Clara Barton, a native of North Oxford, MA, is best known as the founder of the American Red Cross. She was born on December 25, 1821, the youngest child of Stephen and Sara Stone Barton. Clara grew up in North Oxford and lived near her cousin, Martha Elvira Stone. When she was young, Clara taught in North Oxford and worked part-time in a cotton mill.
After teaching in North Oxford for many years, she moved to Clinton, NY to enroll in the Clinton Liberal Institute. She opened a school in Bordentown, NJ and later relocated to Washington, D.C. to work at the United States Patent Office. During the Civil War, Clara tended to wounded soldiers after numerous battles. She became known as "The Angel of the Battlefield." When the war was over, she became very involved with The Office of Correspondence with Friends of the Missing Men of the United States Army in Washington, D.C. In 1867, after meeting Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Clara became involved in working for suffrage.
Later, while in Europe, Clara learned about the International Red Cross and served as part of the relief corps during the Franco-Prussian War. Clara fought to establish the American Red Cross, and in March of 1881, she became the leader of the American Red Cross.
In addition, Clara, Mary Emily Bennett Coues, and others founded the Pro Re Nata women's club in Washington in 1892.
After many years of work with the American Red Cross, Clara resigned in 1904 and formed the National First Aid Association of America.
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- Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.), 25 Feb. 1892. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1892-02-25/ed-1/seq-9/>