The World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WWCTU) began in 1883. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) organized it. The intent was to coordinate the work of WCTU chapters (unions) around the world.
III. The Pledge
The first convention of the World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union was in 1891. By then, WCTU unions existed in over 40 countries and colonies. Total paid membership was over 200,000 women. In addition, the number of children who had pledged to abstain from alcohol was over one-half million.
By 1929, the number of individual WCTU members was 685,113. And they lived on five continents.
The World’s WCTU existed in these 51 countries and colonies.
II. Structure of the WWCTU
Women Leaders of Temperance.
The World’s WCTU had many departments and branches.
Young Women’s Branch.
Loyal Temperance Legion Branch.
B. Prevention and Education
Scientific Temperance Instruction in Schools and Colleges.
Sunday School Work.
Little White Ribboners.
School of Methods.
School Savings and Thrift.
Non-alcoholic Fruit Products.
Prisons, Charitable and Reformatory Work.
Work among Soldiers and Sailors.
Systematic Giving and Bequests.
Cooperation with Missionary Societies.
Counter-attractions to Licensed Houses.
Petition and Legislative Work.
The Protection of Native Races.
Peace and International Arbitration.
III. The Pledge of the World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union
The WWCTU membership pledge was simple.
I hereby solemnly promise, God helping me, to abstain fromn all Alcoholic Liquors as beverages, whether distilled, fermented, or malted. And I also promise to abstain from opium in all its forms. I will employ all proper means to discourage the use and traffic in the same.
Note: The World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union is often misspelled. Sometimes the spelling is the World Women’s Christian Temperance Union or some combination thereof. But the most common error is to misspell Woman’s as Women’s.
IV. Resources on the WWCTU
Blocker, J., et al. (eds) Alcohol and Temperance in Modern Society. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2003.
Cherrington, E., et al. (eds) Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem. Westerville, OH: Am Issue, 5 vol., 1925-1930.
Gordon, A., and Phelps, E. The Beautiful Life of Frances E. Willard. Chicago: WCTU, 1898.
Gordon, E. Women Torch-bearers. The Story of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Evanston, IL: WCTU, 1924.
Willard, F. Glimpses of Fifty Years. Chicago: WCTU, 1889.
Stebbins, J., Brown, T. Fifty Years History of the Temperance Cause. Hartford, CT: Fitch, 1876.
Tyrell, I. Woman’s World/Woman’s Empire. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in International Perspective, 1880-1930. Chapel Hill: U North Carolina Press, 1991.