The Project Gutenberg eBook of Two Decades

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Title: Two Decades

Author: Frances W. Graham

Georgeanna M. Gardenier

Release date: March 13, 2007 [eBook #20811]

Language: English

Credits: E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland, Marcia, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team



E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland, Marcia,
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team



BAPTIST CHURCH AT FREDONIA, N.Y. "In which the first Crusade meeting was held."
BAPTIST CHURCH AT FREDONIA, N.Y. "In which the first Crusade meeting was held."


Two Decades:

[Pg 1]

A History

of the

First Twenty years' work

of the

Woman's Christian Temperance Union

of the State of New York.




[Pg 2]


[Pg 3]


[Pg 4]

This little volume now starts upon its way to visit the homes of those who, with us, desire above all things the overthrow of the liquor traffic. When it knocks at your door, kindly admit it and treat it as a welcome guest—a loved friend; remain blind to its faults, and see only the good intended.

We send it forth, not for its literary merit, not for any honor to ourselves, but as a faithful record of the work accomplished by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of New York during the two decades just closed. It was written at your request, and it is yours, not ours. That it may be of benefit to the work and a pleasure to the workers is all we ask. We commend it to you with earnest prayers and best wishes.



Mary T. Burt
Mrs. Mary Towne Burt

[Pg 5]






[Pg 6]

217 W. 134th St., New York City.


West New Brighton, S. I.


274 Church St., Lockport.


64 E. Cayuga St., Oswego.


484 Madison Ave., Albany.


No. 30 WEST 230 STREET,


[Pg 7]


Albany—Mrs. C. J. A. JUMP, Albany.        Onondaga—Mrs. M. D. FERGUSON, Syracuse.
Allegany—Mrs. V. A. WILLARD, Belmont      Ontario—Mrs. A. H. WOOD, Farmington.
Broome—- Mrs. W. H. BRISTOL, Binghamton.  Orange—Mrs. L. H. WASHINGTON, Port Jervis.
Cattaraugus—Mrs. M. G. PECKHAM, Leon.    Orleans—Mrs. G. A. HEWITT, Gaines.
Cayuga—Mrs. P. J. ADAMS, Moravia.        Oswego—Mrs. S. M. BARKER, New Haven.
Chautauqua—Mrs. M. S. MEAD, Jamestown.    Otsego—Mrs. ELLEN TALLMADGE, Otego.
Chemung—Mrs. S. W. STODDARD, Horseheads.  Putnam—Mrs. LYMAN F. BROWN, Carmel.
Chenango—'Mrs. C. A. MOORE, Mt. Upton.    Queens—Mrs. C. H. HARRIS, Jamaica.
Clinton—Mrs. FRANCES D. HALL, Plattsburg. Rensselaer—Mrs. S. A. KENNEY, Troy.
Columbia—Mrs. MARCIA C. POWELL, Ghent.    Richmond—Mrs. SARAH R. MORRIS, West New Brighton.
Cortland—Mrs. FANNIE KEESE, Cortland.    Rockland—Mrs. J. A. DINGMAN, Spring Valley
Delaware—Mrs. CLARA HILSINGER, Sidney.    Saratoga—Mrs. GRACE ANDRESS, Gansevoort.
Dutchess—Mrs. H. A. NELSON, Poughkeepsie. Schenectady—Mrs. M. CLOWE, Schenectady.
Erie—Mrs. CLARA T. SISSON, Collins.      Schoharie—Mrs. L. A. WILCOX, Jefferson.
Essex—Mrs. ADA J. R. BEERS, Port Henry.  Schuyler—Mrs. L. L. CLAWSON, Havana.
Franklin—Mrs. W. F. WINKLEY, Malone.      Seneca—Mrs. J. STORY, Cayuga.
Fulton—Mrs. GEORGE CLARK, Amsterdam.      Steuben—Mrs. A. M. HART, Hornellsville.
Genesee—Mrs. ANNA E. RICE, Batavia.      St. Lawrence—Mrs. M. D. SILL, Massena.
Greene—Miss E. BRANDOW, Coxsackie.        Suffolk—Mrs. EVA HORTON, Greenport.
Herkimer—Mrs. L. P. DAVIES, Herkimer.    Sullivan—Mrs. M. M. McKoon, Long Eddy.
Jefferson—Mrs. E. GURNEY, Clayton.        Tioga—Mrs. N. H. HUTCHINSON, Oswego.
Kings—Mrs. L. VANDERHOEF, Brooklyn.      Tompkins—Mrs. D. C. BOUTON, Ithaca.
Lewis—Mrs. M. B. O'DONNELL, Lowville.    Ulster—Mrs. E. U. BURGESS, Highland.
Livingston—Mrs. H. M. FREEMAN, Lima.      Warren—Mrs. T. TRITTON, Glens Falls.
Madison—Mrs. E. C. BUSHNELL, Lakeport.    Washington—Mrs. J. H. MASON, Greenwich.
Monroe—Mrs. F. N. PARISH, Churchville.    Wayne—Miss H. ELLEN ORTON, Sodus.
Montgomery—Mrs. J.G.DEGRAFF, Amsterdam.  Westchester—Miss H. A. ROLLINS, Yonkers.
New York—Mrs. E. FRANCES LORD, New York.  Wyoming—Miss KATE MANNING, Attica.
Niagara—Mrs. RUTH A. FROST, Barker's.    Yates—Miss CELIA S. HUTTON, Penn Yan.
Oneida—Mrs. THEODOSIA M. FOSTER, Verona. 


[Pg 8]


Sketch of Mrs. Esther McNeil, Veteran Crusader


CHAPTER I.—"The Sober Second Thought of the Crusade"
Sketch of Mrs. Allen Butler, first President

CHAPTER II.—Constitution and By-Laws, with changes
Sketch of Mrs. Maria Hyde Hibbard, second President

CHAPTER III.—Organization
Sketch of Mrs. Mary Towne Burt, our President

CHAPTER IV.—Educational
Sketch of Mrs. Ella A. Boole, First Vice-President

CHAPTER V.—Evangelistic
Sketch of Mrs. Frances W. Graham, Corresponding Secretary

CHAPTER VI.—Legislation and Petition
Sketch of Mrs. Georgianna M. Gardenier, Recording Secretary

CHAPTER VII.—Social and Political
Sketch of Mrs. Ellen L. Tenney, Treasurer

CHAPTER VIII.—Miscellaneous
Financial Statement, 1874-1894
Officers, 1874-1894
Annual Meetings
World's Fair Banner


[Pg 9]
* * * * *

Crusade Church

Mrs. Mary Towne Burt

Mrs. Esther McNeil

Mrs. Allen Butler

Mrs. Maria Hyde Hibbard

Mrs. Mary Towne Burt

Mrs. Ella A. Boole

Mrs. Frances W. Graham

Mrs. Georgeanna M. Gardenier

Mrs. Ellen L. Tenney

[Pg 10]



[Pg 11]

istories are strange things: they uncover so many hidden events, and bring back so many lost memories. A history that traces the beginnings of a reform movement, that weaves the shuttle of memory in and out of the web of the past and presents a perfect woof of fact and incident, is a treasury of knowledge that will not fail to delight and instruct. But the compilation of such a history is no easy task, and especially is this true of an organization with the many ramifications of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of New York.

The 14th of October, 1894, marked the twenty-first milestone in our history, and the story that follows is the story of the hopes and fears, the smiles and tears of the past twenty years, mingled with songs of rejoicing for grand achievement. For twenty years this organization has stood with undaunted front against the sin of the state as represented by the legalized traffic in intoxicating liquors and by the awful vice that would put a premium on woman's shame.

During this time it has uttered its shibboleth that that political party, and that only, which declares in its platform for the complete prohibition of the liquor traffic, can have its influence and its prayers. There have been days of darkness and disaster, but by the grace of God no weapon turned against the union has prospered, and every tongue that has risen in judgment has been[Pg 12] condemned. The growth of the organization has been marvelous, for in twenty years it has grown from a few hundred members to twenty-two thousand, and from a few auxiliaries to over nine hundred, which cover as a network the entire state. Its workers are indefatigable, and wage their peaceful war for "sweeter manners, purer laws," with an earnestness that carries conviction to the hearts of the people and the law-makers of the state. And wherever there is a wrong to right, an evil to attack, or a hand to help, there will you find a woman with a white ribbon on her breast.

The committee having this history in charge have searched faithfully the records of twenty years. Some of the names recorded here have never been heard by the workers of later years. Their owners have crossed the boundary-line that separates this world from the next. But living and dead speak with one voice of their love, service, and consecration to the work; and out of these God has welded a union that stands for all that is pure and good in government and the home, and whose work for Him and for humanity will never cease until

"All the bells of God shall ring the ship of Temperance in."

We feel that the state is under many obligations to Mrs. Graham and Mrs. Gardenier for so faithfully recording the work of these past years, for while in one sense it has been a labor of love, yet the many hours spent in earnest research for the necessary data must have been hours of toil. And while we thank our beloved sisters for their work and interest, our thoughts turn to the thousands of women whose lives have made this history possible—those who have gone steadfastly forward in the line of duty, thinking not of the world's applause, but doing all things and bearing all things in the Master's name and for the Master's sake.

With this history we have reached our majority—twenty-one years. "Old enough to vote," I hear some one say. Yes, quite.[Pg 13] But the state, whose children we are marshaling under the total abstinence banner of the Loyal Temperance Legion; with whose vice and misery we are in a hand-to-hand conflict, and have done much to suppress; which has felt the influence of our work in hundreds of directions, and whose law-makers declare that it is good, and good only, has not yet awarded us the right. But long before we reach our second majority the piece of paper that "does the freeman's will as lightning does the will of God" will be placed in the hand of woman, and sin and impurity, like the shadows, will flee away.

And for those who are still in the stress of the battle, for those who will come after us, and for those who will kindly read these pages, "May God bless us each and every one."


NEW YORK, November 9, 1894.



[Pg 14]

(Veteran Crusader)

Esther Lord was born in Carlisle, Schoharie county, New York, in the year 1812. Her father was a Connecticut Yankee, her mother a native of Massachusetts. When Esther was ten years of age her father died, leaving ten children. We know little of the struggles through which they passed before reaching manhood and womanhood.

In 1832 she was married to James McNeil, of Carlisle, and together they enlisted under the Washingtonian movement to fight the demon drink. About a month after her marriage she became a Christian, and, with a new heart, God gave her the desire to be of use to others, and she offered herself to the Lord to care for homeless children. Although she has never been blessed with children of her own, yet the mother heart has not been empty. In 1868 she with her husband moved to Fredonia, Chautauqua county, New York, with eight homeless children to be put to school. Two years later her husband, who was a member of the State Temperance Society, died, and in this same year one of her dear girls died.

In 1873 she entered the list of crusaders, and became a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, organized December 22, 1873. This union has continued to be the leading union in the county, holding weekly meetings, and loyal always to county, state, and national organizations. Mrs. McNeil was the first county president, and for the past seventeen years has been the local president in Fredonia. Although now past eighty-two years of age, yet at the twenty-first annual convention she led the "Crusaders' Hour" with great acceptance.

Esther McNeil
Mrs. Esther McNeil



[Pg 15]


hen history shall have recorded the events of America's nineteenth century, prominent among them will be the "Woman's Crusade," a movement whose strength, please God, will not be spent until the last legalized saloon has disappeared from this fair land.

Hillsboro, Ohio, claims the birthplace, and December 23, 1873, as the birthday of this momentous event. True, from this place and day the influence deepened and widened, spreading to other localities with wonderful rapidity; but to Fredonia, Chautauqua county, New York, is accorded the honor of inaugurating the work, December 15, 1873. How was this brought about? The story in brief is this:

On Saturday evening, December 13, Dr. Dio Lewis, of Boston, had delivered a popular lecture in Fredonia, and upon invitation of the Good Templars remained to deliver a temperance lecture at a union service Sunday night. The audience was large, but there was no indication of unusual results from the meeting. The speaker presented the truth so forcibly, and recommended plans of procedure so practical, that the audience caught his spirit. At the close of the lecture it was evident something was going to be done, and that right speedily. Dr. Lewis outlined a plan of work which he had seen tried with success in his own village when a youth, and later in other places. The thoughtful ones saw its feasibility, and numbers spoke upon the question. Rev. Lester Williams, pastor of the Baptist Church, said he[Pg 16] believed in striking while the iron was hot, and asked all the ladies who sympathized with the proposition to hold a meeting of consultation relative to the work to rise. Nearly every woman was upon her feet. A list of fifty names was secured of those who were ready to act, and a committee consisting of Mrs. A.L. Benton, Mrs. Dr. Fuller, and Mrs. J.P. Armstrong, Jr., was appointed to draw up an appeal to be presented to the various liquor dealers of the town.

