STORIES
Angels Heroes

Clara Barton

by Natalie from Boca Raton

Clara Barton and Abraham Lincoln (http://www.abelincoln.com/images/orginals/1-14_lg.jpg)
Clara Barton and Abraham Lincoln (http://www.abelincoln.com/images/orginals/1-14_lg.jpg)

“You must never so much as think whether you like it or not, whether it is bearable or not; you must never think of anything except the need and how to meet it”. These words were said by one of the greatest women in history, Clara Barton. Clara Barton is a hero because she helped soldiers in the Civil War without enough medical attention, took part in women’s suffrage, and started a helpful organization. She was caring, courageous and determined; all true traits of a hero.

Clara Barton (http://www.historyplace.com/specials/calendar/docs-pix/clara-barton.jpg)
Clara Barton (http://www.historyplace.com/specials/calendar/docs-pix/clara-barton.jpg)

Clarissa Harlow Barton was born on Christmas Day in 1821 and was the youngest of five children. She was home schooled and at age 11, she nursed her ill brother. That was the first time she showed her true talent for nursing. At age 15 she began to teach school in Massachusetts. When Barton was 17, she opened a free school in New Jersey for children with health issues, but could not be the head of the school because she was not a man. In 1861, when Clara was 40, she was living in Washington D.C., working in the U.S. Patent Office and was the first woman permitted to work in the government.

Clara Barton (http://www.wcredcross.org/general/clara_barton.gif )
Clara Barton (http://www.wcredcross.org/general/clara_barton.gif )

She began to work as a volunteer for Civil War soldiers and started an unnamed relief program for them. Barton became aware of the lack of medical supplies in the war and immediately started a donation effort. In 1864 she was granted the right to be the superintendent of Union Nurses, where she practiced working on the battlefields. Next, she began to work as a nurse on the fields for wounded soldiers and was the first woman ever to work in the Civil War.

Clara Barton- The American Red Cross (http://chisholmtrail.redcross.org/Portals/0/images/clarabartonsociety3c.jpg)
Clara Barton- The American Red Cross (http://chisholmtrail.redcross.org/Portals/0/images/clarabartonsociety3c.jpg)

One of Barton’s greatest achievements was the establishment of the American Red Cross. The Red Cross is an organization that helps the sick and wounded in war, and provides aid to victims of flood and fire. She worked for almost five years to try to establish the American Red Cross and in 1881, in spite of government opposition, she finally succeeded. Her idea was inspired by the International Red Cross, which was already established in twelve different nations, but not the United States. From 1881 until 1904 Barton spent most of her time growing the American Red Cross and “aiding in its efforts”.

Clara Barton (http://www.nursingjobs.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/clara-barton012-copy.jpg)
Clara Barton (http://www.nursingjobs.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/clara-barton012-copy.jpg)

Barton also focused on women’s suffrage. She fought for women’s’ rights and women who suffered politically without the right to vote. She attended and spoke at many suffrage conventions. Also, she went to the National American Women’s Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and helped support other countries’ suffrage movements too. Barton sent letters of support that were read to the audience, when she could not make it to a convention.

Barton retired from the ARC in 1904 and died eight years later, in 1912. She was known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her work in the Civil War with the wounded soldiers. She was also the founder of one of the greatest aid organizations, the American Red Cross. Clara Barton is a great hero; she was caring, courageous and determined.

Page created on 3/5/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/5/2010 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Women in History - Clara Barton
Clara Barton - General Information

Extra Info

Works Cited

"Clara Barton." Women in History. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2010. .

"Clara Barton- General Information." WC Red Cross. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2010. .

Faust, Patrcia L. "Clara Harlowe Barton." Civil War Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2010. .

Goodwin, Joan. "Clara Barton." UUA. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Feb. 2010. .

Sahlman, Rachel. "Clara Barton." IncWell.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2010. .