Frances E. Willard
Do Everything:
A Handbook for the World's White Ribboners


Excerpts from the Original Electronic Text at Harvard University Library's Open Collections Program.

This pamphlet describing the work of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) sold for twenty-five cents in the United States, or a shilling in England and Europe. The White Ribbon was the WCTU badge, chosen to symbolize purity.
NB. Paragraph numbers apply to this excerpt, not the original source.

{1}The general spirit of the Organization on behalf of which this Book has been prepared is shown in the following Resolution, adopted by the National Women's Christian Temperance Union, at its first meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, November 1874:

"Resolved: That, recognizing the fact that our cause is, and will be, combatted by mighty, determined, and relentless forces, we will, trusting in Him who is the Prince of Peace, meet argument with argument, misjudgment with patience, denunciation with kindness, and all our difficulties and dangers with prayer."

{2}PLEDGE: "I hereby solemnly promise God helping me, to abstain from all alcoholic liquors as beverages, whether distilled, fermented or malted ; from opium in all its forms ; and to employ all proper means to discourage the use of and traffic in the same."

{3}BADGE: The White Ribbon

{4}When we began the delicate, difficult, and dangerous operation of dissecting out the alcohol nerve from the body politic, we did not realize the intricacy of the undertaking nor distances that must be traversed by the scalpel of investigation and research. . . . The "Do Everything Policy" was not of our choosing, but is an evolution, as inevitable as any traced by the naturalist, or described by the historian. Woman's genius for details, and her patient steadfastness in following the enemies of those she loves "through every lane of life," have led her to antagonize the alcohol habit, and the liquor traffic, just where they are, wherever that may be. If she does this, since they are everywhere, her policy will be, "Do Everything."

{5}. . . An all-round movement can only be carried forward by all-round advocates; a scientific age requires the study of every subject in its correlations. It was once supposed that light, heat, and electricity were wholly separate entities; it is now believed, and practically proved, that they are but different modes of motion. Standing in the valley, we look up and think we see an isolated mountain; climbing to its top, we see that it is but one member of a range of mountains, many of them of well-nigh equal altitude. . . .

{6}Let us not be disconcerted, but stand bravely by that blessed trinity of movements, Prohibition, Woman's Liberation, and Labour's uplift.

{7}Everything is not in the Temperance Reform, but the Temperance Reform should be in everything.

{8}"Organized Mother Love," is the best definition of the White Ribbon Movement, and it can have no better motto than: Make a chain, for the land is full of bloody crimes and the city of violence."

{9}If we can remember this simple rule, it will do much to unravel the mystery of the much controverted "Do Everything Policy," viz: that every question of practical philanthropy or reform has its temperance aspect, and with that we are to deal.

The Summing-Up of the Whole Matter

{10}. . . Our WCTU is a school, not founded in that thought, or for that purpose, but sure to fit us for the duties of patriots in the realm that lies beyond the horizon of the coming century.

{11}Here we try our wings that yonder our flight may be strong and steady Here we prove our capacity for great deeds; there we shall perform them. Here we make our experience and pass our novitiate that yonder we may calmly take our places and prove to the world that what it needed most was two heads in counsel as well as "two beside the hearth." When that day comes, the nation shall no longer miss as now the influence of half its wisdom, more than half its purity and nearly all its gentleness, in courts of justice and halls of legislation. Then shall one code of morals -- and that the highest -- govern both men and women; then shall the Sabbath be respected, the rights of the poor be recognized, the liquor traffic banished, and the home protected from all its foes.

{12}When I consider the work already accomplished by the Worlds White Ribbon, the sacred meaning of our Society is a thought well nigh overwhelming. Your kind hands. . . have given out total abstinence pledges to a million tempted men ; they have pinned the ribbon white as the talisman of purity above the hearts of ten thousand tempted prodigals. . . . These hands have carried petitions for the protection of the home, for the preservation of the Sabbath, [and] for the purification of the law. . . . They have gathered not fewer than twenty million names to these petitions.

{13}If White Ribbon Women had their way (and they intend to have it), the taint of alcohol and nicotine would not be on any lip, or in any atmosphere of city, town or village on this globe. If they had their way (and they intend to have it), no gambler could with impunity pursue his vile vocation. If they could have their way, the haunts of shame that are the zero mark of degradation would be crusaded out of existence before sundown, and the industrial status of woman would be so independent that these recruiting officers of perdition would seek in vain for victims.

{14}God has given the mother-heart for purposes of wider blessing to humanity than it has dreamed as yet. Let us go gently forward until that loving, faithful heart shall be enthroned in the places of power; until the queens of home are queens indeed.

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