Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU)

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) reports that "The WCTU was organized by women who were concerned about the destructive power of alcohol and the problems it was causing their families and society. 1 It elaborates that "In many towns in Ohio and New York in the fall of 1873 women concerned about the destructive power of alcohol met in churches to pray and then marched to the saloons to ask the owners to close their establishments." 2 They then established the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. In the belief that they needed to become organized nationally, the next summer they established the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Within the first five years, the WCTU established a network of over 1,000 local units or "unions" and began publication of a journal, Our Union.

The WCTU is now considered the oldest voluntary, non-sectarian women's organization in continuous existence in the world. It was among the first organizations to keep a professional lobbyist in Washington, D. C. to promote its agenda. The organization is called the "Woman's" rather than "Women's" Christian Temperance Union because it is the individual woman who takes the temperance pledge.

Women were very active in public activities and political matters throughout the 19th century. This was especially the case when the issue was seen as a moral one. The first major issue that drew the attention of women was the abolition of slavery and the second was the attack on alcohol consumption. 3 The WCTU defines temperance as "moderation in all things healthful; total abstinence from all things harmful." 4 Because it considers any amount of alcohol to be harmful, it rejects the mainstream Christian belief that the consumption of alcohol in moderation is not sinful. It similarly rejects the medical consensus that drinking in moderation it is healthful unless contraindicated. Instead, it promotes total abstinence.

National Prohibition has been interpreted as a cultural war between Protestants who were already well-established in North American and the newer Catholic and Jewish immigrants, who typically drank alcohol beverages as part of their cultures. In addition, Protestants tended to live in rural areas and towns whereas the newer immigrants tended to settle in large cities, thus creating another division. 5 WCTU membership included women from nearly every sector of American life, but consisted largely of lower-middle and middle-class women with strong ties to evangelical Protestant churches.

Although the WCTU had chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada with a very large membership, for years it did not accept Catholic, Jewish or African-American women or women who had not been born in North America. This reflected the cultural division conflict. When the WCTU began accepting African-American women, they were organized into separate chapter or unions. Black members tended to be teachers or other professional.

The WCTU was anxious to "Americanize" new immigrants, which meant to them, to persuade them to abstain from alcohol beverages. In the first two decades of the twentieth century much of its budget was spent on its center on Ellis Island in order to begin this "Americanization" process. The WCTU was especially concerned about the immigration of Irish and Germans and what it believed was the threat they posed to abstention and the promotion of prohibition

One WCTU leader expressed strong concern over "the enormous increase of immigrant population flooding us from the old world, men and women who have brought to our shores and into our politics old world habits and ideas [favorable to alcohol]" and peppered her writing with references to this "undesirable immigration" and "these immigrant hordes." 6

The WCTU was not unique; the largely anti-foreign, anti-Catholic, anti-German and anti-Semitic nature of the temperance movement has been extensively documented. 7 The WCTU also supported eugenics. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) actively promoted Prohibition and its strict enforcement and many women belonged to both the WCTU and the KKK, sometimes holding leadership positions in both organizations.

According to the Ohio Historical Society, "From the mid 1870s to the early 1890s, the Women's Christian Temperance Union was the major organization within the United States seeking Prohibition. Its members utilized rather extreme tactics to convince Americans to abstain from alcohol. Members picketed bars and saloons. They prayed for the souls of the bar patrons. They also tried to block the entryways of establishments that sold liquor." 8

These tactics were tame in comparison to those of perhaps the WCTU's most famous member, Cary A. Nation, who founded a chapter of the organization in Kansas. Convinced that she was divinely guided, the six foot tall stout woman would storm into drinking establishments dressed in her trademark black dress and bonnet with a bible in one hand and a hatchet in the other. By the time she left, her aggressive vandalism would have caused considerable destruction.

Lindsey Williams described one of her expeditions before she had begun using a hatchet:

Carry took the train to Wichita and spent the first day searching for an appropriate victim. She had not intended to make herself known just yet, but lost her composure in the Hotel Carey bar room.

