Clara Barton- The Pioneering Nurse

Angel of the Battlefield & founder of the American Red Cross

Angel of the Battlefield

  1. Women often helped out during the Civil War by being battlefield nurses.
  2. The techniques and medicines used during this time were often what killed these men, not the war itself.
  3. Surgens and Nurses would go from one man to the next without washing their hands. Because of that, blood from one man would transfer to another, often causing diseases to spread, killing more and more men.
  4. Clara Barton realized the necessity in having better techniques. She began forcing people to wash there hands to get most if not all of the blood off before moving on to the next soldier.
  5. She then started to separate the men by how bad their injuries were, this way the men that needed treatment right then to live would get it and not wait. This is a technique still used today in war.
Her work as in Independent Nurse changed the history of medicine forever.

American Red Cross Association

  1. During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, Barton visited Europe and worked with the International Red Cross. After seeing all that they did, she decided that is was a necessity to our country.
  2. Upon her coming home, Barton began to start our own "Red Cross".
  3. In 1881, the American Red Cross was founded, and fittingly, Barton was named the first President.
  • Still today, this Association holds to the high standards of helping victims nationwide during and after a disaster.
We have Clara Barton to thank for the American Red Cross, which in recent years has helped with events such as providing relief for the survivors of the sinking of the Titanic and providing shelter, homes, and much more after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The After Years

  1. In 1904, Barton resigned from the American Red Cross due to an internal power struggle and financial mismanagement.
  2. Although she was resigned, she was not done yet. She continued giving speeches and lectures. She also wrote an autobiography entitled The Story of my Childhood. This was published in 1907.
  3. Just five short years later, Barton died in her home in Glen Echo, Maryland on April 12, 1912.
Barton's life work will forever be remembered.


  • Born December 25, 1821, Died April 12, 1912.
  • Gathered supplies for the Union Army.
  • Began as an Independent Nurse.
  • Started enforcing the use of new and clean techniques and practices of medicine that are still used today (such as simply washing your hands before moving on to the next patient).
  • Went overseas, helped with the International Red Cross, and returned to America with the intentions of starting our own Red Cross.
  • The American Red Cross was founded in 1881, Barton being named the first President.
  • After resigning 1904, Barton continued to give speeches and lectures. She even wrote her own book.
  • The American Red Cross still holds to its standards of helping our nation with disasters.