In 1896, representatives of “American Red Cross” distributed pulleys to Armenian women in the city of Arabkir in Western Armenia.
The photo was taken in 1896 by Ernest Mason; member of American “Red Cross” expedition, who arrived in Ottoman Empire in order to help the Armenians suffered from Hamidian massacres. This photo was first published in the end of 1896 in Washington in the report of “Red Cross” American Near East Relief in Asia Minor” by Clara Barton.
In February 1896, seventy-four years old Clara Barton founder and president of the American Red Cross arrived in Constantinople in order to organize and supervise the aid of the Armenian population suffered from massacres of 1894-96. Without having an official permission for coastal access Clara Barton managed to get consent the Ottoman officials to permit the fulfilment of the humanitarian mission of American Red Cross.
The American Red Cross sent four expeditions to Ottoman Empire, to the area between Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea, where they brought necessary aid, repaired houses and resettled those who had survived. The members of expedition with the participation of American missionaries helped the survivors for six months; providing them with food, medicine, clothing, seeds and agricultural tools. However, because of the obstacles created by the Ottoman government the expedition of Clara Barton returned to USA.
“Hundreds of people were dying; there was no aid, medicines, necessary skill... The food was scarce, the last remnants of cotton was used to cover the bodies of the patients and the dead bodies of the victims.”
Founder of American Red Cross
American Expedition in Asia Minor and Relief Operation.
Photo: America's Relief Expedition to Asia Minor under the Red Cross, Washington, 1896.