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    Visionary Leader

    Social Reformer

    Women's Rights Advocate

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Willard House Reopens for Tours in March!

The Frances Willard House Museum reopens for tours on Sunday, March 1st – and is open every Sunday from 1 – 4 p.m. through December 2020. Tours this March – Women’s History Month – will highlight the historic connection between the women’s temperance and suffrage movements. Frances Willard’s and the WCTU’s advocacy for women’s suffrage was significant to the larger women’s rights movement. Join us to learn more!


Race and Rights: Wells, Willard and Addams

Who gets to be a citizen? How did debates in Chicago around voting, lynching and women’s rights break down across racial lines? The panel discussion will focus on the historical breakdowns in feminism and race for Frances Willard and Jane Addams, and tell the story of Ida B. Wells’ efforts to hold them each accountable. Featuring author Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, WCTU archivist Janet Olson, historian and author Rima Lunin Schultz, Jennifer Scott, director and chief curator at Jane Addams Hull House, and Leslie Harris, professor of History at Northwestern University.

Thursday April 20, from 6 – 8 p.m. (reception at 5:30) at Harris Hall at Northwestern University, 1881 Sheridan Road. Presented by the Frances Willard House Museum and WCTU Archives, in partnership with Jane Addams Hull House Museum and Northwestern University Department of History. 


Truth Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells

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A Community History Project of the Frances Willard House Museum and Archives

In the 1890s, Woman’s Christian Temperance Union President Frances Willard and journalist and activist Ida B. Wells fought a war of words in the international press over Willard’s lack of public support for Wells’ anti-lynching campaign. Wells called Willard’s moral leadership into question and demanded that Willard and the WCTU join her anti-lynching campaign. Under Willard’s leadership, the WCTU eventually passed resolutions opposing lynching, but Willard’s language and actions complicate her legacy.

Truth Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells is a community history project that explores this conflict. The project includes a digital exhibit of original archival sources, community conversations, and public programs. The goal of the project is to uncover the full truth of the conflict, and explore its many meanings and ramifications for our world today. 

To visit the new website, click here.

New Willard House Video

Click here to see a brief video that features the Willard House, interior and exterior. This short film was made by Evanston Photographic Studios and all rights are reserved by them.

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