Woman's club movement
The woman's club movement was a social movement that took place throughout the United States. While women's organizations had always been a part of United States history, it wasn't until the Progressive era that it came to be considered a "movement." The first wave of the club movement during the Progressive era was started by white, middle-class women and a second phase by African-American women.
These clubs, most of which had started out as social and literary gatherings, eventually became a source of reform for various issues in the U.S. Both African-American and white women's clubs were involved with issues surrounding education, child labor, juvenile justice, legal reform, environmental protection, library creation and more. Women's clubs helped start many initiatives such as kindergartens and juvenile court systems. Later, women's clubs tackled issues like women's suffrage, lynching and family planning. The clubs allowed women, who had little political clout at the time, to gain greater influence in their communities. As women gained more rights, the need for clubs to exercise political and social influence became less important. Over time, participation in women's clubs has waned in the United States. However, many clubs still continue to operate and influence their communities.
- 1 About
- 2 History
- 3 Impact
- 4 Notable clubs
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
The woman's club movement became part of Progressive era social reform, which was reflected by many of the reforms and issues addressed by club members. Many women's clubs focused on the welfare of their community because of their shared experiences in tending to the well-being of home-life, according to Maureen A. Flanagan. Tending to the community was often called "municipal housekeeping" during the Progressive Era and reflected a shared belief by many club members that home and city life were linked through city hall. By constructing the idea of municipal housekeeping, women were also able to justify their involvement in government. Later, in 1921, Alice Ames Winter describes how women had begun to see "their homes as the units out of which society was built", and that home life and public life were linked. Women's clubs "established the idea that women had a moral duty and responsibility to transform, define and shape public policy". Women's clubs were also "training schools" for women who wanted to get involved in the public sphere. They helped women attain both social and political power.
Many women's clubs increased their memberships by having other members sponsor or nominate new members to the group. Clubs often organized themselves by committee, or division. Many women's clubs created and occupied their own clubhouses. Today these clubhouses have continued to be the site of women's meetings and other gatherings. Some women's clubs created and continue to publish their own journals and newsletters.
Prior to the founding of the first Progressive era women's clubs, Sorosis and the New England Women's Club, most organizations for women were auxiliaries of groups for men or were church-related. Jane Cunningham Croly of the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) wrote in 1898 that women were first able to reach out of their homes through religious institutions.
By becoming involved in church or charitable groups, women were able to find companionship and a way to facilitate change in their communities. It was also one of the few ways that women were initially allowed to contribute outside of the home. Some of the earliest women-led organizations were started as religious groups in the early part of the nineteenth century. White women were involved in church charity groups as early as the 1790s.
Later, women also started to become involved in antislavery groups, temperance groups and women's suffrage organizations starting in the 1840s. African-American women helped organize many anti-slavery groups, the earliest founded in 1832, and white women followed black women's lead in creating abolition groups.
As women began to have more leisure time, they started woman's clubs. Initially, most women's clubs focused on literary endeavors, self-improvement and created social opportunities for white middle-class women. These clubs allowed women to share ideas and helped them realize that their thoughts were important, and that together they could act on them. Literary women's clubs in pioneer areas gave women an outlet to explore reading and make friends. Many women’s clubs maintained book collections for use by club members. Instead of forming a literary club, women in Galveston created a scientific club, which also focused on learning.
Croly notes that women's clubs were not created to copy men's groups; instead, they were often created to give women a space to share ideas as equals; these ideas often developed into practical action. As Mary I. Wood and Percy V. Pennybacker described it: "Very early the club women became unwilling to discuss Dante and Browning over the teacups, at meetings of their peers in some lady's drawing room, while unsightly heaps of rubbish flanked the paths over which they had passed in their journeys thither." Women justified their movement into social reform by using the Victorian idea that women were naturally morally superior to men. As clubs moved from self-improvement to community improvement, women's clubs in the Western U.S. lagged somewhat behind clubs formed in more developed parts of the country. Woman's clubs in the late 1800s described themselves as attempting to "exert a refining and ennobling influence" on their communities. They also saw woman's clubs as an intellectual and practical good which would create better women and a better country.
Sorosis and the GFWC saw large increases in membership in 1889 and 1890. The GFWC grew to around a million women by 1910, and to a million and a half by 1914. The creation of an umbrella organization for the many women's clubs allowed them to work together in a more coordinated fashion. However, the GFWC excluded African-American clubs from their membership, and many white clubs during the late 1800s excluded black women as well as Jewish women from membership. White women's clubs ignored racial inequalities because of the controversy surrounding the issue, and if they did address racial inequalities, they did so "tactfully in order to gain members and support". Some white women's clubs were frankly unconcerned with issues relating to African Americans because they "supported the racist ideology and practices of their era".
Women's clubs were very active in women's suffrage (see below) and helped support the war effort during World War I. Women in clubs raised money, worked with the Red Cross, financed the Home Guard and set up communications within the community to share information quickly. Woman's clubs also knitted socks, rolled bandages for soldiers and sold war bonds. In Texas, the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs (TFWC) helped create recreational canteens for soldiers. During the 1930s, women's clubs hosted programs in concert with the Works Progress Administration. When World War II broke out, women's clubs were involved in volunteering. In the 1960s, during the civil rights movement, women's clubs again grew in size.
