Clara Barton Comes to Cambridge
When: Thursday, November 15, 2012 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway
Cost: Free and open to the public
More Information: Here
In honor of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, Clara Barton (1821-1912) will be brought vividly to life by character reenactor Jessa Piaia during the original program, Meet Clara Barton: A Journey from Angel of the Battlefield to Founder of the American Red Cross. The event will be in the Lecture Hall in the main branch of the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Thursday, November 15, 2012. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a brief reception, with Miss Barton speaking at 7:00 p.m. The event, sponsored by Swissnex Boston/Consulate of Switzerland and hosted by the Cambridge Public Library, is free and open to the public.
Local organizations will display historic materials on Cambridge during the Civil War found in their collections. The library will exhibit vintage local Red Cross posters and memorabilia. The Local Chapter of the American Red Cross, Cambridge Historical Commission, Cambridge Historical Society, and the Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery will share original photographs and artifacts.
Throughout America’s Civil War, Clara Barton’s sustained efforts at support ranged from distributing supplies (often purchased with her own funds) to cooking food and assisting wounded soldiers on the battleground. After the war, Miss Barton assisted the federal government in the creation of a recordkeeping system to track missing and dead soldiers; she was instrumental in establishing the first national cemetery at Andersonville, Georgia, in 1866. While visiting Geneva, Switzerland, in the 1870s Miss Barton took part in relief efforts for civilians under the auspices of the International Red Cross during the Franco-Prussian War. This experience inspired her to take a pivotal role in aligning the United States with the International Red Cross in organizing humanitarian aid in combat. In 1881, Congress ratified the Geneva Treaty, and Clara Barton became the first president of the American Red Cross, serving for the next 22 years.
Piaia dramatizes the accomplishments, struggles, and contributions of women to American history. She is acclaimed for “recreating history in the fullest sense” and for using “solid research, compelling writing, and the artistry to bring off a one-woman show.” She performs at educational institutions, museums, and libraries, and for social and cultural organizations throughout New England.
Ms. Piaia studied performance at London’s Oval House Theatre and graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and now works in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Research for this program was conducted at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe Institute, the National Archives, and the Clara Barton Birthplace Museum in North Oxford, Massachusetts.