December 25, 1821, in North Oxford, Massachusetts USA.
At 17, Barton
became a teacher in Massachusett's District 9, located in Worcester County.
At the outbreak
of the Civil War, Barton worked as a volunteer. She advertised for supplies and distributed
bandages, socks, and other goods to help the wounded soldiers. In 1864, Barton was given the
position of superintendent of Union nurses.
During the years
following the war, Barton lectured about her war experiences, continued her work at the Office of
Correspondence, and worked with the suffragist movement.
1869, Barton had worked herself into a physical breakdown. She followed her doctor's orders and
traveled to Europe to rest and regain her health.
It was during
this trip that Barton learned about the Treaty of Geneva, which provided relief for sick and wounded
soldiers. Twelve nations had signed the treaty, but the United States had refused. Barton vowed to
look into the matter.
returned to the United States in 1873, she began her crusade for the Treaty of Geneva and the Red
Cross. Due to her efforts, the United States signed the Geneva Agreement in 1882.
The American Red
Cross organization was formed in 1881, and Barton served as its first president. Barton remained Red
Cross president until 1904. During her tenure, she headed up relief work for disasters such as
famines, floods, pestilence, and earthquakes in the United States and throughout the world. In 1904,
at the age of 82, she resigned her post.
died on April 12, 1912, from complications of a cold.
The mission of
her life can be summed up in her own words, "You must never so much as think whether you like it or
not, whether it is bearable or not; you must never think of anything except the need, and how to