In honor of Women’s History Month, join lifestyle blogger Ernie Kyger in exploring how this nurse with local ties helped revolutionize combat field hospitals and establish the American Red Cross in 1882.
- She was born Clarissa Harlowe Barton on December 25, 1821 in Oxford, Massachusetts, into an abolitionist family.
- Her love of nursing started when her oldest brother experienced a serious head injury and she nursed him diligently for two years.
- Barton founded and was headmaster of a free school in New Jersey where 600 students eventually enrolled. She left the school after the school board voted to replace her as headmaster with a man.
- BartoIn honor of Women’s History Month, join lifestyle blogger Ernie Kyger in exploring how this nurse with local ties helped revolutionize combat field hospitals and establish the American Red Cross in 1882. n then moved to Washington, D.C., and became a clerk for the U.S. Patent Office, earning pay equal to her male counterparts. She was one of the very first women to work for the US government.
- The Civil War broke out in 1861, Barton felt an urgency to care for the injured Union soldiers and brought them food, clothing and other necessities.
- Barton realized the greatest need for care and supplies was in the makeshift field hospitals near the front lines. In 1862, she received permission to take bandages and other supplies to a battlefield hospital after the Battle of Cedar Mountain in Northern Virginia. From then on, she traveled with the Union Army.
- In 1869, Barton traveled to Europe for rest and learned about the International Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland, which had established an international agreement known as the Geneva Treaty (now part of the Geneva Convention), which laid out rules for the care of the sick and wounded in wartime.
- *The treaty was signed in 1882 and the American Red Cross was born with Clara Barton at its helm.
- *She also brought attention to the great need of disaster victims and streamlined many first aid, emergency preparedness and emergency response procedures still used by the American Red Cross.