A large, risqué painting of Cleopatra At Her Bath caught her eye. She marched up to the bartender and shook her quivering forefinger at him. "Young man," she thundered, "what are you doing in this hellhole?"

"I'm sorry, madam," replied the bartender, "but we do not serve ladies."

"Serve me?" she screamed. "Do you think I'd drink your hellish poison?" Pointing to Cleopatra, she demanded, "Take down that filthy thing, and close this murder mill."

With this she snatched a bottle from the bar and smashed it to the floor. Carry marched out of the bar room amidst incredulous stares of the many imbibers.

Returning to her room she withdrew a heavy wooden club and an iron bar from her suitcase and bound them into a formidable weapon.

In the morning she returned to the Hotel Carey, concealing her club and a supply of stones under the black cape that became her trademark. Without a word, she began her labors by demolishing Cleopatra At Her Bath. "Glory to God, peace on earth and goodwill to men," she shouted as she flailed against mirrors, bottles, chairs, tables and sundry accessories. Whiskey flowed in rivers across the floor.

The hotel detective found Mrs. Nation beating furiously on the long, curving bar with a brass spittoon. "Madam," he said sternly, "I must arrest you for defacing property."

"Defacing?" she screamed. "I am destroying!" 9

Nation was arrested 30 times but her resulting notoriety proved profitable. She became known internationally for her "hatchetations" and the Kansas WCTU presented her with a gold medallion inscribed, "To the Bravest Woman in Kansas." 10 Her lectures and publications (The Smasher's Mail, The Hatchet) and the sale of miniature hatchets and many other items generated substantial income for the rest of her life.

The WCTU provided a mechanism through which many women expressed their views on social and political issues. Indeed, it considered itself the voice of all American women. In a congressional hearing in 1929, the president of the WCTU shouted "I represent the women of America!" When Pauline Sabin heard that she thought to herself, "Well, lady, here's one woman you don't represent" 11 and she promptly organized the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WNOPR). Her women's organization challenged the long-held assumption that virtually all women in the United States supported National Prohibition (1920-1933) and its enforcement.

Reporting on the WCTU convention in 1961, Time magazine wrote

Many of the Union's members sport a round pin bearing the word DO, which stands for the WCTU doors-open theme ("Doors Open for Christian Sobriety"). "Do" is also the WCTU's favorite word. Members are fond of sentences with lots of energetic do's, like "Do not be afraid to do whatever you can do to stop your friends from purchasing food in supermarkets that do sell beer and malts." The slogan for the coming year is "Double-Do in '62."

Double-do will especially be brought to bear on getting through Congress a bill to prohibit drinking on airplanes. "Before the year is over," says Mrs. Tooze, "I am confident that we will have won out. Bend your knees—not your elbows—if you would solve the world's problems." 12

Although the WCTU is most closely associated with the prohibition of alcohol, it has never been a one-issue organization. Frances Willard had asserted that "Our policy is ‘The Do-everything-policy, and do it all the time.'" 13 Accordingly, it has addressed a number of other social reform issues, including "lust-free" marriage, sanitation, abstinence from tobacco, public health, abortion, homosexuality, labor rights, premarital chastity, eugenics, prostitution, gambling, pornography, international peace, dress reform, illicit drugs, suffrage, same-sex marriage, women's rights, the "War on Christmas," the display of Scripture in public places, and maintaining Blue laws prohibiting golf and other leisure activities on Sundays. Currently emphasized is abstinence from alcohol and drugs, pornography, same-sex marriage, premarital chastity, homosexuality, and keeping Christ in Christmas.

The WCTU remains vocal on issues about which it is concerned. For example, the Amethyst Initiative is an effort by many college and university presidents to promote discussions about how best to reduce alcohol abuse and alcohol-related problems among young people, including adults 18-20 years of age.

