Clara Barton

By ~ Alayna & Aly

Life Before the Civil War

Clarissa Harlowe Barton was born in Oxford, Massachusetts on December 25, 1821. At the young age of 15, she became a teacher and opened a free public school in New Jersey. As a young adult, she moved to Washington D.C. in the mid- 1850s to work in the U.S. Patent Office as a clerk.

Contributions During the Civil War

American Red Cross

Right away she was one of the first women to volunteer for the war in 1861. Once her father died, she left the hospital to go work on the battlefield as a nurse. She performed first aid and collected water for wounded soldiers. She also brought supplies in wagons for the soldiers in need of clothing/equipment.


When she was 60 years old, she founded the American Red Cross, Which she led for the next 23 years. She first heard of the Red Cross foundation while on a trip and Europe. She wanted to bring the network to America, and started a campaign in 1881. The American Red Cross is devoted to helping American citizens in need.


Life after the Civil War

After resigning from the American Red Cross in 1904, she traveled around the states giving speeches about her work on the front line. Additionally, she wrote a book titled, "The Story Of My Childhood" (1907). She died on April 12th, 1912 in her home of Glen Echo, Maryland.


The American Red Cross is still in function today, and is continuing to achieve her goal to help others during hard times.

Fun Facts

  • She never accepted commission from her foundation.
  • She realized she wanted to be nurse after caring for her brother, after he fell of a roof.
  • Graduated from school in New York in 1851
  • She was the youngest of six children
  • She gave aid to Confederate prisoners and Union casualties.
  • Was known as the "Angel of the Battlefield"