American Volunteerism in France
- Published in History
The Development of relief work, in and out of war.
ON THE EVE of World War I, the American ambassador in Paris, Myron T. Herrick, organized a committee to oversee American volunteer activities in France(1). Memories of 1870 were in the air and Herrick was acting in the same spirit as his predecessor, Elihu Washburne, Minister of the American Legation throughout the Franco-Prussian War. In 1870, Washburne, as representative of a neutral nation, had been given the responsibility of looking after the interests of the German Confederation in France and had maintained a stance of strict impartiality towards the French while, at the same time, sheltering thousands of "enemy" refugees on the premises of his legation(2). Following Washburne's example, however, did not prevent Herrick from actively supporting the French Cause(3), first of all in France and then in the United States.
While the United States under Woodrow Wilson allowed the harshest years of the Great War to pass before joining the fray in 1917, a number of American volunteers joined the French cause from the outset, often tipping their hats to Lafayette in so doing. It should be immediately emphasized that two quite different visions of the world reign on either side of the Atlantic. The use of the terms volunteer and volunteerism to describe the expression of American good will might easily be misinterpreted in France. American culture is by definition what the French call volontaire, "willful". To cut oneself off from one's roots, to set off in the face of uncertainty and to become the architect of one's own future are ever so many acts testifying to American confidence in will alone. In France, on the other hand, the willful quality of the soul receives no particular attention. The crusaders, for example, were men of faith. It was only after the wars of religion, under Henri IV, that the French began to refer to volunteers, meaning volunteer soldiers.
In France today, the new appearance on the scene of what Americans call volunteer has been dubbed bénévole, while it was only in the 1950s, after the proliferation of "non-governmental" activities in France, backed by the Law of 1901, that the term bénévolat, "volunteerism" has finally found its place in the French dictionary. The emergence of fields where a person could be identified by his or her good will had not proved to be self-evident in a culture of Latin and Catholic cast where bene volens characterizes all persons of faith. It is the practice of this faith which is valued, a practice motivated more by moral and social duty than by will. The French Revolution and progressive secularization of French society, particularly after the separation of Church and State in 1905, were the necessary prerequisites for a change of perspective. As the role of the Church in everyday life diminished, movement of organized good deeds began to develop in France, influenced both by the examples of French Protestants and of foreigners such as the American "volunteers" in France whose activities had already been noted, particularly in the field of medical assistance
During the second half of the 19th century, a little American colony in Paris carried out many of its volunteer activities through its two Protestant churches: the American Church(4) and the Church of the Holy Trinity(5). By far the most famous of the Colony's "volunteers", active in both churches in fact, was Dr. Thomas Wiltberger Evans(6), dental surgeon to the Emperor and to most of Europe's nobility. Dr. Evans devoted enormous energies to enriching the great European movement for civilian assistance to wounded soldiers with the practical experience of American volunteers on the battlefields of the Civil War.
Evans, as Henry Dunant(7) had witnessed the sufferings of the innumerable wounded of the battle of Solferino(8) and had naturally joined with the European elite (many of them his clients) in promoting the International Societies for Assistance to Wounded Soldiers(9), launched by Dunant and recognized by the Geneva Convention of 1864. In a book he published in French in Paris in 1866, Evans described the activities of the Sanitary Commission(10), which had come to the aid of the wounded of the Civil War (1861-1865). Evans published other books(11) on the theme of the care of wounded soldiers, while more concretely drawing the attention of Europeans to the fruits of the American experience through the presentation of his personal collection of American first aid materiel in a pavilion at Paris' World Fair of 1867.(12)
Three years later, Evans put his collection to work during the Siege of Paris, outfitting a complete tent hospital(13), the American Ambulanceat this time, the term ambulance referred to an "ambulatory" or field hospital set up in tents, barracks or other buildings taken over for this usepitched on a vacant lot a few hundred yards downhill from the Arch of Triumph(14). The American Ambulance was staffed by volunteers, its doctors, experienced veterans of the Civil War, and its non-medical personnel composed of members of the Colony. It was in this ambulance that many French first became aware of the efficiency of American "volunteer" action.
During the forty some years of peace that followed the Siege of Paris, Americans in France continued their charitable works, if in less spectacular ways. In the early 1880s, the American Church ran a dispensary(15) and the Episcopalians(16) organized to help the needy among their French neighbors(17). The faithful of both churches were also quite concerned about the moral welfare of the increasing numbers of young American students, and American women in particular, who were living in the "disreputable" neighborhoods of the Left Bank(18). They therefore set out to promote missionary-type volunteer activities among students in the name of Saint Luke, "artist and physician"(19).
