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Clara Barton

Nurse and First Aid (1821-1912)

Clara started out her career as a school teacher, but in 1861, at the start of the American Civil War, she saw the terrible suffering and lack of supplies that wounded soldiers endured before they could be taken to hospitals. Clara advertised to find people to donate supplies, and then she distributed the supplies and helped to nurse soldiers. She did this until the end of the war. When Clara learned of the International Committee of the Red Cross, she set out to convince Americans that the United States should be a part of this organization. In 1882, the American Red Cross was organized, with Clara as its first president. During the next 23 years of her life, Clara helped to increase the services offered by the American Red Cross. She also assisted many people throughout the world when disasters struck. Clara Barton was a very important figure in health care and nursing.

Link: Women in American History - Clara Barton

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Information adapted from History of Women in Science for Young People by Vivian Sheldon Epstein.