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Lips that touch liquor – Shall never touch ours! – Alabama Pioneers


A temperance motion is a social movement towards the consumption of alcoholic drinks. Temperance movements started in America as early as the American Revolution when farmers shaped associations to ban whiskey distilling. The movement spread to eight states, advocating temperance somewhat than abstinence and refraining from drink on the Sabbath.

Full abstinence inspired by 1830

The American Temperance Society was shaped in 1826 and grew quickly. By the 1830s, the entire abstinence of alcoholic beverages was being encouraged. Legal prohibition of all alcohol was the aim of many organizations through the Victorian period.

The Salvation Army was based in London in 1864 with a heavy emphasis on both abstinence from alcohol and ministering to the working class.

Did you know that spiritual persecution occurred in early America? Examine it in this historic collection by Donna R. Causey

National organization shaped

The Lady’s Christian Temperance Union, a National group with State and native branches, originated within the nice temperance campaign of 1874. A Nationwide Convention was referred to as to satisfy in Cleveland, Ohio, November 17, of that yr, at which sixteen states have been represented and the group shaped. By 1916 each state and territory within the nation was organized.

Circumstances of membership have been to sign the whole abstinence pledge and pay yearly into the treasury of the native union a sum of not less than 50 cents. A part of the cash was retained for native work, and an element was used for auxiliary workplaces, State, National and World’s wants. The whole paid membership in america in 1919 was a few half million.Temperance pledge

First officers and duties

The badge of the society was a bow of white ribbon. Mrs. Annie Wittenmyer was the primary president of the National Society. Miss Frances E. Willard succeeded her in 1879 and held that place till her demise in 1898 when Mrs. L. M. N. Stevens, of Maine, turned the Nationwide President. She was succeeded by Miss Anna A. Gordon in 1914.

The work was carried on by six departments:

  1. Organization: organizers, lecturers and evangelists; young lady’s department; Royal Temperance Legion department; work amongst overseas speaking individuals; work among the many coloured; work among the many Indians.
  2. Prevention: well being via temperance.
  3. Instructional: scientific temperance instruction; bodily schooling; Sunday Faculty; World’s Missionary fund; presenting the cause to influential our bodies; temperance and labor; parliamentary uses; cooperating with other societies; W. C. T. U. institutes; anti-narcotics; faculty saving banks; juvenile courts, industrial schooling and anti-child labor; medal contests.
  4. Evangelistic: alms houses, unfermented wine at sacrament; the Bible within the Public Faculties; proportionate and systematic giving; jail reform; work amongst railroad males; work among soldiers and sailors; work among lumbermen and miners; Sabbath observance; humane schooling; moral schooling and race betterment; moms’ conferences and white ribbon recruits; rescue work; purity in literature and art.
  5. Social: social meetings, purple letter days; flower mission and aid work; festivals and open air conferences. Authorized: legislation; Christian citizenship; franchise; peace and international arbitration.
  6. There was also a bureau of publicity, a bureau of uniform legislation, and a special committee on anti-polygamy modification to the Federal Constitution.

Lady’s Christian Temperance Union, Alabama

Beneath the influence of Miss Frances Willard, Nationwide President, native branches of the group sprang up in Alabama. In 1880 quite a few citizens of Gadsden and Etowah County petitioned the legislature for local choice for the county, which aroused an curiosity within the subject of temperance. In Might, 1882, an area union was organized with Mrs. L. C. Woodliff, president, and fourteen constitution members.

In December, 1883, the women of Tuscaloosa, beneath the management of Mrs. Ellen Peter Bryce, Mrs. Reuben Searcy, and Miss Julia Tutwiler, organized an area union beneath the identify of “Woman’s Home Union,” of which Mrs. Reuben Searcy was elected president. In January, 1884, a State assembly was held in Tuscaloosa at which have been current, in addition to representatives of the unions from Selma, Gadsden, and Tuscaloosa, Mrs. Sallle Chapin of Charleston, S. C., and Miss Henrietta Moore, of Ohio, Nationwide Officers. At that convention the State Union was organized, with Mrs. L. C. Woodliff, president, Mrs. Ellen Peter Bryce, of Tuscaloosa, vice-president, Mrs. Charles Sibert, of Gadsden, secretory, and Miss Mattie Coleman, of Montgomery, treasurer, Miss Julia Tutwiler, press superintendent, and Miss Susie P. Martin, superintendent of literature.