In response to this call for public discussion about alcohol, the WCTU presented the Amethyst Initiative with the first annual WCTU Millstone Award at its 135th Annual National Convention. The WCTU explained that "The Millstone Award was created to bring public awareness to a person, organization, or governmental body that creates or uses their (sic) position of influence to promote unhealthy (sic), illegal, or immoral behavior that we believe places children at risk." 14

When President O'Bama shared a beer with Henry Lewis Gates, Jr. and James Crowley at the White House, which the press dubbed "the beer summit," the president of the WCTU complained that "There are so many other beverages he could have chosen that would have served just as well" and suggested lemonade or iced tea. 15

The WCTU currently claims 5,000 members, a staff of four, and an annual budget of $250,000. The Union Signal has a circulation of 550. 16 The organization describes itself as dedicated to educating young people about the harmful effects of alcohol, illegal drugs, and tobacco and works to build support for total abstinence from alcohol.

Although National Prohibition was ineffective and created horrendous problems, many people and organizations today support neo-prohibition ideas and strongly defend the many vestiges of Prohibition that continue to remain.

Membership Information

Membershipin the WCTU grew rapidly during the early decades and through National Prohibition (1920-1933), reaching 372,355 in 1931, and although Repeal occurred in 1933, membership stood at 257,548 in 1951. By 1989, it claimed 50,000 members, with chapters in 72 countries. As indicated above, it currently claims 5,000 members but its magazine has a circulation of only 550.

The current membership requirements are:

Prominent women who have been associated with the WCTU include Frances Willard (second president), Carry A. Nation, Annie Turner Wittenmeyer (first president), Mary Hanchett Hunt (Superintendent of the Department of Scientific Temperance Instruction in Schools and Colleges), Amelia Stone Quinton, Anna Adams Gordon, Ella Reeve Bloor, Hannah Clark Johnston Bailey, Hannah Witall Smith, and Martha McClellan Brown.

The presidents of the WCTU and their terms of office: 17

1874 - 1879 - Annie Turner Wittenmeyer

1879 - 1898 - Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard

1898 - 1914 - Lillian M. N. Stevens

1914 - 1925 - Anna Adams Gordon

1925 - 1933 - Ella Alexander Boole

1933 - 1944 - Ida BelleWise Smith

1944 - 1953 - Mamie White Colvin

1953 - 1959 - Agnes Dubbs Hays

1959 - 1974 - Ruth Tibbets Tooze

1974 - 1980 - Edith Kirkendall Stanley

1980 - 1988 - Martha Greer Edgar

1988 - 1996 - Rachel Catherine Bubar Kelly

1996 - 2006 - Sarah Frances Ward

2006 - Current -Rita Kaye Wert

The pledge of allegiance to the temperance flag, which is completely white, is "I pledge allegiance to the Temperance flag, emblem of total abstinence, self-control, pure thoughts, clean habits; the white flag that surrenders to nothing but purity and truth, and to none but God, whose temples we are." 18

The WCTU's logo is the white ribbon bow, which symbolizes purity, and the WCTU's motto "Agitate - Educate - Legislate." 19 President Frances Willard addressed fellow WCTU members as "beloved comrades of the white ribbon army." 20

Information on the WCTU by State

Alabama

Hamilton, J. Simpson, Mrs. The Story of the Alabama Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Alabama, 1959.

Arkansas

Knoll, Jessie Lowe. A Partial Fruition: A History of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Arkansas. Little Rock, AR: Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Arkansas, 1951.

Arizona

Woman's Christian Temperance Union. The Arizona Sunbeam. Periodical. Tucson, AZ: Arizonba Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

California

California Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Hand Book of the California Woman's Christian Temperance Union. San Francisco, CA: California Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1912.

Spencer, Dorcas James. A History of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Northern and Central California. Oakland, CA: West Coast Printing Co., 1913.

Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Southern California. Victories of Four Decades: A History of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Southern California. Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Southern California, 1924.

Connecticut

Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Connecticut. Connecticut Counselor. Periodical. Putnam, CT: Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Connecticut, 1935.

Delaware

Weldin, Anna Downham. Background and History of Delaware Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Wilmington, DE: Delaware Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1969.

Florida

Woman's Christian Temperance Union. The Florida White Ribbon News. Periodical. Ft. Pierce, FL: Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Auxiliary to National and World W.C.T.U.

