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"Gather up the fragments, that nothing may be lost."
Various matters of importance came up at different times during these years for consideration, discussion, and settlement, and in this chapter our aim will be to touch upon these points. The chapter will not be as smooth, perhaps, as a chapter in a story-book, because of necessity many subjects must be introduced, yet our history would not be complete without it. We have searched the records faithfully, and find many items of interest which should be recorded here. No attempt will be made to weave them into narrative style, as space will not permit.
In 1880 twenty-five dollars were appropriated toward a testimonial to Mrs. Lucy Webb Hayes in recognition of her efficient service in the position which she had taken with regard to temperance.
In this same year women were first recognized as voters at school elections.
At the ninth annual meeting, held at Oswego, Mrs. Burt was elected president; and in her first annual address she recommended the establishing of a state paper. The recommendation was adapted, and in December of that year the first number was issued. The paper was called _Woman's Christian Temperance Work_. This proved to be too lengthy a name, and so it was shortened to _Our Work_. Miss Margaret E. Winslow was editor and Mrs. C. C. Alford publisher, and through their efforts over thirteen hundred subscribers were secured before it reached its first birthday. In 1887 the name was changed to _Woman's Temperance Work_, its present name. This motto for the state paper was chosen when the paper was first decided upon: "O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt."
In 1884 the establishment of headquarters was recommended, and in 1886 the recommendation was adopted, and rented headquarters were secured in New York City, with Mrs. R. A. Thurston, of Poughkeepsie, as office secretary, her duties to include the publication of the state paper.
Mrs. Thurston was also made organizing secretary, and did valiant work as such for several years. New York is the only state which has had an organizing secretary--a fact which is worthy of note. Previous to Mrs.
Thurston's appointment, Mrs. E. H. Griffith, of Fairport, had done splendid work as organizing secretary, in connection with her work as state corresponding secretary. In 1887 Mrs. C. C. Shaffer, of Newburgh, was made office secretary, and in 1888 Mrs. Ella C. Viele was appointed, and continued as editor and publisher for two years. She was succeeded by Miss Julia E. Dailey, of Rochester, in 1891, who still holds the office, doing faithful work.
In 1888 the president recommended that steps be taken to secure permanent headquarters. A committee was appointed to consider the recommendation and plans were presented for raising funds. The committee was continued with instructions to keep the matter before the people.
Evidently the white-ribboners believe not only in "praying," but in "watching" also, for in 1884 Mrs. Burt was presented with a beautiful gold watch as a testimonial of her years of service, first as recording secretary, then as corresponding secretary, and after that as president.
In 1886 Miss Julia Colman was "watched" in the same manner, this being the tenth anniversary of her superintendency of the Literature Department; and in 1888, at Binghamton, the convention "set a watch"
upon Mrs. G. M. Gardenier, the recording secretary. An elegant gold chain was added by the executive committee. These facts show on the "face" of them that all "hands" approve of "watchfulness."
In 1888 a handbook was prepared by a committee composed of Mrs. Ella A.
Boole, Mrs. Helen L. Bullock, and Mrs. E. H. Griffith, which proved very helpful to the workers. The following year it was revised and enlarged, thus making it applicable to other states.
At Auburn two receptions were given the convention--one by the Young Men's Christian Association, and one in the historic home of William H.
In Elmira the convention was invited to visit the art gallery of Mr.
M. H. Arnot.
While the twenty-first annual convention does not properly belong to a twenty-years history, still we feel it is fitting to mention here that we celebrated our majority by "going home" to Chautauqua county, the meeting being held at Jamestown; and while it is not the intention to report that meeting here, we desire to record the fact that, by vote of this convention, New York State claims as its own the honor of the first crusade, and of the first Woman's Christian Temperance Union ever organized. Never have we been more royally entertained than in Jamestown. The Woman's and Young Woman's Christian Associations, the Political Equality Club, and the Woman's Relief Corps gave us an elegant reception the first day, and on the day following the close of the convention, through the generosity of the local Woman's Christian Temperance Union, we were taken up the lake on a steamer to the far-famed Chautauqua Assembly grounds, the place from which was issued the "crusade call" to the women of the country to convene at Cleveland, Ohio, in November, 1874.
In 1887 New York State received, through the president, a handsome banner presented by the national union at Nashville as a reward for the largest membership of any state in the Union, and in 1890 we received the beautiful prize banner awarded by Miss Willard at Atlanta to the state making the largest increase in membership, New York being first in the Middle States. At the Denver convention, in 1892, New York was again awarded the national prize banner for the largest percentage of increase in membership.