During the fall of 1889, a couple associated with the American Church began to organize student gatherings in their apartment in the Latin Quarter. This initiative was approved by the Episcopalians(20) and led to the establishment of "reading rooms" and the founding of St. Luke's Chapel, first in an apartment and then, in 1892, in a prefabricated building erected in a garden next to the Keller Institute on the Rue de Chevreuse(21). The following year, Mrs. Whitelaw Reid, the wife of the ambassador, working in collaboration with the pastor of the Holy Trinity Church, Dr. Morgan(22), took a step beyond the reading rooms by transforming the building of the Keller Institute into a home for American women students(23). A center for many volunteer activities, Mrs. Reid's "home" would lead to the creation of a second center for female students, the Trinity Lodge(24). A third center, the British-American YWCA, which would become the International Student Hostel(25), was founded by Grace Whitney Hoff.
The Lodge had a medical function as well since, in addition to rooms reserved for sick students, it included a clinic(26). In fact, at the end of the 19th century, the number of Americans in Paristhe Colony, the students on the Left Bank and massive influxes of touristssometimes reached 100,000 during the high season. French hospitals were not always easy of access to foreigners and the American dispensaries were not able to accommodate the needs of such a population. The Colony thus launched the American Hospital of Paris(27) which finally opened its doors in 1910, on Rue Chauveau, in Neuilly-sur-Seine.
During the first days of the war, Myron T. Herrick, accompanied by the Director of the American Hospital, went to the Surgeon General of the French Army and proposed that they recreate the "American Ambulance" in the backyard of the American Hospital(28). The general countered by suggesting Americans could do what the Red Cross Societies could not: convert the gigantic building of Neuilly's nearby Lycée Pasteur into their "ambulance". Here was a challenge to American willpower ! Could the governing board of a little 24-bed hospital be convinced to organize the management and underwriting of a military hospital twenty times larger than their own and one to be staffed almost entirely by volunteers recruited in the United States ?
The American Ambulance quickly became the focus of American volunteer efforts in France, the first volunteers, as in 1870, coming from the ranks of the Colony, students and visiting tourists(29).
Soon, other young men and women would be taking the reverse route of several centuries of migration in order to join the first American volunteers. While few were of French parentage, it was remembered that France had played an important role in the founding of the United States. During the War of Independence, 17,000 French soldiers had come to the rescue of General Washington's army and the constitution of the future nation had been influenced by the ideas of the French Enlightenment. In the course of the 19th century, the United States expanded and attracted wave upon wave of immigrants again with few French among themconstituting a heterogeneous whole which generally assimilated itself to the value system held sacred by the Founding Fathers of English language and culture. Within this new nation, the elite increasingly turned towards France in its search for cultural refinement, as had always been the wont of its English "cousins"(30), while the Grand Tour of the Old World, including France, became a success symbol for any assimilated immigrant. But beyond simple cultural and social motivations, there had to be an even more compelling reason to prompt anyone to endure weeks of being tossed about at sea under the constant threat of submarine attack.
At the same time, the appeal for volunteer warriors in 1914 proved to be feeble. During the first month of the war, the association Amitiés Françaises recruited volunteers of many nationalities for the French Foreign Legion. At the end of the month, the War Ministry made its selection and tens of thousands of young men were enlisted, including 2,000 Italians, 2,000 Russians, but only 200 Americans, including those from South America(31). Thereafter, French authorities showed little interest in encouraging young Americans to join the military effort(32).
Those responsible for mobilizing American volunteers in Paris let it be known that what France needed most of all was humanitarian aid. What was proposed would not require any skill with firearms. Appeal was made to a tradition of volunteerism which had been developed through the general tendency for Americans to join together for common purpose(33), such as in the Sanitary Commission during the Civil War and through various forms of social action developed in the shadows of modern urban life. What was being spoken to, however, was not the militant socialism of the oppressed working classes, but the tradition of charity among the ruling classes, who were both Anglophiles and Francophiles and sensitive to the age-old watchword, noblesse oblige. Florence Nightingale the "woman with the lamp" as Longfellow called her, had shown the way which so many others would follow(34), Henry Dunant at their head under the banner of his red cross.
Finally, American volunteer efforts would contribute towards their country's ultimate decision to enter the war in April 1917. One cannot underestimate the role played by the written descriptions of the volunteers' experiences. Letters, stories, eye-witness reports, appeals were all published in local American newspapers or in book form. From the horrors of war to heroics, all tended to place the far-away war in the realm of the non-material. The average American citizen, already an avid reader of the cowboy adventures of the Far West or the exploits of the knigh ts of the Round Table, could not easily remain indifferent to these real life descriptions, most of them set against the background of a Manichaean struggle between civilized France and the barbaric "Huns". Consequently for the American population, long before the Zimmermann telegram proved to be the last straw, the war "over there" had more to do with passionate drama than with political or economic interest. Now that the American West had been won, "novelty" and adventure were to be found to the east. To set out to help France represented the opportunity to don a heroic role and thus, across the Atlantic, came many a Good Samaritan bent on helping the Stranger, or Knights-in-Shining-Armor determined to save Civilization in the "war to end all wars.".
