Clara Barton

Clara Barton, 1821–1912, American humanitarian, organizer of the American Red Cross, b. North Oxford (now Oxford), Mass. She taught school (1839–54) and clerked in the U.S. Patent Office before the outbreak of the Civil War. She then established a service of supplies for soldiers and nursed in army camps and on the battlefields. She was called the Angel of the Battlefield. In 1865 President Lincoln appointed her to search for missing prisoners; the records she compiled also served to identify thousands of the dead at Andersonville Prison. In Europe for a conference at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War (1870), she went to work behind the German lines for the International Red Cross. She returned to the United States in 1873 and in 1881 organized the American National Red Cross, which she headed until 1904. She worked successfully for the President's signature to the Geneva treaty for the care of war wounded (1882) and emphasized Red Cross work in catastrophes other than war. Among her writings are several books on the Red Cross.

See biographies by I. Ross (1956) and W. E. Barton (1969); S. B. Oates, A Woman of Valor (1994).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Clara Barton: Selected full-text books and articles

Clara Barton: In the Service of Humanity By David H. Burton Greenwood Press, 1995
Clara Barton: Professional Angel By Elizabeth Brown Pryor University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987
Clara's Heart By Morrow, Laura Policy Review, No. 75, January-February 1996
Lincoln's Daughters of Mercy By Marjorie Barstow Greenbie G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1944
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "A Lady with a Flask"
Public Relations History: From the 17th to the 20th Century: The Antecedents By Scott M. Cutlip Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Clara Barton Builds the Red Cross" begins on p. 253
Nursing, the Finest Art: An Illustrated History By M. Patricia Donahue Mosby, 1996 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Clara Barton begins on p. 255
Historical Encyclopedia of American Women Entrepreneurs: 1776 to the Present By Jeannette M. Oppedisano Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Clara Barton, 1821-1912" begins on p. 31
Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1800-1925: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook By Karlyn Kohrs Campbell Greenwood Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: "Clara Barton (1821-1912), Advocate for the American Red Cross" begins on p. 26
FREE! Woman's Work in the Civil War: A Record of Heroism, Patriotism and Patience By L. P. Brockett; Mary C. Vaughan Zeigler, McCurdy, 1867
Librarian’s tip: "Clara Harlowe Barton" begins on p. 111
Women during the Civil War: An Encyclopedia By Judith E. Harper Routledge, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "Barton, Clara (1821-1912)" begins on p. 29
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