- from Clara Barton
On Christmas Day, 1821, Clarissa Harlowe Barton was born in North Oxford, Massachusetts.
Ten years separated Barton in age from her two older sisters and two older brothers. As a child, she had few children her own age to play with. The family dog, Button, was often her only playmate.
When Clara Barton was 11, her brother David suffered a serious injury. Barton helped nurse him back to health. Caring for David gave Barton a sense of purpose. After he recovered, Barton nursed several families during a smallpox epidemic, until she herself got sick. Her helping heart and determination were developing and starting to show.