A meeting was called at the Baptist Church for Monday morning, December 15, at ten o'clock, to adopt the appeal and inaugurate the work. The past few days had been dark and gloomy, but Monday was bright and beautiful. Mr. Williams remarked that in it they could see the smile of God upon the movement. About three hundred people gathered at the appointed hour—men and women. The following appeal was submitted and adopted:


In the name of God and humanity we make our appeal:

Knowing, as we do, that the sale of intoxicating liquors is the parent of every misery, prolific of all woe in this life and the next, potent alone in evil, blighting every fair hope, desolating families, the chief incentive to crime, we, the mothers, wives, and daughters, representing the moral and religious sentiment of our town, to save the loved members of our households from the temptation of strong drink, from acquiring an appetite for it, and to rescue, if possible, those that have already acquired it, earnestly request that you will pledge yourself to cease the traffic here in these drinks, forthwith and forever. We will also add the hope that you will abolish your gaming tables.

The women then retired to the room below, organized for work, and arranged a line of march. The men meanwhile prayed and planned, twenty-three of them pledging to pay the percentage of $1,000 placed opposite their names for carrying on the work.[Pg 17]

At half-past twelve o'clock the procession marched out of the basement of the Baptist Church, over one hundred being in line. These were the wives of Fredonia's most respected citizens, venerable and revered matrons, as well as many young women. Headed by Mrs. Judge Barker and Mrs. Rev. Lester Williams, they quietly walked across the park straight to the Taylor House saloon. The band of women filed in, nearly filling the place. Mrs. Barker immediately made known their mission. Mrs. Williams read to the proprietor the appeal. A hymn was sung to Pleyel's sweet air, and all joined in the Lord's prayer, after which Mrs. Tremaine, a venerable and gifted woman, offered a prayer full of Christian tenderness. Mr. Taylor was then asked if he would not accede to their appeal. He finally said, "If the rest will close their places, I'll close mine." His brother and partner did not consent so readily. The ladies asked him to consider the matter, promising to call the next day for his decision. The proprietor replied "That he would be pleased to see them every day," and politely bowed the ladies out. This visit was a sample of those made until every saloon, hotel, and drug store had been visited. This work was continued daily, and during the week union prayer-meetings were held every night. One drug store responded to the appeal; one hotel closed its bar; the visits became distasteful to one dealer, and he locked the women out.

The Fredonia Censor, a weekly paper, in its issue of Wednesday, December 17, 1873, contained the following headlines:


Enthusiastic Meeting Sunday Evening—Every Place where Liquor is Sold
in Fredonia Visited by a Band of One Hundred Women on Monday—They
Appeal to the Proprietors to Stop the Traffic—A Season of Prayer and
Hymns in Rum Shops.

On Monday afternoon, December 21, the women met to perfect a permanent[Pg 18] organization, which they did by adopting the following pledge and name:


We, the undersigned women of Fredonia, feeling that God has laid upon us a work to do for temperance, do hereby pledge ourselves to united and continuous effort to suppress the traffic in intoxicating liquors in our village until this work be accomplished; and that we will stand ready for united effort upon any renewal of the traffic. We will also do what we can to alleviate the woes of drunkards' families, and to rescue from drunkenness those who are pursuing its ways.


This society shall be known as The Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Fredonia.

Two hundred and eight members were enrolled, sixty-four of whom were young women. The first officers were: Mrs. George Barker, President; Mrs. D. R. Barker, Vice-President; Mrs. L. A. Barmore, Secretary; Mrs. L. L. Riggs, Treasurer.

Thus was the wonderful movement called "The Crusade" begun, and the first local Woman's Christian Temperance Union organized.

That the local paper was keeping a keen watch on the movements of the women is evidenced by the following headlines in the Censor of December 24, 1873:


One Less Bar to Practice At—A Permanent Temperance Union Formed—Over
Two Hundred Women Pledged "Until this Work is Accomplished."


[Pg 19]



t soon became apparent that the methods of the crusade could not be continued indefinitely; that in order to strengthen and perpetuate the work already begun organization was necessary. This sentiment prevailed in the State of New York, and many local societies, bearing various names, had already been formed.

The initiatory for a state organization was taken by the Woman's Temperance Union of Syracuse, which, at a meeting held September 10, 1874, decided to call a state convention of all women's temperance organizations, to be held at Syracuse in October, preparatory to the great national convention which was to be held in November. A central committee of five was appointed to make all necessary arrangements, and on September 19th was issued the following:


The Syracuse Woman's Temperance Union respectfully invite the working temperance women throughout the state to meet in convention in this city on the 14th day of October, at nine o'clock A. M., at the First Methodist Church, for the purpose of organizing a state temperance league, and to appoint delegates to the national convention to be held in Cleveland, Ohio, November next. [Pg 20]

It is hoped that every town and city in the state will be represented. All newspapers are requested to give the above an insertion and a local notice, and all ministers are desired to read it from their desks.

Delegates are requested to notify the secretary of their intention to be present by the both of October, and places of entertainment will be provided. A committee of reception will be in waiting at the rooms of the Young Men's Christian Association, 16 South Salina street, on Tuesday evening, and at the church on Wednesday morning.

Secretary Central Committee.

Pursuant to the above call, at nine o'clock A.M. of October 14, 1874, a large gathering of earnest women from various parts of the state assembled at the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Syracuse, for the purpose of discussing the great interests of the temperance cause and plan for its future advancement.

The meeting was called to order by Mrs. Allen Butler, of Syracuse, who was made temporary chairman, with Mrs. S. Thurber and Miss A.L. Didama as secretaries.

The permanent organization was perfected by the election of the following officers:

President—Mrs. Helen E. Brown, New York City.

Vice-Presidents—Mrs. Allen Butler, Syracuse; Mrs. George Case, Sodus; Mrs. L.B. Ayers, Penn Yan.

Secretary—Mrs. N.B. Foot, Rome.

Assistant Secretaries—Mrs. S. Thurber, Syracuse; Miss A.L. Didama, Syracuse.

The following reported and were registered as delegates, although many others were present and participated in the deliberations:


[Pg 21]


Allegany County. Mrs. T.B. Stowell, Cortland.
Mrs. B.C. Rude, Wellsville. Mrs. Day, Cortland.
Mrs. Dr. Green, Cortland.
Broome County. Mrs. E.L. Knight, Homer.
Mrs. H.R. Clark, Binghamton. Mrs. P. Barber, Homer.
Mrs. J.H. Parsons, Binghamton.
Mrs. L.C. Phillips, Binghamton. Erie County.
Mrs. L.M. Kenyon, Buffalo.
Cayuga County.
Mrs. Mary T. Burt, Auburn. Herkimer County.
Mrs. George Letchworth, Auburn. Mrs. L. Colton, Ilion.
Mrs. James Seymour, Auburn. Mrs. M.J. Buck, Ilion.
Mrs. C.W. Boyce, Auburn. Mrs. M.E. Perkins, Ilion.
Mrs. B.F. Hall, Auburn. Mrs. Albert Baker, Ilion.
Mrs. Dr. Wilkie, Auburn. Mrs. M.S. Angel, Ilion.
Mrs. Jennie M. Pierson, Auburn.
Mrs. William Donovan, Weedsport. Kings County.
Mrs. T.B. Foote, Weedsport. Mrs. Mary C. Johnson, Brooklyn.
Mrs. J. Gould, Weedsport. Mrs. Mary Richardson, Brooklyn.
Mrs. Susan Fox, Weedsport. Mrs. Geo. W. Thomas, Brooklyn.
Chautauqua County. Lewis County.
Mrs. Esther McNeil, Fredonia. Mrs. M.B. O'Donnell, Lowville.
Mrs. H. C. Lake, Fredonia. Mrs. H.F. Lanfear, Lowville.
Chemung County. Livingston County.
Mrs. Ransom Pratt, Elmira. Mrs. McMahon, Lima.
Mrs. Cleevis, Elmira.
Madison County.
Clinton County. Mrs. Dr. Jarvis, Canastota.
Mrs. George Bixby, Plattsburg.
Monroe County.
Cortland County. Mrs. E.A. Nelson, Rochester.
Mrs. J.S. Squires, Cortland. Miss S.J. Vosburg, Rochester.

[Pg 22]
New York County. Mrs. C.W. Allis, Skaneateles.
Mrs. H.E. Brown, New York. Mrs. J.P. Clark, Obisco.
Mrs. R.P. Penfield, New York.
Orleans County.
Oneida County. Mrs. E.G. Gillett, Medina.
Mrs. M.M. Northrup, Utica.
Mrs. George Westcott, Utica. Oswego County.
Mrs. Peter Stryker, Rome. Mrs. E.A. Cooper, Fulton.
Mrs. N.B. Foot, Rome. Mrs. J. Miller, Fulton.
Mrs. O.C. Cole, Clinton. Mrs. George Goodier, Oswego.
Mrs. Francis Brown, Oswego.
Ontario County. Mrs. C.T. Bishop, Oswego.
Mrs. A. Petit, Gorham. Mrs. Elizabeth Clark, Oswego.
Mrs. E.G. Townsend, Geneva.
Mrs. E.W. Herendeen, Geneva. Seneca County.
Mrs. Adaline King, Geneva. Mrs. S.M. Metcalf, Seneca Falls.
Mrs. J.G. Gracey, Clifton Springs. Miss Emma Allen, Seneca Falls.
Mrs. T.J. Bissell, Phelps.
Tioga County.
Onondaga County. Mrs. L. Curtis, Waverly.
Mrs. Alien Butler, Syracuse.
Mrs. R.A. Esmond, Syracuse. Tompkins County.
Mrs. T.S. Truair, Syracuse. Mrs. S. Whitlock, Ithaca.
Mrs. J.L. Bagg, Syracuse. Mrs. C.M. Selkreg, Ithaca.
Mrs. J.P. Griffin, Syracuse.
Mrs. S. Thurber, Syracuse. Wayne County.
Mrs. George Greeley, Syracuse. Mrs. William H. Carkey, Clyde.
Mrs. Dr. Stevens, Syracuse. Mrs. Harris Wilbur, Clyde.
Mrs. J.J. Brown, Syracuse. Mrs. G. Case, Sodus.
Mrs. Beardsley, Syracuse. Mrs. C.P. Mundy, Sodus.
Miss A.L. Didama, Syracuse.
Miss M.E. Armstrong, Fayetteville. Yates County.
Mrs. M. Gage, Fayetteville. Mrs. L.B. Ayers, Penn Yan.
Miss Etta P. Avery, Fayetteville. Mrs. M.J. Lattimer, Penn Yan.
Mrs. Morehouse, Liverpool. Mrs. C.A. Allen, Benton Center.
[Pg 23]


Mrs. T.K. Church, Washington, D.C.[1]
Mrs. Mary R. Denman, Newark, N.J.[2]
Mrs. J. Dunlap, Newark, N.J.
Miss Mary Dunlap, Newark, N.J.

Of this number thirteen were present at the twentieth convention, held at Syracuse in 1893; among them being the first chairman, Mrs. Butler; the first secretary, Mrs. N.B. Foot; and Mrs. Esther McNeil, our venerable crusader, of Fredonia.

The keynote for the future was struck at the first convention, as will be seen in the report of the committee appointed to recommend topics for discussion. These represented the foundation principles of the organization, and were as follows:


How should holly-tree inns or coffee-rooms be managed? What is their history?

Is it a part of woman's work in the temperance cause to attend to the enforcing of the license laws?

How can we arouse the young women to think as they never have upon this subject, and to realize that there is a practical obligation resting upon them?

How can we make professing Christians feel their responsibilities?

What is the most judicious way of awakening the clergy to more zealous effort in the cause of temperance, and securing the cooperation of the church as a body?

How can we work most effectually among the children?

Can domestic wines be made and used consistently by Christian women, or with safety to their families? Is it not encouraging intemperance?

Can we, as temperance women, use wine and cider for culinary purposes with consistency or safety?

Pending these discussions a constitution was drafted. This was adopted,[Pg 24] and a state society called "The Christian Woman's State League" was formed.

The following officers were elected for the first year:

President—Mrs. Allen Butler, Syracuse.

Vice-Presidents—Mrs. Mary C. Johnson, Brooklyn; Mrs. Helen E. Brown, New York; Mrs. Dr. Kenyon,
Buffalo; Mrs. L. B. Ayers, Penn Yan; Mrs. B. F. Hall, Auburn.

Corresponding Secretary—Mrs. Dr. Greeley, Syracuse.

Recording Secretary—Mrs. Mary T. Burt, Auburn.

Treasurer—Mrs. T. S. Truair, Syracuse.

During the first year two quarterly meetings were held—one at Brooklyn in February, and one at Buffalo in May. At the Brooklyn meeting the constitution was somewhat modified, and the name changed to the present one—"The Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of New York."

The first legislative work of the society was the memorializing of President Grant and Governor Dix. This memorial was prepared by Mrs. B. C. Rude, of Wellsville, Miss M. E. Armstrong, of Fayetteville, and Mrs. M. B. O'Donnell, of Lowville.


