Thursday, December 26, 2013

Clara Barton, Independent Nurse

Photo courtesy of

Clara Barton's birthday was yesterday, December 25th, Christmas Day. 

Founder of the Red Cross, I always thought that Clara Barton was a nurse and I know that many times she is described as having been a nurse.

Actually, Clara Barton was a teacher.  Impressive - she became a teacher at 15 and started the first free public school in New Jersey - but like many others of the time, she "nursed" patients during the Civil War and was considered, therefore, a nurse.  "Independent Nurses" they were called at the time.

Clara was not educated as a nurse formally, she learned her skills while caring for her teenage brother as he recovered from some sort of accident.  The 1800's equivalent of staying at a Holiday Inn.

She was never paid for her work with the Red Cross and, in fact, used her own money at times to support the organization, but there were rumors of financial foul play when she left the Red Cross; she also was possibly the first woman to work for the US federal government. 

Happy Belated Birthday Clara!

No comments:

Post a Comment