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A lecture by Diocletian Lewis on December 23, 1873 inspired Eliza Thompson (Eliza Jane Trimble Thompson; 1816-1905), daughter of Governor Allen Trimble, to begin leading groups of women into saloons where they sang hymns and prayed for the closure of the establishments. These direct, non-violent “Visitation Bands” were successful and quickly spread first across the state of Ohio and then to a total of 22 other states from New York to California. Dr. Lewis, a minister who had a drunken father which contributed to his desire for temperance and abstinence, believed that women needed to be educated on the social evils of alcohol.

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  • Eliza Thompson
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  • A lecture by Diocletian Lewis on December 23, 1873 inspired Eliza Thompson (Eliza Jane Trimble Thompson; 1816-1905), daughter of Governor Allen Trimble, to begin leading groups of women into saloons where they sang hymns and prayed for the closure of the establishments. These direct, non-violent “Visitation Bands” were successful and quickly spread first across the state of Ohio and then to a total of 22 other states from New York to California. Dr. Lewis, a minister who had a drunken father which contributed to his desire for temperance and abstinence, believed that women needed to be educated on the social evils of alcohol.
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  • Eliza Jane Thompson
  • Eliza Thompson
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  • External Image
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  • American temperance activist
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  • Eliza
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  • female
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  • Thompson
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  • A lecture by Diocletian Lewis on December 23, 1873 inspired Eliza Thompson (Eliza Jane Trimble Thompson; 1816-1905), daughter of Governor Allen Trimble, to begin leading groups of women into saloons where they sang hymns and prayed for the closure of the establishments. These direct, non-violent “Visitation Bands” were successful and quickly spread first across the state of Ohio and then to a total of 22 other states from New York to California. Dr. Lewis, a minister who had a drunken father which contributed to his desire for temperance and abstinence, believed that women needed to be educated on the social evils of alcohol. "Mother Thompson" and others claimed often dramatic conversions by saloon keepers. In other cases, the retailers simply gave up after being picked on for weeks by the Visitation Bands. Within several years the movement subsided. However, it was successful in stimulating the temperance movement, which had declined with the outbreak of the Civil War (1861-1865). The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) traces its origins to the Women’s Crusade against alcohol. * Headstone of Eliza Jane Thompson and her husband James Henry Thompson at Hillsboro Cemetery in Hillsboro, Ohio. * Gravemarker of Eliza Thompson. * Gravemarker of James Henry Thompson.
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  • Eliza Jane Trimble
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