We, temperance women of the State of New York, in convention at Syracuse, deeply sensible that intemperance is a prevailing and corrupting power for evil, affecting the happiness and well-being of multitudes of all classes and conditions impotent to protect themselves from its influences, but citizens, all claiming the natural and lawful protection of our rulers and executors of our laws; that its pernicious influence in the home, by subverting every principle of right, is in the aggregate corrupting the entire national body, subverting the intent of our political institutions; and whereas petitioning is our only resort, we have petitioned our God, the Infinite Ruler, in your behalf, and now petition your excellency, in behalf of the temperance cause, that you appoint to positions in the civil service[Pg 25] none but total abstinence men. All of which we most respectfully submit, and for which your petitioners will ever pray.

The memorial to Governor Dix was presented directly by the State League; that to President Grant was referred to the national society soon to be formed.

Twenty-two delegates were appointed to attend the convention called at Cleveland, Ohio, November 18, 19, and 20, 1874, for the purpose of organizing a national society. The State of New York was honored in this convention by the appointment of Mrs. Mary T. Burt as secretary of the organizing convention, and by the election of Mrs. Mary C. Johnson as recording secretary, and Mrs. Dr. Kenyon as one of the vice-presidents for the first year.

The following resolutions were adopted at the first meeting, and must have been drafted with a prophet's ken, as they have been largely fulfilled in the years that have passed:


WHEREAS, Intemperance has become so widespread, permeating every class and condition of society, even from the sacred desk to the hovel, we hail with gratitude to God the many indications of the revival in the interest of temperance reform which exists in various portions of our country, and especially do we rejoice that the women have been awakened to the vast evils thereby entailed; and, relying upon divine guidance and support, we feel that the present time is particularly auspicious for that renewal and vigorous action on the part of friends of temperance which the exigencies of all so urgently demand; therefore,

Resolved, That we, the temperance women of the State of New York, do organize a state temperance league, in the belief that we can the better aid, encourage, and fortify each other in the suppression of this growing vice, and in the creation of a universal and moral sentiment for temperance and sobriety; and to this end there should be much earnest prayer for God's wisdom to direct, His power to insure success, linked with persistent personal effort.

Resolved, That it is our duty and privilege to stand firm in our[Pg 26] example of total abstinence by abandoning the use of all intoxicants from our tables and from every department of domestic life.

Resolved, That, in the judgment of this convention, one of the great hopes of the ultimate triumph of the temperance reform lies in a thorough training of the youth of the land in such principles and practices of temperance as will show them the fatal danger of drinking and the criminality of selling liquors; and we earnestly entreat the friends of the cause, and especially pastors of churches and superintendents of Sunday-schools throughout the state, to take immediate measures in their respective cities and towns for the formation in perpetual continuance of temperance societies to be composed of youths.

Resolved, That the educational authorities of the state be and are hereby respectfully and earnestly requested to cause to be introduced, as soon as practicable, into all schools, text-books treating of the nature of intoxicating liquors and of the effects upon the human constitution, and that Sunday-schools introduce into their libraries literature inculcating positive principles which will develop wholesome temperance sentiment.

Resolved, That we earnestly ask all good men to cooperate with us in our labor, and also by their votes to complete the work to which all our energies and our prayers are consecrated.

For the accomplishment of these objects we shall religiously employ all the means God has placed within our reach, and constantly invoke His aid and guidance.

This first convention was marked by deep spiritual power. No step was taken without the manifest guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The sweet gale, or Dutch myrtle, grows in moorland fens. It is a humble plant, but fragrant; where it grows abundantly the miasma of the bog is neutralized by its balsamic odors and antiseptic qualities, disease is displaced and health established. So the sweet fragrance of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of New York, planted at Syracuse, has been carried by prayer and faith to all New York, "giving beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."

[1]Afterward President of District of Columbia W.C.T.U.
[2]Afterward President of New Jersey W.C.T.U.

Mrs. Allen Butler
Mrs. Allen Butler


[Pg 27]


Lucy Wood was born in Greenbush, Rensselaer County, New York, in 1820. Her educational advantages were those offered by the public schools of her native county. Having decided musical tastes she improved the opportunities offered at the city of Albany for their cultivation, early dedicating her gift of song to the causes she loved. She became a Christian when thirteen years old, and by a long and useful Christian life has adorned her profession. In 1841 she was united in marriage with Allen Butler, and soon after removed to Syracuse, then a village of about six thousand inhabitants. During her life of more than half a century in Syracuse she has been identified with many of the Christian and benevolent institutions of the city, as well as those of her own church, to which she is devotedly attached.

Frail in health, her interest in a cause often exceeded the strength to work for it. This was the apparent condition of things when the crusade with whirlwind power swept over the land. A life-long advocate of total abstinence, her interest in the cause could not be restrained, and gently her Heavenly Father led her in this work, first to a little gathering of temperance women, at which, after much importunity, she conducted the exercises. Some months later she became the chosen leader of these women. It was from this consecrated band, over the signature of Mrs. Butler with others, that the call for the first state convention of temperance women was made.

Who more appropriately than she could call that convention to order? And when the State League, afterwards the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, was organized, it was no surprise[Pg 28] that Mrs. Allen Butler was elected president, a position she retained for five years. These were years of anxiety but of great advancement in temperance. This was due not only to her thorough consecration and marked executive ability, but to a life-long experience in other public enterprises, all of which she brought to the temperance work.

She was present at Cleveland and assisted in organizing the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Through feebleness of body she has been laid aside from active public work, but always as a member of a local union has felt the heartbeat of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of New York State. At the "home-coming" in Syracuse in 1893, to celebrate our twentieth anniversary, Mrs. Butler was present. A Chautauqua salute greeted her upon presentation. After looking over the large gathering she solemnly said, "What hath God wrought?"




[Pg 29]



he first constitution was adopted at Syracuse in October, 1874, but was somewhat modified at the meeting held at Brooklyn in February, 1875, when the name was changed from the "Christian Woman's State League" to "Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of New York."

The first constitution provided for four general officers, five vice-presidents, and an executive committee of seven, all of whom were to be elected in such manner as might be determined from time to time. A financial basis was established at this time by fixing the auxiliary fee at twenty-five cents.

In 1878 a constitutional change was made reducing the number of vice-presidents to three, and making the four general officers and three others elected for that especial purpose the executive committee, these to be nominated in open convention and elected by ballot. The terms of auxiliaryship were changed from the twenty-five cent per member basis to that of voluntary contributions to the state treasury by the local unions.

In 1881 the electing of vice-presidents was discontinued, the presidents of organized counties being made ex-officio vice-presidents of the state union. The basis of representation was fixed at two delegates for each local union. The financial basis of twenty-five cents per member was again established.[Pg 30] In 1882 the auxiliary fee was unfortunately reduced to twenty cents per member, which has greatly crippled the work since that time.

In 1883 a radical change was made in the formation of the executive committee. Since 1878 it had been composed of the four general officers and three others elected by the convention. In this year the executive committee was made to consist of the four general officers and the presidents of county unions, who were ex-officio vice-presidents of the state union.

In 1885 the constitution was thoroughly revised. A first vice-president was added to the general officers, and the time for the annual convention was fixed for the last week of September or the first week of October. The manner of election was also changed, the nominations being made by informal ballot. The basis of representation to the state convention was changed as follows One delegate for every local union having fifty or less than fifty paying members, and one for every additional fifty members. The time for election of officers was fixed for the morning of the last day of the convention. A life membership fee of twenty-five dollars and an honorary membership fee of five dollars annually were established, and have added greatly to the financial prosperity of the work. A clause requiring a year's notice of proposed change to the constitution was introduced.

The society was incorporated in 1876 under the first order of electing the executive committee. As this method had been changed, in order to be legally entrenched for business purposes, in 1892 a change was made in the constitution, making the five general officers the managers or trustees, in harmony with the society's articles of incorporation. A basis of representation at the state convention and auxiliaryship for the Loyal Temperance Legion was also established, viz: "One delegate for every thousand members of the Loyal Temperance Legion, such dele[Pg 31]gates to be chosen from the superintendents of the Loyal Temperance Legion, and to be an adult member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. The basis of this representation shall be the payment into the state treasury of one cent for every member of the legion."

In 1893 the last change was made, which resumed the auxiliary fee of twenty-five cents per member, as established in the first constitution, as the basis of representation.



[Pg 32]


Maria Hyde was born in Oxford, Chenango County, New York, and was educated at the Oxford Academy, now the oldest incorporated academy in this state, having in June last celebrated its centennial. Born and reared in an eminently high spiritual and intellectual atmosphere, she was well qualified for the positions which she filled so acceptably. She was preceptress in the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, at Lima, New York, associate principal of the Seneca Collegiate Institute, also of the Binghamton Academy, and was afterward preceptress of Oxford Academy until her marriage with Rev. F.G. Hibbard, D.D., of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mrs. Hibbard was elected president of the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union at Poughkeepsie in 1879, which office she filled for three years, serving most faithfully and laying down the work only because of the press of home duties. These years were years of peace and harmony, and in giving of self to the cause she was also receiving a blessedness in return. It was during these busy years that she organized temperance work among the Indians on the reservation in Western New York. She has many gifts and graces, and has kept even pace with her husband (who is the author of several theological works of standing authority) in both literary and spiritual attainments, and "her gifts make room for her." She has been obliged to lay aside all public work and devote herself to caring for her husband, whose ill health demands most of her time, but she still gives her sympathies and her prayers to and for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union—the workers and the work.

Maria Hyde Hibbard
Mrs. Maria Hyde Hibbard



[Pg 33]


"In union there is strength"

t the first annual meeting, held at Ilion, a committee on organization of state was appointed, consisting of Mrs. Dr. Kenyon, of Buffalo; Mrs. Dr. Clary, of Auburn; Mrs. O'Donnell, of Lowville; Mrs. Truair and Miss Noble, of Syracuse. This committee formed plans, and organizers were appointed. Miss Elizabeth Greenwood, of Brooklyn, was the first one who reported work done.

At this time those who did organizing work were called state agents. Miss Greenwood, in her first report, suggested the change from state agent to state organizer, which suggestion was acted upon and the name changed.

For the first few years organization was effected by congressional districts, but later on this was changed to organization by counties, and has remained so up to the present time.

Department work was first taken up in 1878, six departments being considered. Those having the work in charge were known as chairmen of standing committees. In 1880 this was changed to the present name—superintendent of department.

In 1882 the manner of representation to the national convention was changed from congressional districts to grouping of counties.[Pg 34]

For a number of years organization was made the leading line of work, and in 1888 only three counties remained unorganized. Many of our county workers did valiant service in the line of organizing in their own localities, but the grand result reached in this year was due largely to the untiring energy and activity of our state organizers. Mrs. Burt, in her annual address for 1888, refers to their work in the following glowing words of commendation:

But if our state excels, as I believe it does, in organization, it is largely due to the fact that our organizers are beyond comparison. Where will you find another Helen L. Bullock, or an E. M. J. Decker, or a Vandelia Varnum, or a Cynthia Jump, or Augusta Goodale, or such a list of county presidents, whom the record shows have made organizing their "chief concern" during the past twelve months? New York points with pride to these her daughters. They have not stopped to reason why, they have not stopped to make reply, but with a courage born of their high calling have gone steadfastly forward, and in many instances have snatched the palm of victory from the jaws of defeat.

While paying this tribute to our organizers we do not forget her who stood at the head of our state work during these years, planning, directing, counseling, and encouraging. In Mary T. Burt we have a living embodiment of "there's no such word as fail." For twelve years she has led the white ribbon host of the Empire State, and if she can point with pride to these her co-workers, saying, "Where will you find their equal?" we can point with pride to our state president, and say, Where will you find her equal? Self has been forgotten, and with a courage born of her convictions she has grandly carried forward the work, standing always for the best interests of the state. And what is the result? In this year of 1894 there is not a county in our state, except one,[3] but what has a branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union within its borders.[Pg 35]

Owing to various circumstances and conditions, the work in one or two counties has at different periods been suspended for a short time, usually to be taken up again with renewed vigor. Our total membership is more than twenty-two thousand, with an honorary membership of nearly five thousand.

In 1881 annual blanks were sent out for the first time, thus making it easier to secure correct reports of membership and of work done.

At the first annual meeting a form of pledge was appended to the constitution recommended for local societies, which read as follows:

We, the undersigned women of ——, severally pledge ourselves in integrity and honor before God to abstain from the use of and from traffic in all intoxicating liquors as a beverage, and that we will not offer the same to others to be so used. And we further solemnly covenant before God henceforth to work and pray for the suppression of intemperance as a sin against God and man, and that in our work we will use such means and forward such measures as God shall direct through the Holy Spirit in answer to our prayer.

This form was used for a few years only, and in 1878 we find it changed to the following:

I hereby solemnly promise, God helping me, to abstain from all distilled, fermented, and malt liquors, including wine and cider, as a beverage, and to employ all proper means to discourage the use of and traffic in the same.