African-American club movement
Even before African Americans were freed from slavery, black women had started to come together to create organizations which looked after their community's welfare. Black women were very quick to "organize themselves for self-help". One of the first African-American women's club was the Female Benevolent Society of St. Thomas, in Philadelphia, which was started in 1793. At the time, Philadelphia had numerous black organizations. After the African Benevolent Society in Newport, Rhode Island would not allow women to be officers or vote, women created their own group. Another group, the Colored Female Religious and Moral Society in Salem, Massachusetts was created in 1818. Black women's clubs helped raise money for the anti-slavery newspaper The North Star. Many black churches owed their existence to the dedicated work of African-American women organizing in their communities. Black women's literary clubs began to show up as early as 1831, with the Female Literary Society of Philadelphia.
After slavery was ended in the United States with the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865, black women continued to organize and often worked with churches to ensure their communities were taken care of. Many of these organizations were "so resilient that they were able to survive the twin disasters of bank failure and yellow fever". In 1868, black women's clubs were formed in Harris County, Texas. Between 1880 and 1920, black women in Indianapolis, Indiana had created more than 500 clubs addressing various issues.
During the Progressive era, many black women migrated to the Northern United States and into more urban areas. The club movement for black women in the 1890s began to focus on "social and political reform" and were more secular. Black women had to face the same issues as white women during this period, but were often excluded from services and help that benefited whites only. Black women were not only excluded from white clubs, but also were often excluded from clubs created by black men. In addition, many black women felt as though they were defying stereotypes for their community. Woman's clubs allowed black women to combat the period's stereotypes which "portrayed African American women as devoid of morality, sexually wanton and incapable of upholding marital and family responsibilities". Being a member of a woman's club also helped give black women greater social standing in their communities.
Black colleges helped the creation of African-American women's clubs. Ida B. Wells was an important figure in the growth of these clubs during the Progressive Era. Several clubs, named after her, were created in large cities across the country. Other influential woman's club organizers were Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin and Mary Church Terrell. In 1896, the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) was founded. The NACW grew out of anti-lynching campaigns spearheaded by Wells. Well's anti-lynching campaign provoked the president of the Missouri Press Association who viciously attacked black women in a letter that was widely circulated among women's clubs by Ruffin. Ruffin eventually helped bring together the NACW, using the letter as a "call to action".
Both black and white women were involved in creating the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909 and were often involved in much of the organization's local work. By 1900, almost every black community had a women's club. By 1910, in proportion to population size, African-American women's clubs outpaced white women's clubs in the number of clubs created. By 1914, the NACW had fifty-thousand members and over a thousand clubs participating in the umbrella organization. Black women wanted to be visible and NACW helped them organize to improve conditions in their communities. There were also many African-American versions of the WCTU and the YWCA.
The NACW raised more than $5 million in war bonds during World War I. The Woman's Club of Norfolk wrote letters and sent care packages to the segregated black units sent to fight overseas. During the Great Depression, black women's clubs began to move towards "structural change and electoral politics". The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) became a dominant group in the women's club movement in African-American circles. After World War II, working class and poor black women took the place of upper-class black women in organizing communities.
Decline of woman's clubs
African-American women's clubs began to decline in the 1920s. By the 1960s, interest and membership in white women's clubs started to decline. As women had more opportunities to socialize, many clubs found their members were aging and were unable to recruit newer members.
Woman's clubs began to turn over their work to city entities and became less influential. In addition, more women began to enter the workforce during the 1960s and had less spare time to devote to club work.
Many women today are working long hours or spending time with their children's extracurricular activities. By 2010, the number of women's clubs had significantly decreased across the country. This reflects a trend in all club memberships in the United States: most clubs are losing members because there is a lack of leisure time for younger people.
Woman's clubs today
Some clubs are still active. The Houston Heights Woman's Club has found ways to reach out to younger residents in the community as recently as 2007 with the creation of an evening group. Some clubs have had success with creating programs that are meant to be attractive to younger women. Shrilee Haizlip, president of the Ebell Club in Los Angeles, emphasizes what makes women's clubs unique: "It is a wondrous thing to be constantly surrounded by three generations of women."
Women's clubs continue their original missions of concern for the welfare of their communities. The GFWC gives out the Croly Award for excellence in journalism on topics relating to women. The GFWC also provides scholarships for women, especially those who have survived domestic violence. The NACWC continues to be one of the top ten non-profit organizations in the United States. It has adopted modern issues to tackle, such as fighting AIDS and violence against women. Many of today's women's clubs also provide cultural opportunities for their communities. Other groups continue to support their original missions, such as the Alpha Home, which provides care for elderly black people. Women's clubs that exist today were adaptable in response to societal changes over time.
Women's clubs, especially during the Progressive era, helped shape their communities and the country. Many progressive ideals were pressed into action through the resources of women's clubs, including kindergartens, juvenile courts, and park conservation. Women's clubs, many with their literary backgrounds, helped promote and raise money for schools, universities and libraries. Women's clubs were often at the forefront of various civil rights issues, denouncing lynching, promoting women's rights and voting rights.
Women's clubs helped promote civil rights, as well as improving conditions for black women in the country. A woman's club in California, the Fannie Jackson Coppin Club, was created by African Americans to "provide hospitality and housing services to African-American visitors who were not welcomed in the segregated hotels and other businesses" in the state. Some white woman's clubs promoted desegregation early on, though these efforts were small in scope. The Chicago Woman's Club admitted a black member, Fannie Barrier Williams, only after a long approval process, which included the club deciding not to exclude anyone based on race. Few clubs worked together across racial boundaries, although the YWCA and the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching (ASWPL) did sometimes welcome bi-racial collaboration.