The Geneva Convention of 1864 had linked the movement for medico-social action to the principle of Human Rights. Once wounded, the citizen soldier reverted to the universal man and those who came to his rescue were recognized to be politically neutral. The "International Societies' were organized by national groups: German, English, Belgian Red Crosses... In 1914, many of these groups had already had the experience of confronting the consequences of war and of natural catastrophes.
Americans would integrate their volunteer activities(35) into the general movement of assistance brought by the civilian population to the victims of a devastating war. A wave of violence had submerged Belgium in July-August 1914, and swept towards Paris. Stopped at the Marne, it drew back and was held off for three years as two immobile forces pounded away at each other along a front stretching from the Somme to the Vosges.
The relief movement was immediately organized on both sides of the front. Soldiers were the first to benefit from attention, but help was also directed to refugees and to other non-combatants. Priority was given first to medical, then social needs.
Throughout this seemingly interminable struggle where millions were to perish, the heavy flow of wounded soldiers never ceased. On the front, once hit, the soldier was picked up by stretcher bearers or had to find his own way back to the first aid station. From there, he would be evacuated by ambulance car back to the field hospitals which, as in previous wars, were set up in any space available. Finally, if necessary, he would be transported by car or train back to the Parisian hospitals.
Outside of already existing institutions, most of the war hospitals were organized by the Red Cross. The French Red Cross rapidly set up more than 1,500 auxiliary hospitals in France, including 300 in Paris alone. The Italian, Greek, Swedish and Spanish colonies each established a "foreign" hospital in Paris. The Danish colony converted two barges into temporary hospitals. The British Red Cross, for its part, set up shop in the north of France to serve the English Army(36).
United States neutrality enabled an elite of American men to become heavily involved in volunteer efforts in a field where their French peers were absent, due to their overwhelming preoccupation with war affairs. Diplomats, like Robert Bacon, Myron T. Herrick and William Sharp, financiers like Henry H. Harjes and Ridgeley Carter , businessmen like Percy Peixotto and John J. Hoff, or professionals such as Whitney Warren and Edmund Gros, threw themselves body and soul into humanitarian enterprises, the expression, of course, of their Christian idealism, but also the application of a "female" perspective on life, medico-social action being essentially e generalization of what women practice in their role as mothers(37). Thus, while such men organized and directed this movement with efficiency and with all the power at their disposal, they would be opening the way for future social recognition of "women's work".
The first step towards this recognition was made when the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of these same men became involved. In France, they would find fertile ground for their activities, plus a certain freedom of action generally accorded, out of courtesy, to a foreigner. Although under the Third Republic, wartime France easily reverted to ancient feudal reflexes where it is the custom of women of high rank to practice charity. The newcomers, not loathe to being assimilated to the rank of their French women "cousins", were to demonstrate not only charity, but willpower. Ironic commentary on this subject, justifiably ridiculing the dilettantism of some of these volunteers(38), unfortunately tends to pass over a more serious problem: the underlying existential void represented by lack of opportunity for any woman seeking meaningful activity outside well-defined limits. The visiting dames américaines had come from the first generation of women to have benefited from higher education. With the war, they would be able to put their intellectual and financial abilities to good use with the full support of society on both sides of the Atlantic.
Once care for the wounded had been organized, the volunteers turned towards the essential needs of refugees and the work of social reconstruction. In fact, refugees sometimes poured in from the north and the east even before the wounded. More than ten thousand Belgians were brought into the Cirque de Paris. The Secours National fed the crowds. While the children went to nearby schools, young neighborhood girls came to take the toddlers out for walks in the Garden of Luxembourg. Thirty thousand French families offered to take in the children of the evacuated families(39).
American women participated in these efforts. In November 1914, for example, the celebrated author Edith Wharton and her friends founded the "American Refugee Hostels"(40) which came to the aid of new arrivals, while taking care of some 4,000 refugees on a permanent basis. The American hostels were established in several locations in greater Paris and included a restaurant, infirmary, workshop, clothing distribution center, school and library. The Committee also ran three houses where rooms were rented at very low prices.
The fate of the refugees was a dramatic illustration of the way that war had shaken society. Beyond the devastated regions, all of France was affected. Representatives of "all the national groups and social forces" formed a "Committee of National Assistance"(41). Soup and mass meals were dished out at a rate of 76,000 portions per day. Cafeteria meals for childcare centers and schools were organized. The establishment of workshopsouvroirs enabled women to live from their work(42). Hundreds of thousands of garments were sewn, innumerable sweaters and socks were knitted. In the first six months of the war, 516 of these ouvroirs were set up in Paris, many of them established by American women, like the wife of Rev. Watson, whose clothing workshop was located on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Trinity(43).
In April 1915, upon demand of the Belgian Government, Edith Wharton founded the Oeuvre des Enfants des Flandres ("Action Committee for the Children of Flanders"). There were already too many orphans, widows, blind and handicapped among the victims of the war. A far-away America was moved and a steady flow of contributions was sent to Franco-American and American organizations set up to help: the Phare de France, the American Society for the Relief of French War Orphans, etc.
