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WWI Intro context neutrality

William Johnston informs Mildred Burrage about hospital, France, 1914

William Johnston informs Mildred Burrage about hospital, France, 1914

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Maine Historical Society

Mildred Burrage spent her summers in Giverny between the years 1909 and 1914 along other students from the prestigious Wheeler School of Providence, Rhode Island. In August 1914, her father travelled to France to collect her shortly after the outbreak of war.

Upon leaving France, Mildred Burrage remained in communication with the family of her closest friend, Janet Johnston. The Johnstons stayed in France after August 1914, establishing a hospital for wounded soldiers. Dr. William Johnston, Janet’s father, wrote to fellow Americans back home requesting supplies and financial support for their relief efforts.

In this letter, dated 25 November 1914, Dr. Johnston writes to Mildred thanking her and her family for the generous donations. He is also hopeful Mildred will be able to return to France in the spring, writing “Either the Germans will be out of France for good and all, or you will be directing letters to Givernisch, on Seine, Germany, and will on arriving here will have your ticket taken by a uniformed individual in a spiked helmet”.

The Johnstons would remain in France until 1916, when they returned to the United States.


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