In League Against King Alcohol: Native American Women and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 1874–1933
Many Americans are familiar with the real, but repeatedly stereotyped problem of alcohol abuse in Indian country. Most know about the Prohibition Era and reformers who promoted passage of the Eighteenth Amendment, among them the members of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. But few people are aware of how American Indian women joined forces with the WCTU to press for positive change in their communities, a critical chapter of American cultural history explored in depth for the first time in In League Against King Alcohol.
Drawing on the WCTU’s national records as well as state and regional organizational newspaper accounts and official state histories, historian Thomas John Lappas unearths the story of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in Indian country. His work reveals how Native American women in the organization embraced a type of social, economic, and political progress that their white counterparts supported and recognized—while maintaining distinctly Native elements of sovereignty, self-determination, and cultural preservation. They asserted their identities as Indigenous women, albeit as Christian and progressive Indigenous women. At the same time, through their mutual participation, white WCTU members formed conceptions about Native people that they subsequently brought to bear on state and local Indian policy pertaining to alcohol, but also on education, citizenship, voting rights, and land use and ownership.
Lappas’s work places Native women at the center of the temperance story, showing how they used a women’s national reform organization to move their own goals and objectives forward. Subtly but significantly, they altered the welfare and status of American Indian communities in the early twentieth century.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Native American Women and the WCTU
Activities and Effects
Representations of American Indians in WCTU Literature
Organizing Indian Country
WCTU Activities Legal Interpretation and Enforcement
Other editions - View all
activities alcohol allotment American Indian Annual Convention Annual Meeting Annual Report Association Bidwell boarding schools Book California Cherokee Christian Christian Temperance Church citizenship Cleveland communities connections continued County cultural Dakota described drinking early effect efforts enforcement especially explained federal groups held History Home Indian Affairs Indian schools Indian Territory influence January June land laws leaders legislation Lindsey liquor living March medal Michigan Minutes Mission missionaries Native American women North noted November October officers Oklahoma Onondaga Oregon organization participation Pierce pledge political position president Press Printing progressive prohibition protection Quaker Records reform Reservation role secretary September shared Society South Southern California Spencer story successful suffrage superintendent temperance traditions tribal tribes Union Signal United University views violence visited vote Washington WCTU members WCTU-AMM WCTU-US WCTU’s Western White Ribbon Willard writing wrote York young