Amidst this vast medico-social enterprise, the activities of American volunteers did not particularly stand out from those of their French colleagues: everyone was faced with the same terrible human suffering. But after April 1917, when the United States finally entered the war, the particularly American qualities of volunteer work began to appear in France. While some activities were militarizedthat is made more streamlined and efficientunder the direction of the American Red Cross, new social services accompanied the arrival of the American troops. In the same spirit as Mrs. Reid's Foyer and Trinity Hall, leisure centers were organized such as the Soldiers and Sailor's Club(44), to provide healthy alternatives to Paris' notorious "temptations". Cantines and libraries were set up for the soldiers. But above all, this new wave of American volunteers in France brought the extraordinary example of the American Committee for Devastated France, the "CARD".
The early summer mutinies of 1917(45) had shaken the French High Command which began to seek means to raise the morale of the troops at the front. The policy of reconstructing the Devastated Regions was thus reinforced: the reconstitution of civilian life behind the front would remind French soldiers in concrete terms of the cause for which they were fighting. Thus it was that the CARD, organized by Anne Morgan, was set up in June 1917 in the Château of Blérancourt. Anne Morgan was the sister of the celebrated financier whose bank was the intermediary between the Allies and their American suppliers. Before the war, Miss Morgan had worked in New York for women's causes and her struggle for the advancement of women is reflected in the CARD's staff where all was done by women, from repairing automobiles to medical assistance and instructing young mothers(46). Since the beginning of the war, she had been treasurer of the American Fund for French Wounded (AFFW). The purpose of the AFFW was to collect funds to help meet the needs of military hospitals in France. With the CARD, the AFFW was to endow itself with an instrument to adapt the principles of the settlement house to an area of rural France.
The reconstitution of civilian life in a region 90 % destroyed required cooperation at all levels and was to continue after the war. First, it was necessary to reconstruct houses and buildings and then to furnish them. The CARD worked in cooperation with the government on the one hand, and with the villagers mostly women, children and the elderly on the other. It distributed food, clothing, household linen. It furnished tools. After the reconstruction of the habitat, it was necessary to clear the land of the deadly remains of war and reclaim it for cultivation. The dames américaines brought in seed and replacement livestock. Another vector of action was health: the CARD conducted medical examinations and promoted health education. These efforts were seconded by those of a women's hospital set up in the region and which would join the CARD in Blérancourt after the war. The CARD also organized and supported many other activities: construction sites, workshops, small factories, ouvroirs. Finally, it promoted cultural action, from the establishment of schools and public libraries to the presentation of dance performances.
In limiting its efforts to the Aisne region, the CARD worked in depth and successfully so until 1924. As André Tardieu wrote in 1928: "All the philanthropic and social endeavors which have honored wartime owed their success to the association of wills around clearly defined common goals. If, among these endeavors, the American Committee for Devastated France so perfectly attained its objectives, it was [...1 first of all because it was modest. While great businessmen, dreaming of bringing all our ruins back to life, took the boat back home without having succeeded, this patient group, which limited its ambitions to reconstituting the social fiber of a few of our destroyed villages, was able to establish with France the most total, most durable of collaborations"(47).
From the American Ambulance to the CARD, the work of American volunteers received the support of a vast organization for the channeling of financial material and human resources where the men played an important role. The organization of American good will, initiated by Herrick's volunteer committee, brought Herrick himself to create the American Relief Clearing House (ARCH)(48) in November 1914 before he returned to the United States. Under the direction of Henry H. Harjes, the ARCH coordinated the enormous flow of gifts and donations emanating from the United States. The ARCH which, as most of the American organizations, had its counterpart in New York, fulfilled several functions. The New York Committee received, organized and packed the various gifts in kind destined for France, loading the crates onto the boats of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, which donated the space free-of-charge. In Bordeaux, the crates were taken in hand by an approved agency where they cleared customs and were forwarded to their addressees by way of Paris. In cases where the donations were addressed to no one in particular, the ARCH determined their destination according to recommendations of a committee set up for that purpose. Financial contributions also transited the ARCH which sent them on or, in the absence of a specified beneficiary, allocated them according to the recommendations of its committee. At the same time, the ARCH ran campaigns in the United States for the solicitation of gifts and contributions. In June 1917, the organization which had distributed 196,000 cases and 12 million dollars, and had at the same time represented the American Red Cross in France, was now completely taken over by the latter(49).
Meanwhile, on the other side of the front, young American college students were bringing assistance to the civilian population in occupied northern France and Belgium. The action of the Belgian Relief Committee, directed by Herbert Hoover, would last until the beginning of 1917, an extension of the overall campaign in the United States to meet the urgent needs of the Devastated Regions.
On September 7, 1914, the first volunteers of the transportation service of the new American Ambulance(50) of Paris, recruited on the spot, headed in convoy for Meaux. It was subsequently observed that the rapid transportation of the wounded, thanks to the automobile(51), enabled many lives to be saves.