In 1879 the words "as a beverage" were omitted, and the above pledge, with this change, is the one which is recommended to all local unions, and has stood so from 1879 until the present day.

[3] Hamilton County, a lumbering district with small population and few, if any, railroad facilities.


[Pg 36]
"The door of millennial glory has a child's hand on the latch."

MOTTO: "Tremble, King Alcohol! We shall grow up."

At the first meeting of the "State League," in 1874, one of the topics for discussion was, "How can we work most effectually among the children?" showing that in the very beginning they realized the fact that the hope of our final victory rests in the children, and the unions were urged to organize juvenile unions and Bands of Hope. The following year an interesting paper on juvenile work was read by Mrs. Bingham, of Rome, and a resolution adopted, which read:

Resolved, That we urge upon our Sabbath-school superintendents the necessity of forming temperance organizations in every Sabbath-school, that the children be early pledged to total abstinence.

A form of constitution and by-laws for juvenile societies was recommended at this time, such society to be auxiliary to the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. A form of pledge was also recommended, as follows:

We, the undersigned children and youth of ——, having been instructed that the continued use of intoxicating liquors injures the body and endangers the soul, believe that it is safest for us never to begin. We do therefore solemnly promise never to use or traffic in any whiskey, brandy, wine, beer, ale, or anything that can intoxicate, as a beverage, nor encourage others to do so; and we will not use it as a medicine, unless prescribed by our parents or our physician. May God help us to keep our pledge.

The pledge of to-day is the triple pledge against alcohol, tobacco, and profanity, and even as early as 1875 we find a mention of this pledge as the one used by the children's society of Ilion, which then numbered two hundred members. In 1875 Syracuse had a juvenile society called Cold Water Templars, which had two thousand members, and Brooklyn reported a Band of Hope with one thousand children pledged.[Pg 37]

Carrying out the spirit of the suggestions and recommendations, children were organized under various names—Band of Hope, Band of Blue, Cold Water Temple, Juvenile Union, etc.,—and the work has been kept to the front during all these years, until now all juvenile societies connected with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union are marching under one name—the Loyal Temperance Legion.

In 1891 the president in her annual address referred to "that splendid child of ours, the Loyal Temperance Legion," and suggested a plan whereby it might become auxiliary to the state, thereby giving to the children a feeling of helpfulness and cooperation, and to the state an inspiration which the representatives of twenty-five thousand children would be sure to give.

In accordance with this suggestion, originally made by Mrs. Helen Rice, national superintendent, and Mrs. Harriet A. Metcalf, state superintendent, an organization was formed and called State Loyal Temperance Legion. This is composed of three hundred and eighty-eight companies. The year 1893 marks an era in Loyal Temperance Legion work, this being the year in which they began paying dues to the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union, thereby being entitled to their own delegate to the state convention.

The juvenile work of our state has received the very best thought of those having it in charge. It was taken up as a department first in 1880, with Mrs. Frances D. Hall, of Plattsburg, as superintendent. In 1881 Mrs. Dr. Foster, of Clifton Springs, was appointed, each of these serving one year. In 1882 and 1883 Mrs. H. A. Perrigo, of Brockport, was the superintendent, and she was succeeded by Mrs. Jennie M. Pierson, of Auburn, who held the office for two years. In 1886 Mrs. Perrigo was again appointed, and she has been the superintendent from that time until now, with just a change of name from Perrigo to Met[Pg 38]calf. Two annual meetings have been held since the organization of a State Loyal Temperance Legion—one at Syracuse and one at Cortland. That the children might be rooted and grounded in the total abstinence faith, a thorough course of study in the Lesson Manuals was prepared, and a plan evolved by which members of the legions who passed the examinations should receive diplomas. One hundred and forty have graduated and thirty-eight have won seals.


"That our daughters may be as corner-stones, polished after the similitude of a palace"—Psalm cxliv., 12.

"The future destiny of this nation must depend largely on the moral platform which young women occupy, and the height to which they elevate the standards of purity, temperance, and Christianity."

As an answer to the question asked at the meeting of 1874, "How can we arouse the young women to think as they never have upon this subject?" Miss Willard was secured to address the young women at the following convention, held at Ilion, and so marked was the effect upon her hearers that a Young Ladies' Temperance Union was organized that afternoon, with Miss Jessie Remington, of Ilion, as president.

In 1879 a standing committee for "Young Ladies' Societies" was appointed, with Mrs. Frances Barnes as chairman. In 1880 this was changed to a department, and Mrs. S. R. Gray, of Albany, made the superintendent. In 1882 Miss Mary McClees was made superintendent of this line of work. In 1884 kitchen garden work was added, Miss Emilie Underhill having charge of the department. During her years of service we find an addition to her name, that of Burgess having been added, and as Emilie Underhill Burgess she continued as superintendent of the depart[Pg 39]ment until the convention of 1887, kitchen garden work being dropped in the meantime.

She was succeeded by Mrs. C.J.A. Jump, of Albany, who holds the position at this time. The work accomplished by this "faithful few" cannot be estimated, for who can measure the influence of the young women who during all these years have been learning the lessons which should fit them for better service in the Master's vineyard, and who during these years have answered for themselves the question which opens this department of organization work?

In 1892 a change was made, taking this from the regular department work and making it the Young Woman's Branch, with Mrs. Jump as secretary, and about fifteen hundred young women in our state march under our white banner and demand "a white life for two."



[Pg 40]


Mrs. Mary Towne Burt, the third president of the New York State Woman's Christian Temperance Union, has occupied that position now for twelve years. If antecedents and previous faithful service are any indication of desert, then indeed she "came to the kingdom" worthily, and we need not wonder that she holds her place easily, nor that the work flourishes abundantly under her administration. Gifted with a fine presence, a pleasing address, and a well-balanced judgment, she is a fitting leader for the largest state delegation in the national convention. It is equally a pleasure to see her preside over our state convention of capable women, which often outnumbers the national organization, if it does not have so wide-reaching an influence. Her ability as a presiding officer has often been complimented by competent judges, and a quiet confidence in the fairness and impartiality of her rulings pervades the atmosphere of the assemblage and greatly aids the transaction of business, while many a pleasant little episode is graciously received and made to facilitate the progress of the programme.

Born of English parentage in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, she was at the tender age of four years bereft of the care of a cultured father, who had been educated for the clerical ranks of the Church of England. Her mother, with whom she had a rare sympathy, was spared to an advanced age to encourage every good work by her sympathy and prayers. Her youth was spent in Auburn, New York, where she received rare educational advantages at Brown's Institute, and where in 1865 she was married to Edward Burt, of one of the oldest families in the state.

Mary T Burt
Mrs. Mary Towne Burt

When her only child was yet a lad the crusade tocsin found her ready to[Pg 41] respond, in accordance with her own convictions and her mother's faithful teachings. She gave a public address in the opera house at Auburn, and served for two years as the first president of the local union in that place, and at the first meeting of the national union, at Cleveland, she was one of the secretaries. In 1875 she was first the publisher and then the managing editor of the national paper, Our Union, her home at this time being in Brooklyn. From 1878 to 1880 she was corresponding secretary of the national union, with her office in the Bible House, New York City.

She has been identified with the New York State union since its inception. As its recording secretary for the first seven years of its existence, she had much to do with shaping its aims and its policy. After serving one year as corresponding secretary, she was elected president in 1882, at the convention in Oswego. At that time the state union had a membership of about three thousand, with but thirteen of the sixty counties organized. During the years of her presidency all the remaining counties but one have been organized, and the membership has gone up to twenty-two thousand. In her first annual address she recommended a change in the form of the executive committee, substituting for the three previously elected by ballot, in addition to the general officers, the vice-presidents of the state, who were the presidents of the county unions. This changed the possible numbers of the executive committee from seven to sixty-four. Other measures recommended by her have been the publication of a state paper, the opening of state headquarters in New York City, securing permanent headquarters, putting up a building on the permanent state fair grounds at Syracuse, creating the departments of Non-Alcoholics in Medicine and Rescue Work for Girls, the memorializing of the Democratic and Republican parties[Pg 42] in behalf of prohibition and for the enfranchisement of woman, and petitioning the constitutional convention of 1894 for the last two purposes.

For some years she has had charge of the legislative interests. In 1885-87 she was superintendent of the Department of Social Purity, and at once entered upon a vigorous campaign to raise "the age of consent" for young girls. In 1887 this effort was successful, the legislature raising the age from ten years to sixteen years. In 1891-92 she led in the legislative work that resulted in the closing of the New York State exhibit at the World's Fair on the Sabbath, and in the passage of the bill prohibiting the employment of barmaids in saloons. She also led in the protest against the excise bill which resulted in the modification of some of its worst features, and in the protest against the infamous bill to legalize the social evil, preventing its introduction into the legislature.

As an organizer she has been indefatigable. "Heat, cold, and wet and dry" were all equally braved by her in the task of meeting the women of many a locality and explaining the methods of this beneficent work, while her discriminating eye quickly selected those best fitted to lead off to success. On all occasions she has fostered a love for sincere temperance work, which has been of the greatest advantage to the stability and straightforwardness of the organization in all parts of the state. She has presided at the organization of a large proportion of the county unions. The personal acquaintance with the active members thus gained has greatly aided her in the selection of superintendents and committees, so far as it falls to the lot of the president to make such selections.

In other enterprises she has shown similar ability. The erection of a permanent building on the state fair grounds at Syracuse is eminently suitable, in view of the fact that the Woman's Christian[Pg 43] Temperance Union had secured the passage in the state legislature of a law prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors on the state and county fair grounds within its jurisdiction, the carrying out of which policy has totally changed the character and conduct of agricultural fairs in the Empire State. For several years Mrs. Burt has taken an active interest in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union work at the state fair grounds at Syracuse, greatly to the detriment of her health by overtaxing her physical strength. This course certainly gives the workers an inspiration to undertakings they would never think of braving but for the courage of their leader.

Of a similar character were the skill and dash that secured the Metropolitan Opera House for the meeting of the national convention in 1888. It was said that "the women did it," but it was done so quietly and literally by such rising betimes in the morning that very few know that the skillful marshaling of the few available forces would after all have ended in failure had it not been for the quick wit and personal responsibility of the head hostess of the occasion, the president of the New York State Union.

For thirteen years Mrs. Burt served the state without salary, giving to its work the best her life afforded freely and without price. With such leaders, under God, and with the true end kept steadily in view, Christian women ought not to fail in their great temperance work. It matters comparatively little with what branch of the evangelical church they are associated, but we are persuaded that none of us will esteem our president less when knowing that she has grown in trust and devoutness in this work while in the communion of the Protestant Episcopal Church.



[Pg 44]


"My people perish for lack of knowledge."

he educational work of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union has been one of its prominent sources of usefulness. The trend of so many departments has been along this line, that to enter into the details of each would exceed the limit of this historical record.

"Teach it to thy children."

In a memorial presented to the state legislature in 1877 appeared a clause asking that it be made obligatory by law for all teachers to instruct their pupils in temperance. This was the inception of the Scientific Temperance Instruction Department of the New York State Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

This was made a regular department of work in 1880, with Mrs. Mary T. Burt as superintendent. Mrs. E. H. Griffith, of Fairport, succeeded her the following year and laid some foundation for the work. Miss Elizabeth W. Greenwood, of Brooklyn, then became superintendent, continuing as such from 1882 to 1886, and to her must be accorded the honor of doing the hard work of the department. Her preliminary work consisted in visiting and presenting the subject before the various normal schools of the state. This aroused public interest and created a sentiment which made the subsequent work comparatively easy.[Pg 45] At the convention held at Poughkeepsie in 1883 it was decided to make the securing of a scientific temperance instruction law a leading line of work for the ensuing year, and Mrs. Mary H. Hunt, of Boston, national superintendent, was invited to assist the state superintendent in the campaign.

This was faithfully done. And what of the result? In spite of opposition and discouragement, after six months of unparalleled labor came the greatest temperance victory the state had ever gained—the passage of the scientific temperance education law. The money for carrying on this expensive campaign was secured largely through the personal solicitation of Miss Greenwood and the secretary of the department, Mrs. C.C. Alford, of Brooklyn.

After this law was enacted the state superintendent of public instruction delayed the introduction of new text-books (which, if introduced, must remain five years) until the books then under revision, and to be endorsed by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, were ready. The first books introduced were Professor Steele's "Hygiene and Physiology," Mrs. Hunt's "Hygiene for Young People," and the "Child's Health Primer." Mrs. G.M. Gardenier, of Oswego, gave the first public scientific temperance lesson after the passage of the law at Round Lake, July 5, 1884; subject, "Alcohol and the Brain." This was during a series of meetings held under the auspices of the state organization.

