Thursday, April 20, 2017

Grave of a Famous Person: Clara Barton - Oxford, MA

Clara Barton Gravesite
North Cemetery
Oxford, MA

N 42° 08.429 W 071° 52.103

Short Description: 

The grave of Civil War nurse and founder of the American Red Cross is located in North Cemetery in Oxford, MA.

Long Description:

Three granite monuments are located in the family plot which contains the grave of Clara Barton. The head and foot of the grave are marked by a pair of monuments. A simple 2' high granite gravestone is simply marked C.B. It is paired with a 6' high monument which contains a Red Cross on top of base that has a bronze wreath. A large family gravestone is inscribed with a synopsis of Clara Barton's accomplishments. It is inscribed:

CIVIL WAR 1861 - 1865
DEC. 25, 1821 - APRIL 12, 1912


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 worked 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 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 by 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.

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