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CONVENTION OF GENEVA For the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies at the Field,

August 22, 1864 The sovereigns of the following countries, to wit: Baden, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Spain, Portugal, France, Prussia, Saxony, Würtemberg, and the Federal Council of Switzerland, animated by a common desire of mitigating, as far as in their power, the evils inseparable from war, of suppressing needless severities and of ameliorating the condition of soldiers wounded on fields of battle, having concluded to determine a treaty for this purpose, these plenipotentiaries, after the due interchange of their powers, found to be in good and proper from, have agreed upon the following articles, to wit:

ARTICLE 1. Ambulances (field hospitals) and military hospitals shall be acknowledged to be neutral, and as such shall be protected and respected by belligerents, so long as any sick or wounded may be therein. Such neutrality shall cease, if the ambulances or hospitals should be held by a military force.

Art. 2. Persons employed in hospitals and ambulances, comprising the staff for superintendence, medical service, administration, transport of wounded, as well as chaplains, shall participate in the benefit of neutrality whilst so employed, and so long as there remain any to bring in or to succor.

ART. 3. The persons designated in the preceding article may, even after occupation by the enemy, continue to fulfill their duties in the hospital or ambulance which they may have, or may withdraw in order to regain the corps to which they belong. Under such circumstances, when the persons shall cease from their functions, they shall be delivered by the occupying army to the outposts of the enemy. They shall have specially the right of sending a representative to the headquarters of their respective armies.

ART. 4. As the equipment of military hospitals remains subject to the laws of war, persons attached to such hospitals cannot, on withdrawing, carry away any articles but such as are their private property. Under the same circumstances an ambulance shall, on the contrary, retain its equipment.

Art. 5. Inhabitants of the country who may bring help to the wounded shall be respected and small remain free. The generals of the belligerent powers shall make it their care to inform the inhabitants of the appeal addressed to their humanity, and of the neutrality which will be the consequence of it. Any wounded man entertained and taken care of in a house shall be considered as a protection thereto. Any inhabitant who shall have entertained wounded men in his house shall be exempted from the quartering of troops, as well as from a part of the contributions of war which may be imposed.

ART. 6. Wounded or sick soldiers shall be entertained and taken care of, to whatever nation they may belong. Commanders-in-chief shall have the power to deliver immediately to the outposts of the enemy, soldiers who have been wounded in an engagement, when circumstances permit this to be done, and with the consent of both parties. Those who are recognized after they are healed as incapable of serving, shall be sent back to their country. The others may also be sent back on the condition of not again bearing arms during the continuance of the war. Evacuations, together with the persons under whose directions they take place, shall be protected by an absolute neutrality.

Art. 7. A distinctive and uniform flag shall be adopted for hospitals, ambulances, and evacuations. It must on every occasion be accompanied by the national flag. An arm badge (brassard) shall also be allowed for individuals neutralized, but the delivery thereof shall be left to military authority. The flag and arm badge shall bear a red cross on a white ground.

ART. 8. The details of execution of the present convention shall be regulated by the commanders-in-chief of belligerent armies, according to the instructions of their respective governments, and in conformity with the general principles laid down in this convention.

ART. 9. The high contracting powers have agreed to communicate the present convention to those governments which have not found it convenient to send plenipotentiaries to the International Convention at Geneva, with an invitation to accede thereto; the protocol is. for that purpose, left open.

Art. 10. The present convention shall be ratified and the ratification shall be exchanged at Berne, in four months, or sooner, if possible

In witness thereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and have affixed thereto the seal of their arms.

Done at Geneva, the twenty-third day of August, 1864.


5, 1888

2, 1894

List in chronological order of the governments which have adopted the articles of the Convention of Geneva, of the twenty-second of August, 1864: France... Sept. 22, 1864 | Bolivia.

Oct. 16, 1879 Switzerland. Oct. 1, 1864 Chili.

Nov. 15, 1879 Belgium

Oct. 14, 1864 Argentine Republic.. Nov. 25, 1879 Netherlands Nov. 29, 1864 Peru.-

Apr. 22, 1880 Italy -Dec. 4, 1864 United States.

Mar. 1, 1882 Sweden and Norway- Dec. 13, 1864 Bulgaria.

May 27, 1884 Denmark. Dec. 15, 1864 Japan..

June 5, 1886 Spain. Dec. 5, 1864 Luxemburg


Dec. 16, 1864 Hungary -
Jan. 17, 1865 Congo Free State

Jan. 25, 1889
Great Britain.
Feb. 18, 1865 Venezuela -

Aug. Mecklenburg-Schwerin.. Mar. 9, 1865 Siam..

June 29, 1895 Prussia

June 22, 1865 South African Republic. Sept. 30, 1896 TurkeyJuly 5, 1865 Honduras.

May 16, 1898 WürtembergJune 2, 1866 Nicaragua

May 16, 1898 Hesse Darmstadt June 22, 1866 Uruguay

June 20, 1900
June 30, 1866 Korea

July 21, 1866 Guatemala.

