Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Citizen Memorial: Clarissa "Clara" Harlowe Barton - Boston, MA

Clarissa "Clara" Harlowe Barton
Boston, MA

N 42° 21.496 W 071° 03.794

Short Description: 

A plaque honoring Clarissa "Clara" Harlowe Barton is located on a wall in Nurses Hall in the Massachusetts State House at 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA.

Long Description:

 20" by 16" bronze plaque in Nurses Hall of the Massachusetts State House commemorates the life and accomplishments of Clarissa Harlowe "Clara" Barton. The plaque contains a relief portrait of Clara Barton down to the top of her shoulders. Below the portrait is the inscription:

Clarissa (Clara) Harlowe Barton
"Angel of the Battlefield"
1821 - 1912

Teacher, self-taught nurse,
women's rights advocate,
founder of the American Red Cross

A native of Oxford, Massachusetts
Clara Barton
has a commitment to humanity,
a spirit of perseverance,
and determination that continues
to be an inspiration to the 
citizens of the Commonwealth.

Clarissa Harlowe "Clara" Barton was born on Christmas Day in 1821 in North Oxford, MA. During her life she held many positions that were unusual for a woman at that time. She was a teacher, patent clerk, nurse, and humanitarian.

Early in her career she worked as a school teacher is south central Massachusetts. In 1850, she attended the Clinton Liberal Institute in New York and then opened a free school in New Jersey. Next she work as a clerk in the US Patent Office in Washington D.C.

In 1855 she moved to Washington D.C. and began work as a clerk in the US Patent Office. She was the first woman to hold a Federal position at the same salary as a man.

In 1862, during the Civil War after the First Battle of Bull Run Clara Barton involved the public and gathered and distributed medical supplies for wounded soldiers. In 1864, she was appointed by Union General Benjamin Butler to take charge of the field hospitals on the front lines for the Union Army on the James River. In this capacity, she became known as is known as the "Angel of the Battlefield." After the war she was in charge of the Office of Missing Soldiers.

After the war she traveled to Europe. During a trip to Geneva, Switzerland, Clara Barton was introduced to the Swiss organization the Red Cross, an organization founded Henry Dunant that provided relief on a neutral basis. Clara Barton worked to get recognition for International Committee of the Red Cross by the United States government. Soon thereafter, Clara Barton became the first President of the American Red Cross.

The Massachusetts State House at 24 Beacon Street in Boston is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm. All visitors must enter through the General Hooker entrance.

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