President attended the Conventions

In October. 1884, Mrs. Woodliff, the president, attended the 11th Nationwide Conference of the W. C. T. U., which was held at St. Louis, Mo., and in November of that yr the second annual Conference of the Alabama Union was held at Selma to which Mrs. Woodliff introduced nice inspiration in her report of the proceedings of the National Convention which she had lately attended.

The third annual State Conference was held at Birmingham in November, 1885, at which era Mrs. Bryce was president. Braveness and love of humanity have been so highly exemplified by this band of pious ladies that an account of the initial efforts made by the Tuscaloosa ladies prepared by Mrs. Ellen Peter Bryce, and preserved in manuscript type in the Division of Archives and History, typifies the efforts of girls, at that period completely unaccustomed to public actions.

Mrs. Bryce writes an article

While sitting in my husband’s office studying the paper at our residence in the Alabama Insane Hospital—I feel it should have been in 1880—in wanting over the legislative information I observed so many acts to prohibit the sale of spirituous liquors within three miles, or five miles of some country church or faculty home. I consider there have been a column of those notices. I asked him what ought to be accomplished to rid our county of this terrible curse.

The Doctor replied that if I might write an article for our town paper, calling a meeting of our citizens on the courtroom home on some handy evening, that he would help me. I immediately accepted his supply and he headed it, ‘Strike While the Iron Is Hot.’ I wrote the article and signed it, ‘A Woman.’ The night time we chosen turned out to be a cold, sleety night time but we went and the courtroom home was crowded with males from the town and county both. I feel the time should have been ripe for such a gathering. There were males with their rain coats dripping wet standing in the aisle for need of room. I do know that Dr. Searcy, Mr. Woolsey Van Hoose, Dr. Bryce and Dr. Wyman had exerted themselves to rise up a crowd. Miss Julia Tutwiler and I have been the one two ladies present.

Eventually one man rose and stated, ‘Who got up this meeting anyhow, and what was it for?’ He stated it in a gruff voice. Then somebody requested someone else to take the chair and explain the item of the assembly. I don’t keep in mind who took the chair however the chairman stated this assembly was in answer to an article within the weekly paper signed, ‘A Woman.’ I simply trembled and Miss Tutwiler, who was sitting just behind me, patted me kindly on the shoulder and stated in a low tone to me, ‘It is all right, Mrs. Bryce, don’t be nervous, it’s all proper.’ There have been several speeches made and discussions followed as to learn how to eliminate the six liquor saloons in our metropolis.

And that was the primary prohibition assembly ever held in Tuscaloosa. I know the meeting was good for a prohibition candidate for the legislature was elected soon after.

About that time we have been invited by the citizens of Northport to hold a prohibition assembly over there within the Methodist church. Dr. Bryce, Dr. Searcy, Dr. Wyman, Miss Tutwiler and I rode right down to the river in an enormous hospital ambulance. We took our supper and ate it as we rode alongside.

I keep in mind the good massive steamboat, the R. E. Lee, was at the wharf and the large waves it made shook our little canoe. It was awfully muddy and slippery taking place that hill and Miss Tutwiler and I received our footwear bogged, up.Our bridge had been burned by the Federals. Just as we received in the midst of the river the lantern went out and Dr. Searcy was attempting to find his final match and the sunshine from the barroom of the steamboat was blinding our eyes out there in our little canoe in the midst of the darkish river.

We felt then that the handsome steamboat with its gayly lighted barroom was a robust distinction to our little boat with the 5 prohibitionists struggling in the dead of night water. We compared one to the liquor visitors and the other to the prohibition get together,  feebly beating its approach alongside. At any fee, just like the prohibition trigger, we received safely throughout. We found most of the residents of Northport awaiting us on the landing, and one younger man stepped up and stated that a gentleman and woman who knew my husband and me had despatched him down to invite us to supper. Nevertheless it was then too late and the church was filled with a waiting audience, so we had to decline with thanks this type invitation. A great many speeches have been made and I keep in mind especially Col. Powell of Northport gave a effective handle.

In December, 1883, the women of Tuscaloosa organized into a union and in January, 1884, we had a state assembly at Tuscaloosa and our union joined the State and National Lady’s Christian Temperance Union. Mrs. Sallie Chapin of Charleston organized the union within the Presbyterian lecture room. Mrs. Reuben Searcy was made president and Mrs. John Martin, Miss Julia Tutwiler, myself and about eighty extra joined beside the youngsters within the Band of Hope. Afterward we had Miss Frances E. Willard and different distinguished ladies to talk at the courtroom house to crowded houses.

