Against the Tide: Women Reformers in American Society

By Paul A. Cimbala; Randall M. Miller | Go to book overview

Africa, Great Britain, and Scandinavia. Kaji Yajima was declared "the Frances Willard of Japan"; portraits of Willard were distributed by missionaries among the mission schools of India. But like the larger temperance movement itself, her reputation never spread to any extent beyond the Anglo-American world and its missionary outposts in such places as China and Japan. Apart from her visits to Great Britain and Europe in the 1890s, to stay with Lady Henry Somerset, and several trips to eastern Canada, Willard did not tour internationally. She suffered severely from seasickness, and her health was failing. So she left the work of international organizing to such missionaries as Mary Clement Leavitt and Jessie Ackermann.

Willard's career shows in particular that American reform had impacts in other countries and at times presented a model for other countries. American reform, in turn, was influenced by events abroad and demands from admirers in those other countries. Willard's views on race, for example, were modified in a more progressive direction in 1895 as a result of British criticism of her failure to condemn lynching in the United States. Her British experience also made her aware of the complexities of alcohol production and consumption, and she was particularly interested, after her British trips in the early 1890s, in the connection of alcoholism to poverty. Her exposure to the international missionary work of the WCTU made her more sympathetic toward religions other than her own evangelical Protestantism. Finally, as part of her international vision for the expansion of the WCTU, she necessarily came to regard the improvement of relations between nations through peace and arbitration as necessary for human survival and prosperity, and pushed the idea of an international arbitration treaty with Britain.

Willard left her mark indelibly upon the WCTU. Her mother's home, Rest Cottage, where Willard lived in Evanston, became WCTU headquarters. It remains so today, and at the same time functions as a de facto mausoleum of women's temperance reform. The furniture and mementos of Willard's time dominate the surroundings and impress the memories of visitors, who are informed that nothing has changed since Willard's death. For all that, Willard's memory lives on in a world vastly changed. Her meaning today is different from that for the nineteenth-century representative woman. Frances Willard still speaks to the role of women with her concerns about the role of the family, moral values, and the tensions between family responsibilities and the search for equality for women.


NOTES
1.
Annual Report of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union for 1893 ( Chicago, 1893), 105. Hereafter these annual reports are cited as NWCTU, AR, and year.
2.
Ibid., 104.
3.
NWCTU, AR, 1891, 139.
4.
Frances Willard, Woman and Temperance ( Hartford, Conn., 1883), 27-28.
5.
NWCTU, AR, 1891, 139.

-82-

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Against the Tide: Women Reformers in American Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Catharine Beecher and Domestic Relations 1
  • Notes 16
  • Bibliography 17
  • Mary Ann Shadd Cary and Black Abolitionism 19
  • Notes 38
  • Bibliography 40
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Woman's Rights Movement 41
  • Notes 51
  • Bibliography 53
  • Dorothea Dix and Mental Health Reform 55
  • Notes 69
  • Bibliography 71
  • Frances Willard and Temperance 73
  • Notes 82
  • Bibliography 83
  • Jane Addams and the Settlement House Movement 85
  • Notes 97
  • Bibliography 98
  • Ida Wells-Barnett and the African-American Anti-Lynching Campaign 99
  • Notes 110
  • Bibliography 111
  • Jessie Daniel Ames and the White Women's Anti- Lynching Campaign 113
  • Notes 123
  • Bibliography 123
  • Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement 125
  • Notes 136
  • Bibliography 137
  • Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement 139
  • Notes 151
  • Bibliography 152
  • Betty Friedan and the National Organization for Women 153
  • Notes 164
  • Bibliography 165
  • Index 167
  • About the Editors and Contributors 171
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