Clara Barton

Clara Barton

Clara Barton Quotes

Last Updated February 6, 2010

With quotations by Barton first followed by others in alphabetical order of the person making the quote

“Had no playmates, but in effect six fathers and mothers.”

Barton, Clara

CB on growing up in a house as the youngest child

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg 16

“I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man’s work for less than a man’s pay.”

Barton, Clara

CB to a school board

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg 18

“I must have been born believing in the full right of women to all the privileges and positions which nature and justice accord her in common with other human beings.  Perfectly equal rights- human rights.  There was never any question in my mind in regard to this.”

Barton, Clara

CB on rights for women

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg 18

“tried to make it hard on me.  It wasn’t a very pleasant experience; in fact it was very trying, but I thought perhaps there was some question of principle involved and I lived through it.”

Barton, Clara

CB on her work at the Patent Office

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg 21

“This conflict is one I have been waiting for.  I’m well and strong and young-young enough to go to the front.  If I cant be a soldier, I will help soldiers.”

Barton, Clara

CB explaining her decision to help soldiers to a friend.

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007

23

What could I do but go with them, or work for them and my country? The patriot blood of my father was warm in my veins.”

Barton, Clara

CB on thinking about supporting the troops

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007

23

“I have always refused a tent unless the army had tents also, and I have never eaten a mouthful…until the sick of the army were abundantly supplied.”

Barton, Clara

CB shared the conditions of the common soldier

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007

30

“When you stand day and night in the presence of hardship and physical suffering, you do not stop and think about the interest.  There is no time for that.  Ease pain, soothe sorrow, lessen suffering-this is your only thought day and night. Everythng everything else is lost sight of-yourself and the world.”

Barton, Clara

once asked if her work had been interesting, her reply

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007

30

“that I must attend to all business myself…and learn to do all myself.”

Barton, Clara

tendency to work alone and try to do all herself.

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007

47

“we had nothing but our instruments-not even a bottle of wine.  When the [railroad] cars whistled up to the station, the first person on the platform was Miss Barton again to supply us with…every article that could be thought of.  She staid there till the last wounded soldier was placed on the cars.”

A surgeon

a surgeon reporting about CBs actions after the battle of Chantilly

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg25

“Barton viewed her role in the war as something of a family matter.  If she was a ministering angel, she was also everyone’s old maid aunt-fussing over “my boys” worrying over clothes and food, and treating the men as fond nephews.  Much of her success with quartermasters, officers, and men was due to this attitude, which eclipsed suspicion of her as a woman and radiated the sentimentality of the time.”

Bremer, R. H.

a historian describes Barton’s success

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg 26

“executive ability and kindness, with an honest love of the work of reformation and care of her fellow living creatures.”

Butler, Benjamin

Gen Butler commanded the Army of the James while Barton was the chief nurse.

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg 32

“At a time when we were entirely out of dressings of every kind, she supplied us with everything, and while the shells were bursting in every direction…she staid dealing out shirts…and preparing soup and seeing it prepared in all the hospitals….I thought that night if heaven ever sent out a homely angel, she must be the one, her assistance was so timely.”

Dunn, James I.

a surgeon reporting about CBs actions after the Second Battle of Manassas.

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg 25

“but when she did speak she could tell more facts to the point with no possibility of misunderstanding than any person I have ever known.”

Hubbell, Julian

Barton confidante Julian Hubbell

Pryor, Elizabeth Brown. Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007 pg 47

2 Responses

  1. Hi James, did you see Mort Kunstler’s latest print to be released in Fredericksburg on March 20th 2010? It is Clara Barton (and Walt Whitman) at Chatham. Following is the link to Mort’s site:

    http://www.mortkunstler.com/html/store-limited-edition-prints.asp?action=view&ID=908&cat=192

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