December 9, 2022
Dear Superintendent Charles Cuvelier:
We are a group concerned with the future of the Clara Barton National Historic Site. Many of us are professional historians of the United States with considerable expertise in women’s history, public history, U.S. history from before the Civil War to its aftermath to the Progressive Era, the history of nursing, the history of the American Red Cross, and the histories of humanitarian organizations and disaster responses, and the National Park Service and other historical organizations. Others of us have volunteered to be consulting parties in the Section 106 compliance process for the proposed rehabilitation of the Clara Barton National Historic Site, and still other signatories are interested parties affiliated with organizations concerned with the preservation and interpretation of national historic sites and cultural resources.
As historians and people interested in preserving and interpreting historic sites, we thank you for engaging with us as consulting parties. We look forward to continuing to work with the Park, Maryland State Historic Preservation Office (MDSHPO), and other consulting parties to ensure that this undertaking recognizes and reflects the significance of Clara Barton’s life and legacy to the history of the United States, avoids adverse effects, and fulfills the Park’s mission.
Thank you for extending the deadline by one month to January 9. We are submitting these comments now, but we recognize that further careful study of the documents may necessitate our submitting an addendum in January. We are submitting our comments by the earlier December 9, 2022, deadline. We have found it a challenge to examine this extensive set of project documents with the minimal explanations that accompanied them and to prepare our comments. We are sending in these comments now to give the NPS more time to review our concerns. We still ask that the George Washington Memorial Parkway extend the comment deadline to January 27, 2023, so that we can provide an even more comprehensive response to the project plan and documents, a reasonable request. Given the busy holiday season, such an extension will give all parties time to review the many documents more thoroughly to support a thoughtful dialogue between the NPS and the Clara Barton NHS consulting parties.
As strong supporters of the National Park Service and its mission to preserve and interpret our nation’s natural and cultural resources, we offer our expertise, time, and resources. We commend GWMP for successfully obtaining the Great American Outdoors Act Legacy Restoration funding to restore this property and are pleased to be part of its planning process. We especially thank you because for years this park has not received the attention or support it has long needed. We are excited about the possibility of a vibrant future for the Clara Barton NHS, with a whole host of appropriate programming. We want to help the NPS develop appropriate programs for public education about Clara Barton’s life and times, including her legacy to humanitarian relief work, the impact of her public work on broadening the acceptance of women’s political lobbying, and the accompanying growth of women’s inclusion in partisan and electoral politics. Additionally, public education programs on the American Red Cross, and the larger historical context will inform students, educators, and the public about the American and international development of humanitarian aid and relief work in times of war and peace.
We look forward to working with NPS to ensure the histories and legacies of Clara Barton and American Red Cross remain the focus of this important national park site. We also want to work with the NPS to support greater public attention and more public programming, both in-person and virtual, to greatly increase its visibility and ability to convey its inherent significance to the American public.
The Clara Barton National Historic Site was established by the U.S. Congress in 1974 under Public Law 93-486, Title I §101(a)(1), Oct. 26, 1974; its legislative history clearly recognizes its importance as one of the few parks that focus on American women’s history; it is one of only nine in the entire National Park system to do so. Clara Barton NHS also significantly connects Clara Barton and the Red Cross to humanitarian and disaster relief, subjects of increasing importance today. Its National Historic Landmark status and the more recent Congressional recognition of Clara Barton’s significance by naming the adjacent Clara Barton Parkway for her further demonstrate the significance of this historic site.
The legislative history of the Clara Barton National Historic Site clearly focuses on Barton’s life and contributions, the American Red Cross, and women’s history. A partnership with Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture (GEPPAC) that shifts the primary use of the building to community art programming is a major change from the site’s enabling 1974 legislation and would constitute an adverse effect. We ask that you explain how this would not be an adverse action.
