Author and Public Speaker
Numerous times during her life Barton took to the lecture circuit, spreading the word about her Civil War experiences and reaching out to the public for support of her humanitarian goals. She spent hours writing out the lecture notes, hoping to overcome her fear of public speaking. She spoke at lecture halls large and small, focusing her socks on her Civil War activities, the International Red Cross, first aid training, and other humanitarian issues.
As the standard-bearer for the International Red Cross in America, Barton spent years lobbying Congress and the President to ratify the Geneva conventions, which dealt with the treatment of wounded soldiers, prisoners, and civilians during times of war. She also advocated that the United States charter the Red Cross. She finally saw both of these goals attained by 1882.
In 1898, Barton wrote the book The Red Cross In Peace and War, which detailed the relief work done by the organization up to that time. In 1904 she published A Story of the Red Cross: Glimpses of Fieldwork. She also wrote another small book, The Story of My Childhood, in 1907. It was intended to be the first of a series of autobiographical works, but no others were ever completed. Late in life she noted: "Others are writing my biography, and let it rest as they elect to make it." Barton kept a diary for many years, and those diaries, together with her lecture notes, letters and reports, comprised of wealth of information about her work, and also reflect her personality.