Minnie E. Blood, POW advocate.

Photo of Minnie E. Blood
Minnie E. Blood, from the 6 Aug 1915 Boston Globe

Born in Lynn, MA, Minnie Emma Blood (1863–1942) was one of eight children of Mary and Josiah Blood; her half-sister, Alice Frances Blood, became a leading professor in home economics at Simmons College. Her father founded J. B. Blood & Co., the largest grocery store in Lynn. She completed the Chautauqua home study course in 1887 and was a student at Radcliffe in 1898–99. By 1900, she was working as a stenographer.

In July 1907, she headed for Germany and remained there for eight years. Thus she was a witness to Germany’s declaration of war in 1914, which she wrote about in “In Munich, August, 1914,” which is printed in When Good Men Meet from Foe to Foe, her 1916 book of war poetry:

I stood with the people in the street,
As the war declaration was read,
And saw the faces of mothers and wives
Grow deathly pale with pain and dread.

I saw the public automobiles
All filled with soldiers riding free
To their affairs, or taking once more
A pleasure drive, as it might be.

I saw the handkerchiefs wildly waved,
And children hang over balcony bars,
And girls and gray-haired men bring out
Bouquets and boxes of cigars.

I saw the guards by the station gates,
And heard the wistful farewell cheers
Of the departing soldier boys,
The while my eyes ran over with tears.

I thought of all the good and brave
Who must perish in the fearful game,
And my soul cried out in agony,
Oh, who—who—who is to blame! (3)

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