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"Heroes of Medicine"
A. 2-2 1/4 pages ... 10 pts
B. Well-Written ... 10 pts
C. Accurate ... 10 pts
D. Original ... 5 pts
E. Personal Impact ... 5 pts
F. Citations ... 5 pts
G. Follows Directions ... 5 pts
When people think of the American Red Cross, they think of blood donations, volunteer work and disaster relief. It's not often that anyone thinks of the person that started the American Red Cross. Clarissa Hawlowe Barton, "Clara Barton" was born on December 25th, 1821 in Massachusetts. She was the youngest of five children and had a naturally caring personality and a desire to change the world.
Barton started teaching in her teenage years and continued up until 1850 when she attended the Clinton Liberal Institute in New York to study writing and language. This was an amazing feat for a woman with a home-taught education from a middle-class family. Another huge achievement for Barton was opening a free public school in New Jersey that brought in over 600 students. In 1854, she worked as a clerk in a U.S. Patent office in Washington, D.C. And made a salary equal to a man. But by 1957, she was reduced to a copyist and was eventually fired.
During the Civil War, Barton organized agency's that would better provide for wounded soldiers by making it easier to obtain and distribute supplies. She was given a pass by General William Hammond, allowing her to ride in the Army ambulances to help comfort the wounded men. In 1862, she was given permission to travel on the front line enabling her to reach injured men quicker, giving them a higher chance of survival. She was known as "The Angel of the Battlefield" and was appointed "Lady in Charge" in hospitals under General Benjamin Butler.
After the Civil War, Barton set up a office to help find missing soldiers. She received and answered over 63,000 letters and found over 22,000 missing men. She delivered speeches and lectures around the country talking about her experiences in the war. Barton received tremendous recognition for her efforts and after meeting Susan B. Anthony, she worked on women's suffrage movements. She also met Frederick Douglass and became an activist for civil rights for African Americans.
As if all that wasn't enough, In 1869, Barton traveled to Switzerland where she was introduced to the Red Cross. She inaugurated a movement to gain recognition for the International Committee of the Red Cross by the United States government. It took four years before Barton succeeded in her quest to create the American Red Cross, unfortunately, president James Garfield was unexpectedly assassinated before signing the treaty and Barton's dreams of the American Red Cross was put on hold once again. Finally in 1881, the first American Red Cross flag was flown and Barton asked the public to donate supplies for the survivors of major forest fire in Michigan. From the 1884 Ohio and Mississippi flood victims to the 2,200 killed in a Pennsylvania dam, she continued to help those in need.
Clara Barton was an amazing person that did the unthinkable in a time where women were looked down upon. She has created a greater place for American's to live in. I have Factor IV Leiden, a blood clotting disorder. I am unable to donate blood which is something that I would love to do. Since I can't, with the help of the American Red Cross, I am able to do so many other things to help, even though I cannot donate blood. Volunteer work is a great way to help the community and it feels great when you can do your share to make the world a greater place. I am fortunate enough to be able to help even in the smallest ways and when you look up to someone like Clara, you really do have big shoes to fill. Without her support in women's rights, I may not have been able to vote or even be able to speak my mind, to go to college and get a degree that will allow me to make as much or more than a man. Having Clara Barton as my hero, my pushed me to pursue my dreams and to never give up on what I to achieve.
"American Red Cross Museum." American Red Cross. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.
"Civil War: Clara Barton." History Guy. Web. 15 Mar. 2012
"Clara Barton." Civil War Trust. Web. 15 Mar. 2012
Anonymous. Lists for United States History. Hoboken, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2003. Print.