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    Visionary Leader

    Social Reformer

    Women's Rights Advocate

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Women’s History is Everywhere and Essential!

This year for Women’s History Month, we are thinking about the places where women’s history happened, why it is so important to preserve them, and how easily they can be lost and forgotten. 

Visit our blog for posts about The Woman’s Temple and the Phyllis Wheatley Home. Both stories come to us from the city of Chicago – and both show how vulnerable women’s history sites are. Their stories reminds us just how challenging this work of preserving women’s history is – and serve as cautionary tales for working hard to preserve what remains. 

Your gift to support our work to preserve and tell these stories from this most historic place is critical in these challenging times.

Thank you!


Influences of a Self-Made Woman – featuring the early journals of Frances Willard

Our newest online exhibit by CWHL summer 2020 remote intern Hannah Lahti provides the foundational story for Willard’s groundbreaking work as a social reformer through examining her early influences as revealed in her journals. Visit – https://franceswillardhouse.omeka.net/exhibits to see the new exhibit and explore more.


COVID-19 Update

The Frances Willard House Museum and WCTU Archives will be closed for tours and onsite programs for the foreseeable future. Our programs are taking place online – sign up for our email newsletter or follow us on social media to stay in touch.

The WCTU Archives is open by appointment only. Visit this page for details on doing research at this time.


Truth Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells

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An Award Winning 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 website, click here.

In 2020, the Truth Telling project received Honorable Mention for Outstanding Public History Project from the National Council on Public History. To view the online award ceremony video click below.

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