Based on our understanding of the materials provided to date, we believe that the proposed undertaking has the potential to result in adverse effects by diminishing the property’s integrity of feel, by changing the character of the property’s use (36 CFR 800.5 (a)(2)(iv)), and/or through the introduction of visual, atmospheric, or audible elements (36 CFR 800.5 (a)(2)(v)). We also believe that future adverse effects are reasonably foreseeable should the park transfer significant control of the property through lease or any other agreement without adequate and legally enforceable restrictions or conditions that ensure its long-term preservation (36 CFR 800.5(a)(2)(vii)). Each of these adverse effects can be avoided through proper planning and subsequent implementation.
In order to best participate in the consultation process, it is important that we have an accurate understanding of the proposed undertaking. Based on the discussions that several signatories herein have participated in with the park, we understand that this is a Legacy Restoration Fund project to complete a comprehensive rehabilitation of the property. Based on the “Rehabilitate” document, we also understand that you intend to enter into an agreement with a third-party organization that would alter the future use of a substantial proportion of the property and transfer future maintenance responsibilities away from the NPS. The currently proposed changes in its dominant uses and the high percentage of the Clara Barton NHS space that would be devoted to a partner are activities tangential to the Park’s enabling legislation. This plan proposes a potential adverse effect because it would diminish the Park’s legislated purpose and character.
After initiating consultation, the second step in the Section 106 process is for the agency to define the Area of Potential Effect (APE) and to identify historic properties within the APE. While we look forward to receiving the formal APE definition, it is clear that the structure that housed both Barton and the American Red Cross is a historic property within the APE. Because a proper assessment of this proposal’s effects on the historic property depends on a clear understanding of the characteristics that make the property significant, the historic property identification step is one of the most critical stages of the Section 106 process. As a group of historians with expertise in the large array of events and forces that comprise the life and legacy of Barton and the American Red Cross, we believe that we can provide necessary and valuable input in this critical identification step.
As outlined in 36 CFR 800.4(a), the historic property identification stage should rely on existing documents and consultation with groups such as ours. As of the November 16, 2022, public meeting, we now know that no historians were previously involved in this process, although the Park and its contractor included other cultural resource management professionals. The exclusion of historians with clearly relevant expertise is grievous.
Historians have deep knowledge and expertise that should inform the historic property identification in the APE. The existing documents relevant to this project include Clara Barton House National Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings (1964), The Clara Barton House National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form (1979), and the Clara Barton National Historic Site Historic Structures Report (2004). The decades-old nomination forms are deficient in accurately identifying all the criteria under which the Clara Barton National Historic Site is National Register eligible. Before moving beyond the consultation process, the park should reevaluate the Clara Barton National Historic Site for additional National Register eligibility (36 CFR 800.4(c)(1)). This will ensure an accurate understanding of all of the characteristics that make the property eligible for National Register listing. Moreover, the 2004 Historic Structures Report recommends that the National Register Nomination be revised to evaluate the property for eligibility under Criteria C.
Additionally, the National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination Form (1979) marks the site as significant to social/humanitarian history and acknowledges Barton’s achievements as a pioneering woman well before much of the outpouring of women’s history scholarship.
We recognize that the process of reevaluating the property could be both costly and time consuming. Neither of these need be the case. We are ready, willing, and able to work with the National Park Service and specifically the George Washington Memorial Parkway, the MDSHPO, and other consulting parties to produce a document that reflects current scholarship on Clara Barton, women’s history, the history of the American Red Cross, the history of disaster and disaster relief, and the history of humanitarian organizations to accurately and comprehensively capture the significance of the Clara Barton National Historic Site, and that tethers these important stories to the existing resource. The attached list of historians and their work reveals Barton’s wide ranging and lasting impact on U.S. history.
We request that the Park provide the MDSHPO and other consulting parties with a summary of the Park’s efforts to comply with 36 CFR 800.4(a), including a bibliography of all existing documents reviewed in that process.
