Clara Barton, Founder Of The American Red Cross And A Civil War Nurse

560 words - 3 pages

Clara Barton was born to a middle class family in Oxford Massachusetts on December 25th, 1821. Clara was the daughter of Captain Stephen and Sarah (Stone) Barton. Her father was a respected farmer, horse breeder and politician. And was the youngest of five children. She was educated at home and nursed her invalid brother, which was her only pre civil war training. When Clara was young, she was very shy and enjoyed the outdoors. She was later formally educated at New York State. Barton was primarily a teacher from the age of 15. Only during the civil war did she pursue nursing passionately. She is known best for the founder of the American Red Cross in 1881, an organization that it still strong today. During the civil war, Clara helped identify over 13,000 dead soldiers and ...view middle of the document...

Eventually, she gained the trust of these officials and began receiving supplies from all over the country. As a result of her untiring work, she became known as the "Angel of the Battlefield." Officially, she became the superintendent of Union nurses in 1864 and began obtaining camp and hospital supplies, assistants and military trains for her work on the front. She practiced nursing exclusively on battlefields, experiencing first-hand the horrors of war on sixteen different battlefields. After the war, President Lincoln granted her the ability to begin a letter writing campaign to search for missing soldiers through the Office of Correspondence. Later in her life, Barton continued to search for missing soldiers and also became involved in the suffragist movement. In 1869, she traveled to Europe for rest as directed by her doctor. In Europe she was educated about the concept of the Red Cross as outlined in the Treaty of Geneva and also by observing the Red Cross while traveling with volunteers serving in the Franco-Prussian War. Twelve nations had signed the treaty but the Unites States had not. She returned to the United States; rallied to have the US join in this treaty; and vowed to establish this work in the United States. Barton was the President of the American National Red Cross for twenty-two years. Under her leadership, she adopted the framework of the Red Cross to fit the needs of the United States not only during wartime but in peacetime. The Red Cross's early work included aiding victims and workers in the floods of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers in 1882 and 1884, the Texas famine of 1886, the Florida yellow fever epidemic in 1887, an earthquake in Illinois in 1888, and the 1889 Johnstown, Pennsylvania disaster/flood. Finally, in 1912, Clara Barton died in Glen Echo, Maryland but left a trail of many accomplishments behind her.

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