Prof. Christopher Evans publishes article in The Conversation

The following is an excerpt from The Conversation US’s article “How Frances Willard shaped feminism by leading the 19th-century temperance movement” by Professor of History of Christianity and Methodist Studies Christopher Evans. Click here to read the full article.

Global reach of temperance movement

Born in 1839, Willard wanted to become a Methodist minister. Instead, she became a teacher, as women could rarely be ordained at the time. Ultimately, she became the first dean of the newly founded Woman’s College at Northwestern University.

In 1874, Willard helped found the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, an organization committed to campaigning for prohibition legislation. She was elected its president in 1879, holding that office until her death in 1898. Throughout her presidency, the WCTU ran shelters, medical dispensaries and free kindergartens that reached out to destitute families.

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