Once the historic property identification effort is completed, the park will move to an assessment of adverse effects as outlined in 36 CFR 800.5. As the undertaking involves potential changes to the use of interior spaces, we anticipate that the park will rely on the 2004 Historic Structures Report (HSR) to evaluate effects as this document identifies both significant and less significant rooms.
Based in part on our review of the HSR and the we see considerable potential that the proposed undertaking would result in adverse effects through changes of use of spaces that the NPS itself identified as significant in Volumes I and II of the HSR. Specific areas of concern include: the proposed use changes for rooms B4, B5, 111, 112, 209, and 211, which the HSR identifies as being of primary significance; proposed excavation of rooms B4 and B5; and proposed use changes for rooms 103, 108, 109, 116, 117, and 204, which the HSR identifies as being of secondary significance. There is also need for clarity regarding the significance level of rooms 201, 203, 203A. Page 133 of Volume II of the HSR states that the building is divided into three zones; Primary Significance, Secondary Significance, and Not Significant. Each of these zones is then defined. The HSR subsequently categorizes rooms 201, 203, and 203A (as well as rooms on the third floor) as Significant. Please provide clarity regarding the level of significance for these rooms so that any adverse effects can be properly assessed. We also request that the Park provide any additional reports or documents that define the significance level of interior space that the Park referenced in its development of all alternatives.
The “100% Draft Schematic Design” prepared for the NPS provides the Architectural Program on page 13, explaining that the Park (George Washington Memorial Parkway) met in 2021 with “the partner… identified as Montgomery County and their sub-partner, the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture (GEPPAC), whose mission is to promote arts and culture programing” in the context of the historic and environmentally significant site of Glen Echo Park.” the “100% Draft Schematic Design” proposal, NPS museum spaces will include furnished rooms and space for interpretation and exhibits with collections items dispersed in climate- controlled display cases on the first and second floor. As the “100% Draft Schematic Design” states, “period interpretation rooms will include the Front Parlor (Room 119), Rear Parlor (room 118), Red Cross Office (Room 113), Red Cross Office (Room 114), Clara Barton’s Sitting Room (Room 212), Clara Barton’s Chamber Room (Room 213) and Red Cross Chamber Room (Room 301) and a Demonstration Closet.” Page 14 shows office space for three NPS staff, a breakroom to be shared with the partner, a conference room to be shared with the partner and visitor orientation space to hold 20+ persons. The GEPPAC Program, according to the “100% Draft Schematic Design”, would focus on supporting the health and wellness of the community through the arts, “in keeping with Clara Barton’s philosophy of providing emotional support and care for the health and wellbeing of people.” This statement seems only thinly related to the legislated purpose of the site. The report indicates that spaces might include “multipurpose rooms for classrooms and workshops for arts and crafts or private music rooms or rehearsal rooms, a catering prep pantry to support events, offices, storage for instruments, costumes, props, and event storage” (p. 14).
As prior NPS reports and documents (including the 2004 HSR) have indicated, the building itself is a document through which to interpret Barton’s life and legacy and the history of the American Red Cross. Therefore, the rehabilitation plan must respect the building’s integrity. For example, when the Baltzley Brothers invited Clara Barton to move to Glen Echo, she insisted that they use wood from the Red Cross’s Johnstown, Pennsylvania’s flood relief hotel to construct the headquarters/home. Barton clearly found significant meaning in using those recycled building materials.
This building was constructed as the headquarters for the American Red Cross, housing for Barton and her ARC staff, and a warehouse to store disaster relief supplies. This multipurposecharacter is central to the structure’s historical interpretation. The internal layout of the headquarters/house is also important to its historic integrity. For example, the building has 36 rooms and 38 closets, including unusually large walk-in closets. Those closets stored substantial quantities of emergency supplies when the American Red Cross used this building as its headquarters. We are not certain from our review of the Park’s plans how many closets might be removed to house structural supports and HVAC systems, but we strongly urge the Park to preserve many for interpretive purposes to preserve the building’s connection to the American Red Cross. Preservation of the dining room where historic photographs show the ARC community gathered and second-floor bedrooms, especially that of Dr. Julian Hubbell, are also essential for visitors to understand Barton’s forced retirement from the Red Cross. Her opponents called attention to the distinctive headquarters/house to insinuate that she was improperly mixing then-unorthodox personal relationships into Red Cross business. In fact, Clara Barton was part of a generation of activist women who intermixed their personal and professional lives as portrayed in Alice Paul’s Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality NM, the Mary McLeod Bethune National Council House NHS, and Jane Addams’ Hull-House.
