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The role of gender, phrenology, discrimination & nervous prostration in Clara Barton's career

  [ 58 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • December 2, 1995


Clara Barton was 39 years old before she became involved in
Civil War humanitarian activities. Prior to that time, three
factors shaped her personality and her future: phrenology gave
her philosophical principles to live by, especially "Know
Thyself"; sex discrimination on her first two jobs steeled her
for living in a male dominated Victorian era; and
psychohygienic therapy for her long term nervous prostration
changed her behavioral approach to illness and to life. With
these three influences in hand, Barton went on to gain
world-wide adulation. During the Civil War, she was revered as
the American Florence Nightingale, although she was not really
a nurse. At age 55, Barton first embarked on the lengthy
struggle to found the American Red Cross. She was president of
the Red Cross for 23 years and rendered aid and comfort at a
host of national and international calamities. She died at age
90 in her Glen Echo, Maryland home on April 12, 1912.

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