Clara Barton's full name is actually Clarissa Harlowe Barton. She was born on December 25, 1821, Christmas Day. She lived from 1821-1912. She was born in Oxford, Massachusetts. Over the years of Clara's life she became very aware of the help that people needed. She helped wounded and hurt people her whole life. Her first work that she did was in the Civil War. Many people enjoyed her work and appreciated everything that she did. She helped the United States in a great way bring the Red Cross to the country. Clara Barton made society aware of the need for medical care and humanitarian aid in the late 1800's and was therefore crucial in the creation of the American Red Cross.
Barton lived in her home in Oxford, Ma until the age of nine. When Barton was nine she moved to another house in the same town. She was the youngest of five children. Their names were Dorothy, Steven, Sally, and David. Her father's name was Captain Steve Barton. The mother's name was Sally Stone Barton. Her favorite brother was David, he taught her how to ride a horse. Clara was not a loud child; she was very sensitive and shy. She went away to Boarding school when she was only nine, but did not stay there for long because she could not handle being away from home. Barton was a student at Clinton Liberal Institute. Barton was very smart, enjoyed learning, worked hard and got a well-rounded education. (Hamilton 1988) When she was only 17 she became a schoolteacher at a school in North Oxford. Since Barton was a shy person she was very frightened to get up in front of students and teach but she overcame her fears. She received an honor for the best disciplined class in the district. In 1853 Barton began teaching in Bordentown, New Jersey. When she moved to New Jersey she lived with a friend named Mary Norton. In the school at Bordentown only wealthy kids could go there because they had to pay. Barton did not think that was fair so she worked very hard to open a school where no one had to pay to be taught.