The Clara Barton NHS once housed an organizational community of people, “volunteers” in Red Cross terms, who worked and lived in this building, too long dismissed as simply a “house.” The current rehabilitation proposal would distort this history of the American Red Cross. These concerns are directly relevant to any proposed rehabilitation of the interior of the building regardless of any partnership. They cannot be postponed for consideration until some later time, such as interpretive planning stages.
In addition to our concerns regarding adverse effects caused by diminishing the property’s integrity of feel, we are also concerned about future adverse effects that could occur if management of the property would be delegated to a non-federal organization without legally enforceable protections against such effects.
Our group also strongly encourages the Park to incorporate legally enforceable language in any lease or other agreement documents that clearly define which types of uses would be appropriate or inappropriate based on the historic significance of the property. Any document should provide clear guidelines on when and how the partner organization could submit a request to the NPS to change the use of the property and provide the criteria that the NPS would use to approve or deny such a request. Furthermore, any lease or agreement must document the process by which the NPS would review and approve maintenance activities or physical changes that the partner might propose to undertake. We request that the NPS provide the MDSHPO and other consulting parties with drafts of any lease or other agreement document(s) with a third party regarding future management of the property.
We commend the Park for its success in acquiring the Legacy Restoration Funds to carry out the rehabilitation of this National Historic Site. We also appreciate the challenges the Park faces in properly maintaining the site. We look forward to working with the Park through the Section 106 consultation process to develop a plan that avoids adverse effects to this important historic property. We hope that this consultation serves as a starting point for an ongoing and fruitful collaborative relationship with the Park.
Sincerely, Signatories, Historians & Colleagues Concerned about Clara Barton N.H.S.
|Diana||Bailey ß||Maryland Women‚ Hist. Ctr.||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Lucienne||Beard ß||Natl. Collab. Women‚ Hist. Sitesemail@example.com|
|Rosie||Click ß||Georgetown U., Grad Studentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Susan||Ferentinos*||Independent PhD Historianemail@example.com|
|Bonnie||Goldman ß||Clara Barton Schoolhouse, Bordentown NJfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Cassandra||Good*||Mary Mount University, Virginiaemail@example.com|
|Melanie||Gustafson*||University of Vermontfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Donald J.||Hellman||Vice Chair, Coalition to Protect America‚ National Parksemail@example.com|
|Nancy||Hewitt*||Rutgers University firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Heather||Huyck* ß||Natl Collab. Women‚ Hist. Sites/Res. & Interp (NPS ret.)||email@example.com|
|Julia||Irwin* ß||University of South Floridafirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Marian Moser||Jones*||Ohio State Universityemail@example.com|
|Ida||Jones||Co-President, NCWHS, Vice President of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.||firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Chandra||Manning* ß||Georgetown Universityemail@example.com|
|Ann||McCleary*||University of West Georgiafirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Marla||Miller*||U Massachusetts- Amherstemail@example.com|
|Jacob||Remes* ß||New York Universityfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Stephanie||Rowe*||Indiana University‚ÄìPurdue University Indianapolisemail@example.com|
|Kathryn||Sklar* ß||SUNY Binghamtonfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|John||Sprinkle*||NPS Bureau Hist. (ret);||email@example.com|
|Judith||Wellman* ß||Natl Collaborative for Women‚ History Sites; H NYfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Anne Mitchell||Whisnant*||Duke University, North Carolinaemail@example.com|
|Jessica||Wilkersonfirstname.lastname@example.org||West Virginia University|
