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COLLECTION Identifier: A-19

Papers of Catharine Deveney Dunham, 1887-1919


Speeches by Catharine Deveney Dunham, a delegate-at-large of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.


  • 1887-1919


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Catharine Deveney Dunham as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


.42 linear feet (1 file box)

The papers of Catharine Deveney Dunham contain her speeches, prepared for delivery before local women's and teachers' groups and at meetings of the Michigan Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Jackson and Concord, Michigan, 1887-1917. Also included are Dunham's notes on such matters as municipal inspection and sanitation and on the legal rights of mothers. Some speeches (for example, "The Temperance Wave" in #9) trace the rise of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and refer to its second president, Frances Willard. Others (see #4 and #21) refer to the National Department of Scientific Temperance Instruction in Public Schools and to its leader, Mary Hunt. "What Can Women Do in the Present Crisis" (see #12) contains a poem attributed to Clara Barton. Also included is a letter from Zona Gale.

Approximately half the handwritten speeches are accompanied by typescript copies, some prepared at the time of delivery, the remainder supplied by the donor of the collection. Each folder contains a speech unless otherwise noted.


Catharine Deveney Dunham was a delegate-at-large of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, an organization founded in 1874 to promote temperance. She was married to William Dunham, who was general agent for Union Central Life Insurance Company and, beginning in about 1913, was employed by the Detroit Life Insurance Company in Detroit, Michigan.

Dunham spoke at numerous gatherings of women's and other clubs in Michigan. She wrote her own speeches on topics assigned to her by the leadership of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. These speeches were intended to rally support for such traditional Woman's Christian Temperance Union causes as Prohibition, abstinence from tobacco and narcotics, purity of sexual conduct among both men and women, and, in later years, woman's suffrage. In addition, Dunham argued for reforms in the legal system that would give married women a larger share of property and child custody rights, recognize women's unpaid domestic labor, and emancipate blacks. After the outbreak of World War I, she spoke in favor of United States involvement and supported national preparedness drives.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 51-59, 85-M112

The papers of Catharine Deveney Dunham were given to the Schlesinger Library by her granddaughter, Evelyn M. Murray, in July 1951 and June 1985.

Processing Information

Processed: June 1983

By: Krystyna von Henneberg

Dunham, Catharine Deveney. Papers of Catharine Deveney Dunham, 1887-1919: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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