Clara Barton

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Clarissa Harlowe Barton born on December 25, 1821, in North Oxford, Massachusetts, was the youngest of Stephen and Sarah Stone Barton’s five children. Clara's father Captain Stephen Barton (1774-1862), was a successful businessman, captain of the local army and a government official in Oxford, Massachusetts. Through his memorable stories of the Indian War in Ohio and Michigan, her father taught her the importance of keeping an army equipped with arms, food, clothing and medical supplies. Clara's mother Sarah Stone Barton (1783-1851), was a liberated woman who was known for her unstable temper, and her peculiarity. Growing up, Clara stayed close to her older sister Sarah Barton Vassall (1811-1874) who was also a school teacher. One of Clara’s brother’s, Captain David Barton (1808-1888) served as an Assistant Quartermaster for the Union army during the Civil War. He taught Clara to ride horses, and he became Clara's first patient after suffering a severe injury in a farm accident. Her Clara’s oldest brother, Stephen Barton (1806-1865) was a businessman in Oxford and Bartonsville, North Carolina. Stephen taught Clara math while she was yet a little girl. Clara’s oldest sister Dorothea (Dolly) Barton (1804-1846) was remembered as a bright young woman who desired to continue her own education. As a little girl, she first found her calling when she took care of her brother David after an accident. He had been helping to build a barn when he flipped and fell from the reach pole of the barn then slipped and fell to the ground. Doctors had come to help, but he did not get any better. For months she stayed by her brother’s side. Eleven year-old Clara became David's nurse, administering his medicine and even applying and removing leeches wh... ... middle of paper ... ...s introduced to a wider field of service through the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland. Inspired by her experiences in Europe, Barton corresponded with Red Cross officials in Switzerland after her return to the United States. They recognized her leadership abilities for including the country in the global Red Cross network and for influencing the United States government to sign the Geneva Treaty. Finally, Garfield’s successor, Chester Arthur, signed the treaty in 1882 and a few days later the Senate ratified it. After 23 years of service, an outburst of criticism of her management style, ability, and age led her resign from the American Red Cross in April 1904. Clara Barton is one of the most honored women in American history. She died on April 12, 1912, at her home in Glen Echo, Maryland, and was buried in the Barton family cemetery plot in Oxford, Massachusetts.

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