Several people were quick to draw conclusions, and other volunteer ambulance corps were created: Richard Norton organized the American Volunteer Motor Ambulance Corps, and A Piatt Andrew , the American Ambulance Field Service(52), later to become the American Field Service. Henceforth, the little Fords of the American Sanitary Sections would remind the French soldiers at the front that Americans were present in the war.
In 1915, in response to various initiatives coming from American volunteers in the Foreign Legion, Dr. Edmund Gros of the American Hospital used his connections in high society to help organize a new combat unit of the fledgling air force: the Lafayette Escadrille(53). Almost half the personnel were recruited from among AFS volunteers which thus abandoned their status as neutral participants.
When the United States finally declared war in 1917, they did so practically without an army. Almost a year would go by before the massive arrival of troops. But one thing changed immediately. American public opinion, officially won over to the cause of the Allies, no longer had to be fed with the writings of volunteer Americans. France now needed manpower more than writers. A French driver, replaced by an American, could be assigned to a combat unit. Thus the Réserve Mallet was created: a unit of American volunteers who, instead of taking the wheel of an American Field Service ambulance, would drive trucks loaded with soldiers or munitions. The French military commission of May 1917 then suggested that the United States take charge of the transportation of all the French wounded. As a consequence, in the fall of 1917, the American Field Service came under American military authority, whereas the Norton-Harjes corps simply dissolved. Meanwhile, the American military had rapidly set up an ambulance service based on the model of the "American Sanitary Sections", but one ten times as large(54).
In the end, the adventure of volunteering in France represented a rite of passage(55) for this young generation of Americans. As bearers of the red cross, they had not been targets, but witnesses of war. Nonetheless, their "neutrality" had been badly shaken by the sight of so much violence and suffering. Consequently the "lost generation" was marked by a subtle alienation, but also a feeling of comradeship. The collaboration with men, so many of whom were destined to be killed, laid the foundation of a Franco-American fraternity which, at the end of the war, would result in the establishment of a program of university exchanges.(56)
Four years of volunteerism in France and in the United States enabled a generation of American suffragettes to gain the recognition of the right to vote, finally obtained in 1920(57). During the war, "women's work", particularly in the medico-social field, had been largely done without pay, since the volunteerism of women, like that of the church orders, had always been taken for granted. But after the war, nurses and social workers became recognized and salaried professionals.
In France, the American volunteers contributed towards the professionalism of medico-social work: the nursing schools of Montrouge or Bordeaux and the visiting nurses association founded by the CARD which would become the Association Médico-Sociale Anne Morgan, the "AMSAM"(58). They brought their expertise to a growing interest in France for the establishment of public libraries, which had begun with Société Franklin established in 1862(59). Following the example of the libraries set up for American soldiers and for the civilian populations in the devastated regions, the impulse to favor setting up similar institutions was reinforced(60). But there remained above all the memory of the deeds, whose traces have been preserved in the Museum of Franco-American Cooperation, founded by Anne Morgan and Anna Murray Dike on the grounds where their CARD once stood.
This article was first published in the exhibition catalog of "1853-1947, The Americans of the Legion of Honor", 23 juin - 18 octobre 1993, Musée national de la Coopération franco-américaine, Château de Blérancourt, Véronique Wiesinger, Exhibition curator.
(1) "The American people love their government, but most of them prefer private enterprise whenever it can be made to do the work, and I share that view. And so l determined to supplement the official agencies then at my command by volunteers chosen from capable business men and on August 2nd, I called a meeting at my house and organized a committee: Judge Gay was appointed chairman, Harjes secretary, with the following as members: Laurence V. Benét, W.S. Dalliba, Charles Carroll, Frederick Coudert, James Deering, Chauncey Depew, William Jay, Frank B. Kellogg, Percy Peixotto, Valentine Blacque and Henry Priest." T B. Mott, Myron T Herrick, London, 1930, p. 128
(2) See Alistaire Horne, The Fall of Paris, New York, 1966, p. 171; Ernest Colleen, The United States Diplomatic Pouch in the Siege of Paris, s.l., 1986.
(3) Evidence of Herrick's partiality is clear in his description of his advice to would-be Foreign Legionnaires in August 1914: "I got out the law on the duties of neutrals; I read it to them and explained its passages. I really tried not to do more, but it was no use. Those young eyes were searching mine; seeking, I am sure, the encouragement they had come in the hope of getting. It was more than flesh and blood could stand, and catching fire myself from their eagerness, I brought my first down on the table saying, 'That's the law, boys; but if I was young and stood in your shoes, by God I know mighty well what I would do." T.B. Mott, op. cit., p. 144.
(4) See Joseph Cochran, Friendly Adventurers, Paris: Brentano's, 1931.
(5) See Cameron Allen's unpublished thesis (Rutgers University), History of the American Cathedral, 1859-1918, 3 vol., a copy of which may be found in the archives of the American Cathedral and at the Blérancourt Museum.
