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Topics in Chronicling America - Clara Barton

In June of 1889, Clara Barton and 50 American Red Cross volunteers assist the survivors in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, after a massive flood kills over 2,000 residents. The response to this disaster was one of the first major relief efforts organized by the American Red Cross, which Barton founded in 1881. She led the American Red Cross for 23 years, helping establish the organization as a renowned resource of humanitarian aid. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Image of Clara Barton from the Washington times , July 31, 1904, Magazine Features, Image 28

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Important Dates:

  • May 1881, Clara Barton forms the first branch of the American Red Cross and serves as its president.
  • August 1887, President Cleveland appoints Clara Barton to represent the United States at the International Red Cross Conference in Germany.
  • June 6, 1889, Clara Barton helps with relief efforts after the devastating flood in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
  • 1896, Barton sails to Turkey to aid the victims of the Armenian massacre.
  • February 1898, Clara Barton sets off to Cuba to help the injured during the Cuban insurrection.
  • September 17, 1900, Clara Barton arrives in Galveston, Texas and directs the distribution of relief supplies to victims of the flood.
  • March 1904, Red Cross mission of mercy covers the Russo-Japanese War
  • May 14, 1904, Clara Barton retires after serving twenty three years as president of the Red Cross Society. Mrs. John A. Logan is named as successor.

Suggested Search Terms:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Clara Barton, Red Cross, American Red Cross Society, American Red Cross.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  January 25, 2013
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