The Woman's Missionary Council for the southern Methodist church spoke out against lynching. Women's clubs, like the Texas Association of Women's Clubs also denounced lynching. The purpose of the ASWPL was to end lynching in the United States.
Women's groups, like the NACWC, began to support desegregation in the 1950s. The Montana Federation of Colored Women's Clubs led campaigns for civil rights between 1949 and 1955. They also helped draft anti-segregation legislation. The initial organizer of the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 was the Woman's Political Council of Montgomery.
Women's clubs were noted for promoting educational efforts around the country by their contemporaries. Putting women onto school boards was part of many women's club agendas in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Women's groups also influenced discussions about classroom size; the Chicago Woman's City Club asking that there be no more than thirty children per class. Chicago clubs also helped sponsor school lunches for students. Clubwomen have also protested cuts in teacher's salaries. Black women's clubs worked to create educational opportunities for their communities when these areas were ignored by white people.
Kindergartens and nursery schools in the United States were the creation of women's clubs. The first nursery school in the United States was created through women's clubs and club members in Chicago. The Woman's Club of El Paso started the first kindergarten in the state of Texas in 1893. Women's clubs were often involved with creating schools for delinquent boys and girls. The Texas Association of Women's Clubs (TAWC) worked for several decades to create what would later become the Crockett State School which was originally meant to help "delinquent" black girls.
Women's clubs were involved in vocational training and pushing for additional educational options for all young people. The Woman's City Club worked with the Chicago Woman's Club and the Association of Collegiate Alumnae to create a Bureau of Vocational Supervision which could take a "personal interest in schoolchildren, working directly to place them in appropriate jobs when they left school". The Bureau also created scholarships for needy students. The Chicago Woman's Club raised $40,000 to create an industrial school for boys in Glenwood, Illinois. Hester C. Jeffrey established woman's clubs which helped raise the funds for young black women to take classes at what would later become the Rochester Institute of Technology. Clubs, like the Chicago Woman's Club, taught the blind and provided job skills.
Many women's clubs believed that compulsory education for young people would help solve many child labor issues. In Chicago, the Woman's City Club worked with other clubs in order to help students stay in school past age 14. The Illinois Collegiate Alumnae association helped the government draw up a law in 1897 to ensure that children between the ages of seven and fourteen were in school for sixteen weeks of the year.
Women's clubs helped support and influence the creation of higher education. The Texas Federation of Women's Clubs "was a significant force behind the establishment of Texas Woman's University." Women's clubs helped raise money for new college buildings. Other clubs created scholarship funds for their communities. These organizations also helped produce research showing that higher education benefited women. Women's clubs today continue to sponsor scholarships for higher education.
Art and music
Women's club activities were seen by contemporaries as helping to spread art appreciation across the country. Clubwomen would often donate art to schools. Other clubs created traveling art collections and art libraries for communities. Clubs also hosted arts exhibits. The FFWC promoted Old Folks at Home by Stephen Foster as the state song.
African-American women promoted the arts, focusing on "celebrating African American traditions and culture." These included African-American music, theater and dance. Clubwomen saw themselves as carrying on both art and tradition of their lives in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The Chicago and Northern District Association of Colored Women's Clubs (CNDA) hosted well-known singers such as Etta Moten. CNDA also hosted an exhibit of African art, literature, and music called "The Negro in Art Week" in 1927.
Environment and conservation
Women's clubs were involved in protecting natural resources. Many women's clubs started out by beautifying their cities and states. Clubs would sponsor and maintain playgrounds, and dedicate and maintain cemeteries. Later, clubs, like a Michigan women's club, would work to reforest parts of the state. In Idaho, women's clubs helped prevent logging in national forests. GFWC had been active since 1890 in areas related to forestry and had a forestry committee. This committee also disseminated information about conservation to the 800,000 members of the group. The GFWC later sponsored "a natural scenic area survey" of the United States in 1915 in order to discover areas that needed conservation. As women saw environmentally fragile areas start to be developed, many objected. Women worked within existing clubs, and also formed new conservation-based clubs, to protect the environment.
Women's clubs helped in the creation of the Mesa Verde National Park. Under the direction of Virginia McClurg, women's organizations in Colorado supported the creation of the park. The Colorado Federation of Women's Clubs (CFWC) helped McClurg, and created a committee that would eventually become the Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association. In California, women's clubs helped preserve Sequoia trees and protested against "the environmentally destructive Hetch Hetchy Dam". The Florida Federation of Women's Clubs "created the nucleus of Everglades National Park". Idaho women's clubs also helped establish some of the first national parks; and in Utah, women's clubs "were instrumental in preserving Monument Valley". Pennsylvanian women's clubs successfully lobbied for the creation of the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry. In 1916, the GFWC supported the creation of the National Park Service.
In the 1930s, clubwomen involved in the PEO Sisterhood, protected the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado. In New Mexico, the Valley of Fires Recreation Area was created through the work of the Carrizozo Woman's Club.
The Woman's City Club and the City Club of Chicago both worked on issues relating to waste disposal. The Woman's City Club was, in contrast, more interested in the health and safety of the city as opposed to the men's group who were more interested in making money from sanitation. The Carrizozo Woman's Club of New Mexico helped bring sanitation to their city.
