Willard, Frances E. Letters and Note, 1883-1890 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection consists of two letters and one note written by suffragist and educator, Frances E. Willard. Willard was the president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) from 1879-1898.
Frances E. Willard (1839-1898) was a woman's suffragist, educator, and temperance reformer. Born in New York and raised in Wisconsin, she moved with her family to Evanston, Illinois, in 1858. Willard was president of the Evanston College for Ladies in 1871, which became the Woman's College of Northwestern University. After leaving her position at Evanston in 1874, Willard became increasingly active in the suffragist and temperance movements. She was also involved in labor reform, prison reform, and Christian socialism. For several years, Willard traveled extensively throughout the United States promoting suffrage, labor rights, and temperance efforts, for which she reached national and international recognition. She served as president of WCTU's national chapter from 1879 until her death in 1898.
This collection contains two letters written on WCTU stationary from Frances E. Willard, dated November 17, 1883, and February 2, 1890. Also included is an autograph from Washington, D.C. dated March 28, 1888. The 1883 letter is addressed to Professor Hopkins of The American Reformer. Willard rejected Hopkins' suggestion to merge with The National WCTU publication, The Union Signal. She wrote to Hopkins, "let the two papers go on--friendly and appreciative each of the other." In the 1890 letter, Willard writes to her "dear sister," thanking her for a thoughtful gift. The note is signed from Washington, D.C. on March 28, 1888, and is inscribed with the WCTU motto, "For God & Home & Native Land."
The Library purchased this collection in 2020 with support from the Bruce C. Creamer fund.