Clara Barton Essay
Teaching was a good choice because she was shy and serving others helped take the focus off herself. At age fifteen she began to teach at a nearby school, then she moved to Bordentown, New Jersey to teach, in 1850. Traditionally, school was only provided to those who could pay for it. Thus, not many children were educated. Clara wanted to provide education to all children and opened a free public school. The school became very successful, and eventually the town officials decided that it needed a male administrator. During this time she suffered her first crisis of nervous illness and resigned.
In 1853, Clara became a recording clerk in the U.S. Patent Office in Washington D.C. She became the first woman in America to hold such a government post. After working for three years as a clerk with equal pay to men, she was demoted to a copier and eventually resigned.
Once the American Civil War broke out in 1861, she wanted to help the soldiers. She started out by giving out supplies to the men as they arrived on the trains. Soon other people wanted to pitch in, so she helped organize and distribute the collected supplies. By 1862, Clara moved on to become a nurse in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Army said it would be to hard for a woman to be on the battlefield, but she knew that is where she could make the biggest difference. Quartermaster Daniel Rucker, finally granted her permission to provide support on the front lines and she quickly became known as the “Angel of the