of WWI and many months that followed the armistice on 11-11-18 is here:



 Version of the Red Cross

      One of the founders of the American Red Cross. He was born in New
York, 1826 and died in Washington, D.C., 1910. At the age of 14 he enlisted
as color-guide in the 3rd Regiment Washington Greys (New York Militia). In
1851 he was promoted Special Despatch Bearer to Berlin by Daniel Webster,
then Secretary of State. In this capacity he visited the Jewish ward in a
Frankfort Hospital, and on his return he raised a fund to aid in the
founding of Mt. Sinai Hospital. From 1891 to his retirement in 1903 he was
general agent of the Baron de Hirsch Fund in America. He was one of the
incorporators of the American Red Cross, and of the N.Y. New Era Club.

Written by citizen2009

November 18, 2009 at 6:54 pm

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