Clara Barton Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Akinwalere Olaleye
Mar 01, 2024 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Jun 04, 2022
Clara Barton was an American nurse.
All ages
Read time: 7.6 Min

About Clara Barton

Clara Barton was a Civil War nurse part of American history.

Clara Barton was born in North Oxford, Massachusetts, on December 25, 1821. She was an educator and, later on, the founder of the American Red Cross.

Clara was known as Clarissa Harlowe Barton. She played a significant role in many people's lives. Clara was a teacher and later worked for the United States Patent Office as a patent clerk in Washington. She was a hospital nurse who helped the sick and the injured during the Civil War. Her humanitarian acts were all inspired by her father, Captain Stephen Barton, who often told her his war experiences and stories. Mr. Barton was a soldier and a farmer. He was also a leader in the Oxford area.

Clara Barton was a teacher for 12 years. She spent her childhood with her brothers and cousins. This made her understand the kids or especially boys. She knew how to handle these kids and make studying easy for them. Clara Barton lent her expertise during the American Civil War. She also provided supplies, and clothing, for the wounded people and soldiers. Clara was in South Carolina at Hilton Head for the Charleston Bombardment.

In 1897, when she arrived at her house in Glen Echo, this became the American Red Cross Headquarters. Clara successfully led the American Red Cross for 23 years. Her last work at American Red Cross was after the Galveston hurricane in 1900. Clara took her last breath in her Glen Echo, Maryland, on April 12, 1912. She was buried in North Oxford's North Cemetery.

Childhood And Education

In her early life, she faced many difficulties. Clarissa Harlowe Barton was quite timid as a kid. She was born in Oxford and had only one friend Nancy Fitts during her childhood. Clara was an intelligent student even at the age of three. Later on, when she turned 10, she took the sole responsibility of caring for her brother David.

David had fallen off the roof and got his head injured. The doctors almost gave up, but Clara made sure to give him the prescribed medicines and take care of her brother. It took some time, but David finally recovered. She had no official nursing degree but had learned through her personal experiences and helped during the Civil War.

Her parents sent her to Colonel Stones High School to become more confident. This, however, made her timider, and she often skipped meals. They eventually got her home as it affected her health. Clara played with her cousins and was quite versatile with horse riding activities. With the help of her mother and cousin, Clara Barton subsequently became quite confident in society. Further, her parents encouraged her to become a teacher.

At merely 17, Clara Barton got her teacher's certificate. She started doing campaigns for workers' children for their education. She was confident and asked for equal pay for both genders in the teaching field. Later on, Clara turned out to be a civil rights activist.

Family And Relationship

Clara Barton was the daughter of Captain Stephen Barton and Sarah Stone Barton. She had four siblings named Sarah Barton Vassall, Stephen Barton, Dorothea Barton, and David Barton. Clara was the fifth and youngest of them.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Clara Barton is among the numerous honored women who served America during the war. She became a teacher in 1838. Her mother died in 1851, and she moved to New York for further education. Her father went to her eldest brother's house. Eventually, Clara went to Clinton Liberal Institute to study languages and writing.

Clara Barton worked for the federal government. She got a job as a patent clerk in Washington's US Patent Office, and her perfect handwriting secured her a position at the patent office. She wrote almost 10,000 words daily. Judge Charles Mason (commissioner of the patent office) noticed her hard work and quality and offered her a job in 1855. Clara had a salary of $1500 per annum.

She was at a level where they gave her an equal salary as that of men in the office. However, she experienced opposition from the male employees. She faced bad behavior for almost three years at the patent office in Washington. She was later downgraded to the post of copyist due to political opposition.

Charity Work

Clara's humanitarian acts earned her fame worldwide. Clara Barton was a part of America's Civil War and helped the wounded soldiers. She is a recognized name in history, associated with the American Civil War (1861-1865), starting right from 1861 (the Baltimore Riot).

The Sixth Massachusetts Militia Infantry Regimen arrived for the Baltimore Riot. They were injured and sent to the Capitol Building in Washington. Clara stayed nearby and wanted to do good for others. She went to the station and helped around 40 wounded men. Many of them were hungry; the victims were all in uniform.

