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Clara Barton: Founder Of The Red Cross

2285 words - 9 pages

“For my soldiers I will stay. For I am one of them as well and by their side I will remain.” I wonder if Clara Barton spoke to herself in that very same way…Get your eyes ready to take a journey through the life of one of the great women who aided our soldiers; far back before we were born. Clarrisa Harlowe Barton, later known as Clara, was born on Christmas day in 1821. She was the fifth and youngest child of Sarah Stone and Stephen Barton in Oxford, Massachusetts. Her father was well known because of the local Universalist church. She remembered the church as austere, with tall box pews and high narrow seats (Goodwin, 1).

Clara enjoyed being an attentive listener when it came to her father’s reminisces about the revolutionary war experience in the army under General “mad” Anthony Wayne. She was relatively small and had the down fall of having a lisp. Though you might say she had it the best out of everyone else in her family. Her mother, Sarah, was emotionally and mentally unbalanced and wasn’t in any state to be raising a kid. After her mother broke down, her sister Dolly tried to fill in, she later followed after her mother and had a mental breakdown. Sally picked up the duty of raising little Clara while her sister Dolly lay locked up in the top room.

Clara learned to make the best out of every situation when she was dealt a bad hand; this was something that paid off extremely when Clara took on the career as an army nurse later on in life. Clara’s education was taught to her at a very young age. Almost to the point where she couldn’t remember knowing it; she just knew that she knew it. Sister’s Dolly and Sally taught her to read, Brother David taught her to ride bareback, while brother Stephen taught her mathematics. Clara attended district school, and accomplished a many of things while there. Though when push came to shove at age eight she was first sent away for school, and showed how emotionally immature she was; she soon returned home. A short three years later, her childhood suddenly ended when her brother, David, fell at a construction site and became bed bound. She cared for him for the following two years and from that point on felt the need to be needed. When Clara was no longer needed phases of depression filled her days.

Clara worked in her brother Stephens’s mill, but the job couldn’t fill her needs. So a phrenologist visited the Barton's house and advised them to make Clara, in her late teens, become a school house district teacher. This is the theory they had in mind to cure her shyness. She was placed in a class with forty boys and girls around her age, and at time the guys seemed unmanageable. She played their games and showed her skills and their respect came with no boundaries. Her school later won a noble prize for discipline, and she later stated the discipline was never needed. Clara taught school for ten years with the same salary as a male. At the age of thirty...

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