Women's club members were involved in hospital reform and the creation of hospitals. In Seattle, Anna Herr Clise created what later became the Seattle Children's Hospital. Other clubs helped set up health centers and clinics.
Women's clubs were involved with improving food and drug safety. Women in the Pure Food Committee of the GFWC were involved with pressuring a Federal bill known as the Pure Food Bill. In Indiana, clubwomen "secured a state laboratory of hygiene under the control of the board of health, charged with the duty of examining food and drugs and aiding in the enforcement of health laws". Other clubs, like the Plymouth Woman's Club, undertook restaurant inspections on their own when there were no laws in place to regulate sanitary conditions. Women were also involved in promoting clean and safe drinking water in their communities.
Many women's clubs were involved in the birth control movement and promoted sex education. Women's clubs promoted talks from experts on birth control. The Chicago Women's Club helped organize the Illinois Birth Control League, which later set up clinics around Chicago. In Reading, Pennsylvania in 1937, Margaret Sanger was a sponsored speaker on a radio program sponsored by the Woman's Club.
The GFWC developed a national agenda for libraries across the country. Clubwomen believed that having access to books made people's lives better. Women’s clubs helped establish many public libraries by contributing their book collections, raising money for building construction through a variety of activities for years, acting as librarians, cataloguing early collections, enlisting male leaders for public funding, and other management activities. After the public libraries were established, women’s clubs lobbied on behalf of the public libraries in state legislatures and also for funding from the Carnegie Library Endowment. According to the American Library Association (ALA) and GFWC, women’s clubs are estimated to have started between 75 and 80 percent of the public libraries in the United States. In New York, Melvil Dewey found clubwomen in his state to "be staunch allies".
Often, women's clubs had created their own private libraries, and from this experience wished to create community libraries for everyone to use. Many women's clubs made the creation of public libraries an important part of their mission. The Woman's Club of Bala Cynwyd was formed with the main initial purpose of creating of a public library in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. In Colorado, women's clubs established "traveling libraries" in conjunction with the state government. They were well-received and very popular in the early 1900s around the country. In Georgia, clubwomen used their traveling libraries to help combat illiteracy in both the white and black communities. In South Carolina, the traveling libraries belonged to woman's clubs, but were available to the public.
Cherokee County, Texas saw the creation of its first public library with the founding of the Bachelor Girl's Literary Club. The El Paso Public Library was created largely by members of the El Paso Woman's Club. In Texas, the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs (TFWC) helped influence the creation of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Texas Historical Commission. Around seventy percent of all libraries in Texas were brought into existence because of TFWC. Clubwomen in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, helped secure taxes to support their public library. Other clubs, like those in Kentucky and Tennessee, taxed club memberships to support their libraries. When libraries were threatened with elimination, clubs like the Woman's Club of Norfolk protested.
Women's clubs were involved in tracking and investigating child labor and working conditions of all workers in the United States in the late nineteenth century. Clubwomen worked to reduce the number of hours children were allowed to work in the state of Indiana.
Some women's clubs became active in labor strikes. The Woman's City Club of Chicago became involved in strike resolution. The Woman's City Club also demanded that picketers be protected by policewomen. The Woman's Club of Chicago helped form the Illinois Woman's Alliance (IWA) in order to "prevent the exploitation of women in sweatshops". Women-led organizations, like the National Consumers League (NCL), developed a "white label" for stores that met the organization's standards for minimum wages and decent working hours.
Women's clubs helped establish juvenile courts. The first juvenile court was established in Chicago in 1899 through the urging of the Chicago Woman's Club whose members felt that children should not be treated as adults by the court. Clubwomen from the Chicago Woman's Club went to court with many of the children in order to ensure they were being treated fairly. The Chicago Woman's Club also established a Protective Agency for Women and Children in 1886.
Juvenile law in Chicago also recognized children who were without legal guardians and who should be dependent on the state. By 1906, there were juvenile courts in twenty-five states. These courts were praised by contemporaries, like Mrs. John Dickinson Sherman, who wrote in 1906 of the establishment of the juvenile courts, "If the whole club movement of the six states in the last ten years had accomplished nothing else it would still be well worth while." Woman's clubs helped pass Juvenile court laws in Ohio, Missouri, and in Los Angeles.
Women's clubs helped work towards marriage reforms which would benefit women. An act passed on March 2, 1907, called the Expatriation Act, required that when a woman married, she took on the citizenship of her husband. For women to attain a civic or legal identity, such as the right to vote, they needed to have independence from their husbands' ctizenship. Marriage laws in 1921 still had separate standards for married women's citizenship status depending on her state of residence. Finally, in 1922, the United States Congress passed the Married Women's Act, granting married women their own nationality in the United States. In 1936, Congress created a provision for women who had lost their citizenship due to marriage, and were no longer married, to re-swear allegiance to the United States.
Women's clubs also looked at issues of consent. The Chicago Woman's Club, which created the Protective Agency for Women and Children, presented bills to the legislature which later passed. One raised the age of consent from fourteen to eighteen. Women's clubs helped assert the right of women to refuse to have sex with their husbands if they chose.
The Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) of Washington state was involved in urging the city of Spokane to hire a female jail matron for women prisoners in 1902. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn helped expose sexual abuse of women prisoners in the jails during the Free Speech Movement of 1909, and helped to push the city to finally install a female jail matron in Spokane. The Chicago Woman's Club advocated for a female jail matron in 1884. In Los Angeles, clubwomen were able to influence the city to appoint female police officers.
