Clara Barton: "Angel of the Battlefield"
Clara Barton provided relief services on battlefields during the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War in Europe, working with bereaved families to identify lost soldiers, nursing the wounded, and aiding the displaced. For most of her life she kept a diary, conducted a voluminous correspondence, and was active in numerous progressive causes. Despite her accomplishments, she expressed frustration with the barriers that confronted her as a woman, and her diaries reveal a lifelong struggle with depression. Many of Barton's papers have never been transcribed and you may be the first person in over a century to read some of these pages in full. Transcriptions will make these materials accessible for other people all around the world, and be a catalyst for new research on this remarkable woman and her times. These papers document her roles as the “Angel of the Battlefield” and founder of the American Red Cross, which she led for nearly 20 years, organizing relief aid for the most devastating natural disasters of the late nineteenth-century. You will also help uncover Barton’s work teaching in Massachusetts and at one of the first public schools in New Jersey, as a government clerk and one of the first female federal employees in the United States, as a director of a women's prison, and as an advocate for women’s suffrage and other reforms.