Gasport Woman's Christian Temperance Union records
Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was organized in 1873 in Ohio and became a national organization in 1874. Its original goal was to promote abstinence through evangelical Christianity. In 1879, Frances Willard became its president, and its reform interests were expanded to include women's rights and prison reform.
The Gasport, N.Y., chapter was established in 1884, and its members belonged to local congregations including Gasport/Hartland Monthly Meeting. The group rotated its meetings between various churches and meeting houses, and Juliaetta [Vogan] Hull (1853-1931), the wife of the Reverend George Hull, pastor of Gasport Monthly Meeting, was a long-time active member. The family was deeply involved with temperance activities, including a singing quartet. Members of Hartland Monthly Meeting (informally known as Gasport Monthly Meeting) continued to participate until the mid-twentieth century, but by 1967 there were only eleven dues-paying members including Florence Stevens, Clerk of Hartland Monthly Meeting. Hartland Monthly Meeting is currently inactive.
The WCTU continues its work on women's issues and presently reports that it is the oldest voluntary, non-sectarian woman's organization in continuous existence in the world.
Minutes of the Gasport branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1912-1927, and financial records, 1927-1967.
The financial records were deposited as part of the records of Hartland Monthly Meeting in the transfer of the New York Yearly Meeting records from the Haviland Record Room to Friends Historical Library in 1997. The minutes were deposited ca. 2008 together with Hartland MM Ministers & Elders minutes, 1860-1945.
Gift, Hartland Monthly Meeting
The financial records were cataloged as part of Hartland Monthly Meeting records, RG2/NY/H393. With the addition of minutes, the financial records were transferred to Record Group 4/126; the chapter was not actually under the care of Hartland Monthly Meeting. The minutes were badly water damaged and moldy. Some were discarded, and the records that survived were treated for mold and are wrapped in Mylar.
PA 172, Rolled photographs, includes panorama photographs of Young People's Branch, National Woman's Christian Temperance Union and NY State Prohibition Convention, 1912, which Elbert A. Stevens attended. He became a member of Hartland Monthly Meeting in 1912, and his daughter, Florence Stevens (1916-2006), was recorded as a member as well. She and her mother, Myrtle, were long-time active members of WCTU. Florence served as Clerk of Hartland Monthly Meeting in the 1960s.
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