(6) See, Gerald Carson, The Dentist and the Empress, Boston, 1983. The Evans papers are at the University of Pennsylvania Dental School.
(7) Jean-Henri, aka Henry, Dunant, a young Swiss Protestant, had already initiated the movement which would become the YMCA.
(8) On June 24, 1859. See Henry Dunant, Un souvenir de Solférino, Geneva, 1862. Evans' descriptions of his own experience may be found in the introductory chapter to his book on the U.S. Sanitary Commission, La commission sanitaire des États-Unis, Paris, 1865.
(9) See Pierre Boissier, Henry Dunant, Geneva, 1974; Fernand Gigon, Henri Dunant, L'Epopée de la Croix Rouge, Paris, 1960.
(10) The complete title of Evans' book was: La commission sanitaire des États-Unis, son origine, son organisation et ses résultats, avec une notice sur les hôpitaux militaires aux États-Unis et sur la réforme sanitaire dans les armées européennes. See also: C. J. Stillé, History of the United States Sanitary Commission, Being the General Report of its Work During the War of the Rebellion, Philadelphia, 1866; M.W. Quentin, Lincoln's Fifth Wheel, New York 1956.
(11)Les institutions sanitaires pendant le conflit austro-prussien-italien, Paris, 1867; Report of Instruments and Apparatus of Medicine, Surgery and Hygiene, Surgical Dentistry and the Materials Which It Employs; Anatomical Preparations; Ambulance Tents and Carriages, and Military Sanitary Institutions in Europe, Washington 1868; History and Description of an Ambulance Wagon Constructed in Accordance with Plans Furnished by the Writer, Paris, 1868.
(12) See Carson, op. cit., p 99 and Cameron Allen, op. cit., p. 156. Evans gives a complete description of the material displayed in his Report on Instruments, etc. (1868) cited above.
(13) For more on the American Ambulance of 1870-1871, see W. MacCormac, Souvenirs d'un chirurgien d'ambulance, Paris, 1872; Thomas. W. Evans, History of the American Ambulance Established in Paris during the Siege of 1870-1871, London, 1873; Louis J. Swinburne, Paris Sketches, Albany NY, 1875; Alistaire Horne, The Fall of Paris, op. cit., pp. 174-175.
(14) Located on the corner of present day Avenue Foch and Rue Piccini. Dr. Evans' home, Bella Rosa, was across the street, at the intersection of what is now known as Avenue Malakoff.
(15) See Joseph W. Cochran, op. cit., pp. 110-111.
(16) The Episcopalians first constructed their church, the Holy Trinity, at 17 Rue Bayard in 1864, and then, at 23 Avenue de l'Alma (today George V) in 1886. At the time, the American Embassy was in this neighborhood
(17) See The Parish Kalendar, January 12, 1913, p. IV.
(18) See Joseph Cochran, op.cit., part II.
(19) See The Parish Kalendar, November 1891, p. 3, quoted by Cameron Allen, op.cit., p. 406.
(20) On Sunday evenings, reverend and Mrs. Newell would open the doors of their apartment on Rue de Rennes to American students for informal religious services and homelike fellowship. Another apartment was rented out to provide inexpensive rooms to young American women studying art or music. See Parish Kalendar, November 1890, p. 4, and Cameron Allen, op. cit., p 405.
(21) "During the Ministry of the Hon. Whitelaw Reid, [...] Mrs. Reid converted an old Louis Xlll property unto a students' hostel for women. Dr. Morgan erected on the grounds an ivy-covered chapel named St. Luke's in the Garden, but known affectionately throughout the Quarter as 'The Little Tin Church'. It was first opened for services in November, 1892." Frederick W. Beekman, "A Centennial Day Address", July 6, 1947, p. 5 (Archives of the American Cathedral).
(22) John Brainerd Morgan (1843-1912) was the cousin of the famous financier, John Pierpont Morgan.
(23) "The Girl Students' Club was now, on 16 October 1893, opened in the Institution Keller quarters on the rue de Chevreuse, with the avowed purpose of establishing a wholesome environment for English-speaking women studying art or music in Paris." Cameron Allen, op. cit., p. 410.
(24) "A new and most interesting work in connection with our Church begins in the Latin Quarter on the first of this month. An apartment with studio attached has been taken at 70 bis, Rue Notre Dame des Champs, in the center of the Quarter, designed to be a Home-like gathering place for all English-speaking women living in the neighbourhood who may desire to use it. Rooms in the apartment are reserved for those who may be ill or require rest and nursing - in short, the beginning of an 'American Hospital'". The Parish Kalendar, January 10, 1905, p. 4.
(25) See Carolyn Patch, Grace Whitney Hoff The Story of an Abundant Life, Cambridge, 1933. The Hostel, now called the Foyer international des étudiantes, Université de Paris continues to function as does Mrs. Reid's home, now called Reid Hall. The Lodge led to the establishment of the American Center first on Boulevard Raspail and now in Bercy.
