Clara Barton was a strong-willed, intelligent individual who knew what she wanted and found ways to accomplish her goals. Born Clarissa Harlowe Barton, the youngest of five children, Clara found her calling early in life. The self-directed, compassionate girl would nurse wounded birds and cats, as well as her friends’ injured pets. When Clara’s brother fell off the roof, the young girl nursed him back to health for two years. Later, Clara was the first person to start a public school in Hightstown, NJ, growing it from 6 to almost 600 students. But when the school needed a principal and hired a man, Clara quit and never went back to teaching! Clara answered Abraham Lincoln’s call, signing on to support the Union efforts during the Civil War, frequently going to the front line, where most nurses did not go, performing procedures like removing bullets, which most nurses did not perform. Articulate and determined, this Angel of the Battlefield frequently wrote newspaper pleas for blankets, money and/or food and stockpiled what she received in a large room she rented. Meeting a young man in military prison who was keeping records of the people who died, she secured permission to create a pamphlet in the New York Times with 11,000 names, identifying many missing soldiers and locating their families – Numbering the Bones. As the founder and first president of the American Red Cross, this humanitarian assisted hurricane and tidal wave victims, obeying certain principles – you helped people until they could help themselves, you drew funds to underwrite this effort and kept records of your expenses, you paid only the manual laborers who helped in the effort (and not salaries to the managers) and you never asked those you were helping for contributions. Eventually, the Red Cross became so large, that Ms. Barton was asked to step down. But she was dedicated to the end, teaching first-aid courses in Maryland, where she retired, and building a home from the dis-assembled warehouse that had safeguarded supplies from the Johnstown, Pennsylvania flood.
Besides being the same height and having similar coloring, Pat Jordan shares many other traits with Clara Barton. Both women understood themselves from an early age and both women dedicated themselves to making a positive social impact. Pat and Clara are each passionate teachers, taking what they know and enthusiastically transferring that knowledge. And both women have a gentle compassion that coexists with a steely determination to fulfill an innate mission. The American Historical Theatre first booked Pat Jordan as Clara Barton at Vero Beach for the American Red Cross and Colonial Dames of America, where Pat performed Clara for 4,000 students over 3 days. Since then, Ms. Jordan has interpreted Clara Barton to appreciative audiences at venues throughout the United States.
• Keynote Speaker: Women’s Issues, Civil War, and other topics on request
Schools, Libraries, Museums, Historical Sites, 40 minutes plus Q & A • Pair With Alice Paul, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, or other Civil War Era characters
• Pat Jordan: Bio of Actor/Historian
Clara Barton (1821-1912)