Clara Barton Essay, Research Paper
Founder of the American Red Cross
By: Susan Sloate
1. Timeline: See attached
2. The event from the timeline that I believe changed Clara Barton s life would be in 1833, when Clara s brother, David, fell of the roof while he and some friends were constructing a barn. Since he was very ill and Clara was not the type of person to sit back and watch, we volunteered to nurse him back to health. I think this event changed her life completely because it was her first actual nursing experience. Clara had always been a kind and caring person, who loved to be able to help others who were weak and ill, and being a nurse would allow her to work in a field that she was great in. When she was older, she attended to wounded soldiers after many battles, and she was one of the first women to attend to soldiers in the battlefields, rather than in field hospitals miles away. She became known as the Angel of the Battlefield in newspapers and dispatches. Clara Barton later went on to found the American Red Cross and she soon became the president of it. Even after resigning from presidency in 1904, twenty-two years later, she was still remembered for her great accomplishments.
(Page numbers: 1, 15, 17, 67, 104, and 115)
3. Clara Barton was definitely a reformer. Three major activities that marked her as a reformer would be when she was a teacher and taught unruly children to behave and respect their elders, becoming the Angel of the Battlefields , and when she founded the Red Cross.
A year after Clara Barton had finished her own schooling, she applied for a certificate to teach at the school she was taught at, In North Oxford, Massachusetts. Clara had heard gossip around town about four older boys who attended the school. This gossip was a great concern for her because they had made life miserable for all of their past teachers. To gain the boys trust, she used her kindness and her interest in sports. At the end of the school term, Clara was praised for her wonderful work in District Number 9. They thought her school was the best run and best disciplined in the community. Town authorities regarded Clara as an excellent person to work with troubled classes that had discipline problems.
A few weeks after the Battle of Bull Run and Chantilly had occurred; another battle began along Antietam Creek. Almost forty thousand men died, and many were wounded. It was one of the Civil Wars bloodiest and most horrifying battles. Clara Barton helped all of the wounded by going ahead of the army train with supplies. She brought bandages, medicines, clothes, food, and water to give to the soldiers. All of the wounded soldiers were very grateful for all of her assistance through such horrid times. As she slept, word for her heroic attempts and dedication spread throughout the world. From that day forward, she was known as the Angel of the Battlefield in newspapers and dispatches.
In August of 1881, the first Red Cross was built in Dansville. An annual due for each member was twenty-five cents, and it was well worth it. The Red Cross helped many towns with disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes; however, they were not well recognized for their hard efforts. At the age of sixty, Clara Barton was named the first president of the American Red Cross. After helping many countries and communities with disasters, Clara resigned the presidency at the age of eighty-two, in May of 1904.
Even after Clara Barton died, she is still remembered for being a reformer.
4. During Clara Barton s lifetime, the people seemed to live a good lifestyle. Older siblings taught younger children how to read and write, while the mother taught the daughters how to keep house and cook. The fathers taught military tactics and strategies. For hobbies, they rode horses, played hide and seek, and ice-skated. Women wore long, full dresses. Cornmeal was a popular food. People lived pretty good lives and they relied on family to teach them and keep them busy.
(Page numbers: 10, 11, 15, 22, and 65)
5. A historically important person mentioned in Clara Barton s biography was a friend of her father s, Alexander DeWitt, a Massachusetts Congressman. DeWitt introduced Clara Barton to Charles Mason, who was the commissioner of patents. After a while, Clara persuaded him to hire her as a temporary clerk in the Patent Office. Clara was now situated among men in a competitive atmosphere for the first time since the beginning of her professional life, which was what she wanted. By working with men in a competitive way it made her feel good about herself, which helped her get over her depression for a while at least.
(Page number: 43)
6. In the beginning of the book when Clara Barton was very young, she was extremely shy around any strangers such as other children in the community and her teachers. The only people that she was really open with were her family. Clara never opened her mouth to defend something she did or to ask for help for herself. She only spoke for and wanted to help other people. Clara never wanted anything to benefit her if it wasn t in interest of the wounded soldiers as well. She was forced to move from place to place in order to help the wounded soldiers at a bunch of different battles all over the world. She earned high pay at the Patent Office. Towards the end of the book, she began to get aggravated easily if things didn t go her way. She started standing up for her own ideas and beliefs (such as the American Red Cross) because she wanted everyone to realize that even though she was a woman, she had excellent ideas as well as the men did.