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Frances E. Willard
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    (September 28, 1839-February 17, 1898)
    Born in Churchville, New York
    Educator, temperance leader, and suffragist
    First Dean of Women at Northwestern University (1873-74)
    Attended the founding convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU, 1874)
    President of the WCTU (1877-98)
    First President of the International Council of Women (1888-90)
    She engineered a merger between the WCTU with the Prohibition Party that proved short-lived (1882-84), as the mostly male membership of the Prohibition Party objected to women's suffrage only slightly less than they did to booze.
    After her mother's death (1892), she spent much of her time abroad, leading to questions about her ability to continue to lead the WCTU.
    She allowed southern chapters of the WCTU to ban black women.
    Her solution to the issue of civil rights was to encourage black people to go back to Africa: 'If I were black and young, no steamship could revolve its wheels fast enough to convey me to the dark continent. I should go where my color was the correct thing and leave these pale faces to work out their own destiny.'
    She claimed to have lectured in every state of the Union and in every American city with a population greater than 10,000 people.
    She broadened the mission of the WCTU to include women's rights, education reform, and labor reform.
    After an acrimonious exchange with Ida B. Wells, she convinced the WCTU to adopt a resolution condemning lynching.
    At the time of her death, the WCTU was the largest women's organization in America.
    She was the first woman to be represented in the Statuary Hall of the US Capitol (1905).

Credit: C. Fishel

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