Clarissa Harlowe Barton was born on December 25, 1821, in North Oxford, Massachusetts. Clara was the perfect Christmas present for her family! She had two brothers, David and Stephen, and two sisters, Sally and Dorothy. Her mother's name was Sarah and her father was Captain Stephen Barton. Each of them did his or her part in loving, caring, and pleasing the little baby. Obviously, she was the center of attention. From age one to four she was tutored by family members. Her father, who had once been a captain in the war, taught Clara all about geography and about the battlefield. This helped her in her work later in life. Clara's mother also helped, in teaching her how to sew and to cook. Sally and Dorothy, her two sisters, taught Clara how to read before she was four years old! She was very bright. Stephen, her older brother, taught her arithmetic and David, the eldest, taught everything else; for instance, how to ride anything on four legs, how to balance, and how to take care of and nurse animals. When she turned four years old, she was enrolled at Colonel Richard Stone's school. Clara did well in her studies, although she was too shy to make friends or to play with anyone. Her shyness affected her life. Years went by, and by the time she was eight years old, Clara had not made a single friend. Her parents decided to send her to a boarding school to overcome her shyness. But when Clara got there, she was so overwhelmed that her problem became even worse, so her parents soon withdrew her from the school. When Clara was eleven, her favorite brother, David, fell from the roof of a barn while he was trying to fix it. He was not expected to live. Then, little Clara stepped up and offered to help. She stayed by David's side for three years, and the result was that he got well. Her hobbies were to take care of all her little animal friends and to learn about history.