Category: Biography

Women and Temperance: Essential for Establishing Prohibition

women and temperance

Women and temperance were closely linked. The temperance movement relied heavily on their enthusiastic support. And they were essential to the establishment of National Prohibition (1920-1933). I.  Martha Washingtonians One of the earliest temperance groups was the Martha Washingtonians. Officially, it was the Ladies’ Temperance Benevolent Society. Temperance activists formed it in 1841. Women who …

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Morris Sheppard and Prohibition: “The Driest of the Dry”

Morris Sheppard and prohibition

John Morris Sheppard and prohibition were very closely linked. Sheppard became an ardent advocate of banning alcohol beverage sales. And he did so fairly early in his political career. He was in Congress from 1901 until his death in 1941. Sheppard served first as a representative and then as a senator. He was a progressive …

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Purley Baker (Prohibition Leader & Anti-Saloon League Head)

Purley Baker

Purley Baker was a leading temperance and Prohibition leader. He was born in Ohio in 1858 and died during National Prohibition (1920-1933) in 1924. Prohibition was part of the Progressive Movement. Anti-Saloon League Rev. Baker was an ordained Methodist minister. He became well-known for strongly opposing alcohol and saloons. Perhaps because of that fact, Howard …

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Alcoholic Politicians From Around the World (Any Surprises?)

There are, and have been, many alcoholic politicians. Today, some have reported themselves to be alcoholic and have sought treatment. For alcoholic politicians of the past, it was harder. So historians base their judgements on accounts of those who knew the politicians and their actions. But it’s safe to assume that there are many politicians …

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Prohibition of Alcohol and Repeal Resources

temperance organizations around the world

Prohibition of alcohol and Repeal is a fascinating story. How did National Prohibition (1920-1933) come to be? What was it like? How did it change American society? In what ways does it effect life even today?  It’s a story of unusual ideas, fascinating characters, surprising events, and unexpected outcomes. So here are Prohibition and Repeal …

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William Harvey Thompson (“Kinky” Thompson) Prohibition Agent

William Harvey Thompson

Kinky Thompson Prohibition agents during National Prohibition (1920-1933) were widely criticized for using excessive force. And it was against both persons and property. One of the most violent may have been agent William Harvey Thompson of the Seattle, Washington, unit. Thompson’s career shows one of the many problems – unprofessional enforcement – that led to …

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Mamie Colvin (Mrs. D. Leigh Colvin)Temperance Activist

Mamie Colvin usually called herself Mrs. D. Leigh Colvin. She was born in Westview, Ohio, on June 12, 1883. She was the daughter of Rev. Levi White and Mary Belle (Hudelson) White. Her father had been elected to the New York State Assembly in 1851. Even as a child, Mamie White championed prohibition and won …

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Lillian Sedwick (WCTU & KKK Leader) Discover Why!

women leaders of temperance

Lillian Sedwick was state head of the Indiana Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). She was also state leader of the Indiana Women of the Ku Klux Klan (WKKK). Sedwick became state head of the Indiana WKKK when she replaced Daisy Douglass Barr. Rev. Barr was another WKKK and WCTU leader As a KKK-supported candidate, Ms. Sedwick …

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Earl Dodge (Perennial Prohibition Party Candidate)

Longtime leader of the Prohibition Party, Earl Dodge, Jr., was born in Malden, Massachusetts on December 24, 1932. He joined the Party at age 19. Later, he became chair of the Party in 1979. It was while the party was operating under the name of the National Statesmen Party. It re-instated the Prohibition Party name …

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Joseph H. Choate, Jr. (Leading Lawyer and Repeal Leader)

Voluntary Committee of Lawyers

Joseph H. Choate, Jr. chaired the Voluntary Committee of Lawyers (VCL). VCL was a group of highly influential attorneys formed in 1927. It promoted the repeal of National Prohibition (1920-1933). With its urging, the American Bar Association called for Repeal in 1928. Choate and the VCL worked closely with other repeal organizations. They included the …

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