|Patricia||Zelman*||Tarleton University, Texasemail@example.com>|
|Joan||Zenzen* ß||Independent PhD Historian||Joanz10@verizon.net|
* PhD Historians
§ Consulting Parties, Clara Barton NHS
Expertise that signatories can contribute on the life and legacy of Clara Barton and the Clara Barton National Historic Site
Clara Barton and the Legacy of the Civil War
Chandra Manning, PhD Professor of History, Georgetown University
Important elements of the humanitarian work that Barton undertook and institutionalized in the American RedCross had roots in her Civil War innovations and strategies to aid those injured by and fleeing from the war’slethal impact. The humanitarian relief on the battlefield for which she is most famous is of obvious importanceto both the development of wartime medicine and her own attunement to suffering and how to alleviate it. Herwork among freed people in Sea Island contraband camps plagued by smallpox alerted her to the reality ofhuman suffering beyond battlefields, a recognition carried into the American Red Cross’s provision ofhumanitarian relief not just in war zones but brought about by other types of disasters, as well. Her creationof the Office of Missing Soldiers, 1865-1868, marked a turning point in the treatment of families as part ofthe process of modern warfare. In sum, Barton’s aid work on the and with freed people in Sea Islandcontraband camps and her efforts to locate the remains of missing soldiers all alerted her to the need forhumanitarian relief efforts so conspicuously absent from the Civil War, and the upheaval of war createdopportunities for her to do something about those realizations. The Clara Barton National Historic Site—which was the American Red Cross headquarters in the late 19th and early 20th centuries—represents a legacy of the Civil War that is not evident at battlefield parks, memorialized in Civil War monuments, orrepresented anywhere else in the national landscape.
Clara Barton and the American Red Cross as an Institution of National and International Significance
Julia Irwin, PhD, Associate Professor of History, University of South Florida Marian MoserJones, PhD Associate Professor of History, Ohio State University Jacob Remes, PhD Clinical Associate Professor of History, New York University Rosie Click, MA; Graduate Student, Georgetown University.
Beginning in the 1870s, Barton became a leading advocate for American international humanitarianism. While traveling in Europe after the U.S. Civil War, she learned about a new humanitarianorganization that had been established in 1863: the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).Barton volunteered with the ICRC during the Franco-Prussian War, delivering medical and sanitarysupplies to European battlefronts, just as she had in the U.S. Civil War. Upon her return to the United Statesin 1873, she began lobbying for the United States to become a signatory to the Geneva Convention, to jointhe International Red Cross Movement, and to establish an American Red Cross Society.
In the early 1880s, Barton’s advocacy efforts finally paid off. Armed with a letter from the ICRC’s
President, Gustave Moynier, Barton waged a tenacious campaign, meeting with newly elected
President James Garfield, Secretary of State James G. Blaine, and Secretary of War Robert Lincoln tocurry their support. These politicians eventually yielded to Barton’s efforts, agreeing to ratify the GenevaConvention and to endorse the Red Cross Movement. In May 1881, buoyed by this official support, Barton and fifty-one others drafted the charter that created the American Association of the Red Cross.Roughly a year later, in the spring of 1882, the U.S. Senate voted to ratify the Geneva Treaty andsubsequently authorized the ARC to act as its official relief agency in times of war.
Over the next two decades, while building up the American Red Cross at home, Barton maintainedher ties with the International Red Cross Movement. She traveled to Europe as an official representative ofthe United States at International Red Cross Congresses in Geneva in 1884, Karlsruhe in 1887, in Viennain 1897, and in St. Petersburg in 1902. In the 1890s, Barton also launched the ARC’s first overseas reliefoperations. In 1891 and 1892, she helped provide aid to famine victims in Russia, while in 1896, she workedto assist Armenians persecuted by factions within the Ottoman Empire.
