Clara Barton Biography Essay

1178 words - 5 pages

Clara Barton


Clara Barton, known as an American humanitarian, the “Angel of the
Battlefield,” and known for being the American Red Cross founder
accomplished many things during her life. Throughout her long commitment of
service, Clara achieved honor as a teacher, battlefield nurse, lecturer, and
founder of the American Red Cross. Through her many years of work, Clara
made a huge impact on America that can still be felt at present times.
Clara was born Clarissa Harlowe Barton on Christmas Day of 1821 in
North Oxford, Massachusetts. Her father, Captain Stephen Barton, and mother,
Sarah Barton, raised her on a farm along with her two brothers, David and
Stephen, and two sisters, Dorothy, and Sally. Most of Clara’s education came
from learning from her brothers and sisters; they were all older than her, so they
had acquired a lot of information to share with her. Dorothy taught her
spelling, Stephen helped her to understand arithmetic, she learned geography
from Sally, and became more athletic with the coaching of David. With the vast
interest her family gave into educating her, at age four Clara could already spell
multi-syllable words. Her early education set the pace for her to achieve
academic success in formal schooling.
. In addition to getting a good start in academics, Clara also exhibited the
skills it takes to be a nurse as a child. When Clara was young, she played make
believe as a nurse and nursed pets back to help if they got hurt or were ill. At
age eleven, Clara received real life training as a nurse when one of her brothers
tragically fell off the roof of their barn and needed Clara to take care of him for
two years. Clara’s mom also contributed to Clara’s ability to perform nursing
duties by focusing more on teaching her the art of cleanliness and how to do the
basic responsibilities of a woman such as how to sew, cook, and make soap.
Clara, influenced by her sisters who were already teachers, began the first
part of her career by becoming a teacher at age seventeen. She began teaching
in Worcester County of Massachusetts and taught in various others schools for 6
years. Clara then realized she needed a change and decided to open up her own
school. After running her own school for a few years Clara recognized that she
needed more change and at age 29, Clara enrolled in an advanced school for
female teachers in Clinton, New York. This addition to her education led her to
a teaching position in New Jersey which opened the opportunity for her to open
several free schools there in New Jersey. Her schools were very successful and
students flocked to be a part of them. After much success in her teaching
career, Clara finally ran into rejection when the school board refused her the
position of heading the school she had founded and instead gave the job to a
less qualified man. This greatly upset Clara and she again decided she needed a
change, however this time the change...

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