Fonds - Canadian Red Cross correspondence

Identity area

Reference code


Canadian Red Cross correspondence


  • 1895-1960 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

3.5 cm of textual records
2 War Bonds stamps

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Administrative history

The Red Cross first started as a movement in Europe in the 1860s -1870s. Canada first adopted the principles of the Red Cross during the Northwest Rebellion as the emblem was flown to symbolize neutrality and humanitarian work. In 1896 Canada was granted a branch of the British Red Cross due to the efforts of Dr. George Sterling Ryerson of Toronto and Colonel W.N. Ponton and M.P. Henry Corby of Belleville who petitioned the mother organization. At the same time, Miss Gordon of Belleville was working on creating a separate Canadian branch of the Society, independent of the British and American organizations. In 1909 the Government of Canada issued a charter incorporating the organization as an independent body, and was finally recognized by the international governing body in 1927.

The Society has been involved in both wartime and peacetime initiatives including: The Boer War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Spanish Flu, as well as humanitarian efforts in Guatemala, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Algeria, Congo Nigeria, and others. In the 1990s, the CRC continued its mission of neutral humanitarian work, it spearheaded the 1999 Mine Ban Treaty, helped those in need by crossing the barricade during the Oka Crisis, and helped those in need during the Ice Storm. Into the 2000s, the CRC continued its mission by helping those in need in the Middle East, the 9/11 Terrorist attacks, Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina, Haiti, and elsewhere.

Archival history

Letters regarding the formation of the organization were acquired from the Ponton family.

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Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records pertaining to the Canadian Red Cross including documents surrounding the development of a Canadian Branch of the British Red Cross Society with advice from the American Red Cross Society. One series contains letters that were addressed to Colonel W.N. Ponton, mainly from the National Society for Aid and Sick to the Wounded in War (later the British Red Cross), 1895-1934. Another file contains letters to Miss E. C. Gordon as she attempted to develop an independent Canadian Red Cross, including those from the American National Red Cross signed by Clara Barton. The final folder contains a series of ephemera pieces issued by the organization throughout its history as well as two stamps promoting Canadian War Bonds.

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Entered by Nicholas VanExan, June 23, 2015.


  • English



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