Collection on Frances E. Willard
A Guide to the Collection
Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard (1839 – 1898) was an educator and social reformer dedicated to the causes of temperance and women’s suffrage. Willard graduated from North Western Female College in Evanston, Illinois, the valedictorian of the class of 1859. The following year, at the age of 21, she joined the Methodist Episcopal Church.
After serving as president of the Evanston College for Ladies from 1871 to 1873 and Dean of Women at Northwestern University in 1874, Willard was elected president of the Chicago branch of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She worked for evangelist Dwight L. Moody in 1877 organizing women’s meetings prior to becoming president of the Illinois WCTU in 1878. From 1879 until her death in 1898, she served as president of the national WCTU. In 1883 she founded the World Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.
Frances Willard traveled and lectured widely. Her interest in politics led to the organization of the National Council of Women, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, and the Prohibition Party.
To honor the memory of Frances Willard, the Methodist Episcopal Church General Conference of 1936 adopted a resolution presented by Mamie Colvin describing Willard 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” and urging all Methodists to study “the life and work of Frances E. Willard, and the contribution she made to the moral progress of America and the world.”
Frederick DeLand Leete (1866-1958) was a Methodist bishop and collector of Methodistica. The items in this collection were originally part of his Methodist Historical Library.
The collection on Frances E. Willard consists of sixteen folders of correspondence and ephemera by or about Frances Willard. These materials offer insights into the personal and professional life of a significant figure in the temperance and women’s rights movements in the United States and internationally during the second half of the nineteenth century.
Access to Collection:
The collection is open for research use. Patrons must sign the Acknowledgement of Legal Responsibility and Privacy Rights form before using this collection.
Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Head of Special Collections of the Bridwell Library.
It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.
Sensitive Materials Statement:
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which Bridwell Library assumes no responsibility.
[Identification of item], F.D. Leete collection on Frances E. Willard, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Gift of Bishop Frederick DeLand Leete as part of the F. D. Leete Methodist Historical Library, 1956.
The items in this collection were reunited from three separate storage locations at Bridwell Library in 2012.
Processed by Timothy Binkley, 2012.
Timothy Binkley, 2012.
Ada Negraru, 2012.
Detailed Description of the Collection