Finally, in early 1898, she traveled to Havana to distribute food and medical supplies to civilians affected by the civil war for independence from Spain, including reconcentrados imprisoned in Spanishcamps. She also established orphan asylums for children who had lost their families in the war. After theUnited States declared war on Spain in April 1898, Barton and her staff tried to continue their aid towardsCuban civilians and wounded combatants.
Upon her return to the United States in November 1898, Barton maintained her commitment tonon-combatants, lobbying for funds to support some Cuban 50,000 orphans. These experiences in Cubasolidified the ARC’s national reputation for international civilian relief, leading Congress to grant theorganization its first federal charter, in 1900. Afterwards, even as rival factions sought her removal from the helm of the ARC, Barton introduced First Aid instruction to the United States and established it aspart of the ARC’s portfolio.
Through the ARC, Barton played a key role in shaping our contemporary ideas about disaster andour expectations and structures of disaster response in several ways. First was Barton’s contribution to thevery concept of “disaster.” Because American politicians did not see the U.S. as a “military power,” theywere unwilling to ratify a treaty that created the Red Cross solely as a military auxiliary. So Barton made adouble move. First, she reimagined the American Red Cross as a disaster response agency in addition toan auxiliary that would care for war casualties. Second, she helped build a category of “national calamity”around U.S. political exigencies. In order to appeal to politicians from around the country, she built acategory that included many hazards including the fires of the industrial north, the hurricanes of thesoutheast, the “insects and droughts” of the plains. These hazards are not intrinsically alike, but they continue to hold together our imagined category of disaster partially because of the work Clara Bartondid in the late nineteenth century to encourage Congress to ratify the Geneva Convention. Notably, thisconception of “national calamity” placed disasters outside the bounds of “normal time”; these events weredepartures from how things should be and were ordinarily, not just extensions of the every day. It bothrelied on and reified settler colonial ideas about society’s relationship to nature as an object of control andsubjugation. This idea of disasters as separate from the “ordinary,” and as subject to technocratic control,continues to pervade our ideas of disaster.
Second, Barton worked to make relevant Red Cross ideals of battlefield neutrality to disaster relief.What she settled on was that Red Cross disaster relief should respect and not challenge the political statusquo, and that Red Cross officials should work closely with local elites and power brokers and funnel aidand decision-making through them. What this meant in practice was that Red Cross disaster relief in theAmerican South did not challenge–and indeed buttressed–Jim Crow. It also meant favoring employers, forinstance by denying aid to able- bodied men in order to force them into the labor market. That is, there isno such thing as apolitical disaster relief, and Barton’s ideas of “neutrality” ended up supporting the statusquo, itself a political choice. Like the category of national calamity, Barton’s ideas about political neutralityand the primacy of local elites continue to shape disaster relief into the present day.
Clara Barton, Women’s History, and Social Movements
Melanie Gustafson, PhD Professor of History, University of Vermont
Kathryn Kish Sklar, PhD Distinguished Professor of History, Emerita, State University of New York, Binghamton
Jessica Wilkerson, PhD Associate Professor of History, University of West Virginia
Cassandra Good, PhD Associate Professor of History, Marymount University
Patricia Zelman, Professor Emerita of History, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas
Frequent references in both past and present to Clara Barton as an “angel” who used her innately femininequalities of compassion and care to tend to those in need obscure what and who Barton truly was: apowerful organizer, reformer, and political activist. Her benevolent work of aiding soldiers and of disasterrelief required government financial and legislative support. Barton secured these through considerablepolitical acumen and lobbying that made her unusual but not unique in nineteenth-century America. Shewas one of a cadre of influential women who carved new paths to power and influence despite their inabilityto vote or serve in elected office and admonitions that women should stay in their “sphere” at home. Bartonwas a career woman who had her first job as a teacher at eighteen; lobbied several local governments toreshape their school systems and then took a leading role in the reforms; served as one of the earliest female employees of the federal government and earned the same salary as her male counterparts; organizedsupplies for and treated wounded soldiers in the heat of battle; and was one of if not the first woman to testifybefore the U.S. Congress. All of this came before, at age sixty, she took her most famous role as thefounding president of the American Red Cross.
