Clarissa Harlowe "Clara" Barton (December 25, 1821 – April 12, 1912) was a pioneer American teacher, patent clerk, nurse, and humanitarian. She was the founder of the American Red Cross. "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. I go for anything new that might improve the past."