Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1800-1925: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook

By Karlyn Kohrs Campbell | Go to book overview

strong-willed single Massachusetts woman whose life was identified with her cause and who also was accused unjustly of fund mismanagement ( Barry, 1988:325)--were good friends, and she had strong woman's rights sympathies. On one occasion, misguided promoters had billed Barton as a speaker on patriotic themes, not on woman's rights, "after the style of Susan B. Anthony and her clique." At the end of her lecture, she read the advertisement to the audience, defended Anthony, endorsed her cause, and led her loyal Grand Army of the Republic supporters in three cheers for Anthony ( Pryor, 1987:151, 152).


CONCLUSION

Barton demonstrated that a capable woman who was willing to avoid the appearance of threatening the patriarchal status quo could participate in U.S. public life--even in two fields, medicine and the military, that were most strongly identified with masculine values. Enacting rather than advocating her woman's rights sentiments was a highly appropriate strategy for her time.

Evidence of Barton's continuing influence appeared in a recent article concerning current Red Cross President Elizabeth Hanford Dole's visit to Kuwait to "bring the attention to the American Red Cross's Gulf Crisis Fund Campaign." After recounting the activities of the indefatigable Hanford Dole in Kuwait, inspecting hospitals, encouraging U.S. soldiers and Red Cross workers, conferring with General Norman Schwarzkopf, and so on, the article concluded that "the new leader of the American Red Cross has a lot in common with the famed Barton. A genteel background, attractive, and fiercely determined--and of course, 'sensitive by nature, refined by culture'" ( Wallo, 1991:30).


SOURCES

Primary sources are the Clara Barton Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (CBPLC), and the collection at the Clara Barton National Historic Site, Glen Echo, Maryland. Other sources include the Clara Barton Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, and William Barton Papers, Smith College Archives, Northampton, Massachusetts; the Clara Barton Papers, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts; the Clarissa Harlowe Barton Papers, Manuscript Department, Duke University Library, Durham, North Carolina; the Clara Barton Papers, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California, and the Elwell Papers, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio. Letters exist in many collections throughout the country, for example, the Mugar Library Manuscript Division, Boston University.


Dissertations

Henle Ellen Langenheim. "Against the Fearful Odds: Clara Barton and American Philanthropy." Ph.D. diss., Case Western Reserve University, 1977.

Smith Nina Bennett. "The Women Who Went to the War: The Union Army Nurse in the Civil War." Ph.D. diss., Northwestern University, 1981.

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