It was on this date, December 25, 1821, that Clara Barton was born Clarissa Harlowe Barton in North Oxford, Massachusetts. She was the youngest of five children, who took over much of her early education. From age 17, Barton was a schoolteacher, but she hit a glass ceiling at a free school she opened and expanded in Bordentown, NJ, being passed over to run it when a man was hired instead. Barton moved to Washington DC, and worked in the U.S Patent Office, but when the American Civil War broke out, she said, “while our soldiers stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them.”
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Originally published December 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.