(26) "Holy Trinity Lodge and American Hospital, at 4 Rue Pierre Nicolle [...] is the only American Hospital in the city of Paris. It was founded in October, 1905, and is in connection with our Church. [...] During the four years and a half of its existence it has received and ministered to 225 patients treated in the hospital, and 320 in the clinic, making a total of 545 [...] It has nine beds, and its operating department, etc., is equal to any necessities of the present day. The Parish Kalendar, January 6, 1910, p. 4. (A few unchurchly digs at the newly-opened American Hospital of Paris, located outside Paris, in the western suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, and which, at the time of the writing of this article, was inundated by the great flood of January 1910).
(27) See Nicole Fouché, Le mouvement perpétuel: histoire de l'Hôpital américain de Paris 1906-1989, Toulouse: Erès, 1992.
(28) T.B. Mott, op.cit., p. 87 et sig.
(29) "The writer, whose travels had been abruptly ended by the outbreak of war, wandered into the Lycée Pasteur on 7 September and 15 minutes later was an ambulance driver." J. Paulding Brown, quoted by George Rock, The History of the American Field Service, New York 1956 p. 7.
(30) See Véronique Wiesinger ed., Paris Bound, Americans in Art Schools, 1868-1918, Paris, 1990.
(31) M-C. Poinsot, Au service de la France: Les volontaires étrangers de 1914, Paris, 1915.
(32) See Yves-Henri Nouailhat, France et États-Unis, Août 1914-Avril 1917, Paris, 1979, p. 237.
(33) "For all his individualism, the American was much given to cooperative undertakings and to joining. Nowhere else except in Britain did men associate so readily for common purposes; nowhere else were private associates so numerous or so efficacious. On the European continent, establishment of a church, a college, a hospital, a mission, waited on the pleasure of the crown or the state. In America, as in Britain, they waited on the interest of the individual or the group, and it was not customary to look to the state for permission, guidance, or aid." Henry S. Commager, The American Mind, New Haven, 1950, p. 41.
(34) "The rise of modern social humanitarianism, repudiating the idea of 'necessary evils', prepared the ground for leadership in the mitigation of the needless sufferings and privations of active service. This social movement began to move out beyond religious institutions, adapting the methods worked out by Christian agencies to the use of the whole community m schools, orphanages, hospitals, and asylums. Under such circumstances the civilian community first came to understand its responsibility for the well-being of fighting men. The work of Florence Nightingale in the British Army during the Crimean War is rightly regarded as marking a turning-point in human experience. To gain a just comprehension of what she accomplished her whole career must be surveyed." W.H. Taft, ed. Service with the Fighting Men, An Account of the Work of the American Young Men's Christian Associations in the World War; New York, 1922, p 40-41.
(35) See Camille Bloch, Bibliographie méthodique de l'histoire économique et sociale de la France pendant la Guerre, Paris, 1925; Paul-Louis Hervieu, Le secours américain en France, Paris, 1915; Paul-Louis Hervieu, Les volontaires américains dans les rangs des alliés, Paris, 1917; Edwin W. Morse, The Vanguard of American Volunteers, New York, 1918; Yves-Henri Nouailhat, op. cit..
(36) Office central des oeuvres de bienfaisance, Paris Charitable pendant la Guerre, Paris, 1915, p. V.
(37) "...women as 'Republic Mothers' assumed a role that made their domestic domain of education and nurture into a schoolroom for the next generation of virtuous citizens. This acknowledgment of the mother's private domain as a public trust helped to establish women - in the ideal, at least - as public persons with public responsibilities, even if exercised within the privacy of the family. At an ever-accelerating pace between 1820 and 1880 - the dates are approximations - women expanded that role into what might be called 'Reformist Motherhood'. Instead of influencing the public domain indirectly through the lives of their sons, women began to extend their role as nurturer and teacher of morals from the domestic sphere into the public sphere through church, missionary, and moral reform groups. [...] Between 1880 and 1920 a new role developed that might be called 'Political Motherhood'. Increasing numbers of women joined the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), the settlement house movement, the General Federation of Women's Clubs..." Linda Kerber and Jane S. De Hart, Women's America, New York, 1982, 3d ed. p 23.
(38) "No, Miss Parton, you will not come in contact with a single heroic poilu here. We have nothing to offer you but hard, uninteresting work for the benefit of ungrateful, uninteresting refugee women, many of whom will try to cheat and get double their share. You will not lay your hand on a single fevered masculine brow. She broke off, made an effort for self-control and went on with a resolutely reasonable air: 'You'd better go out to the hospital at Neuilly. You can wear a uniform there from the first day, and be in contact with the men. I wouldn't have bothered you to come here, except that you wrote from Detroit that you would be willing to do any thing, scrub floors or wash dishes.' 'The other received all this with the indestructible good humor of a girl who knows herself very pretty and as well dressed as any one in the world. 'I know I did, Mrs. Putnam,' she said, amused at her own absurdity. 'But now l'm here l'd be too disappointed to go back if I hadn't been working for the soldiers. All the girls expect me to have stories about the work, you know. And I can't stay very long, only four months, because my coming-out party is in October. I guess I will go to Neuilly. They take you for three months there, you know. She smiled pleasantly, turned with athletic grace and picked her way among the packing-cases back to the door." Dorothy Canfield, "A Little Kansas Leaven" in Home Fires in France, New York, 1918, p. 150.