In 1886 Mrs. Marion S. Tifft, of Pine Valley, succeeded Miss Greenwood, serving two years. In 1889 Mrs. Lytie Perkins Davies was made superintendent, faithfully performing the duties and advancing the work until 1894.

In 1888 "Higher Education" was made a department of work, Mrs. Anna E. Rice and Miss Julia E. Dailey each serving one year as superintendent, when the department was merged with that of Scientific Temperance Instruction.[Pg 46] "Commission of Inquiry and Statistics of the Liquor Traffic" was made a department of state work in 1880, and continued until 1887. It had three superintendents—Mrs. Horace Eaton, of Palmyra, who served one year; Mrs. A. G. Nichols, of Kingston, was her successor, serving two years; and Mrs. A. T. Stewart, of Peekskill, who retained the superintendency four years. Statistics are called dry, but these faithful women did not find them so. Mrs. Nichols said in reference to her report of the department: "A wail as of a lost spirit goes surging through it; moans of woe sound through it; tears and blood flow through it."

"Touch not, taste not, handle not."

"Inducing Corporations and Employers to require Total Abstinence in their Employees" was the name of the department as adopted in 1880—Mrs. Peter Stryker, of Saratoga, superintendent. After two years of service she was succeeded by Mrs. V. A. Willard, of Belmont, who continued the work for one year; then Mrs. Homer A. Nelson, of Poughkeepsie, was given the superintendency, which she retained until 1887. The work of the department was then suspended for one year, but resumed as "Capital and Labor"—Mrs. Nelson again the superintendent. In 1889 work among railroad employees was added. In 1890 the name was again changed to "Temperance and Labor"—Mrs. M. M. Van Benschoten, of Newark, superintendent. In 1891 Mrs. Ella A. Boole, of West New Brighton, was made the superintendent, and has continued until the present. The department has wonderfully developed through her influence.

"Influencing Physicians not to Prescribe Alcoholics in Medicine" was the original name of the present Department of Non-Alcoholics in Medicine. This department was first adopted in 1883, with Mrs. Rev. J. Butler, of Fairport, as superintendent. During her four years of service the work was well organized.[Pg 47] The "Physician's Pledge" was circulated, and much sentiment created against alcoholic prescriptions. Mrs. E.G. Moore, of Medina, who succeeded her, secured the presentation of the subject before medical associations. Susan A. Everett, M.D., of New York, was superintendent for one year. In 1889 Mrs. M.M. Allen, of Bellona, was appointed superintendent, a position occupied by her at the present time. Through her efficiency and zeal knowledge upon the subject has increased until now the consensus of opinion is that alcoholic medicines are unnecessary.

"Visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children."

"Heredity," as the department now stands in our lines of work, is a scientific subject, and should be studied as such. To accomplish this has been the aim of the superintendents having the work in charge. This department was adopted in 1883, with Mrs. Mary E. Niles, of Hornellsville, as superintendent. In the same year Elvira V. Ranier, M.D., of Oswego, was made superintendent of "Hygiene," also a new department. In 1884 these departments were united, Mrs. Niles still remaining superintendent. The next year Hygiene as a special work was discontinued. The Heredity work remained in charge of its first superintendent until 1888, when Sarah Morris, M.D., of Buffalo, had the work for one year. In 1889 the department of Health, which had been adopted in 1886, with Mrs. Mary G. Underhill, of Poughkeepsie, as its superintendent, was united with Heredity, and Gertrude G. Bishop, M.D., of Brooklyn, appointed superintendent. The following year the Health Department was discontinued. Mrs. E.T. Howland, now Rev. Elizabeth T. Howland, was appointed the superintendent of Heredity. She continued the work two years, and was succeeded by Mrs. Ella B. Hallock, of Southold.

"Physical Culture," now "Physical Education," an evolution of the departments of Health and Hygiene, was made a distinct[Pg 48] department of work in 1890, with Mrs. Bertha Morris Smith, of Elmira, as superintendent, a position she has retained until the present. Mrs. Smith is an enthusiast in her department. The national leaflet, "A New Field for Educators," was written by her in the interests of this department.

"The pen is mightier than the sword."

"The Press," or "Influencing the Press," as the department was first known, was adopted as a department in 1880. Miss Margaret E. Winslow served as superintendent from 1880 to 1886, with the exception of 1882, when Mrs. O. N. Fletcher, of Sherman, acted in that capacity. Miss Abbie E. Hufstader, of Yorkshire Center, had the superintendency in 1887, and Miss S. J. Vosburg, of Rochester, in 1888 and 1889. She was succeeded by Mrs. May Morgan McKoon, of Long Eddy, who has prosecuted the work with vigor until the present time. Listen to the report echoes of this department:

1882—"The press goes everywhere; let us then walk boldly and steadily into this ever-opening door."

1892—"The greatest single force in society to-day is the press." "As a man readeth in his newspaper, so is he." "Its utterances carry a dictum unequaled by that of either the pulpit or bench." "It molds public opinion." "Use the press!"

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy."

With this motto "Narcotics" was adopted as a department of State work in 1887, with Mrs. Helen L. Bullock, of Elmira, as superintendent. She no sooner entered upon the work than measures were inaugurated to secure a law prohibiting the use of tobacco by the young. In 1889 such a law was passed. Were it rigidly enforced, fewer cases of insanity and less deaths would result from excessive cigarette smoking. During her superin[Pg 49]tendency Mrs. Bullock wrote the national leaflet, "The Tobacco Toboggan," and delivered her narcotic lecture, "Our Dangerous Inheritance," many times. In 1891-92 Mrs. E.G. Tiffany, of Dansville, was superintendent of the department. In 1893 Mrs. Emma G. Dietrick, of Lockport, succeeded her.

"Franchise" was adopted as a department of state work in 1886, Miss Mary B. Cushman, of Lockport, being the first superintendent. In 1888 Mrs. C.C. Ellerson, of New York City, succeeded her. In 1891 Miss Vinnie R. Davis, of Orwell, was appointed superintendent, a position she still retains. Miss Davis has brought to the work rare gifts and great earnestness. The department has steadily advanced under her guidance. In the earlier years of the organization great conservatism existed in regard to this subject. Resolutions adverse to its consideration by local and state unions were passed in 1876 and 1878. Since its adoption as a department the president in her annual addresses has continually sounded its keynote in utterances like these: "The ballot in woman's hand is a first necessity toward the solution of not only this great question but other moral reform questions of our day." "Justice and equity alike demand that the ballot be given to women."

In 1893 two hundred thousand women registered in the state to vote for school officers. Upon the eve of the election Judge Williams, of the supreme court, decided that such voting would be unconstitutional; but in spite of the ruling over twenty thousand women did vote.

"Let all things be done decently and in order."

"School of Methods and Parliamentary Usage" became a department of state work in 1890, and has had but two superintendents—Miss Julia E. Dailey, of Rochester, who served one year, and Mrs. Helen L. Bullock, of Elmira, who succeeded her.[Pg 50] The aim of this department is to educate the women along the lines of department work and the best manner of conducting meetings, following St. Paul's advice—"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed."

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy"

The Department of Mercy was adopted in 1891, with Miss C. Augusta Goodale, of Newburgh, as superintendent. The object of the department has been education along humane lines. Many children have become interested, and numerous Bands of Mercy, inculcating the laws of kindness, have been organized.

"Whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report,...think on these things"—Philipians iv, 8

The Department of Purity in Literature and Art, with Mrs. Harriet S. Pritchard, of Brooklyn, as superintendent, was adopted in 1893, and gives promise of becoming one of wide-reaching influence.


Ella A Boole
Mrs. Ella A. Boole


[Pg 51]


Ella, eldest daughter of Colonel Isaac N. and Rebecca Alban Alexander, was born at Van Wert, Ohio. Although but a school-girl then, she was one of the original Ohio crusaders, and the temperance zeal kindled at that time with her has never grown cold.

In 1874 she was graduated from the high school of her native place as valedictorian of the class. Four years later she completed her college course at the University of Wooster, Ohio, with a class of thirty-one, only three of whom were young women. This time she was salutatorian. During the university course she captured the prize in an oratorical contest, being the only lady among nine contestants. This was an earnest of the honor conferred upon her in 1888, when she was invited to deliver the oration before the alumni association of her alma mater, the first time in the history of the university that this honor had been conferred upon a woman.

After graduating from college and refusing many flattering positions, she became a teacher of Latin, Greek, and higher mathematics in the high school of Van Wert, and in 1881 the degree of Master of Arts was awarded her. As an educator she began her public work at teachers' institutes.

In 1883 she was married to Rev. Wm. H. Boole, D.D., pastor of the South Second street Methodist Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., and found a wide and congenial field of usefulness in this new relation as a pastor's wife.

Mrs. Boole was elected corresponding secretary of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of New York State at the Cortland[Pg 52] convention, in 1885, a position she filled with marked ability for six years. In 1891 she was elected to the office of first vice-president, a position she still retains. Mrs. Boole was chairman of the committee which prepared the handbook, which has been invaluable to the workers of the state.

Since 1888 Dr. and Mrs. Boole have devoted their time wholly to temperance and evangelistic work. No name is more familiar among temperance speakers than Mrs. Boole's, and no voice has been heard in this state more frequently or with greater acceptance than hers. Her lectures are a happy mingling of humor, pathos, and logic. They give no uncertain sound for total abstinence and prohibition, and never fail to interest.

This sketch would hardly be complete without mention of Albenia Alexander, now eight years old, only daughter of Mrs. Boole. "Benie" was presented to the state convention at Binghamton, and to the national convention at Nashville a few weeks later, as "the youngest white-ribboner of us all."




[Pg 53]


"And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me."

his was the first motto chosen for the Evangelistic Department, and has been the foundation-stone of the work. It will be impossible in this little book to mention the work which has been done—indeed, it could not be recorded—but one is our Master, even Christ, and He knows it all. We can only mention the different lines of work which have come under this head, with the names of those who have acted as superintendents.

The Evangelistic Department was placed in charge of Mrs. Mary E. Hartt, of Brooklyn, in 1880, who gave to it her best thought and energy. She continued in the work for eight years, laying it down only in response to the Master's call, "Come up higher." Mrs. Josephine Braman, of Brooklyn, succeeded Mrs. Hartt for her unexpired term, she being succeeded in turn by Mrs. Mary J. Weaver, of Batavia, in 1889, who has carried on the department work most efficiently since then.

For two years the Department of Systematic Giving was added to this, but in 1893 was made a department by itself, with Mrs. Nellie Hutchinson, of Owego, as superintendent.

In 1886 the Sabbath Observance Department was given to Mrs. Mary E. Simpson, of Sherman, who was followed by Mrs.[Pg 54] H.L. Wilcox, of Rochester, each serving two years. Mrs. Margaret P. Buchanan, of New York City, was appointed in 1890, Mrs. James Baldwin, of Addison, in 1891, and in 1893 Miss Kate Manning, of Attica, was made superintendent.

Mrs. K.E. Cleveland, of Brooklyn, and Mrs. Emma G. Dietrick, of Lockport, each served for two years in securing day of prayer in week of prayer.

Mrs. A.G. Nichols, of Kingston, and Mrs. R.A. Esmond, of Syracuse, alternated as superintendent of the Unfermented Wine Department from 1880 to 1888, at which time the work was taken up by Mrs. P.J. Adams, of Moravia, who still continues in the department.

Prison and Jail Work in 1880 was in charge of Miss C.E. Coffin, of Brooklyn; in 1881, of Mrs. Knapp, of Auburn; and in 1882 Mrs. Frances D. Hall, of Plattsburg, was appointed, and continued as superintendent for five years. The next two years Mrs. Richard Bloom, of Auburn, filled the position, and in 1890 Miss C.E. Coffin was again made superintendent, the work in almshouses being added. This was changed the following year, the Department of Almshouse Work being placed with that of Flower Mission, and both given to Miss Anna L. Thompson, of Newburgh, who had been made superintendent of Flower Mission Work in 1890. Previous to this time, commencing in 1888, Miss Lydia Howell, of Poughkeepsie (afterward Mrs. Albert A. Reed), had been the superintendent. In 1880 Reformatory and Almshouse Work was taken up, and Mrs. T.J. Bissell, of Corning, acted as superintendent for two years, and Mrs. C.C. Alford, of Brooklyn, for one year, after which no superintendent was appointed.

Sunday-school Work has had a number of superintendents, Mrs. Allen Butler, of Syracuse, being the first, serving two years. Mrs. S.R. Gray, of Albany, served during the next two years,[Pg 55] Mrs. C. L. Harris taking it in 1884, to be followed by Mrs. Gray again in 1885. Next came Mrs. Julia A. Bidwell, of Hartford, for three years, and in 1889 Mrs. T. M. Foster, of Verona, was given the department. She was succeeded by Mrs. S. A. Kenney, of Troy, who, after two years service, was succeeded by Mrs. Bidwell, now of Deposit, the present superintendent.

