Willard, Frances - Timeline Biography

Time Period

09-28-1839 - 02-17-1898

Description

Frances Willard was a prominent social activist in the 19th century. She became involved in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in 1874 when she began preaching at daily temperance meeting in Chicago. She gained prominence when she became secretary of the WCTU that year and later president in 1879, a position she held until her death in 1898. Through her role with the WCTU, she was able to promote a number of social reforms, including temperance, women’s suffrage, labor reform and home-centered family life. Although the WCTU allied with various churches, it was non-denominational and female-controlled. Some claim her "genius" derived from her ability to appeal to conservative notions of women’s domestic role while also espousing social reforms and the political role of women. In her later life, she promoted Christian socialism, making her a forerunner of the Social Gospel Movement.

Interactive Timeline(s)

Browse Related Timeline Entries

Religious Groups

Methodist/Pietist Family: Other ARDA Links
Methodist/Pietist Family: Religious Family Tree

Events

Woman's Christian Temperance Union

Movements

Temperance Movement

Photographs

Frances Willard portrait- Library of Congress, LC-USZ61-790 Frances Willard portrait- Library of Congress, LC-USZ61-790

Frances Willard portrait- Internet Archive- from The Life of Frances E Frances Willard portrait- Internet Archive- from The Life of Frances E

Frances Willard bicycle- Internet Archive- from A Wheel within a Wheel by Frances E Frances Willard bicycle- Internet Archive- from A Wheel within a Wheel by Frances E

Frances Willard portrait- National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the National Women's Christian Temperance Union Frances Willard portrait- National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the National Women's Christian Temperance Union

Frances Willard statue- Architect of the Captiol, National Statuary Hall Collection Frances Willard statue- Architect of the Captiol, National Statuary Hall Collection

Book/Journal Source(s)

Reid, Daniel, Robert Linder, Bruce Shelley, and Harry Stout, 1990.Dictionary of Christianity in America Downers Grove, IL.
Queen, Edward, Stephen Prothero and Gardiner Shattuck, 1996.The Encyclopedia of American Religious History New York: Facts on File.

Web Page Contributor

Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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