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About Eliza Jane Thompson (Trimble)
A lecture by Diocletian Lewis in 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 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.
"Mother Thompson" and others claimed often dramatic conversions by saloon keepers. In other cases, the retailers simply gave up after being picked 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 it origins to the Women’s Crusade against alcohol.