Lot 19: Scarce Signed Photo of Evangeline Booth, First Female General of the Salvation Army
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
October 26, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Uncommon Signed Photograph of Evangeline Booth, the First Female General of the Salvation Army ********** BOOTH, EVANGELINE. (1865-1950). First female general of the Salvation Army, which she headed from 1934 to 1939. SP. (“Evangeline Booth”). 1p. 4to. N.p., N.d. A lovely, richly-toned sepia photograph of Booth standing in her Salvation Army uniform, holding her hat in both hands and looking directly into the camera. Elegantly signed in black ink across the lower portion of the image. ********** In 1865, British Methodist preacher William Booth and his wife Catherine founded the East London Christian Mission, which they soon renamed the Salvation Army. The organization ministered to prostitutes, addicts and the destitute by offering “soup, soap and salvation.” Among the characteristics that set the Salvation Army apart from the hundreds of similar organizations, was their inclusion of female ministers. ********** Evelyne was the seventh of the Booth’s eight children and was born on Christmas the same year they founded the Salvation Army. From an early age she actively proselytized in London’s poor neighborhoods, earning ever higher ranks in the Army and her father’s respect as a persuasive orator. In 1896, he sent her to the United States to quell a rebellion instigated by her brother, which she did by scaling a fire escape to enter the locked Army headquarters, draping herself in the American flag and rallying the support of those present through song. Several times, thereafter, she served as territorial commander of the United States, where she eventually changed her name to “Evangeline” and became a United States citizen. During World War I, she oversaw the Salvation Army’s work on the front lines, for which she became one of the few women to be awarded the United States Army’s Distinguished Service Medal. In 1934, the Salvation Army’s High Council elected Evangeline its general. Under her leadership the organization expanded throughout Asia, Africa and the Pacific, and she traveled extensively throughout Europe, India, Australia, and the U.S. raising the Salvation Army’s profile. ********** Light mounting traces on the verso and very fine. Rare!