17 Clara Barton Facts for Kids
A pioneer nurse, Clara Barton is best known for her work in founding the American Red Cross. She worked throughout the United States as a pioneer nurse throughout the mid-1860s, and by the end of the decade, was already recognized for her efforts in tending to the sick and wounded on the front lines.
In addition to being a pioneer of nursing, Clara Barton was also a champion of human rights and worked as a humanitarian throughout much of her life.
Clara Barton Facts for Kids ~ All About Clara Barton
1. Clara Barton was born on Christmas Day. She was born as Clarissa Harlowe Barton on December 25, 1921 in Oxford, Massachusetts. She was the youngest of six children.
2. Barton took on practical work while receiving an education at a young age. She worked as a bookkeeper and clerk for her older brother.
3. In 1853, she started her own school in Bordentown, New Jersey after working several years as a teacher.
4. By 1854, she moved to Washington D.C. to live in a warmer area.
5. Clara Barton worked in the Patent Office from 1854 to 1857, until departing for her then-controversial anti-slavery opinions.
6. She eventually returned to New England, where she continued the charity and philanthropy work she started back in Washington.
Nursing and Philanthropy Work
7. By 1861, she traveled back to Washington D.C. where she volunteered to help at the Washington Infirmary once the Civil War broke.
8. After her father’s death later in the year, Barton moved to the field to tend to wounded and sick soldiers. Barton bought along three army wagons full of supplies, traveling to the site of the Battle of Antietam.
9. Throughout the war, Barton traveled with the Union army, providing her nursing to the wounded and sick. She also organized able-bodied men to carry water, prepare food and perform first aid for fellow men.
10. By 1863, she traveled all the way to the Union-controlled coasts around Charleston, South Carolina. In July, she traveled from Hilton Head Island to Morris Island, tending to the wounded and sick before and after the battle of Fort Wagner.
11. In January 1865, she returned to the North. By March, President Abraham Lincoln appointed her ‘General Correspondent for the Friends of Paroled Prisoners,’ a job that had her corresponding with friends and relatives of missing soldiers who may have been located at camps in Maryland.
12. Barton, as General Correspondent, created the Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States to help organize the records of missing and deceased soldiers of the U.S. military.
13. Clara Barton traveled to Geneva, Switzerland in 1869 to work with the International Red Cross as a member.
14. By her return in 1880, she established the American Red Cross. She served as the organization’s very first president until 1904.
15. During her twilight years, she continued her philanthropy work in Cuba, where she volunteered during the Spanish-American war.
16. Clara Barton was friendly with several early human rights pioneers, including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Hyde Botume and Frederick Douglas.
17. Clara Barton passed away at her home in Glen Echo, MD on April 12, 1912.