When was Clara born? When did she die?
Clara Barton was born on Christmas day 1821. She died at her home in Glen Echo, Maryland, on April 12, 1912.

What were her favorite colors?
Clara loved the colors red and green.

Did Clara ever marry? Did she have children?
Clara Barton never married or had children. She had several nieces and nephews on whom she lavished her attention.

Clara’s beloved cat Tommy

What did Clara like to do in her spare time?
David Barton taught his youngest sister to ride a horse, a skill she loved and enjoyed throughout her long life.

Did Clara have any pets?

Yes, Clara loved pets. She named her first dog Button. In her later years she developed a special fondness for felines. A painting of her cat Tommy (right) hangs in the dining room of her home at Glen Echo, Maryland, now the Clara Barton National Historic Site.


Fun Facts About Clara Barton

Did you know…

  • Clara always went to the army camps with a male escort or with her sister Sally, as it was considered improper for an unmarried woman to visit an army camp alone.
  • Clara loved all animals, especially cats. During the Civil War, Senator Schuyler Colfax sent her a kitten, with a bow around its neck, in appreciation for her work during the Battle of Antietam.
  • Clara Barton was honored by parties on both sides for her work during the Franco-Prussian War. Here she first worked under banner of the International Red Cross.
  • Clara was a strong supporter of equal rights for all people. She corresponded with many leaders of the women’s rights movement, including Susan B. Anthony, and was friendly with many nineteenth century African-American leaders, including educator Elizabeth Hyde Botume and Frederick Douglas.
  • Clara Barton served as the superintendent at the Massachusetts Reformatory Prison for Women in Sherborn, Massachusetts, from May to December, 1883.
  • Although Clara lived a simple life, she was not afraid of new technology. Her home in Glen Echo, Maryland, had a telephone and electric lights. She was fond of taking rides in automobiles and once even rode in a submarine.
  • Sergeant Thomas Plunkett, whom Clara nursed at Fredricksburg, also grew up in central Massachusetts. Portraits of Clara, Sgt. Plunkett and U.S. Senator Henry Wilson (MA) hang in the Great Hall at lovely Mechanics Hall on Main Street in Worcester, Massachusetts.