In 1889 Work among the Colored was added to the departments, and the work given in charge of Mrs. Maria R. Douglass, of New York City. In 1891 Miss Sara Collins, of Cortland, was made superintendent.

Foreign Work was made a department in 1883 and was continued for eight years, the following ladies acting as superintendents during that time: Mrs. A. K. Knox, of New York City; Mrs. C. E. Cleveland, of Perry; Mrs. E. F. Lord, of New York City; Mrs. E. M. J. Decker, of Victor; Miss Rachel Carney, of Tonawanda; Mrs. Clara Vigelius, of New York City, and Mrs. George Aldrich, of Dutchess Junction.

Mrs. Sarah A. McClees, of Yonkers, was made superintendent of the Department of Soldiers and Sailors in 1883, and continued as such for three years, Mrs. W. W. Hoag, of Akron, being next chosen. After one year Miss Emma Nason, of Blodgett Mills, was appointed, and in 1888 the work was given to Mrs. Mary D. Ferguson, of Syracuse, who is still the superintendent.

Mothers' Meetings were first taken up in 1881, with Mrs. Horace Eaton, of Palmyra, as superintendent. In 1883 Parlor Meetings were added, Mrs. Eaton still in charge. The following year Mrs. Van Benschoten, of Newark, was appointed, and in 1886 Parlor Meetings was made a department by itself, and Mothers' Meetings placed in charge of Mrs. Caroline B. Randall, of Oswego. In 1888 Social Purity and Mothers' Meetings were combined, with Mrs. Mary J. Weaver, of Batavia, superintendent for one year. She was succeeded by Mrs. Anna E. Rice, of[Pg 56] Batavia. The Department of Social Purity was first taken up in 1886, Mrs. Mary T. Burt being the superintendent until it was combined with Mothers' Meetings.

From 1888 until the present time the Department of Peace and Arbitration has had but one superintendent, Mrs. Sarah W. Collins, of Purchase, who has most faithfully carried forward the work.

Under the head of Police Matron Work, Mrs. Harriet Goff, of Brooklyn, did advance work, and it was Mrs. Goff who, as chairman of the standing committee on Police Matron Work, introduced into the legislature the bill making the law for police matrons mandatory in New York and Brooklyn. The work has since been made a department, with Dr. Sarah Morris, of Buffalo, as superintendent.

Rescue Work for Girls, a new department, was added in 1893, and placed in charge of Mrs. Mary J. Annable, of Brooklyn. This promises to be a most helpful and blessed line of work.

These lines of work are all evangelistic in their nature, and not until the records are read "up yonder" shall we know of the victories won "In His Name."


Frances Graham
Mrs. Frances W. Graham


[Pg 57]


Mrs. Graham is just entering upon the fourth year of her office as corresponding secretary of our state union, and in this time she has eminently proved her fitness for the position and earned the title of "a model secretary." Born in Lockport, N.Y., she became identified with temperance work as a child, first belonging to a juvenile society known as Cold Water Templars, and later becoming a member of the Sons of Temperance and Good Templars. She is active in all Christian work, being a member of the First Congregational Church of Lockport, in whose church work she takes prominent part, and whose solo soprano she has been for thirteen years; she is also an active member of the Christian Endeavor society and the King's Daughters.

In 1880 she was married to Almon Graham, whose help has made it possible for her to enter more fully into temperance work than she otherwise could have done. She was president of the Lockport Woman's Christian Temperance Union four years, and corresponding secretary of the Niagara County Woman's Christian Temperance Union for the same length of time. In December, 1890, she was appointed Union Signal reporter for the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and her reports have called forth warm commendation from editors and constituency alike for their conciseness and delightful presentation of facts.

[Pg 58]

Mrs. Graham possesses pre-eminently the divine "gift of song." Her voice, a sympathetic mezzo-soprano, goes straight to the heart, and its sweet tones linger there long after the words have ceased. At the state convention at Jamestown in October, 1894, she was musical director, and by vote of the convention is now entering upon a service of song for the unions throughout the state.

During her term of office her work has been of inestimable value to the state. Her initiation into the work of corresponding secretary of the state union was strong and vigorous. In October, 1891, she was elected secretary, and it was during the winter of 1891-92 that the legislative work was done that resulted in closing the state's exhibit at the World's Fair on the Sabbath, defeating the barmaid bill, modifying the infamous bill of the State Liquor Dealers' Association, and preventing the introduction of the bill to legalize social vice. Mrs. Graham had printed and sent out all the petitions and protests relative to the above bills. Every senator and assemblyman was addressed by her by letter, and her prompt and unfailing response to every urgent request was a large factor in the success achieved. She was then and is now always ready for "the next thing," and her sweet willingness of spirit is a constant source of comfort and inspiration to her fellow-workers. During the past year she sent out the petitions to the constitutional convention at Albany—one for the prohibition of the traffic in intoxicating liquors, the other for the full enfranchisement of women. She counted all the names (over seventy thousand in number), pasted the petitions on white cloth (and when done they were over a third of a mile in length), tied them with white ribbon, and sent them to Albany for the committee to present. The work to her is a constant delight. Nothing is ever too hard—"It is such a privilege to do it," she earnestly says; and how well she does it, the work and the state bear witness.

Last year she was appointed one of the committee to prepare the history of the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and has given much time and thought to the work. Mrs. Graham is young in years, but already her work has told for God and humanity. Should her life be spared, what blessings may we not hope for the cause through her consecration and ability?

M. T. B.



[Pg 59]


"The law of the wise is a fountain of life."—Prov. xiii., 14.

s "all roads lead to Rome," so the legality of temperance measures is reached through legislation; and many times has the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, with memorial, petition, and protest, marched over the roads leading to the legislative halls of municipality, state, and nation, asking for the enacting of new laws or the better enforcement of old ones.

This policy was inaugurated at the first convention, in the memorial prepared for presentation to President Grant and Governor Dix, and has been continued with varying success through the subsequent years. At the second annual convention a memorial was prepared for congress and the state legislature, from the last of which a single article is quoted, viz.: "That no license to sell intoxicating drinks in any place be issued except when a majority of women residents, as well as men, above the age of twenty-one years, desire such license granted." This memorial enrolled 6,328 names, and was presented to the legislature by Mrs. Allen Butler and Mrs. Mary T. Burt. Had the request been granted at that time, and its enforcement continued, the license question would now be solved.

April 12, 1882, the first petition to the state legislature for a prohibitory constitutional amendment was presented by Mrs.[Pg 60] Mary T. Burt and Mrs. E.M.J. Decker. The petition contained 10,431 names. Mrs Burt, in reporting the work at the next convention, said "A page carried the bulky document to the desk, and during its passage thereto a smile crept over faces of members and dignified speaker alike, so large was its circumference."

As early as 1877 a memorial had been prepared relative to temperance teaching in the public schools, but not until 1884 was the law secured. After the annual convention of 1883 this work was prosecuted with vigor. Public meetings were held and petitions circulated in its behalf. These petitions recorded 57,419 names. February 5, 1884, the bill passed the senate, twenty-two voting for and two against it; March 3 it passed the assembly, the vote being ninety-eight to two; March 10, 1884, Grover Cleveland, then governor of the State of New York, signed the same, and it thus became a law of the state. The text of the law is as follows:

AN ACT relating to the Study of Physiology and Hygiene in the Public Schools.

SECTION I. Provision shall be made by the proper local school authorities for instructing all pupils in all schools supported by public money, or under state control, in physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcoholic drinks, stimulants, and narcotics upon the human system.

SEC. 2. No certificate shall be granted any person to teach in the public schools of the State of New York, after the first day of January, eighteen hundred and eighty-five, who has not passed a satisfactory examination in physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcoholic drinks, stimulants, and narcotics upon the human system.

In 1883 the second petition for a prohibitory constitutional amendment was presented to the senate and assembly. It was defeated in the house by a vote of forty-two to fifty-four, and in the senate by a vote of thirteen to eighteen. Yet these figures show that the prohibition tide is rising.[Pg 61]

In 1886 measures were taken toward securing a law prohibiting the sale of intoxicants upon fair grounds. Mrs. H. Roscoe Edgett, of Fairport, the superintendent of the department, was indefatigable in her efforts to secure the law, but it was not until February 29, 1888, that the following was enrolled on the statute-books of the state:

It shall not be lawful for any person to sell, have for sale, give away, or have in his possession for the purpose of selling or giving away, on the grounds or premises on or in which any state, county, town, or other agricultural or horticultural fair is being held, any strong or spirituous liquors, wine, ale, beer, or fermented cider; and it shall not be lawful for any person to sell or give away strong or spirituous liquors, wines, ales, beer, or fermented cider at any place within two hundred yards of the grounds or premises on or in which any state, county, town, or any other agricultural or horticultural fair is being held. This act shall not be applicable to the city of New York.

Until 1887 the laws of the state were such that a child ten years old could consent to her own ruin, and the despoiler of her virtue go unpunished. In April of that year the penal code was amended, raising the age of consent to sixteen years, as follows:

... Any person who takes or detains a female under sixteen years of age for the purpose of prostitution, ... is guilty of abduction, punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years, or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.

Following closely upon this was the passage of the police matron law, in 1888, which provided for the appointment of police matrons in all cities of more than 25,000 inhabitants, and the designating of separate houses of detention for female delinquents. In securing this law the Woman's Christian Temperance Union co-operated with other societies. In 1891 an amendment to this law was secured, mainly through the efforts of Mrs. H.K.N. Goff, of Brooklyn, making the appointment of police[Pg 62] matrons compulsory in the cities of New York and Brooklyn. The law as amended is as follows:

SECTION I. The mayor of every city in this state according to the last state or national census containing a population of 25,000 or over, excepting the cities of New York and Brooklyn, and in the cities of New York and Brooklyn the boards of commissioners of police of said cities respectively, shall, within three months after the passage of this act, designate one or more station-houses within their respective cities for the detention and confinement of all women under arrest in said cities....

Through the efforts of Mrs. Helen L. Bullock, of Elmira, the following narcotic law was secured in 1889:


An act to amend Section 291 of the Penal Code, relating to Children; became a law, with the approval of the Governor, April 22, 1889.

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:

SECTION I. Section 291 of the Penal Code is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

A person who sells, pays for, or furnishes any cigar, cigarette, or tobacco in any of its forms to any child, actually or apparently under the age of sixteen years, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

SEC. 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

In 1890 it was amended, attaching a penalty for its violation, as follows:

AN ACT to amend Section 291 of the Penal Code, relating to Children; approved by the Governor, May 24, 1890.

SECTION I. Section 291 of the Penal Code is hereby amended by adding thereto the following subdivision:

7. No child, actually or apparently under sixteen years of age, shall smoke or in any way use any cigar, cigarette, or tobacco in any form whatsoever, in any public street, place, or resort. A violation of this subdivision [Pg 63]shall be a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding ten dollars and not less than two dollars for each offense.

SEC. 2. This act shall take effect on the first day of September, eighteen hundred and ninety.

In 1891 an effort was made to introduce the English system of barmaids into the saloons of New York City. This no sooner became known to the members of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union than an effort was made to secure a law prohibiting the movement. This was effected by the passage of the following act, April 25, 1892:

AN ACT forbidding the hiring of Barmaids.

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:

SECTION I. No female shall be hired as barmaid, or to compound or dispense intoxicating beverages in any place where the same are sold or offered for sale.

SEC. 2. A person who hires, or causes to be hired, any female as barmaid, or to compound or dispense intoxicating beverages in any place where the same are sold or offered for sale, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

SEC. 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

Thus, at its very inception, legislative enactment prevented the introduction into this state of a most demoralizing phase of the saloon business.

In the same year and month a law forbidding the opening of the New York State exhibit at the Columbian Exhibition was passed, thus placing New York State on record as favoring the sanctity of the Sabbath.

AN ACT in relation to the Exhibit of the State of New York at the World's Columbian Exhibition....

The exhibit of the State of New York at such exhibition shall not be open to the public on Sunday, and the general managers herein provided for shall take such steps as may be necessary to carry this provision into effect.

[Pg 64]

The following protests were presented to the legislature, receiving such consideration that the subjects had no hearing:


To the Senate and Assembly of the State of New York:

WHEREAS, It has come to our knowledge that a bill providing for the regulation and licensing of vice in the cities and towns of the State of New York will be introduced in the legislature, and that one of the provisions of the bill is the compulsory medical examination of women who are inmates of the establishments named therein, we respectfully submit the following in relation to it:

It puts a premium on the social evil.

It makes this terrible vice a branch of municipal government, and the state a partner in it.

It inflicts the degradation of compulsory medical examination upon women, and lets their paramours go free.

It is an outrage upon womanhood, and means the practical slavery of an unfortunate class of women.

We realize all the shame of the bill, and feel its introduction in the legislature to be an insult to the great State of New York.

We emphatically PROTEST against its consideration, and appeal to you to use your influence and, if necessary, your votes against this dreadful and infamous bill.


