Clara Barton’s Courage Essay
“My business is staunching blood, and feeding fainting men.”, Clara Barton once wrote according to the Clara Barton Birthplace museum, 2010. One of the most important humanitarians and courageous people that has ever lived is Clara Barton. Barton posses the qualities and fits the definition of courageous through her actions as she encounters life of helping to aid soldiers in very extreme surroundings, donating munificently to the war, and trying to help a cause when she had nothing left, showing selflessness. Shows perseverance as she kept going while soldiers stopped for the night, she put much effort to unite Red Cross and the US, and she kept striving when she was told it was unladylike. Barton asserted a hard working ethic by working in many wars, working nights that had much to do, and accomplishing the assignment from Lincoln.
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Clara Barton was a courageous person from having the traits of selflessness, perseverance, and a hard working ethic. Thus presenting the qualifications and the definition of courage herself. Born in Oxford Massachusetts on December 25, 1821 to Stephan “Captain” Barton and Sarah Stone, (American Red Cross, 2013) Growing up, her childhood was very fearful and full of containing much nursing experience. Barton had no playmates as a child, but she had many adults and became chicken-hearted of many things, “I remember nothing but fear” (Clara Barton, 1862). She first encountered and glimpsed into the field of healing others, when she was 11 years old. Her brother suffered a very serious fall, and at the time- doctors prescribe leeches.
Clara Harlowe became his nurse for a duration of 2 years. (Nancy Whitelaw, 1997) When she was a child, she would always listen to her father’s war stories and watch her family all become teachers or serve in the war. She followed their footprints and became a teacher, but quit after 10 years from feeling that this isn’t what she really wants to do. A school was dedicated to her for her great efforts. She became a clerk, but quit for the same reason. (Women in History, 2013).
She helped in many civil wars as aid, which awarded her with the Iron Cross, the Cross of Imperial Russia and the International Red Cross Medal. (Women in History, 2013) Years later, around the age of 83, she retired from being the president of the Red Cross. At the age of 90, she died. America, thought of her as one of the greatest Americans in History, (Red Cross, 2013) Life experiences that put her down, was suffering depression around times of no work such as being restricted to continue aiding, “ but always seemed to revive quickly when a major calamity called for her services,” (Red Cross, 2013)
Clara Barton is a very courageous person in history from her altruism throughout her life. She volunteered to help aid soldiers in very extreme places, donated most of her life savings, and though she had lack of funds or tickets, she still tried to help a cause with what was left. One extreme nursing area was when she aided in the battle of Antietam. “The tables jarred and rolled until we could hardly keep the men on them, and the roar was overwhelming.” (Clara Barton, 1862). While she was attending to needy men, the upper levels of the house was being shot at. “the house and corn field were under the lee of a hill and the enemy’s guns were mostly trained on that hill so that the firing went over us.
The upper stories of the house were riddled to be sure and several shells fell in among us”, Clara Barton,1862. The mere fact that she had to adapt and not be fearful, as she stayed in this hostile and unsuitable environment for medical aid, presenting the characteristic of selflessness. She was there to help, no matter what the situation put her in. She was also selfless by philanthropic acts toward the war. In Culpepper, Virginia, she brought 3 warehouses of supplies from her own home from lack of supplies there, and aided them without pay or pension. (James Lincoln Collier, 2003) 3 warehouses full of supplies in the time period was a great deal.
She gave her life savings to the penurious war and realized she had too little money to keep up with the dedication to aid. She proposed to congress for 30,000 dollars to keep up the great help, but only received 15,000 in congressional appropriations instead. (Nancy Whitelaw 1997) Clara Barton was selfless when she was restricted from the army supplies and unable to help the army in any way from lack of funds and ticket. During this time, whenever she heard of need of aid, she was there.
Exemplifying, St. Helens Island was infected with smallpox, so she scraped up money to help them by sending supplies such clothes and sanitation, according to Nancy Whitelaw, 1997. During this time she talked to everyone she could and tried to publicize how important it is to donate to the army, while suffering depression. (Dorothy Francis 2002) Barton’s courage is greatly emphasized from the events showing her selflessness as she put her heart out for the cause she believed in.
Overall, Barton was a very courageous person because of perseverance and devotion to the cause. She kept proceeding on the trail while soldiers stopped for the night, she put much effort to unite Red Cross and the US, and she kept contending when she was told it was unladylike. While many soldiers stopped for the night, she continued on the path to set up her place to care for the wounded. “At dusk the train drew to one side of the road and halted for the night. At midnight I directed my drivers to harness quietly and drive on past them, if possible without creating suspicion.” (Clara Barton, 1862) When the battle began, she would be completely prepared to heal anyone as soon as it starts.
She adjusted to her job, to where she could care for the soldiers at the utmost convenience. Also, she showed perseverance during the battle of Antietam. She testified to congress in 1862, of a conversation between the Chef and herself. The assistants were gone, leaving the Chef and her. “They have been here through ghastly scenes since daylight and then cannonading is nerve-wracking. Don’t blame them that they have retired, and some have gone down the line to the wounded.” Other assistants couldn’t bear the amount of trouble and overwhelming times, yet she abided until the supplies ran out, therefore showing perseverance.
