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Wednesday’s Wise Woman … Clara Barton

March 6, 2013


Over the last few months,  some of the wise women I have featured have been favoured by most but in some cases despised.They have been called heroes and trouble makers; depending on which side of the fence she stood.
There are few heroes who are universally appreciated like Clara Barton (1821-1912) who founded the American Red Cross.  She was a hero of global worth and crossed all international and political divides.
Clara began as a battlefield nurse in the American Civil war in 1862. She administered to all soldiers in the bloodiest of battles. Running from patient to patient as the guns rattled and bombs exploded about her.  Her fearlessness and compassion earned her the title of Angel of the the Battlefield. With equal care she nursed soldiers on either side of the front.
At the end of the civil war Clara achieved widespread recognition by delivering lectures around the the country about her wartime experiences.  During this time she became involved in the women’s suffrage movement and an activist for black civil rights.
After this in 1870 she went to Europe and served as a member of the Red Cross in the war between Germany and France; where she was charged with the responsibility to supply work to the poor in Strasbourg,. Then in 1871 after the siege of Paris to distribute supplies to the people of Paris.
It was in 1873 when Clara returned to to the United States that she  founded the American Red Cross and was the president for twenty years.  For many years until she was well passed her 70s Clara continued to travel to sites of disasters to nurse all people. She died aged 90 of tuberculosis.

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