Women's clubs were also interested in reforming fashion. Some reform centered around corsets and how tight clothing was starting to be considered unhealthy. Women's clubs also spoke out against the use of bird feathers in women's fashion.
Besides reform, women's clubs also used fashion as a way to showcase creative arts. Fashion shows put on by the CNDA in the 1930s and 1940s featured recitals of music and dance, which were held at the Savoy Ballroom.
Women's clubs became very active in women's suffrage. Before women had the right to vote, women's clubs needed to partner with sympathetic organizations run by men. The focus on women's suffrage began during the last half of the nineteenth century. In 1868, Kate Newell Doggett, a botanist, helped set up a chapter of Sorosis, which became the first women's group in Chicago to focus on suffrage. Later, the Chicago Women's Club would help promote suffrage.
African-American women's clubs like the NACW not only fought for women's suffrage, but also for the right of black men to vote. Many black women were involved in groups like the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA). Women involved in the National Baptist Woman's Convention also supported suffrage.
Women's clubs hosted talks about suffrage and invited suffrage leaders to speak. After women won the right to vote, women's clubs continued in helping women exercise their rights and how to best use their votes. However, another factor in earning the right to vote was a decline in membership until the Great Depression, when women got together again for charitable work.
Women's clubs such as the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) were involved with advocating the prohibition of alcohol. The Florida Federation of Women's Clubs (FFWC) also supported temperance in that state. Numerous women involved with the temperance movement felt that limiting alcohol access would decrease "social ills" such as gambling, prostitution and domestic violence. Many women involved in the temperance movement felt that securing women's right to vote would help promote prohibition of alcohol. Both black and white temperance groups promoted women's suffrage.
- Association of Collegiate Alumnae
- Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching
- Atlanta Neighborhood Union
- Charlotte Woman's Club
- Chicago Woman's Club
- Colorado Federation of Women's Clubs
- Colored Female Religious and Moral Society
- Daughters of the American Revolution
- Ebell of Los Angeles
- Francisca Club
- Frederick Douglass Woman's Club
- General Federation of Women's Clubs
- Houston Heights Woman's Club
- Indiana State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs
- League of Women Voters
- Mississippi State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs
- Mount Vernon Ladies' Association
- National Association of Colored Women (NACW)
- National Council of Jewish Women
- New England Women's Club
- San Pedro Woman's Club
- South Carolina Federation of Colored Women's Clubs (SCRCWC)
- Texas Association of Women's Clubs
- Texas Federation of Women's Clubs
- Women's Christian Temperance Union
- Women's Club of El Paso
- Women's City Club of New York (WCC)
- Woman's Health Protective Association
- Women's Joint Congressional Committee
- Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA)
- List of women's club buildings
- Gentlemen's clubs
- Women-only space
- Membership discrimination in California social clubs
- History of antisemitism in the United States
- Racial segregation in the United States
- "Introduction to Clubwomen". National Women's History Museum. Archived from the original on March 30, 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- Flanagan 1990, p. 1046.
- Flanagan 1990, p. 1048.
- Flanagan 1990, p. 1050.
- Winter 1921, p. 637.
- Lang 2005, p. 2.
- Seaholm 1998, p. 4.
- "Cultivating Female Reform: The Montana Woman's Christian Temperance Union". Women's History Matters. 12 June 2014. Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- Bowles, Nellie (11 September 2011). "S.F. women's clubs aging, rolls declining". SF Gate. Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- "About Us". The Woman's Club of El Paso. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- Sherman 1906, p. 32.
- "Los Angeles Woman's Club". The Los Angeles Times. 1 February 1885. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Moore 1906, p. 62.
- "GFWC Clubwoman Magazine". General Federation of Women's Clubs. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- "Woman's Club of Redondo Beach". Woman's Club of Redondo Beach. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- "Club movement". Encyclopedia Britannica. 1 December 1999. Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- Croly 1898, p. 3–4.
- Wilson, Linda D. (2009). "Women's Club Movement". Oklahoma Historical Society. Archived from the original on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- Lee 2009, p. 3.
- Croly 1898, p. 8–9.
- Hansen 2003, p. 56.
- "The Woman's Club of Maplewood - A Century of Service". Durand-Hedden. 1 November 2010. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
- Scott 1990, p. 6.
- Parker 2010, p. 119.
- "General Federation of Women's Clubs". Women Working, 1800–1930. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- Hansen 2003, p. 57.
- Paula D. Watson, "Founding Mothers: The Contribution of Women’s Organizations to Public Library Development in the United States," Library Quarterly, vol. 64, no. 3 (1994), pg. 235.
- Turner 1997, p. 152.
- Croly 1898, p. 12–13.
- Wood & Pennybacker 1914, p. 79.
- Lee 2009, p. 7.
- "A Woman's Club". The Los Angeles Times. 9 January 1885. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Bodine, W.L. (24 May 1905). "The Value of Woman's Clubs". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Decker 1906, p. 199–200.
- Wood & Pennybacker 1914, p. 80.
- Beer, Ford & Joslin 2003, p. 3.
- Tolson 2008, p. 10–11.
- Rabaka 2012, p. 44–45.
- Lang 2005, p. 5–6.
- Parker 2010, p. 129.
- Johnson n.d., p. 8.
- Oesterheld, Frank. "The Woman's Club of Spokane". Spokane Historical. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Scott 1990, p. 5.
- Hall, Peter Dobkin. "The Popularization of Voluntary Associations" (PDF). Harvard: 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2017.
