DC -- Penn Qtr -- Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office (437 7th St NW):
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- CBMSO_200607_03.JPG: Unlike many of the other buildings in the area, the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office windows were never boarded up.
- Description of Subject Matter: "I have an almost complete disregard of precedent, and a faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent." -Clara Barton (1821 to 1912)
Clara Barton's life of service has been a role model for generations of nurses, teachers, social workers, doctors, and allied health professionals. A new generation of executives and public servants value the leadership and strong work ethic she exhibited with profound dedication to her cause. She cared little for personal comforts, instead choosing to comfort others.
In her time, Barton was called a philanthropist. Although that term today often connotes someone who has money and gives some of it to help others, in the 19th century it had a more direct meaning: one who for love of his fellow men exerts himself for their well-being. Her work during the Civil War is a striking example of true philanthropy: how one individual can make a difference in the lives of others.
"What she did in nursing is incredibly important and we don’t want to diminish that at all. But to say that Clara Barton is a nurse is a gross understatement of her importance. The fact is that she was a relief organizer at a time when women didn’t do that. At a time when women found that they had to get men involved in order to be taken seriously, Clara Barton bucked that system." George Wunderlich, Executive Director, NMCWM
Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office was originally rediscovered by Richard Lyons of the General Services Administration (GSA) in 1996, when the building was scheduled for demolition. Located on 7th street, NW, Washington D.C., the site is the location where Clara Barton lived during and immediately after the Civil War. She used this property not only as a place to live, but also to store the supplies she received for her work on the battlefield, and later as an office to handle correspondence concerning missing soldiers.
In 1865 Barton hired a staff and opened the "Office of Correspondence with the Friends of the Missing Men of the United States Army" in this building. At the end of the war, Barton took up the cause of grieving parents, family and friends whose sons, brothers, neighbors were missing. She responded to over 63,000 letters, most of which required some kind of research that eventually lead to published lists of the names of the missing so that anyone with knowledge of their whereabouts or death could contact her. By the time the office closed in 1867, she had identified the fate of over 22,000 men.
The story of the rediscovery of the building as well as the story of Barton’s life while she lived there will be the essence of the visitor experience at the museum. The overarching theme for the visitor experience will be the sensation of discovering a place, and through the place a remarkable person, and through the person the values that shaped her life and work. The theme of discovery will be stated and recapitulated throughout the visit, using the physical environment of the place itself, enhanced by artifacts, images, sounds, activities and information. Whenever possible, Barton’s own words will be used in audio scripts and exhibit labels.
"This is the place where the Red Cross in many ways was born because this is where she first saw the need. You’re literally touring the place where Clara Barton was made into the Clara Barton we now know as the founder of the Red Cross." George Wunderlich, Executive Director, NMCWM
Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office is a part of The National Museum of Civil War Medicine, a non-profit membership based organization dedicated to the preservation and research of the legacy of Civil War Medicine, with nineteen years of experience sharing the story of Civil War Medicine and its relevance in our current lives. Clara Barton’s Missing Soldier’s Office is scheduled to open in 2011.
The above was from http://www.civilwarmed.org/clara-barton-missing-soldiers-office/
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