Clara Barton was born on December 25, 1821, in North A biography of dorothea dix a humanitarian, Massachusetts.
Her father was Captain Stephen Barton, a member of the local militia and a selectman who inspired his daughter with patriotism and a broad humanitarian interest. When she was three years old, Barton was sent to school with her brother Stephen, where she excelled in reading and spelling. Barton had as a child due to her extreme timidity. When Barton was ten years old, she assigned herself the task of nursing her brother David back to health after he fell from the roof of a barn and received a severe injury.
Her parents tried to help cure her timidity by enrolling her to Colonel Stones High School, but their strategy turned out to be a catastrophe. Barton became more timid and depressed and would not eat. She was brought back home to regain her health. Upon her return, her family relocated to help a family member: a paternal cousin of Clara’s had died and left his wife with four children and a farm. The house that the Barton family was to live in needed to be painted and repaired. Barton was persistent in offering assistance, much to the gratitude of her family. She began to play with her male cousins and, to their surprise, she was good at keeping up with such activities as horseback riding.
It was not until after she had injured herself that Barton’s mother began to question her playing with the boys. Barton’s mother decided she should focus on more A biography of dorothea dix a humanitarian skills. She invited one of Clara’s female cousins over to help develop her femininity. From her cousin, she gained proper social skills as well. To assist Barton with overcoming her shyness, her parents persuaded her to become a schoolteacher. She achieved her first teacher’s certificate in 1839, at only 17 years old.
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Barton became an educator in 1838 for 12 years in schools in Canada and West Georgia. Barton fared well as a teacher and knew how to handle rambunctious children, particularly the boys, since as a child she enjoyed her male cousins’ and brothers’ company. She learned how to act like them, making it easier for her to relate to and control the boys in her classroom since they respected her. While teaching in Hightstown, Barton learned about the lack of public schools in Bordentown, the neighboring city. In 1852, she was contracted to open a free school in Bordentown, which was the first ever free school in New Jersey.
In 1855, she moved to Washington D. For three years, she received much abuse and slander from male clerks. On April 19, 1861, the Baltimore Riot resulted in the first bloodshed of the American Civil War. Victims within the Massachusetts regiment were transported to Washington D. Wanting to serve her country, Barton went to the railroad station when the victims arrived and nursed 40 men. Barton quickly recognized them, as she had grown up with some of them, and some she had even taught.
Barton, along with several other women, personally provided clothing, food, and supplies for the sick and wounded soldiers. She learned how to store and distribute medical supplies and offered emotional support to the soldiers by keeping their spirits high. She would read books to them, write letters to their families for them, talk to them, and support them. It was on that day that she identified herself with army work and began her efforts towards collecting medical supplies for the Union soldiers. Prior to distributing provisions directly onto the battlefield and gaining further support, Barton used her own living quarters as a storeroom and distributed supplies with the help of a few friends in early 1862, despite opposition in the War Department and among field surgeons.
In 1863 she began a romantic relationship with an officer, Colonel John J. In 1864, she was appointed by Union General Benjamin Butler as the «lady in charge» of the hospitals at the front of the Army of the James. Among her more harrowing experiences was an incident in which a bullet tore through the sleeve of her dress without striking her and killed a man to whom she was tending. After the end of the American Civil War, Barton discovered that thousands of letters from distraught relatives to the War Department were going unanswered because the soldiers they were questioning about were buried in unmarked graves.
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