- Mjagkij 2001, p. 235.
- Dunbar 2008, p. 101.
- "A History of Slavery in the United States". National Geographic Society. 2016-01-31. Archived from the original on 25 November 2017. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
- Shaw, Stephanie J. (1999). "Black Clubwomen's Movement". In Mankiller, Wilma P.; Mink, Gwendolyn; Navarro, Marysa; Smith, Barbara; Steinem, Gloria. The Reader's Companion to U.S. Women's History (Reprint ed.). Mariner Books. pp. 62–63. ISBN 978-0-618-00182-8.
- Scott 1990, p. 7.
- "Timeline". Women in Texas History. Archived from the original on 23 March 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
- "African American Women During the Progressive Era". National Women's History Museum. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- "The Black Women's Club Movement". DeColonizing Our History. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- Scott 1990, p. 9.
- Scott 1990, p. 15.
- Rabaka 2012, p. 45.
- Scott 1990, p. 19.
- Mjagkij 2001, p. 492.
- Lerner 1974, p. 160.
- "African American Reform Ethics". African American Reform Ethics. National Women's History Museum. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
- Mjagkij 2001, p. 229.
- Lerner 1974, p. 161.
- Zackodnik 2010, p. 232.
- Scott 1990, p. 16.
- Scott 1990, p. 17.
- Hendricks 1998, p. 22.
- Wada, Kayomi. "National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Inc. (1896)". BlackPast.org. Archived from the original on 27 March 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- Watson, Denise M. (6 June 2016). "The Woman's Club of Norfolk Celebrates 100 Years of Reaching Back and Moving Forward". The Virginian-Pilot. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- "Black Women's Club Movement". Encyclopedia.com. 2006. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
- Wright, Sharon D. (1999). Springer, Kimberly, ed. Still Lifting, Still Climbing: Contemporary African American Women's Activism. New York: New York University Press. pp. 150–151. ISBN 0-8147-8124-1.
- Gates, Jr., Henry Louis; Appiah, Kwame Anthony, eds. (2005). Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. Oxford University Press. p. 628. ISBN 978-0-19-517055-9.
- Johnson n.d., p. 2–3.
- Lang 2005, p. 8–9.
- Wilson, Linda D. (2009). "Women's Club Movement". Oklahoma Historical Society. Archived from the original on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
- Comas, Martin E. (6 April 2016). "Women's clubs struggle to find new, younger members". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- "The decline of Maynard Woman's Club". Wicked Local Maynard. 23 July 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
- Dove, Lindsay Scovil (2013). "Houston Height Woman's Club: Over 100 Years of Friendship and Philanthropy" (PDF). Houston History Magazine. 10 (3): 20–21. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 February 2017.
- Steinhauer, Jennifer (9 August 2010). "A Sanctuary for Women, Even Today". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- "The Florida Women's Club Movement". Visit Florida. Archived from the original on 5 April 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
- "Croly Award". GFWC. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- Bell, Natalie (25 February 2016). "Historic Colored Women's Club still growing". The Mississippi Link. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- Hansen 2003, p. 62.
- "Women's City Club of New York". The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project. The George Washington University. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- Bornstein, Sandra K. "Rose Haas Alschuler". Jewish Women's Archives. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Merchant 1984, p. 61.
- Sherman 1906, p. 44.
- Watson 2003, p. 81.
- Sherman 1906, p. 37.
- Winter 1921, p. 636.
- Jones, Cherisse R. (7 July 2016). "Women's Clubs". South Carolina Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- Moore, Shirley Ann Wilson. "Fannie Jackson Coppin Club". BlackPast.org. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- "Mrs. Henrotin, the President of the Gen-". The New York Times. 23 December 1894. Retrieved 11 January 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- Field, Kate (12 January 1895). "Color Versus Intelligence". Chicago Daily Tribune. Retrieved 11 January 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "The Color Question". Harrisburg Daily Independent. 5 February 1896. Retrieved 11 January 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Black Bats White". The Salt Lake Tribune. 24 January 1896. Retrieved 11 January 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Against Race and Color Lines". Chicago Daily Tribune. 24 January 1895. Retrieved 11 January 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Racial Divisions in the Progressive Era". National Women's History Museum. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- Winegarten, Ruthe (4 February 2017). "Texas Association of Women's Clubs". Texas Handbook Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- Dykeman, Wilma; Stokely, James (November 1957). "The Plight of Southern White Women". Ebony. 13 (1): 32–42. Retrieved 19 February 2017 – via EBSCOhost. (Subscription required (. ))
- Hall, Jacquelyn (8 March 2013). "From the Southern Exposure Archives: Women and Lynching". Facing South. The Institute for Southern Studies. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- ""Lifting as We Climb": The Activism of the Montana Federation of Colored Women's Clubs". Women's History Matters. 1 July 2014. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- Scott 1990, p. 22.
- Beer, Ford & Joslin 2003, p. 9.
- Parker 2010, p. 124.
- Stewart 1908, p. 536.
- Decker 1906, p. 201–202.
- Stewart 1908, p. 537.
- Flanagan 1990, p. 1041.
- Sherman 1906, p. 35.
- Rabaka 2012, p. 59.
- Weiser, Abbie (21 February 2016). "Woman's Club Members Shaped El Paso History". El Paso Times. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
- Cunningham 1978, p. 8–10.
- "Historical Background". TAWC History. Texas Woman's University Libraries. Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- Sherman 1906, p. 34.