Georgia

Ansley, J.J. History of the Georgia Woman's Christian Temperance Union: From Its Organization, 1883 to 1907. Columbus, GA: Gilbert Printing Co., 1914.

Hawaii

Ogawa, Mankato. American Women's Destiny, Asian Women's Destiny: Trans-Pacific Activism of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1886-1945. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hawaii, 2004.

Idaho

Sermon, Suzanne. "Beyond Simple Domesticity": Organizing Boise Women, 1866-1920.

M.A. thesis. Boise State University, 1996.

Illinois

Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Illinois. Report of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of Illinois. Chicago, IL: Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Illinois, 1943.

Indiana

Taylor, Burt S., Mrs. Indianapolis Central Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Historical Report. Indianapolis, IN: Indianapolis Central Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1958.

Kansas

Garner, Nancy G. For God and Home and Native Land: The Kansas Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1878-1938. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Kansas, 1994.

Kentucky

Woodring, Patsy. A Glorious Past and a Promising Future: A Brief History of the Kentucky Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1880-1995. Bethany, KY: Bethany Christian Mission Center, 1996.

Louisiana

Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Louisiana. Reports of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Louisiana. Welsh, LA: Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Louisiana. MN*ZZAN-22935.

Maine

Annual Report of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of Maine. Periodical. Hallowell, ME: Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of Maine. (Maine W.C.T.U.)

Massachusetts

Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Address of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union to the Voters of the State of Massachusetts. Boston, MA: Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1877.

Massachusetts Woman's Christian Temperance Union. State Temperance Fair of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Massachusetts. Boston, MA: Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Massachusetts, 1876.

Michigan

Gilbert. Eloise. The History of Lansing Central Union, Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1874-1949. Lansing, MI: Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1949.

Montana

Hoag, Alice Barnes and Matthew W. Alderson, Mrs. Historical Sketch of the Montana Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Helena, MT: Montana Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1912.

Missouri

Butts-Runion, B. Blanche. "Through the Years": A History of the First Seventy-Five Years of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Missouri (1882-1957). Missouri Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1957.

Nebraska

Heider, Carmen. Suffrage, Self-Determination, and the Women's (sic.) Christian Temperance Union in Nebraska, 1879-1882. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 2005, 8(1), 85-107.

New Hampshire

Silveira, III, Joseph A. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union: An Army of Women Marching Towards Suffrage, 1874-1920. M.L.S. thesis, University of New Hampshire, 2002.

Austin, Josephine. Historical Sketch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union--: 1881-1896. Littleton, NH: Courier Pub. Co., 1897.

New Jersey

Strong, Helen P. Golden Anniversary of the New Jersey Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1874-1924. Woman's Christian Temperance Union of New Jersey, 1924.

New Mexico

O'Leary-Siemer, Clare. Roots of the New Mexico Women's Movement: Missionaries and the New Mexico Christian Temperance Union. M.A. thesis, University of New Mexico, 1997.

New York

Graham, Frances W. Four Decades: A History of Forty Years' Work of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of New York. NY: Salvation Army Press, 1914.

Graham, Frances W. Sixty Years of Action: A History of Sixty Years' Work of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of New York. Lockport, NY: Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of New York, 1934.

Wahl, Sanford A. The Activities of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of New York in Relation to Alcoholic Beverage Legislation in New York, 1934-1960. Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1966.

North Carolina

Sims, Anastasia. "The sword of the spirit": the WCTU and moral reform in North Carolina, 1883-1993. North Carolina Historical Review, 1987, 64(4).

North Dakota

Ellsworth, Verna, and Anderson, Elizabeth P. North Dakota's Woman's Christian Temperance Union: 1889 Centennial 1989. Mandan, ND: Ellsworth, 1990.

Ohio

Ervin, Mary B. Historic Highlights: Ohio Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Diamond Jubilee Anniversary, 1874-1949. Columbus, OH: Ohio Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1949.

Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Ohio History Central, July 1, 2005. Ohio Historical Society. Available online.

Whitaker, Francis M. A History of the Ohio Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1874-1920. Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio State University, 1971.