While women’s activism in the nineteenth century was often painted as nonpartisan and even apolitical,Barton had strongly held political beliefs and belied the image of the meek woman doing good behind the scenes. When in Washington, DC, she regularly met with cabinet secretaries, congressmen, and severalpresidents, as well as relying on friendships with politicians to press her influence on numerous fronts. Shesupported women’s rights and regularly spoke at women’s rights conventions, maintaining long friendshipswith Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan
Anthony. Through both her words and actions, Barton was a pathbreaking force for both women’sequality and their ability to serve as leaders. As such, her story has an essential place in American women’shistory–and American history in general.
Expertise in Clara Barton NHS, Histories of American Women, and the National Park Service
Joan M. Zenzen, PhD Independent Public Historian
Heather Huyck, PhD, Co-Chair Research & Interpretation, National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites; NPS (ret).
Susan Ferentinos, PhD, Public History Consultant
Marla R. Miller, PhD, Distinguished Professor of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Anne Whisnant, PhD, Director of Graduate Liberal Studies, Duke University
Nancy Hewitt, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Gender & Women’s History, Rutgers University
Clara Barton NHS is one of only nine US national park sites (of well over 420) dedicated to women’shistory. It is significant as one of the first sites designated and specifically preserved as a resourceassociated with women’s history. CLBA is also significant to the history of the NPS itself, with a story to tellabout how the NPS in the 1970s responded to the opportunities of the Bicentennial. This NPS support foran expanded American history will be as important to some CLBA visitors as that of Barton’s urgent work during her lifetime including the important organization she founded. This status within the USNational Park System heightens the need to fully tell the site’s story and situate it within the larger USNational Park Service narrative. NPS evaluates national park sites for the national themes that can be told.The public, through visits to all national park sites, thus gains a rich and complex understanding of ournation’s past. CLBA fills an important role in that overall commitment.
Public historians, like Joan Zenzen, PhD, has published six books about the development of the NPSthrough park administrative histories including on Fort Stanwix NM and Manassas National BattlefieldPark. She has conducted more than 250 oral history interviews, often with park managers and electedofficials, giving her insights into the challenges facing national park sites. Her expertise would provide NPS managers with valuable information for contextualizing this park. See joanzenzen.com. HeatherHuyck, PhD. has decades of researching, preserving, managing, interpreting, and teaching public andwomen’s history within the NPS, as a House of Representatives professional staffer and at William &Mary. She has visited 325 NPS units and authored Doing Women’s History in Public: A Handbook forMuseums and Historic Sites (2020).
Nancy Hewitt taught at Rutgers University for many years and has published key books in women’spolitical and organizational history Women’s Activism and Social Change: Rochester, New York, 1822–1872 (1984) and Southern Discomfort: Women’s Activism in Tampa, Florida, 1880s-1920s (2001). Sheco-edited the major reference book, A Companion to American Women’s History (2020). SusanFerentinos who has researched and consulted with many NPS parks and historic sites first as the OAHpublic history manager provides many professional services. See susanferentinos.com. She authored the award-winning Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites (2014). Marla Miller at U.Massachusetts-Amherst (Entangled Lives: Labor, Livelihood, and Landscapes of Change in RuralMassachusetts (2019) and Anne Mitchell Whisnant at Duke University (Super-Scenic Motorway: A BlueRidge Parkway History (2006)) are each distinguished professors and authors of NPS and women’s histories. They co-authored
Imperiled Promise: The State of History in the National Park (2011) which reviewed the status of history inthe National Park Service and made key recommendations for future action, many of which are relevantto the Clara Barton NHS.