- "Hester Jeffrey". Western New York Suffragists: Winning the Vote. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- "Real Help for the Unfortunate". The Inter Ocean. 2 January 1911. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Flanagan 1990, p. 1040.
- Seaholm, Megan (15 June 2010). "Texas Federation of Women's Clubs". Texas Handbook Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on 22 March 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- Clark, Emily (17 February 2016). "Plymouth Woman's Club: Local Ladies Activist Group Dissolves". Wicked Local Kingston. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Johnson n.d., p. 12.
- "The Woman's Club of White Plains". The Woman's Club of White Plains. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- "Art in the Women's Clubs". The American Magazine of Art. 9 (5): 209. March 1918 – via JSTOR.
- Sherman 1906, p. 33.
- Sherman 1906, p. 46.
- Moore 1906, p. 59.
- Rabaka 2012, p. 59-60.
- Rabaka 2012, p. 60-61.
- Knupfer 2006, p. 102.
- Knupfer 2006, p. 104.
- Hansen 2003, p. 58.
- Maue, Lisa (15 March 2016). "Carrizozo Woman's Club Has Deep Roots". Ruidoso News. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Sherman 1906, p. 48.
- Hansen 2003, p. 59.
- Merchant 1984, p. 62.
- Kaufman 2006, p. 33.
- Merchant 1984, p. 59.
- Decker 1906, p. 201.
- "People Behind the Parks". PBS. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
- Janiskee, Bob (29 June 2008). "Park History: Would There Have Been a Mesa Verde National Park Without Virginia McClurg?". National Parks Traveler. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
- Merchant 1984, p. 63.
- Kaufman 2006, p. 32.
- Kaufman 2006, p. 36.
- Kaufman 2006, p. 45.
- Flanagan 1990, p. 1038–1039.
- Blair, Karen J. (27 September 2009). "Women's Club Movement in Washington". History Link. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
- Lerner 1974, p. 164.
- Decker 1906, p. 202.
- Sherman 1906, p. 38.
- "Causes: The Birth Control Movement". National Women's History Museum. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- "Club Women To Defy Law and Preach Birth Control". The Denver Post. 29 September 1916. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- "Topics in Chronicling America - Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement". Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room. Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- Perry, Mrs. Richard B. (28 February 1936). "Westmoreland County Clubs Will Hear Discussion of Birth Control, Sterilization". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
- Hajo, Cathy Moran (2010). Birth Control on Main Street: Organizing Clinics in the United States, 1916–1939. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-252-03536-4.
- Haslett, Diane C. (2001). "Rachelle Slobodinsky Yarros". Urban Experience in Chicago: Hull-House and Its Neighborhoods, 1889–1963. Archived from the original on 16 January 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- De Young, Ruth (6 June 1937). "Illinois Birth Control League is Vital Social Agency". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "Margaret Sanger, "The Real Meaning of Birth Control," 30 Mar 1937". The Public Writings and Speeches of Margaret Sanger 1911–1960. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- Watson 2003, p. 82.
- Watson, "Founding Mothers," pg. 236.
- Teva Scheer, "The 'Praxis' Side of the Equation: Club Women and American Public Administration," Administrative Theory & Praxis, vol. 24, no 3 (2002), pg. 525.
- Watson 2003, p. 87–88.
- Watson 2003, p. 74.
- O'Loughlin, Kathy (16 March 2012). "A century of service and eleganceThe Woman's Club of Bala Cynwyd celebrates its centenary,and it's not just for girls anymore". Main Line Times. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- Stewart 1908, p. 538.
- Watson 2003, p. 76.
- Watson 2003, p. 80.
- Blair, Laura (27 March 2013). "From Socialization to Social Change: Women's Clubs of South Carolina". South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- Burkett, Deborah (May 2013). "History of Women's Clubs in Cherokee County Begins with the Bachelor Girls in 1902". Stephen F. Austin State University. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
- Johnson n.d., p. 5.
- Sherman 1906, p. 49.
- Watson 2003, p. 77.
- Flanagan 1990, p. 1043.
- Tolson 2008, p. 36.
- "The National Consumers League". National Women's History Museum. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- Sherman 1906, p. 40.
- Schultz, Rima Lunin. "Women's History". Chicago Metropolitan History Fair. Archived from the original on 16 January 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- "The formation of a society having for its". The Inter Ocean. 27 March 1886. Retrieved 9 January 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- Decker 1906, p. 203.
- Sherman 1906, p. 39.
- Smith, Marian L. (1998). "Women and Naturalization, Part 1". Prologue Magazine. 30 (2). Archived from the original on 2016-12-16 – via National Archives.
- Winter 1921, p. 638.
- Smith, Marian L. (1998). "Women and Naturalization, Part 2". Prologue Magazine. 30 (2) – via National Archives.
- Bredbenner 1998, p. 86–87.
- "The County Board". Chicago Daily Tribune. 16 April 1884. Retrieved 9 January 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "The Woman's Club". Los Angeles Herald. 29 January 1879. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Merchant 1984, p. 69–70.
- Sherman 1906, p. 31.
- Tolson 2008, p. 26.