She carried all the supplies herself to help the wounded people and soldiers. In addition to this, she helped these soldiers in other ways. She read stories for their mental peace and relief and wrote letters to their families. Clara Barton even learned to give out medical supplies and aid kits. She provided food, clothing, first aid kits, and bandages.

In 1865, Clara wrote a letter to President Abraham Lincoln to seek permission and help the families of the dead victims. This was basically to note down the dead people and inform the families. After the American Civil War, she noticed all the letters to the war department were unanswered. She sought permission from President Lincoln to officially respond and reply to these queries. She was employed at the Office of Missing Soldiers. The main task was to check and verify union soldiers who were killed or missing. With her associates at the office, she helped more than 22,000 lost or missing people and their families.

Clara was tired, and the doctors suggested she take a break from all the work done during the Civil War. In 1868, Clara shut down the missing soldiers' office. During her travel to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1869, she met Dr. Appia and told him about the International Red Cross.

'A Memory Of Solferino,' a book by Henry Dunant (a Swiss businessperson), played a significant role in founding the Red Cross Committee. Clara made a considerable contribution to the global Red Cross network. She founded the American association called the American Red Cross on May 21, 1881.

Clara started it to help people during natural calamities by providing aid to them. The American Red Cross supported people during wartime, flood, storm, hurricanes, earthquakes, and forest fires. She requested International Red Cross to do the same thing in their countries.

Clara Barton is known for her outstanding humanitarian acts. These acts are a significant part of history and got her many accolades worldwide. However, despite doing a great job at the American Red Cross Society, she was criticized for her leadership and management skills. She eventually had to resign from the American Red Cross Society in 1904.

In 1905, she launched the National First Aid Association of America. She started it post her resignation from the American Red Cross Society.

What awards did Clara Barton win?

Clara's outstanding work got her fame and recognition worldwide. She spoke at various events and provided lectures and conferences. She got standing ovations and received various souvenirs from almost every part of the world. These were from royalty, soldiers, leaders, ordinary people, and presidents. For all her humanitarian acts, she got numerous awards during her lifetime. There are various schools, streets, and places named after her to honor her legacy.

Clara Barton's Hobbies And Interests

Clara Barton loved reading books and had a massive collection of books. Her father was a farmer and had animals on their farm. As a child, she loved horseback riding too. Clara loved animals and spent time with them in the barn. She loved singing, among various other activities.

Other Interesting Clara Barton Facts And Trivia

  • Clara Barton has been a part of many published lists of notable American women.
  • She was referred to as the 'Angel Of The Battlefield.' This title was given to her because of her frequent assistance in several battles like the Cedar Mountain, Fredericksburg, and Second Bull Run during the Civil War.
  • She was the founder of one of the first free public schools in New Jersey in Bordentown.
  • Jane Addams was also a prominent woman in America's history. She was a social worker and supporter of women's suffrage. She and Clara are seen on many American women's same lists who made important charitable contributions.
  • Clara wanted to portray her life experiences through a book called the 'Story Of My Childhood.' Unfortunately, she could not complete the book.
  • Clara had an invitation in 1861 to an inaugural ball by President Abraham Lincoln.
  • Clara's house is now listed as a historic place in Oxford known as the Clara Barton Birthplace Museum.
  • Clara Barton was one of the inductees with Shirley Chisholm to the National Women's Hall Of Fame.

We would love your help! If you have a photo of Clara Barton, either of them alone or a selfie that you would be happy to share, please send it to

If you have knowledge or information that you think would help us improve this article, please contact us.

Clara Barton Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

Clarissa Harlowe Barton

Date of Birth


Date of Death




Place of Birth

North Oxford


157 cm

Eye Color

Dark Brown


Nurse, Teacher, Patent Clerk, Red Cross Founder, Author


Sarah Stone Barton, Stephen Barton


Stephen Barton, Sarah Barton Vassall, David Barton, Dorothea Barton
We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

Read full bio >