Clarissa Barton Biography

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Clarissa Harlowe Barton was born on December 25th, 1821 to Stephen and Sarah Barton. She had two older brothers, Stephen and David. Born the only girl of this Oxford, Massachusetts family, her father hoped she would do big things one day. Clarissa, most commonly known as Clara, did go on to do big things with her life. The biggest accomplishment, and the one she is most known for, is establishing the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross, though, would not have been possible if Barton had not gone to Europe in 1869 to rest and get away from the States. During this trip, while in Geneva, Switzerland, she was introduced to a wider field of service: The International Red Cross. From a young age, Barton’s father drilled her in military etiquette…show more content…
In 19 years, there are seven major relief operations Barton was in charge of. The first was in response to devastating forest fires in Michigan. Barton issued a public appeal for funds and clothing for the victims of this 1881 disaster. In 1884, she sent steamers up and down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to help flood victims get the supplies they needed. In 1889, she and 50 volunteers went to Johnstown, Pennsylvania to help the survivors of the dam break that caused over 2,000 deaths. In 1892, she shipped 500 railroad cars of cornmeal and flour from Iowa to Russians suffering from a famine. The next year, Barton spent 10 months helping the population of the Sea Islands of South Carolina recover their agricultural community after a hurricane and tidal wave killed over 5,000 people. In 1896, Barton was the only woman and only Red Cross advocate that the Turkish government allowed to assist the victims of unrest in Turkey and Armenia. Finally, during Barton’s final relief effort in 1900, she distributed over $120,000 in financial assistance and supplies to survivors of the hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas. These instances are only some of the major disasters that Barton and the Red Cross assisted in. The Red Cross is one of the first responders to any natural disaster. Their white flag, with the red cross in the center, is a sign many people are relieved to see after a horrifying situation. 1900 was also the year that the Red Cross received its first congressional charter. Five years later, the same year Barton resigned, they received a second congressional

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