1888 NATIONAL TEMPERANCE UNION. Superbly Lithographed Massachusetts WCTU Image.

1888 NATIONAL TEMPERANCE UNION. Superbly Lithographed Massachusetts WCTU Image.

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Really beautiful and untraced full-color lithograph issued in 1888 for the Massachusetts Woman's Christian Temperance Union reproducing the Banners of the WCTU, titled, "Battle Flags of the White Ribbon Army." 

It includes:

The National Prize Banner, reading "For God and Home and Native Land WCTU."

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of New York.

National Woman's Christian Temperance Union. World's W.C.T.U. Banner, reading "For God and Home and Humanity." Presented by Elizabeth Thompson.

The Young Woman's Christian Temperance Union, reading "That our daughters may be as corner-stones polished after the similitude of a palace." 

The Evanston Loyal Temperance Legion, Company A 4th Division, reading, "Tremble King Alcohol. We shall grow up."

Measures 9 x 11.5 inches, a bit awkwardkly trimmed, fold down center with tenderness. Image bright and well-preserved. 

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union is rooted in a lecture delivered in Fredonia, New York, on December 13, 1873.  After the lecture, he was invited to deliver a temperance lecture the next day at a Sunday evening church service. He gave a forceful presentation about alcohol and his practical plans for action to stop the alcohol traffic. Rev. Lester Williams, pastor of the Baptist Church, asked the women to hold a meeting. Fifty women responded ready to act. 

On Monday morning, December 15, 1873, at 10:00am, about 300 men and women met in the Fredonia Baptist Church. The men prayed while the women organized. The men pledge $1,000 to help the women carry out their work to stop the alcohol traffic. They adopted the name, The Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Fredonia. 

In August, 1874, at the first National Sunday School Assembly held at Chautauqua, New York, Mrs. Mattie McClellan Brown of Ohio suggested a committee send out a call for a national, delegated convention to meet in Cleveland, Ohio, November 18-20. 

Frances Willard was the 2nd National WCTU President and the most famous. She believed that women, as the moral guardians of the home, should be involved in public and political activity. She increased the reform activity initiated by the WCTU with choices for local chapters. This made it possible for large numbers of women to work with the temperance movement and on issues that were of concern to themselves. 

This became known as Frances Willard's "Do Everything" policy. It was passed at the National 1882 WCTU Convention. It encouraged local chapters to work on any and all issues they deem important. This allowed very conservative chapters to avoid issues such as the "Home Protection Ballot" (women's right to vote).

Willard contrasted a national WCTU meeting with "any held by men: Its manner is not the of the street, the court, the mart, or office; it is the maker of the home." She used domestic imagery, beautiful decorations, banners of silk, satin and velvet, usually made by the women themselves, to adore the walls and platforms. She presented the room as "cozy and delightful as a parlor could afford." 

She once commented, "We have been so busy making history we have not found time to record it." Therefore, in Do Everything (1895), she urged that "Each Union from the greatest to the least, should appoint a custodian of archives, souvenirs, and historic documents, who should also keep memoranda of its unfolding history." 

The WCTU Administration Building in Evanston, Illinois holds WCTU's Library and Archives. The collection is extensive and is accessible to researchers. Many have come from around the world to learn more about women's history, including their fight for prohibition, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and the work of the WCTU which gave women the right to vote, 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. 

Today, the WCTU continues its work to educate about the dangers of alcohol and other drug use. The WCTU works to protect families from all negative influences under its "Do Everything" policy.

The WCTU is the oldest, continuous woman's organization in the world. It was the major force behind obtaining the 18th and 19th Constitutional Amendments to the United States Constitution.  The WCTU was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.