Clara Barton

Great Leader in the Red Cross Movement

1821 – 1912 A.D

When one contemplates the many and varied philanthropic undertakings and achievements of Clara Barton he feels to how in reverent silence to womanhood. Her work is beyond praise.

In the hospital service during the Civil War, in the Franco-German war, as superintendent of the reformatory prison for women at Sherborn, Mass., as president of the American Red Cross Society, as a worker for the famine sufferers in Russia, for the fire sufferers in Michigan, for sufferers from floods in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Johnstown, Pa., for sufferers from the great cyclone on the South Atlantic coast, for the Armenian sufferers under Turkish atrocities, and for the soldiers during the Spanish-American war as well as the non-combatant Cubans, Clara Barton has given herself, without reserve or cessation, until relief has been afforded.

She was born in North Oxford, Mass. During her earlier years she taught school until her health failed. For rest and restoration she went to Washington D.C., and after a time was appointed to a position in the Patent Office. She resigned her position in the Patent Office and went to the front to minister to the sick and wounded soldiers, without pay. She well earned the title of “Angel of the Battlefield.” The hospitals of the army of the James were placed in her charge.

Another invaluable service was rendered by her in establishing a bureau of Records of missing men of the Union army, compiled from prison and hospital rolls and burial lists. To this work she gave four years of her time and expended her small fortune of $10,ooo. Congress voted to reimburse her, but she declined remuneration for her services.

She was in Europe for much needed rest when the Franco-German war broke out and was immediately asked to go to the front to assist in caring for the wounded. In recognition of her services she received numerous badges of honor from nobility and royalty.

Broken in health she returned to America, and became the first president of the American Association of the Red Cross.


Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence, and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World published by the King-Richardson Co. in 1903.