(39)Paris charitable pendant la Guerre, pp. X-XI.
(40) Hervieu, op. cit., pp. 22-24.
(41)Paris charitable pendant la Guerre, pp. VI-VII.
(42) For a critical view of the ouvroir, see Françoise Thébaud, La femme au temps de la guerre de 14, Paris, 1986, pp. 114-118.
(43) See Cameron Allen, op. cit., pp 500-502.
(44)Ibid., pp. 503-506.
(45) In March 1917, anticipating a French advance, the Germans withdrew from a sector of the front between Arras and Soissons. The French attack of April 16th failed, many lives were lost and resulted in a series of mutinies, four from May 27-30 and a fifth from June 1-7. All of the mutinies would be repressed by the end of June.
(46) In 1903, she founded the Colony Club, the first American women's version of the exclusive male Anglo-Saxon retreats of high society. In 1910, she played an active role in the founding of the Working Girls Vacation Association and later would found the American Women's Association See also Norton et al, op. cit., pp. 622-23.
(47) André Tardieu, Devant l'obstacle, Paris: Emile Paul, 1928, p. 90, also France and America, Boston, 1927.
48 . See Percy Mitchell, The American Relief Clearing House, Paris: Clarke, 1922.
(49)Ibid., p. 98-101.
(50) See Paul-Louis Hervieu, op. cit., p. 240, and Nicole Fouché, op. cit., p. 33.
(51) See Paul Heuzé, "L'automobile dans la guerre", Illustration, n 3961, February 1, 1919, p. 127. Also: "The most revolutionary improvement in medical services on the front line was the substitution of automobiles for the animal-drawn carts which we were using at the beginning of the war." A. Mignon, Le service de santé pendant la guerre de 1914-1918, Paris, vol. IV, p. 375; and more recently, Arlen Hansen, Gentlemen Volunteers, New York: Arcade, 1996.
(52) See Andrew Gray, "The Birth of the American Field Service", in Laurels, 1988, vol. 59, n 1. See also: History of the American Field Service in France, Boston 1920.
(53) See Jody Brinton, in his Services Rendered by AFS Group, 7 vol unpublished (a copy is in the Archives and Museum of the American Field Service, in New York), pp. 8-46 to 8-47. See also Charles Nordhoff and James Hall, The History of the Lafayette Flying Corps, 1920.
(54) See John R. Smucker, The History of the US Army Ambulance Service, 1917-1919, Washington, 1967.
(55) "The hills of Verdun and the red sun setting back of the hill and the charred skeletons of trees and the river Meuse and the black shells spouting up in columns along the road to Bras and the thunder of the barrage and the wounded and the ride through red explosions and the violent metamorphose from boy into man." Extract of the diary of Harry Crosby, quoted by Malcolm Cowley, Exile's Return, New York, 1934, Compass Books ed 1956, p. 249. Ironically despite the good face Harry Crosby (reputedly Fitzgerald's model for Gatsby) put on his description, suicide was the ultimate outcome of his war trauma. Crosby's "rites of passage" experience thus appears to have been an initiation into the dark side. He later founded the Black Sum Press. (For more on Crosby, although often inaccurate in detail, see: Geoffrey Wolff, Black Sun: The Brief Transit and Violent Eclipse of Harry Crosby, New York: Random House, 1979.)
(56) The American Field Service French Fellowships (1919-1952) were the first university exchanges to be organized between France and the United States and, after the Second World War would lead the American Field Service to discover its present vocation: the exchange of high school students on a worldwide scale. Each year, more than 9,000 students from more than 50 countries come to know the 'international comradeship' which the young American volunteers had discovered in France in World War I.
(57) French women would have to wait a while longer.
(58) See Anne Murray Dike, Report of Civilian Division, Comité Américain pour les Blessés Français, civilian section Blérancourt (Aisne), October 1,1917; The American Committee for Devastated France: What it IS, What it DOES, Paris 1918; Gaston Héricault, Terres assassinées devant les devastations (1914-1933), Paris, 1934; André Tardieu, Devant l'obstacle, Paris, 1928, and France and America, Boston, 1927
(60) In the 1920s, the American Library Association set up a School for Librarians in which a considerable number of French librarians were trained. See I.F. Fraser, "La bibliothèque américaine à Paris", Bulletin des bibliothèques de France, n 7, Paris, July 1960, p. 275.
- License: In copyright. All Rights Reserved
- Creation Date: 1993
- Creator: Albright, Alan
- When: Roots, WWI, Between The Wars, WWII, Postwar
- Where: France, USA