Frances E. Willard

Statue of Miss Frances E. Willard Erected in Statuary Hall of the Capitol Building at Washington.
Proceedings in the Senate and House of Representatives on the Occasion of the Reception and Acceptance of the Statue from the State of Illinois
.
Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1905. (BRA2834)

Frances Elizabeth Willard (1839–1898) was an educator and social reformer dedicated to the causes of temperance and women’s suffrage. Willard graduated as valedictorian of North Western Female College in Evanston, Illinois, in 1859. The following year, she joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. After serving as president of the Evanston College for Ladies and Dean of Women at Northwestern University in the early 1870s, Willard became president of the Chicago branch of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). From 1879 onward she served as president of the national WCTU, and in 1883 she founded the World Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Travelling widely as a lecturer, she also helped organize the National Council of Women, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, and the Prohibition Party.

Exhibited is a United States government publication marking the dedication of a statue of Willard in the nation’s Capitol Building in 1905. Similarly, in 1936 the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church honored her memory with a resolution that described her as “that able champion of the rights of women and the cause of total abstinence, that fearless and mighty enemy of the American liquor trade.

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