Clara Barton showed perseverance by fighting the odds of the union of the Red Cross and the US.( Nancy Whitelaw, 1997). Her persistence to the government officials,was not enough to make them budge, so she tried to publicize Red Cross. She wrote countless letters, talked to everyone she could, and created speeches to gain support and awareness that might change the government official’s minds. (James Lincoln Collier, 2003) When Barton went to Europe for rest, she and Henry Dunant tried to make “international agreements to protect the sick and wounded during wartime without respect to nationality and for the formation of national societies to give aid voluntarily on a neutral basis.” by making an agreement to many countries such as Russia, the US, and Geneva for the Red Cross to be part of the “framework”. (Red Cross, 2013)
She also showed perseverance by when she was told that what she wanted to do was unladylike, yet kept going. When she made the decision to visit the front of the battlefield for a living, she had to get many proper officials authorizations. They told her of how it’s not fit for a lady, but she juxtaposed to their argument of the idea of how effective she was aiding to the Washington troops, through the exemplaning the amount time she spent collecting supplies for soldiers, and the fact of 3 warehouses full of supplies to her dispense. (Dorothy Francis, 2002)
Clara Barton was a very courageous person because of her hard working ethic. She worked in many wars, worked nights that had much to do, and accomplishing the assignment from Lincoln. Barton aided in Battle of Cedar mountain, Battle of Chantilly, Battle of South Mountain, Maryland, Siege of Ft. Wagner, South Carolina, traveled with the Army of the Potomac, Battle of Fredericksburg, and aided to riots in Maryland, and many other small battles. (Clara Barton, 1862) The timing between each war was very little- some were only less than a week apart. The duration of each war was as little as 2 days to a whole month. (National Park Service, 2013) In account of Barton 1862, she and 42 other nurses were nursing with many soldiers in need of immediate attention, 1862.
Clara Barton had a hard working ethic because of the amaranthine and undying amount of wounded pouring in that she tended to (Clara Barton, 1862) Since there were ceaseless amounts of wounded soldiers each night, she was constantly working throughout the night. Clara Barton even stated in her diary about how sometimes she wouldn’t be able to see her quarters for two days because of the amount of 1862. Having long tedious nights, every night for a long time, means much effort given all the time. Barton showed her hard working ethic when President Lincoln allowed her to search for missing soldiers. She set up an office of correspondence for four years writing to families . (Red Cross, 2013) “She and her assistants received and answered over 63,000 letters and identified over 22,000 missing men” (Red Cross, 2013). Her hard working and dedicated work ethic brings.
Clara Barton had a great impact on history. She created Red Cross, she tracked over 36000 men, and she proved and inspired many people that they can help in the war without fighting it. The Red Cross is a great relief to every disaster of human need there is. “When disasters strike abroad, we provide technical support, relief supplies, and financial assistance to ensure rapid response and recovery,” they stated, 2013. Their role in the community was purely to save many lives funded and made possible by contributors in society. Clara Barton founded and created this organization that affected many Americans. Without the Red Cross, we would be relying on the government to provide help in disasters.
With the limited funding they have, it would not anywhere close to the support the Red Cross has. Same with the facts of, if there was never a Red Cross, there would not be enough support to military families, disaster relief, enough health/ safety education, help to foreign countries, and enough blood to provide who needs it. (Red Cross, 2013). When Clara Barton did the assignment by Lincoln, “She and her assistants received and answered over 63,000 letters and identified over 22,000 missing men,” according to the Red Cross.
She helped create the national cemetery of the Andersonville Prison, she and 31 other people “identified the graves of nearly 13,000 men”. She provided much cessation of worry to the 63,000 families by doing what she did. (Red Cross, 2013) Imagine if she didn’t help at all with identifying and provide closure to the vast amount of men who were MIA? Clara Barton had a great impact on history and the world, as it seen by them of inspiration and proof that you can help the war without fighting it. Barton’s speeches she gave over time to who would listen, provided awareness of the donation and volunteer work available to in the Red Cross. (Nancy Whitelaw, 1997)
Events such as helping to servicing in intense environments, donating most of her life savings, trying to largess with insufficient funds, shows the trait selflessness, which perceived as courageous. Perseverance (also a trait apart of courage) is shown as she kept on trail while soldiers stopped for the night, put much effort to unite Red Cross and the US, and kept contending when she was told it was unladylike.
Courage also has the trait of a hard working ethic shown by Barton having an aspiration to assist in many wars, working nights that had much to do, and accomplishing the assignment from Lincoln. Barton is one of the most courageous people in history from having the traits of selflessness, perseverance, and a hard working ethic.
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“Clara Barton and the International Red Cross Association”, Clara Barton papers, Library of Congress, reel # 109, beginning at frame # 409, Sep. 17, 1862. 17 Sep. 1862. Wed. 05 Feb. 2013
Collier, James Lincoln, and Greg Copeland. The Clara Barton You Never Knew. New York: Children’s, 2003. Print.
“Founder Clara Barton.” Clara Barton. Red Cross, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2013.
Francis, Dorothy Brenner. Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook, 2002. Print.
Whitelaw, Nancy. Clara Barton: Civil War Nurse. Springfield, NJ: Enslow, 1997. Print.
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