Influential Educators

Portrait of Clara Barton; A woman in a late 19th century-style dress sits on a chair, her left arm resting on her lap and in her hands she holds a pair of gloves. Her right arm rests on the table directly beside her.

Clara Barton

December 25, 1821 - April 12, 1912

Clara Barton was the daughter of Captain Stephen Carton, who was a member of local militia and a politician, who inspired Clara’s patriotism and humanitarianism. Plagued by shyness, she eventually gained confidence and motivation after receiving her first teacher’s certificate in 1839.

In 1861, the American Civil War erupted, and Barton served her country by providing wounded and sick soldiers with clothing, food, and supplies, as well as emotional support. After the war, she became the American representative of the Red Cross, which responded to war crises and natural disasters like earthquakes, forest fires, and hurricanes.

After years of humanitarian service, Clara Barton passed away in her home at the age of 90, from tuberculosis.

Why She Matters

Barton founded the American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization that continues to provide emergency assistance, disaster relief, and education.


Leaving a Legacy

Clara Barton commemorative stamp showing her portrait profile, her name, a red cross and the text "Founder of the American Red Cross."