It took years to eliminate the saloons. At one time in our history, once we removed the saloons, we had the dispensary. It was a step higher than the saloon, but we needed prohibition which we lastly received. At the subsequent election, there was a fierce struggle between prohibition and the’ open saloon. But we girls wrote an earnest plea to the lads of our metropolis not to permit whiskey to be introduced back. This earnest cry of the ladies to the husbands, fathers, and brothers in Tuscaloosa was revealed in our metropolis paper, we telephoned every lady in Tuscaloosa whom we might probably reach and skim the petition to them and obtained their permission to sign their names. Not a lady refused to let her identify go on the petition!

The ladies met at that time at each other’s houses and prayed earnestly for deliverance from the liquor visitors. The consequence was that our city voted for “no whiskey.” Our prayers have been heard by Heaven and our petition heeded by the lads of our city, and from that day Tuscaloosa has been dry—both city and county.

Though there are a couple of blind tigers sometimes caught, principally the negroes, we are completely happy to know that our lovely University town is free from these pitfalls to spoil our younger men. Many a mother’s heart rejoices over this.

In the early days we had Frances Willard and different distinguished ladies to speak and afterward Gov. Glenn, Dr. Denny, Richmond Hobson and others. Decide H. B. Foster, Mr. Luther Maxwell and others have all the time stood squarely as much as the trigger.”

(Prepared by Mrs. Ellen Peter Bryce, and replica constructed from the unique, within the arms of Mrs. Annie Okay. Weisel, President of the Lady’s Christian Temperance Union, Birmingham, Ala., 1917.)

Annual Conventions, 1882-1916

The listing which follows provides the variety of session, place of meeting, inclusive dates, and bibliography of the Minutes.

  • Tuscaloosa, Jan. 22-24, 1884, pp. 14.
  • Selma, Nov. 13-14, 1884, pp. 28.
  • Montgomery, Nov. 17-18, 1886, pp. 80.
  • Cellular, Dec. 1-2, 1887, pp. 86.
  • Tuscaloosa, Apr. 16-17, 1890, pp. 64.
  • Selma, Dec. 1-3, 1893, pp. 74.
  • New Decatur, Jan. 7-9, 1903, pp. 68.
  • Anniston, Nov. 9-11, 1904. pp. 50.
  • Birmingham, Dec. 5-7, 1905, pp. 49.
  • Montgomery, Oct. 16-18, 1907, pp. 52.
  • Cellular, Nov. 17-19, 1908, pp. 51.
  • Birmingham, Nov. 17-18, 1909, pp. 63.
  • Guntersville, Oct. 18-20, 1910, pp. 60.
  • New Decatur, Oct. 17-20, 1911, pp. 62.
  • Opelika, Oct. 2-4, 1912, pp. 72.
  • Cellular, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, 1913, pp. 84.
  • Gadsden, Nov. 3-5. 1914, pp. 63.
  • Birmingham, Oct. 26-28, 1915, pp. 60.
  • Huntsville, Oct. 10-12, 1916, pp. 39.

Early Presidents.—

  • Mrs. L. C. Woodliff, 1884;
  • Mrs. Ellen P. Bryce. 1885-1887;
  • Mrs. M. L. Stratford, 1888-1889;
  • Mrs. J. Morgan Smith, 1890;
  • Mrs. Mattie L. Spencer, 1891-1904;
  • Mrs. Marv T. Jeffries, 1905-1907;
  • Mrs. C. M. Mullan, 1906;
  • Mrs. J. B. Chatfield. 19081911;
  • Mrs. Annie Okay. Weisel, 1912-1916.


  1. History of Alabama and dictionary of Alabama biography, Quantity 2 By Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen
  2. Wikipekia

See all historical books by Donna R. Causey

Faith and Braveness: 2nd edition -A Novel of Colonial America (Tapestry of Love E-book 2): E-book 2 in Tapestry of Love Collection In this action-packed novel, George Willson witnesses the execution of King Charles II and is pressured to go away the lady he loves to witch hunters in 17th century England as he flees to his sister, Mary, and her husband Ambrose Dixons house in Colonial American. Ridden with guilt over troublesome selections he made to outlive, George Willson and the Dixon’s embrace the Quaker faith which creates extra problems for his or her survival in the New World.

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