WHEREAS, A bill prepared by the State Liquor Dealers' Association is before your honorable body, which provides for a Sunday license law (which means unrestrained liquor on the Sabbath); for special licenses for certain saloons in certain localities in cities; for the sale of wine and beer after one o'clock in the morning at public balls and entertainments given by any incorporated association; abolishes the requirement of real estate security on license bonds (thus striking a blow at the civil damage act); and makes it a misdemeanor for any person to enter a saloon during the hours when it is supposed to be closed in obedience to the law:[Pg 65]

Now, therefore, as every one of the above provisions is a direct blow at public morality, at law and order, at the peace and happiness of the home and family, and as this bill means for the state more drunkenness, more crimes and outrages of every sort, more poverty, more suffering, more darkened lives and ruined homes, we, the undersigned, citizens of ——, county of ——, most emphatically protest against its passage, and we call upon you, our representatives, to use your influence and vote against it.

The years 1891 and 1892 were not only marked by legislative work, but by petition work as well. Two successive legislatures had voted to submit to the people a prohibitory constitutional amendment, the vote to be taken in April, 1892. In anticipation of this event, petitions were circulated throughout the state in behalf at this cause, the grand total of 109,057 names being secured. Through the failure of the legislature to pass an enabling act to provide for the expense of the election, the amendment was never submitted.

Not discouraged by this apparent fruitless expenditure of time and strength, during the winter and spring of 1893-94 petition work was again resumed, the constitutional convention in session at Albany from May until September being the objective point. Two petitions were circulated at this time, one for an amendment to the constitution providing for the prohibition of the liquor traffic; the other for the full enfranchisement of women. Through winter's cold and summer's heat this work went bravely on, and 37,624 names were secured to the prohibition petition, and 36,086 to the one asking for woman's enfranchisement. These petitions were pasted on cloth, in a double row of names, and measured, when done, 475 yards. Mrs. Graham, who had them in charge, after pasting, arranged them in four large rolls and tied each with a white satin ribbon. June 28, 1894, they were presented to the constitutional convention, producing a profound impression by their magnitude. Mrs. Burt and Mrs.[Pg 66] Tenney appeared before the convention. Mrs. Burt was granted a hearing. The convention did not recommend either of these measures, but that of woman's suffrage received much attention, being defeated by a vote of ninety-seven to fifty-eight. The momentum received from this petition effort will not soon be lost.

Thus in brief the legislative and petition work is reported, but it only vaguely represents the expenditure of time and strength devoted to this work. Truly it may be said of the women of New York State, "Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all."


Georgeanna Gardenier
Mrs. Georgeanna M. Gardenier


[Pg 67]


The recording secretary of our state union has filled this important position for twelve years, and was elected for the thirteenth time at Jamestown in October, 1894. She has rare qualifications for the office, as has been evidenced by her faithful services during all these years.

She said, "There is positively nothing in my life of the least interest to the public," when requested to furnish a few items for the basis of this sketch. But the life of one who can sit steadily through three long days of a state convention, faithfully recording motions, amendments, amendments to the amendment, substitutes, and the thousand-and-one things that make up the business of one of the great meetings of the Empire State, and then come into the post-executive committee meeting with eye, brain, and hand alert, ready to record a day's crowded work for that body, must perforce contain much of interest, for these are qualities which everyone does not possess.

In addition to her convention duties she compiles the state reports, which are models of excellence as to style, finish, and completeness.

Mrs. Gardenier was born in Oswego county, New York, and was educated in the high and normal schools of Oswego City. She is the daughter of John and Mary Tenney Remington. At the age of sixteen she professed Christ and joined the First Baptist Church of Oswego, of which she is still a member. She began at once to teach in the Sabbath-school, and has continued the work with very little interruption up to the present time, holding now the position of assistant superintendent.[Pg 68]

Home and foreign missions have claimed her interest, and she is associational director of the women's Baptist home mission work for the county, under appointment of the Women's Home Mission Board at Chicago.

In 1863 she was married to Mr. W. H. Gardenier, a lawyer, and has one son. Mrs. Gardenier is an experienced and very successful teacher, having filled that important and influential role for many years. During all these years her pupils have been largely boys and young men, over whom she has a peculiar and happy faculty. Her influence upon the lives of the hundreds of boys who have sat under her teaching cannot be estimated.

She has for many years been interested in temperance. Her first public work was done in connection with the Good Templars, having joined the order at its organization. When the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was organized she became a member of the local union of her city, and has since that time been prominently connected with the temperance work of the city and county. She assisted in organizing the county Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and served as its secretary seven years. She organized many of the unions of the County, and to her enthusiasm and zeal much of the early success of the county work is attributed.

At the Binghamton convention, in 1887, she was presented with a beautiful gold watch and chain as a slight recognition of her faithful and untiring services.

Mrs. Gardenier is noted not only for her gifts as a "recorder" but for her wit, which, expressing itself with the utmost good will, awards extreme delight to her hearers. Her addresses are marked by forcible and original illustrations which remain in the memory and challenge thought long after the occasion of their delivery.

At Round Lake, in the summer of 1884, under the scientific[Pg 69] temperance instruction law of 1884, Mrs. Gardenier gave the first illustrated lesson in the state upon the nature and effects of alcohol upon the human system, and has since presented the subject of scientific temperance instruction at a number of the teachers' institutes in the state.

In addition to her temperance work, she is deeply interested in the humane work and other public philanthropies.

A member of the committee to prepare the history of the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union, much time during the past few months has been devoted to searching the records and statistics of the past twenty years, twelve of which bear witness to the faithfulness, love, and zeal of our recording secretary.

M. T. B.




[Pg 70]



ur work is many-sided, but among all the rest the social side has not been neglected. When department work was first taken up, in 1880, a department called "Drawing-Room Meetings" was placed in charge of Mrs. Mary C. Johnson, of Brooklyn, who for two years was the superintendent. The following year Mrs. Margaret Bottome, of New York, now at the head of the order of King's Daughters and Sons, was the superintendent. In 1883 the department was changed to Parlor Meetings and united with Mothers' Meetings, Mrs. Dr. Horace Eaton being given the superintendency. She was succeeded by Mrs. Van Benschoten, of Newark, who filled the position for two years. In 1886 the two departments were divided, and Mrs. A.M. Wickes, of Attica, was given that of Parlor Meetings, holding it until the present time. In the convention of 1893 a beautiful chocolate pot was presented to the union at Gouverneur, St. Lawrence county, for having held more parlor meetings during the year than any other union in the state.

Ten years ago the Department of State and County Fairs was adopted, and Mrs. H. R. Edgett, of Fairport, was made the superintendent. She has given ten years of faithful service to this line of work. In 1889 a committee was appointed to con[Pg 71]sider the work at the state fair, and, if deemed practicable, the state was to engage in the work. Mrs. Mary T. Burt, Mrs. Ellen L. Tenney, and Mrs. Edgett were made such a committee. Correspondence was immediately opened with the officers of the agricultural society as to the feasibility of erecting a building on the permanent fair grounds at Syracuse, and shortly after a circular-letter was sent out, asking for contributions for the same. Arrangements were made to commence the work there at once, not waiting for the building to be erected, and the fall of 1890 found our standard raised for the first time on the state fair grounds. The building is not yet accomplished, but with $2,065.99 already set aside for it, it is certainly an assured fact, and but for the illness of Mrs. Burt would no doubt have been erected during the summer of 1894.

The heroic labors of Mrs. Burt during these years deserve more than a passing notice. Upon her rested the burdens of the work. Her courage in encountering difficulties, her patient endurance of fatigue and exposure, and her wonderful executive ability, made her a wonder to all. The sun has not always shone during the state fair, and through storm and sunshine—mostly storm—she has stood at her post, thinking no sacrifice too great if thereby our cause be advanced. Mrs. Mary D. Ferguson, of Syracuse, has always stood bravely by, aiding in every way possible.

A paper was issued, called The Fair White Ribbon, and fifteen thousand copies distributed freely on the grounds. For two years the paper was edited by Mrs. H.R. Edgett, when, her health failing, Mrs. Ferguson acted as editor and publisher. Advertisements were secured by Mrs. Ferguson, and a handsome profit of $139 was the result the second year, and $147 the third year; while the good accomplished through the presence and efforts of our standard-bearers on the grounds cannot be measured.[Pg 72] In 1891 the Department of Coffee Houses was added to the social lines, and Mrs. S. W. Stoddard, of Horseheads, was placed at the head of the department. No change has been made in the superintendency, and a new impetus has been given to this work since it has been made a department.


The Woman's Christian Temperance Union has frequently been called a political institution. While we smile over the accusation, knowing how small a part woman can occupy in the politics of this country, yet with great earnestness we back up the smile with the thought that when we are a political institution—or, more properly speaking, a voting institution—the backbone of the liquor power will be broken, the saloon must go, and the era of happy hearts and happy homes will be ushered in. That we have always taken an interest in politics is true, and always on the right side. Away back in 1876 we find the following:

Resolved, That, in view of the present political crisis, we as Christian women effectively urge upon all voters with whom we have influence that they cast their votes only for total abstinence candidates.

In 1883 our convention received the following telegram from Syracuse:

To the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of New York State:

Prohibitory party convention sends greeting. Where you lead with prayers, we will follow with votes.

DWIGHT WILLIAMS, Chairman of Committee.

The reply sent is found in Joshua i., 9.[Pg 73]

The convention of 1884 adopted the following resolution, only twelve voting against it:

Resolved, That we express our endorsement of the action of our beloved president, Miss Willard, and of the national executive committee, in regard to the Prohibition party, as being in harmony with the resolution passed in the national convention at Detroit.

In this same year our president attended the nominating convention at Pittsburgh, as delegate from the Prohibition convention.

In 1885, Mrs. Burt in her annual address referred to what is known as the St. Louis resolution, which reads as follows:

We refer to the history of ten years of persistent moral suasion work as fully establishing our claim to be called a non-political society, but one which steadily follows the white banner of prohibition wherever it may be displayed. We have, however, as individuals, always aimed ourselves, in local and state political contests, with those voters whose efforts and ballots have been given to the removal of the dram-shop and its attendant evils, and at this time, while recognizing that our action as a national society is not binding upon states or individuals, we reaffirm the positions taken by the society, both at Louisville in 1882 and at Detroit in 1883, pledging our influence to that party, by whatever name called, which shall furnish us the best embodiment of prohibition principles, and will most surely protect our homes. And as we now know which national party gives as the desired embodiment of the principles for which our ten years' labor has been expended, we will continue to lend our influence to the national political organization which declares in its platform for national prohibition and home protection. In this, as in all progressive effort, we will endeavor to meet argument with argument, misjudgment with patience, denunciation with kindness, and all difficulties and dangers with prayer.

Mrs. Burt adds:

And distasteful though the word "politics" may be to many in connection with our work, we can none of us ignore the fact that the strength of the saloon system, which is an open menace to our homes, is vested in political power....[Pg 74]

Political action with regard to woman's temperance work may be decried, our influence as an organization may be withheld, but the fact will remain that the party which boldly declares for the prohibition of the liquor traffic—the men who, standing solemnly before God, say, "My voice shall be given and my vote shall be cast against the legislation of this iniquity,"—deserves the sympathy, prayers, and influence of all women, and will receive the blessing of God.

During the years that have followed these eventful ones we have always come up to the standard, and have given no uncertain sound on this question, and in closing this chapter we cannot do better than to quote again from Mrs. Burt's address of 1886:

And in the years to come I believe it will be a fact over which the union will rejoice, that when the battle waged the fiercest, when shot and shell rained the thickest, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the state, true to the genius of its organization, stepped boldly forth and extended sympathy and influence to our brothers who were struggling so bravely for the right, saying, "Here I stand—I can do no other; so help me God."


Ellen Tenney
Mrs. Ellen Tenney


[Pg 75]


Mrs. Tenney was born in New Hampshire. Early in life she manifested decided literary and musical tastes—in childhood preferring study to play, and books to dolls. Mathematics, music, and the languages were her especial delight; and to these she applied herself with such assiduity that at fourteen Greek, Latin, French, German, Spanish, and Italian had been added to her English course; at sixteen she commenced to play the organ in church.

Mrs. Tenney was not only a graduate of the Rhode Island Normal School, but later a teacher in the same institution; she also taught in Elmwood Literary Institute, near Concord, N. H., and in Professor Lincoln's Young Ladies' School, in Providence, R.I.

In 1886 she married Professor Jonathan Tenney, Ph.D. Since that time her home has been at Albany, N.Y., where she is surrounded by a wide circle of friends. She is a member of the executive committee of the Congregational Woman's Home Missionary Union of the State of New York, and president of the Hudson River Association. In addition to societies of general interest, she has been actively associated with the philanthropic, musical, and literary interests of her own city, occupying many positions of trust in connection with them.

