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Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR), Connecticut Division Financial Records

 Collection
Call Number: LWL MSS 24

Scope and Contents

The Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR), Connecticut Division Financial Records hold correspondence, donation records and acknowledgements, invoices, receipts, account books, bank records, financial reports, and other documents related to the organization's activities in the state of Connecticut.

In her capacity as treasurer of the Connecticut Division of WONPR, Annie Burr Lewis was responsible for forwarding to the national office in New York all income collected statewide. In addition, she paid the bills for setting up and running the administrative office at 1109 Chapel Street, New Haven, and for events taking place around the state. The series holds invoices and receipts covering expenses for printing posters, handbills, and window cards, renting chairs and banners for meetings, and cash for paying the “sandwich men” hired to carry pro-repeal signs at rallies and election polls. Another income stream resulted from the sale of WONPR-branded merchandise—such as cigarette boxes and matchbox cases, scarves and ties, stickers, pins, playing cards, and thimbles—which the Connecticut division produced itself or purchased from the national office, and sold to members or at rallies; examples of WONPR smoking accessories are in the Lewises’ household objects collection.

Although the collection does not contain corporate minutes or program-related internal memoranda and correspondence, the division’s financial records do provide granular documentation of the workings of a state chapter of WONPR under the direction of president Margaret Bush Clement (1899-1993) of New Haven. The records range from receipts from the maintenance of typewriters in the New Haven office, to tabulations of individual members’ contributions, to files of attendance forms generated by the series of “chain lunches” the women held in their homes throughout the state to raise interest in, and money for, WONPR. Other financial records include ledgers, reports, and bank statements, as well as a binder holding bookkeeping course lessons, which Annie Lewis likely used to train herself to keep the books. Also present are four folders of correspondence, documents, and ephemera related to the work of the Connecticut division of The Crusaders, Inc., a men's anti-prohibition organization. Hartford resident Philip Hewes (1902-1998), treasurer of the Connecticut Crusaders, gave the material to Wilmarth Lewis in April 1976. With his gift Hewes included a printed silk "Repeal" necktie he had purchased from WONPR in the early 1930s, an example of the merchandise documented in Series II above.

Dates

  • 1930 - 1934

Creator

Language of Materials

In English.

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR), Connecticut Division Financial Records is the physical property of the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the W. S. Lewis Librarian/Executive Director.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequest of Wilmarth Sheldon Lewis (Yale 1918), 1979.

Arrangement

Organized into four series: I. Correspondence and Administrative Records, 1930-1933. II. Invoices and Receipts, 1930-1933. III. Accounts and Financial Reports, 1930-1934. IV. The Crusaders, Inc., 1930-1932.

Extent

9.4 Linear Feet (12 boxes + 2 broadsides)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/lwl.mss.024

Overview

The Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR), Connecticut Division Financial Records hold correspondence, donation records and acknowledgements, invoices, receipts, account books, bank records, financial reports, and other documents related to the organization's activities in the state of Connecticut. Although the records do not contain corporate minutes or program-related internal memoranda and correspondence, the division's financial records do provide granular documentation of the workings of the Connecticut chapter.

Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR)

The Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR), founded in 1929 by Pauline Morton Sabin, had as its goal the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which established the prohibition of alcoholic beverages by declaring as illegal the production, transport, and sale of alcohol. Formed partly in response to the political corruption and flourishing organized crime connected to Prohibition, and to the hypocrisy of politicians who publicly supported Prohibition but enjoyed alcohol in private, the non-partisan volunteer association claimed 300,000 members by spring 1931 and more than 1,000,000 when the amendment was repealed in December 1933. The organization was self-supporting through dues, contributions, and fund-raising events. Their repeal message was also spread by the WONPR speakers’ bureaus which sent members out to address audiences in women’s social clubs, professional and union meetings, public rallies, and other venues.

Annie Burr Auchincloss Lewis (1902-1959)

Annie Burr Auchincloss Lewis was born in Newport, Rhode Island, on July 22, 1902, the daughter of Emma Jennings Auchincloss and Hugh Dudley Auchincloss. She attended Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut, and married Wilmarth Sheldon Lewis in New York in 1928; the couple settled in Farmington where Annie Lewis became involved in many charitable and philanthropic activities. Among the groups with which she worked was the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform, where she served as treasurer for Connecticut. Annie Burr Lewis died in Hartford, Connecticut, on May 9, 1959.
Title
Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR), Connecticut Division Financial Records
Status
Completed
Author
by Sandra Markham
Date
2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the The Lewis Walpole Library Repository

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