Apr. 13, 1903
Aug. 9, 1866 China.

June 29, 1904 SaxonyOct. 25, 1866 | Mexico

June 24, 1905 Russia May 22, 1867 Colombia

June 7, 1906 Pontifical States. May 9, 1868 Brazil..

Jan. 26, 1907 Roumania.. Nov. 30, 1874 Paraguay

Date of ade Persia -Dec. 5, 1874 Cuba

hesion not San Salvador. Dec. 30, 1874 Dominican Republic

given. Montenegro

Nov. 29, 1875 Haiti. Servia.

Mar. 24, 1876 Notice of adhesion given by Swiss Minister at Washington, July 15, 1907. Ecuador: August 3, 1907.

Panama: Notice of adhesion given by Swiss Minister at Washington, August 5,

8, 1903

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OCTOBER 7TH, 1881, 3 P. M.

The undersigned, all of whom are citizens of the United States of America, and a majority of whom are citizens of the District of Columbia, desirous of forming an association for benevolent and charitable purposes, to cooperate with the "Comite International de Secours aux Militaires Blesses,” of Geneva, Switzerland, do in pursuance of sections 545, 546, 547, 548, 549, 550, and 551, of the Revised Statutes of the United States relating to the District of Columbia, make, sign, and acknowledge these articles of incorporation.

1. The name of this association shall be the American Association of the Red Cross.

2. The term of its existence shall be 20 years.

3. The objects of this association shall be (1) to secure by the United States the adoption of the treaty of August 22, 1864, between į Italy, Baden, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Spain, Portugal, France,

Prussia, Saxony, Wurtemberg, and the Federal Council of Switzerland; (2) to obtain recognition by the Goveri ment of the United States and to hold itself in readiness for communicating therewith at all times to the end that is purposes may be more wisely and effectually carried out; (3) to organize a system of national relief and apply the same as mitigating the sufferings caused by war, pestilence, famine, and other calamities; (4) to collect and diffuse information touching the progress of mercy, the organization of national relief, the advancement of sanitary science and their application; (5) to cooperate with all other similar national societies for the furtherance of the articles herein set forth, in such ways as are provided by the regulations governing such cooperation.

4. The number of managers of this association to be styled “the executive board,” for the first year of its existence shall be ii.

In witness whereof, we have hereunto set out hands and seals at the city of Washington this first day of July A. D. 1881.






District of Columbia, ss: I, R. D. Mussey, a United States commissioner in and for the District of Columbia, do hereby certify that Clara Barton, William Lawrence, James K. Barnes, A. S. Solomons, and Alexander Y. P. Garnett, subscribers to the annexed and foregoing articles of incorporation being personally well known to me to be persons who signed and sealed the same, personally appeared before me in the District aforesaid, and acknowledged the said articles of incorporation to be their free act and deed, for the purposes therein set forth.

Given under my hand and seal, at the city of Washington, D. C., this 1st day of October A. D. 1881. [COMMISSIONER'S SEAL

R. D. MUSSEY, United States Commissioner, D. C.


By the President of the United States of America:

A PROCLAMATION WHEREAS, on the twenty-second day of August, 1864, a convention was concluded at Geneva, in Switzerland, between the Grand Duchy of Baden and the Swiss Confederation, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Empire, the Grand Duchy of Hesse, the Kingdom of Italy, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Kingdom of Württemberg, for the amelioration of the wounded in armies in the field, the tenor of which convention is hereinafter adjoined:

AND WHEREAS, the several contracting parties to the said convention exchanged the ratification thereof at Geneva on the twentysecond day of June, 1865;

AND WHEREAS, the several states hereinafter named have adhered to the said convention in virtue of Article IX thereof, to wit:

Sweden, December 13, 1864; Greece, January 5-17, 1865; Great Britain, February 18, 1865; Mecklenburg-Schwerin, March 9, 1865; Turkey, July 5, 1865; Württemberg, June 22, 1865; Hesse, June 2, 1866; Bavaria, June 30, 1866; Austria, July 21, 1866; Persia, December 5, 1874; Salvador, December 30, 1874; Montenegro, November 17–29, 1875; Servia, March 24, 1876; Bolivia, October 16, 1879; Chili, November 15, 1879; Argentine Republic, November 25, 1879; Peru, April 22, 1880;

AND WHEREAS, the Swiss Conference, in virtue of the said Article IX, of said convention, had invited the United States of America to accede thereto;

AND WHEREAS, on the twentieth of October, 1868, the following additional articles were proposed and signed at Geneva, on behalf of Great Britain, Austria, Baden, Bavaria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, North Germany, Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Württemberg, the tenor of which additional articles is hereinafter subjoined;

AND WHEREAS, the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, did, on the first day of March, one thousand, eight hundred and eighty-two, declare that the United States accede to the said convention of the twenty-second of August, 1864, and also accede to the said convention of October 20, 1868;

AND WHEREAS, on the ninth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-two, the Federal Council of the Swiss Confederation, in virtue of the final provision of a certain minute of the exchange

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