Clara Barton

by Melissa from San Diego



New Beginnings

"A ball has passed between my body and the right arm which supported him, cutting through his chest from shoulder to shoulder. There was no more to be done for him and I left him to his rest. I have never mended that hole in my eve. I wonder a soldier ever if does mend a bullet hole in his coat?" Educator, nurse and founder of the American Red Cross, Clara Barton was born on December 25, 1821 in Oxford, Massachusetts. She spent most of her life in the service of others and created an organization that still helps people in need today. The word hero is often misused. A true hero would be bold and hardworking to have the right to be called that. Clara Barton was a women who pushed the boundaries in a male-dominate society by doing things in the interest of helping others; she is deserving of this title because she was bold and hardworking. 


Clara Barton showed she was bold because she was the first woman to break the male-female barrier in a lot of different things.  Barton was a natural leader and had an instinct to take charge of a situation; "she took charge of relief work in the flood at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1889." (Manning) When Clara was told no, she took matters into her own hands. "After all, no women had ever been near a battlefield but, persistence paid of and a pass was finally issued." ("Clara Barton" Historic World Leaders) Barton was used to being told no because of her gender.  In an environment where men prevail, women didn't get a lot of say. Barton was repentantly shot down about trying to get onto the battlefield but the constant asking to go finally got her somewhere. She knew that if she went on the battlefield, she could get injured or killed. She took the risk and put her own life in jeopardy to help the other soldiers.  Breaking through the barrier, "Barton went to Washington D.C., where she became a clerk in the U.S. Patent Office. This was another 'first' for Barton, as no other American woman had ever held such a governmental post." (Clarissa Harlowe Barton) This was a bold move because she was the first woman to take this job. Knowing she could face discrimination and that people would not take her serious, she took the job anyway selflessly. This was a big event for Barton because she was finally "out there". Being a part of the government gave her an advantage later on, even after she left. By having experience, this helped her lead the American Red Cross. With her bold personality and a can-do attitude, Barton achieved so many things in her lifetime that still make a difference today. 

Clara Barton proved she was hardworking because she wouldn't take no for an answer and always wanted to help out. All of the hardships she faced during her years of relief work paid off and she founded an organization to help people when she personally couldn't. "Clara Barton was nicknamed 'Angel of the Battlefield' for her extraordinary work with wounded soldiers during the Civil War. Her most lasting legacy, however, was the establishment of the American Red Cross, a relief organization which still exists today." (Clarissa Harlowe Barton) Barton put in so much effort to help people and tried to provide as much as she could for the wounded soldiers. She took care of them and did everything for them. Founding the American Red Cross was truly an achievement because when she wasn't there to take care of someone, her foundation was for the people to fall back on. "Clara Barton dedicated her life and energies to help others in times of need - both home and abroad, in peacetime as well as during military emergencies." ( Clara Barton's life was all about other people. Even when she was battling with depression, she still looked after other people than herself. She was always looking for ways to better people and their lives and she would do anything to make it happen. She was a really good person and her personality influenced people. She was able to get a lot of people to help her run and sustain the American Red Cross and when she retired from it, other people took over. Still today, American Red Cross is there to support people. Clara's life itself was an accomplishment and her works are still helping out people today.

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            Clara Barton didn't let the fact that women didn't have a lot of rights; get in the way of her life. She went and did great things. By devoting her life to others, it showed she was bold and hardworking. She was always looking for ways to better people and improve their lives. She inspires me to help other people in need. She showed through her actions that you could accomplish anything if you set your mind to it.  "This conflict is one thing I've been waiting for. I'm well and strong and young - young enough to go to the front. If I can't be a soldier, I'll help soldiers." Clara Barton saved so many soldier lives and those who couldn't be saved, she made sure they died peacefully. My hero never gave up and never let limits define her. 

Works Consulted A+E Network, n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

            people/clara-barton-9200960> Civil War Trust, n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

"Clara Barton." DISCovering Biography. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resources in

Context. Web. 26 Mar. 2014.

"Clara Barton." Historic World Leaders. Gale, 1994. Biography in Context. Web. 20

"Clarissa Harlowe Barton." World of Health. Gale, 2007. Student Resources in Context.      

Web. 24 Mar. 2014.

Clara Barton." UXL Biographies. Detroit: U*X*L, 2003. Student Resources in Context.

            Web. 26 Mar. 2014

Manning, Kenneth R. "Barton, Clara." World Book Student. World Book, 2014. Web.

          25 Mar. 2014. National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d. Web. 25 

Page created on 4/18/2014 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 4/18/2014 12:00:00 AM

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