Oklahoma

House, Elizabeth Margaret. Oklahoma Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Who's Who in Oklahoma, 1958.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Woman's Christian Temperance Union. History, Pennsylvania Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Quincy, PA: Quincy Orphanage Press, 1937.

Pennsylvania Woman's Christian Temperance Union. History of the Pennsylvania Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1937-1974. Manheim, PA: Stiegel, 1976.

South Carolina

Mims, Florence A. Recorded History of South Carolina Woman's Christian Temperance Union from 1881-1901. Edgefield, SC: South Carolina Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1950.

South Dakota

Woman's Christian Temperance Union of South Dakota. Woman's Christian Temperance Union of South Dakota. South Dakota: Woman's Christian Temperance Union of South Dakota, 1988. OCLC Number 2000607.

Swartz,Emma L. History of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Dakota. Rapid City, SD: Daily Journal, 1900.

Tennessee

Beard, Mattie C.D. The W.C.T.U. in the Volunteer State. Kingsport, TN: Kingsport Press, 1962.

Texas

Jones, Rhonda J. Up Rugged and Isolated Paths: Helen M. Stoddard as President of the Texas Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1891-1907. M.A. thesis,= San Jose State University, 1995.

McArthur, Judith N. Woman's Christian Temperance Union. The Handbook of Texas. Austin, TX: Texas State Historical Association, 2010. Available online.

Utah

Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Utah. Minutes of the Fifteenth Annual Convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Utah. Held at Salt Lake City, Utah, October 20-21, 1905. OAlster database. OCLC Number 451170465.

Vermont

Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Voters - Read, Think, Act: The Liquor Traffic Legal and Illegal can and Must be Destroyed...There will be No Saloons in Vermont. Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1905.

Virginia

Ironmonger, Elizabeth Hogg, and Phillips, Pauline L. History of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Virginia and a Glimpse of Seventy-Five Years, 1883-1958. Richmond, VA: Cavalier Press, 1958.

Washington

McMillen, Myrtle C. History of East Washington's Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1883-1953: Seventieth Anniversary. Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1953.

West Virginia

Yost, Lenna L. Hand Book for Local Unions of the West Virginia Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1909.

 

References:

  • 1. Welcome to the WCTU. http://www.wctu.org/
  • 2. The History of the WCTU. http://www.wctu.org/history.html
  • 3. Mezvinsky, Norton. The White Ribbon Reform, 1874-1920. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1959. 
  • 4. Welcome to the WCTU. http://www.wctu.org/index.html
  • 5. Gusfield, Joseph R. Symbolic Crusade: Status Politics and the American Temperance Movement. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1986.
  • 6. (Hunt, 1897, p. 63)
  • 7. (Alc ed, p 21. for refs)
  • 8. (Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Encyclopedia of Ohio History. http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=1009
  • 9. Williams, Lindsey. Carry Nation left hatchet home on Punta Gorda visit. Sun Coast Media Group, January 15, 1995.
  • 10. McMillen, Margot F., and Trout, Carlynn. Cary A. Nation (1846-1911). The State Historical Society of Missouri.http://shs.umsystem.edu/famousmissourians/leaders/nation/nation.shtml.
  • 11. Murdock, Catherine G. Domesticating Drink: Women, Men, and Alcohol in America, 1870-1940. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.
  • 12. Time. Religion: double-do for WCTU. Time, August 18, 1961.
  • 13. Willard, Frances Elizabeth. Address Before the Second Biennial Convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and the Twentieth Annual Convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Chicago: Woman's Temperance Publishing Association, 1893. http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=fewaddress.html
  • 14. Amethyst Initiative. Amethyst Initiative Receives 2008 WCTU Millstone Award. Amethyst Initiative website (amethystinitiative.org)
  • 15. Tomsho, Robert. White House 'Beer Summit' Becomes Something of a Brouhaha. Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2009, p. 1.
  • 16. National Woman's Christian Union (WCTU) AllBusiness.com http://www.allbusiness.com/engineering-accounting/management-public-relations/4035276-1.html
  • 17. National Presidents of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. http://www.wctu.org/national.html
  • 18. Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Maryland. http://www.wctumd.org/faqs.html
  • 19. Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Maryland. http://www.wctumd.org/faqs.html
  • 20. Willard, Frances Elizabeth. Address Before the Second Biennial Convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and the Twentieth Annual Convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Chicago: Woman's Temperance Publishing Association, 1893. http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=fewaddress.html