In 1893 our state received two other national banners--one from Miss Lucia F. Kimball, national superintendent of Sunday-school Work, for returning the largest number of signed autograph pledge cards for the World's Fair, and the other from Mrs. Mary H. Hunt, national superintendent of the Department of Scientific Temperance Instruction, for having the largest number of local superintendents of this department of any State in the Union.
In 1889 Mrs. Ella C. Viele, publisher of our state paper, _Woman's Temperance Work_, presented a banner to the county having the largest subscription list from January to September. Dutchess county captured the prize, holding it until 1892, when Steuben received it; but in 1893 Dutchess county came to the front and again claimed it for its own.
PRESIDENT'S PRIZE BANNERS.
Through the generosity of our president, the state has five banners which are awarded each year to the counties showing the greatest increase in membership. The state is divided into four tiers--northern, southern, eastern, and western--and a banner goes to the county in each division which has rolled up the greatest increase. The fifth banner is for the Y's, and is awarded to the county which has gained most in Y.
membership, regardless of location.
The Loyal Temperance Legion also has a beautiful banner, which was first presented in 1891 to Suffolk county for having gained most in the number of Loyal Temperance Legions during the year.
These banners are each held for one year, being then brought to the annual meeting and "passed along" or held over again, as the case may be.
In 1885 our state was represented at the World's Exposition at New Orleans by a beautiful banner, and that we were worthily represented is shown by the fact that to this banner was awarded the first honorable mention.
The exhibit sent by our state to the Columbian Exposition, and which was placed in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union exhibit, was a beautiful banner, five feet wide by seven feet in length, of dark blue silk, telling in large gilt letters the name of our organization, with legend of our membership, W. and Y., and honorary members; also the number of members of the Loyal Temperance Legion, the location of headquarters, and name of state paper. It also gave the laws which have been secured through the state's instrumentality. A sketch of the state work was also prepared for the historical work published by the Chicago World Book Company, and for the encyclopaedia published by the Board of Lady Managers of the World's Columbian Commission.
In 1883 our state for the first time held summer meetings--one at Thousand Island Park and one at Round Lake, both being well attended.
In April, 1884, a conference under state auspices was held in the Broadway Tabernacle, New York City. At this meeting Hannah Whithall Smith gave a Bible reading in the afternoon, and Frances E. Willard an address in the evening, to large audiences. In July of this same year a grove meeting was held at Round Lake, and in August the state, with Wyoming county, occupied a day at Silver Lake.
On August 9 and 10 in 1887 a meeting was held at Sacandaga Park, in Fulton county.
In May, 1889, the state held a conference of two days in the lecture hall of the Young Men's Christian Association building, New York City, and a school of methods held at Griffin Institute, Round Lake, August 7 to 9, was a success in every way. In July a two-days' conference was held at Prohibition Park, Staten Island.
In July of 1890 a three-days' meeting was held at Round Lake, and in the summer of 1891 a meeting was again held at Prohibition Park--these meetings all being under state auspices.
In the fall of 1888 the state had the honor of entertaining the national convention, although most of the responsibility, financial and otherwise, rested upon New York City and the neighboring counties. Right royally was this convention entertained. The Metropolitan Opera House was secured for the meetings at a cost of $2,500 for the five days.
Nearly $900 was paid to the caterer, and $200 more for the privilege of serving lunch, beside incidental expenses. Mrs. Burt and her corps of assistants did heroic work in the planning and carrying forward to a successful finish the arrangements for the entertainment of this great gathering.
This chapter would hardly be complete if we failed to mention the beautiful welcome which our state extended to our national president, Frances E. Willard, on her return from England after an absence of nearly two years. This meeting was held in Calvary Baptist Church, on West Fifty-seventh street, New York City, and when we say that the arrangements were all in the hands of Mrs. Mary T. Burt and Mrs. Frances J. Barnes, that is sufficient guarantee that they were perfect. Mrs.
Burt presided over the meeting. Mrs. Boole and Mrs. Tenney of the state officers were present, beside many from other states. The "Greeting" was beautifully illuminated and engrossed upon parchment, and framed in white and gold. In the upper left-hand corner, delicately done in water colors, was the graceful figure of a woman twining the white ribbon around the world. Greetings came from all directions--by word, by letter, and by telegram--and everything conspired to make this one of the most delightful gatherings ever held under state auspices.
In 1893 the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of the State of New York received a legacy of $2,000 from Mrs. Helen S. Houghtaling, of New York City, who, although not a member of our organization, became interested in our work through her niece, Miss Evelena Brandow, president of Greene County Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and through reading our state paper, she being a regular subscriber to the same.