At the state convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of New York held at Binghamton in 1886, Mrs. Tenney was elected treasurer of the state organization, and at each successive convention has been re-elected. Her taste for mathematics serves her well in this important relation. As a treasurer[Pg 76] she is the peer of any—prompt, reliable, accurate. We never question her figures; the rest of us may make mistakes—the treasurer never does. She looks after the minutest details of everything, and to her watchfulness much of the financial prosperity of the state union is due.

In 1889 a widow's sorrow came to Mrs. Tenney by the death of her noble husband. Two sons survived him—boys of ten and thirteen years, whose education and training since that time have devolved upon her.

Her organ voluntaries at the annual conventions evince a master's skill and delight all who listen.

The Granite State may well be proud of its gifted daughter, and the Empire State, especially the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, rejoices in her possession.




[Pg 77]


"Gather up the fragments, that nothing may be lost."


arious matters of importance came up at different times during these years for consideration, discussion, and settlement, and in this chapter our aim will be to touch upon these points. The chapter will not be as smooth, perhaps, as a chapter in a story-book, because of necessity many subjects must be introduced, yet our history would not be complete without it. We have searched the records faithfully, and find many items of interest which should be recorded here. No attempt will be made to weave them into narrative style, as space will not permit.

In 1880 twenty-five dollars were appropriated toward a testimonial to Mrs. Lucy Webb Hayes in recognition of her efficient service in the position which she had taken with regard to temperance.

In this same year women were first recognized as voters at school elections.

At the ninth annual meeting, held at Oswego, Mrs. Burt was elected president; and in her first annual address she recommended the establishing of a state paper. The recommendation was adapted, and in December of that year the first number was issued.[Pg 78] The paper was called Woman's Christian Temperance Work. This proved to be too lengthy a name, and so it was shortened to Our Work. Miss Margaret E. Winslow was editor and Mrs. C.C. Alford publisher, and through their efforts over thirteen hundred subscribers were secured before it reached its first birthday. In 1887 the name was changed to Woman's Temperance Work, its present name. This motto for the state paper was chosen when the paper was first decided upon: "O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt."

In 1884 the establishment of headquarters was recommended, and in 1886 the recommendation was adopted, and rented headquarters were secured in New York City, with Mrs. R.A. Thurston, of Poughkeepsie, as office secretary, her duties to include the publication of the state paper. Mrs. Thurston was also made organizing secretary, and did valiant work as such for several years. New York is the only state which has had an organizing secretary—a fact which is worthy of note. Previous to Mrs. Thurston's appointment, Mrs. E.H. Griffith, of Fairport, had done splendid work as organizing secretary, in connection with her work as state corresponding secretary. In 1887 Mrs. C.C. Shaffer, of Newburgh, was made office secretary, and in 1888 Mrs. Ella C. Viele was appointed, and continued as editor and publisher for two years. She was succeeded by Miss Julia E. Dailey, of Rochester, in 1891, who still holds the office, doing faithful work.

In 1888 the president recommended that steps be taken to secure permanent headquarters. A committee was appointed to consider the recommendation and plans were presented for raising funds. The committee was continued with instructions to keep the matter before the people.

Evidently the white-ribboners believe not only in "praying," but in "watching" also, for in 1884 Mrs. Burt was presented with a beautiful gold watch as a testimonial of her years of[Pg 79] service, first as recording secretary, then as corresponding secretary, and after that as president. In 1886 Miss Julia Colman was "watched" in the same manner, this being the tenth anniversary of her superintendency of the Literature Department; and in 1888, at Binghamton, the convention "set a watch" upon Mrs. G.M. Gardenier, the recording secretary. An elegant gold chain was added by the executive committee. These facts show on the "face" of them that all "hands" approve of "watchfulness."

In 1888 a handbook was prepared by a committee composed of Mrs. Ella A. Boole, Mrs. Helen L. Bullock, and Mrs. E.H. Griffith, which proved very helpful to the workers. The following year it was revised and enlarged, thus making it applicable to other states.

At Auburn two receptions were given the convention—one by the Young Men's Christian Association, and one in the historic home of William H. Seward.

In Elmira the convention was invited to visit the art gallery of Mr. M.H. Arnot.

While the twenty-first annual convention does not properly belong to a twenty-years history, still we feel it is fitting to mention here that we celebrated our majority by "going home" to Chautauqua county, the meeting being held at Jamestown; and while it is not the intention to report that meeting here, we desire to record the fact that, by vote of this convention, New York State claims as its own the honor of the first crusade, and of the first Woman's Christian Temperance Union ever organized. Never have we been more royally entertained than in Jamestown. The Woman's and Young Woman's Christian Associations, the Political Equality Club, and the Woman's Relief Corps gave us an elegant reception the first day, and on the day following the close of the convention, through the generosity of the[Pg 80] local Woman's Christian Temperance Union, we were taken up the lake on a steamer to the far-famed Chautauqua Assembly grounds, the place from which was issued the "crusade call" to the women of the country to convene at Cleveland, Ohio, in November, 1874.


In 1887 New York State received, through the president, a handsome banner presented by the national union at Nashville as a reward for the largest membership of any state in the Union, and in 1890 we received the beautiful prize banner awarded by Miss Willard at Atlanta to the state making the largest increase in membership, New York being first in the Middle States. At the Denver convention, in 1892, New York was again awarded the national prize banner for the largest percentage of increase in membership.

In 1893 our state received two other national banners—one from Miss Lucia F. Kimball, national superintendent of Sunday-school Work, for returning the largest number of signed autograph pledge cards for the World's Fair, and the other from Mrs. Mary H. Hunt, national superintendent of the Department of Scientific Temperance Instruction, for having the largest number of local superintendents of this department of any State in the Union.


In 1889 Mrs. Ella C. Viele, publisher of our state paper, Woman's Temperance Work, presented a banner to the county having the largest subscription list from January to September. Dutchess county captured the prize, holding it until 1892, when Steuben received it; but in 1893 Dutchess county came to the front and again claimed it for its own.


[Pg 81]

Through the generosity of our president, the state has five banners which are awarded each year to the counties showing the greatest increase in membership. The state is divided into four tiers—northern, southern, eastern, and western—and a banner goes to the county in each division which has rolled up the greatest increase. The fifth banner is for the Y's, and is awarded to the county which has gained most in Y. membership, regardless of location.

The Loyal Temperance Legion also has a beautiful banner, which was first presented in 1891 to Suffolk county for having gained most in the number of Loyal Temperance Legions during the year.

These banners are each held for one year, being then brought to the annual meeting and "passed along" or held over again, as the case may be.


In 1885 our state was represented at the World's Exposition at New Orleans by a beautiful banner, and that we were worthily represented is shown by the fact that to this banner was awarded the first honorable mention.

The exhibit sent by our state to the Columbian Exposition, and which was placed in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union exhibit, was a beautiful banner, five feet wide by seven feet in length, of dark blue silk, telling in large gilt letters the name of our organization, with legend of our membership, W. and Y., and honorary members; also the number of members of the Loyal Temperance Legion, the location of headquarters, and name of state paper. It also gave the laws which have been secured through the state's instrumentality. A sketch of the state work was also prepared for the historical work published[Pg 82] by the Chicago World Book Company, and for the encyclopaedia published by the Board of Lady Managers of the World's Columbian Commission.


In 1883 our state for the first time held summer meetings—one at Thousand Island Park and one at Round Lake, both being well attended.

In April, 1884, a conference under state auspices was held in the Broadway Tabernacle, New York City. At this meeting Hannah Whithall Smith gave a Bible reading in the afternoon, and Frances E. Willard an address in the evening, to large audiences. In July of this same year a grove meeting was held at Round Lake, and in August the state, with Wyoming county, occupied a day at Silver Lake.

On August 9 and 10 in 1887 a meeting was held at Sacandaga Park, in Fulton county.

In May, 1889, the state held a conference of two days in the lecture hall of the Young Men's Christian Association building, New York City, and a school of methods held at Griffin Institute, Round Lake, August 7 to 9, was a success in every way. In July a two-days' conference was held at Prohibition Park, Staten Island.

In July of 1890 a three-days' meeting was held at Round Lake, and in the summer of 1891 a meeting was again held at Prohibition Park—these meetings all being under state auspices.

In the fall of 1888 the state had the honor of entertaining the national convention, although most of the responsibility, financial and otherwise, rested upon New York City and the neighboring counties. Right royally was this convention entertained. The Metropolitan Opera House was secured for the meetings at a cost of $2,500 for the five days. Nearly $900 was paid to the caterer,[Pg 83] and $200 more for the privilege of serving lunch, beside incidental expenses. Mrs. Burt and her corps of assistants did heroic work in the planning and carrying forward to a successful finish the arrangements for the entertainment of this great gathering.

This chapter would hardly be complete if we failed to mention the beautiful welcome which our state extended to our national president, Frances E. Willard, on her return from England after an absence of nearly two years. This meeting was held in Calvary Baptist Church, on West Fifty-seventh street, New York City, and when we say that the arrangements were all in the hands of Mrs. Mary T. Burt and Mrs. Frances J. Barnes, that is sufficient guarantee that they were perfect. Mrs. Burt presided over the meeting. Mrs. Boole and Mrs. Tenney of the state officers were present, beside many from other states. The "Greeting" was beautifully illuminated and engrossed upon parchment, and framed in white and gold. In the upper left-hand corner, delicately done in water colors, was the graceful figure of a woman twining the white ribbon around the world. Greetings came from all directions—by word, by letter, and by telegram—and everything conspired to make this one of the most delightful gatherings ever held under state auspices.

In 1893 the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of New York received a legacy of $2,000 from Mrs. Helen S. Houghtaling, of New York City, who, although not a member of our organization, became interested in our work through her niece, Miss Evelena Brandow, president of Greene County Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and through reading our state paper, she being a regular subscriber to the same.



YEAR. RECEIPTS including balance of previous year. DISBURSEMENTS. NATIONAL DUES.
1875 $338.97 $338.97 $43.12
1876 448.06 448.06 54.12
1877 372.66 301.16 52.51
1878 517.28 309.31 74.57
1879 645.52 423.92 68.00
1880 745.07 475.91 94.14
1881 836.66 486.45 113.50
1882 1,097.31 593.57 133.23
1883 1,435.79 959.57 204.06
1884 1,816.44 1,549.92 270.47
1885 1,729.91 1,653.97 300.88
1886 2,289.82 1,845.13 458.85
1887 2,682.18 2,631.75 923.93
1888 6,249.18 5,738.52 2,004.82
1889 6,843.67 6,759.86 2,161.30
1890 6,687.59 5,998.30 2,091.03
1891 7,779.58 7,461.64 2,084.91
1892 7,453.17 6,635.59 2,200.36
1893 7,906.21 6,289.93 2,133.95
1894 9,695.89 6,063.11 1,921.67



MRS. ALLEN BUTLER, Syracuse,1874-1879
MRS. DR. F. G. HIBBARD, Clifton Springs,1879-1882
MRS. MARY T. BURT, New York City,1882-1894
MRS. A. M. WICKES, Attica,1885-1886
MRS. MARY J. WEAVER, Batavia,1886-1891
MRS. ELLA A. BOOLE, West New Brighton,1891-1894
MRS. MARY T. BURT, Auburn,1874-1881
MRS. C. C. ALFORD, Brooklyn,1881-1882
MRS. G. M. GARDENIER, Oswego,1882-1894
MRS. GEORGE H. GREELEY, Syracuse,1874-1879
MRS. R. M. BINGHAM, Rome,1879-1881
MRS. MARY T. BURT, Brooklyn,1881-1882
MRS. E. H. GRIFFITH, Fairport,1882-1885
MRS. ELLA A. BOOLE, New York,1885-1891
MRS. FRANCES W. GRAHAM, Lockport,1891-1894
MRS. T. S. TRUAIR, Syracuse,1874-1879
MRS. SARAH A. McCLEES, Irvington,1879-1881
MRS. E. M. J. DECKER, Victor,1881-1886
MRS. C. C. ALFORD, Brooklyn,1886-1887
MRS. ELLEN L. TENNEY, Albany,1887-1894


ILION, 1875
GENEVA, 1878
ITHACA, 1880
OSWEGO, 1882
ALBANY, 1886
AUBURN, 1889
ELMIRA, 1890
NEW YORK, 1891

Inscription on World's Fair Banner.

*     *






22,003 Members;

4,443 Honorary Members.


20,584 Members.


Scientific temperance instruction—1884.

"Age of consent" raised from 10 to 16 years—1887.

Prohibiting sale of liquor on fair grounds of state—1888.

Prohibiting sale of cigarettes and tobacco to boys under 16 years of age—1890.

Forbidding employment of women and girls as barmaids—1892.

Forbidding opening of the state's exhibit at World's Fair on Sunday—1892.


Preventing introduction of the bill (into the Legislature) legalizing houses of prostitution— 1892.



This brief History answers in part that oft-repeated question, "What is the Woman's Christian Temperance Union doing?"