Readings

  • Asbury, Herbert. Carry Nation. NY: Knopf, 1929.
  • Blocker, Jr., Jack S. "Give to the Winds thy Fear": The Women's Temperance Crusade, 1873-1874. Westport, CT: Grenwood Press, 1985.
  • Bowman, Tammy. The Influence of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union on Women's Suffrage. Wright State University, 2001.
  • Bradley, E. Bertha. Membership in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. American Journal of Nursing, 1916, 16(10), 1029-1030.
  • Canfield, Pauline E. Department of Heredity, Missouri W.C.T.U. Kansas City, MO: H.N Farey, 1886.
  • Cook, Sharon A. Through Sunshine and Shadow: the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Evangelicalism, and Reform in Ontario, 1874-1930. Montreal and Buffalo: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995.
  • Cook, Sharon Anne. "Through Sunshine and Shadow": The Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Evangelism, and Reform in Ontario, 1874-1930. N.p.: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995.
  • Dublin, Thomas and Scheuerer. Why Did Aftrican-American Women Join the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1880-1900. Binghamton, NY: State University of New York, 2000. OCLC Number:83676674
  • Fahringer, Brooke E. Scientific Temperance Instruction and Censorship in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Thesis. Drew University, 2006.
  • Gelser, Sara. Beyond the Ballot: The Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Politics of Oregon Woman, 1880-1900. Thesis. Oregon State University, 1998.
  • Gusfield, Joseph R. Social structure and moral reform: a study of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. American Journal of Sociology, 1955, 61(3), pp. 221-232.
  • Gusfield, Joseph R. Symbolic Crusade: Status Politics and the American Temperance Movement. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1986.
  • Harry, Millicent K. A Century of Service: The History of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of South Australia, Inc. Adelaide:WCTU of South Australia, 1986.
  • Hays, Agnes D. Heritage of Dedication: One Hundred Years of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1874-1974. Evanston, IL: Signal Press, 1973.
  • Hicks, Rosemary R, Religious Movements and the Challenge to Nineteenth-Century Victorian Ideology: Christian Science and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Thesis. Graduate Theological Union, 2002. OCLC Number: 53980841
  • Jordan, Renee. White-Ribboners: The Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Tasmania, 1885-1914. Thesis. University of Tasmania, 2007.
  • Kuhl, Mary E., et al. Organization and Accomplishments of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, and Virginia. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1908, vol. 32, 43-60.
  • Mihalououlos, Bill. Mediating the good life: prostitution and the Japanese Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1880s-1920s. Gender & History, 2009, 21(1), 19-38.
  • Schiffner, Carli C. Continuing to "Do Everything" in Oregon: The Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1900-1945 and Beyond. Thesis. 2004. OCLC Number: 60406473
  • Stevens, Lillian M.N. The work of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1908, vol. 32, pp. 38-42.
  • Tyrrell, Ian R. Woman's World/Woman's Empire: The Woman's Christian Temperance Union in International Perspective, 1880-1930. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1991.
  • Veer, Joanne E. Feminist Forebears: The Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Canada's Maritime Provinces, 1875-1900. Thesis. University of Maine, 1994.
  • Willard, Frances Elizabeth. Address Before the Second Biennial Convention of the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and the Twentieth Annual Convention of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Chicago: Woman's Temperance Publishing Association, 1893. http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=fewaddress.html
  • Willard, Frances E. Women and Temperance: or, The Work and Workers of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. NY: Arno Press, 1972 (orig. pub. 1883)
  • Willard, Frances E. The Ideal of "the New Woman" According to the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. NY: Garland Publishing, 1987.
  • Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Winners without Drugs: Woman's Christian Temperance Union of NSW, Inc. Annual General Meeting, March 27-28, 2006. Sydney, NSW: Woman's Christian Temperance Union of New South Wales, 2008.

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