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Clara Barton National Historic Site, Maryland von Barton, Clara (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 30.09.2016
  • Verlag: anboco
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Clara Barton National Historic Site, Maryland

Clara Barton, humanitarian and founder of the American Red Cross, spent the last 15 years of her life in a house in Glen Echo, Maryland, now known as Clara Barton National Historic Site. Here her contributions to American life and her personal achievements are memorialized. Here you can see many of her personal effects and some of the awards given to her. Here, too, you can learn of the substance of her life and see how she lived and worked. From Glen Echo, you can go on to several other National Park System sites associated with Clara Barton: Antietam, Andersonville, Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Johnstown. Together these diverse sites document her life, her work, and her legacy. Begin here at her house and fill in details of her life as you come across them at the other sites. For example, the lumber you see in the building at Glen Echo was originally used as temporary housing for victims of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, flood in 1889. After Clara Barton and the Red Cross finished helping the injured and the homeless in that city, the structure was dismantled and shipped to Washington, D.C. Two years later, the materials were used at Glen Echo to construct a national headquarters for the American Red Cross. The new building had essentially the same lines as the Johnstown structure with various alterations to accommodate the needs of the American Red Cross and Clara Barton herself. Initially she planned to use this building as a warehouse for American Red Cross supplies. Six years after its construction, the building was remodeled and used not only as 7 a warehouse, but also as the headquarters of the new organization and as the residence for her and her staff. The structure served all purposes well. Clara Barton did not distinguish between herself and the organization she founded. The lines were blurred; she was the Red Cross, and the Red Cross was Clara Barton. That is evident here in the house, for she did not separate living space from working space.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 160
    Erscheinungsdatum: 30.09.2016
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783736415485
    Verlag: anboco
    Größe: 5681 kBytes
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Clara Barton National Historic Site, Maryland

When President Lincoln issued his call for volunteers to maintain the Union, the response was immediate and troops began heading for Washington. Some Massachusetts volunteers passing through Baltimore, which was decidedly Southern in sentiment, were attacked by local citizens.

In late April 1861, less than two weeks after the bombardment of Fort Sumter in South Carolina, the Massachusetts Sixth Regiment arrived in Washington, D.C., from Massachusetts. This regiment hailed from the Worcester area and many of the men were friends or former pupils of Clara Barton. Their train was mobbed while passing through Baltimore, and Barton, concerned that one of her "boys" might have been injured, rushed to their temporary quarters in the Senate Chamber. She found the Regiment unharmed, but sadly lacking in basic necessities-"towels and handkerchiefs ... serving utensils, thread, needles ... etc." She bought and distributed as many of these items as she could, then wrote to the anxious families in Massachusetts to send preserved fruits, blankets, candles, and other supplies to supplement the unreliable army issues. "It is said upon proper authority, that 'our army is supplied,'" she wrote to a group of ladies in Worcester, "how this can be so I fail to see." When the generous New Englanders inundated her with useful articles and stores, Barton's home became a virtual warehouse. "It may be in these days of quiet idleness they have really no pressing wants," she observed, "but in the event of a battle who can tell what their needs might grow to in a single day?" Such garnering of supplies against unforeseen disaster eventually became a central characteristic of her relief work in the years to come.

Barton's earliest concern with aiding the Union army stemmed from her loyalty to the Massachusetts men. She felt a personal involvement with those who "only a few years ago came every morning ... and took their places quietly and happily among my scholars" and an allegiance to others from her home state. "They formed and crowded around me," she noted. "What could I do but go with them, or work for them and my country? The patriot blood of my father was warm in my veins."

Her patriotism also was aroused by the Union cause. Although she maintained that the purpose of the war was not solely to abolish slavery, she also held little sympathy for the Southern way of life and aligned herself with such Republicans as Henry Wilson who believed that historically the Southern states had conspired to tyrannize the North. "Independence!" she once scoffed, "they always had their independence till they madly threw it away." She was exhilarated. "This conflict is one thing I've been waiting for," she told a friend, "I'm well and strong and young-young enough to go to the front. If I can't be a soldier I'll help soldiers." And feeling even more exalted, she declared that "when there is no longer a soldier's arm to raise the Stars and Stripes above our Capitol, may God give strength to mine."

For a year Barton contented herself with soliciting supplies. Then, as the horrible effects of battle were reported in Washington, she began to think of aiding soldiers directly on the battlefield. She had visited hospitals and invalid camps, but what disturbed her most were the tales of suffering at the front. Soldiers often had wounds unnecessarily complicated by infection due to neglect, or died of thirst while waiting for transportation to field hospitals. Nurses were urgently needed at the battlefield, but she wondered if it was seemly for a woman to place herself directly in the lines of battle: "I struggled ... with my sense of propriety, with the appalling fact that I was only a woman whispering in one ear, and thundering in the other [were] the groans of suffering men dying like dogs."

Her father encouraged her to go where her co

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