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Clara Barton and the American Red Cross

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Lizzy C.

on 13 May 2014

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Transcript of Clara Barton and the American Red Cross

Clara Barton and the American Red Cross
Beginning to help
Joining the Civil War
- Clara showed a lot of interest in the lives of her "soldier boys" and knew a lot about them and the regiments they belonged to
- Near the end of the war, she wrote to many families who asked about men that had been reported missing
-Barton established the Office of Correspondence with Friends of the Missing Men of the United States Army answering over 63,000 letters and identifying over 22,000 missing men
- Clara also helped with the establishing of a national cemetery around the graves of Union soldiers that died at Andersonville Prison in Georgia
-With the help of Dorence Atwater (secretly made a list of dead while he was a prisoner in Andersonville) and 30 military men, Barton identified the graves of almost 13,000 men
Clara's Early Life
- Clarissa Harlowe Barton was born on December 25, 1821 in Oxford, Massachusetts as the youngest of 5 children
- She was shy growing up and didn't have friends but did well in school
- When she was 11, her brother David fell from a roof while trying to fix it and wasn't expected to live, and Clara stepped up and helped him for 3 years
- Clara became a teacher at 15 years old and opened a free public school in New Jersey

The Modern Day Red Cross
American Red Cross
Work in the International Red Cross
- Clara originally went to Europe looking for rest in 1869 but was shown more through the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland
- She also read a book by Henry Dunant (founder of the global Red Cross network) who wanted international treaties and national groups to be created pledging to care for people during wars and volunteer aid neutrally
- In 1870 Barton joined volunteers of the Red Cross on the battlefield during the Franco- Prussian War
- Barton helped give relief supplies to the needy and started workrooms to make clothes in Strasbourg and other places in France
- The first treaty showing Dunant's plan is known as the Geneva Convention in 1864 and ratified by 12 nations in Europe which Clara eventually got the US to also ratify

- Henry Dunant had the idea that the Red Cross give disaster relief and assistance during wars in 1864 but Clara was its strongest advocate in the years after
- In the 3rd International Red Cross Convention in Geneva (1884) the "American Amendment" was added to the Geneva Treaty of 1864 expanding Red Cross services to natural disaster victims- proposed by the Am. Red Cross
- Barton was given the German Iron Cross for her aid during the Franco- Prussian War
- The Silver Cross of Imperial Russia was also given to her for food/ supplies given during the famine in 1892
Work In The Red Cross
- Clara not only convinced the president to join the worldwide Red Cross organization, but also founded the
Red Cross 1881 and became its president for 23 years
- During its first 20 years, the Am. Red Cross was mostly involved with disaster relief
- The first time the Red Cross flag officially flew in the US was when Barton asked for clothes and money donations to to help those affected by a forest fire in Michigan
- Clara Barton also chartered steamers to carry supplies on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to aid people affected by floods
- In 1889, Clara went to Johnston, Pennsylvania with 50 others to help survivors of a dam burst causing over 2,000 deaths
Work of The Red Cross cont.
- Russians experiencing a famine in 1892 received 500 railroad cars of cornmeal and flour from Iowa- organized by Clara
- In 1893 a hurricane and tidal wave on the Sea Islands of South Carolina lead to more than 5,000 dead, so Barton and the Red Cross stayed with the mainly African- American population for 10 months
- She was the only woman and Red Cross supporter the Turkish government let give relief to victims of unrest in Turkey and Armenia in 1896
- She also aided victims of the Spanish- American War in 1898
- In her last relief operation, she gave out more than $120,000 toward support and supplies to survivors of the Hurricane/ Flood of 1900 in Galveston
-Clara was working as a recording clerk in the US patent office at the start of the war
-Clara began helping by taking supplies to the men of the 6th Massachusetts Infantry who had been attacked in Baltimore, Maryland
-She provided clothing,food, and supplies to sick and wounded soldiers on behalf of organizations like the U.S. Sanitary Commission, but she was never officially with any group
- Barton also gave personal support to soldiers by writing letters for them, reading, praying, and listening to their problems
- Clara convinced the army and government to let her bring her supplies and services to field hospitals and battle scenes
- She served at the battles of Fairfax Station, Chantilly, Harpers Ferry, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Charleston, Petersburg, and Cold Harbor where she became known as the "Angel of the Battlefield" for her help
- Clara didn't like having the medical units toward the back of the pack so at Antietam she had her wagon drivers travel all night and pulled ahead of military medical units
- Barton and her associates ran onto the battlefield to help wounded soldiers giving relief and hope
Clara's Life at the End of the War
Clara's Other Accomplishments


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Clara's Later Years and Death
- A few books on the starting of the American Red Cross and the worldwide Red Cross network were published by Clara
The Story of My Childhood
by Clara Barton was also published in 1907
- Clara died at her home in Glen Echo, Maryland from pneumonia on April 12, 1912 at the age of 91
- The Library of Congress was given some of her papers, mementos, and awards by her family, and her home has become a National Historic Site
Clara's Other Interests
- Barton was active in prison reform, women's suffrage, civil rights, education, and spiritualism
- Clara was a great speaker and lecturer whose speeches often moved veterans to tears with detailed descriptions of battlefields
- In 1904 Barton resigned as American Red Cross president because of comments on her managing style, abilities, and age
- She instead created the National First Aid Association of America which lasted 5 years and was small
- The organization focused on simple first aid training, readiness for emergencies, and making first aid kits
Clara's legacy is shown through the work of the American Red Cross and its volunteers helping people around the world
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- Clara kept in touch with Red Cross officials in Switzerland after coming back to the US
- She got a letter from the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross but was denied by Pres. Hayes in 1877
- The next president, Chester Arthur signed the Treaty of Geneva in 1882
- The American Red Cross got its first congressional charter in 1900
The American Red Cross's mission is to give compassionate care to people in need. The key service areas are:
-Disaster Relief
- Supporting America's Military Families
-Blood Donations
- Health and Safety Services
- International Services
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