- Squire, Belle (18 September 1910). "Recent Growth of Suffrage Movement in Chicago Indicated by the Many 'Equal Rights' Clubs". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
- "The Women's Rights Movement, 1848–1920". History, Art & Archives. United States House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- "African American Women and Suffrage". National Women's History Museum. Archived from the original on 26 March 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- "Women's Kingdom". Chicago Daily Tribune. 20 October 1883. Retrieved 13 February 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Susan B. Has Had Enough". The Saint Paul Globe. 28 June 1888. Retrieved 13 February 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- Taylor, Paula Kyzer. "Women's Suffrage Movement". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- McGoldrick, Neale. "Women's Suffrage and the Question of Color". SocialStudies.org. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Beer, Janet; Ford, Anne-Marie; Joslin, Katherine, eds. (2003). American Feminism: Key Source Documents 1848–1920. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-21945-0.
- Bredbenner, Candice Lewis (1998). A Nationality of Her Own: Women, Marriage and the Law of Citizenship. Berkeley: University of California Press – via California Digital Library.
- Croly, Jane Cunningham (1898). The History of the Woman's Club Movement in America. New York: H.G. Allen & Co.
- Cunningham, Mary S. (1978). The Woman's Club of El Paso: Its First Thirty Years. El Paso, Texas: Texas Western Press. ISBN 0-87404-061-2.
- Decker, Sarah S. Platt (September 1906). "The Meaning of the Woman's Club Movement". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 28: 1–6 – via JSTOR.
- Dunbar, Erica Armstrong (2008). A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-12591-7.
- Flanagan, Maureen A. (1990). "Gender and Urban Political Reform: The City Club and the Woman's City Club of Chicago in the Progressive Era". The American Historical Review. 95 (4). doi:10.2307/2163477 – via JSTOR. (Registration required (. ))
- Hansen, Debra L. Gold (2003). "Clubs (Women's) in the West". In Bakken, Gordon Morris; Farrington, Brenda. Encyclopedia of Women in the American West. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. ISBN 978-1-4522-6526-1.
- Hendricks, Wanda A. (1998). Gender, Race, and Politics in the Midwest: Black Club Women in Illinois. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-33447-0.
- Johnson, Kimberly (n.d.). "From A to Z and In Between: Women's Organizations Transforming Change from the Inside Out" (PDF). Delta Kappa Gamma.
- Kaufman, Polly Welts (2006). National Parks and the Woman's Voice: A History. Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 978-0-8263-3994-2.
- Knupfer, Anna Meis (2006). The Chicago Black Renaissance and Women's Activism. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252072932.
- Lang, Jennifer R. (2005). Self Improvement, Community Improvement: North Carolina Sorosis and the Women's Club Movement in Wilmington, North Carolina, 1895–1950 (PDF). University of North Carolina Wilmington.
- Lee, Shebby (2009). "The Women's Movement in the West: A Tribute to 19th Century Club Women" (PDF). West River History Conference. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- Lerner, Gerda (1974-01-01). "Early Community Work of Black Club Women". The Journal of Negro History. 59 (2): 158–167. doi:10.2307/2717327 – via JSTOR.
- Merchant, Carolyn (1984-03-01). "Women of the Progressive Conservation Movement: 1900–1916". Environmental Review: ER. 8 (1). doi:10.2307/3984521. ISSN 1053-4180 – via JSTOR. (Registration required (. ))
- Mjagkij, Nona (2001). Organizing Black America. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-58123-7.
- Moore, Dorothea (September 1906). "The Work of the Women's Clubs in California". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 28: 59–62 – via JSTOR.
- Parker, Alison M. (2010). "Clubwomen, Reformers, Workers, and Feminists of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era". In DeLuzio, Crista. Women's Rights: People and Perspectives. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-59884-114-5.
- Rabaka, Reiland (2012). Hip Hop's Amnesia: From Blues and the Black Women's Club Movement to Rap and the Hip Hop Movement. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Book. ISBN 978-0-7391-7492-0.
- Scott, Anne Firor (1990-01-01). "Most Invisible of All: Black Women's Voluntary Associations". The Journal of Southern History. 56 (1): 3–22. doi:10.2307/2210662 – via JSTOR. (Registration required (. ))
- Seaholm, Megan (1998). "Earnest Women: The White Woman's Club Movement in Progressive Era Texas, 1880–1920" (PDF). Rice University.
- Sherman, Mrs. John Dickinson (September 1906). "The Women's Clubs in the Middle Western States". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 28: 29–49 – via JSTOR.
- Stewart, Jane A. (14 May 1908). "The Educational Work of the Women's Clubs". The Journal of Education. 67 (20): 536–538 – via JSTOR.
- Tolson, Claudette L. (2008). The Excluded and the Included: Chicago, White Supremacy and the Clubwomen's Movement, 1873–1915. University of Chicago: Loyola University Chicago.
- Turner, Elizabeth Hayes (1997). Women, Culture, and Community: Religion and Reform in Galveston, 1880–1920. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-802805-5.
- Watson, Paula D. (2003). "Valleys Without Sunsets: Women's Clubs and Traveling Libraries". In Freeman, Robert S.; Hovde, David M. Libraries to the People: Histories of Outreach. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-1359-1.
- Winter, Alice Ames (November 1921). "Women's Clubs To-day". The North American Review. 214 (792): 636–640 – via JSTOR.
- Wood, Mary I.; Pennybacker, Percy V. (November 1914). "Civic Activities of Women's Clubs". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 56: 78–87 – via JSTOR.
- Zackodnik, Teresa C., ed. (2010). "We Must Be Up and Doing": A Reader in Early African American Feminisms. Buffalo, New York: Broadview Press. ISBN 978-1-55111-917-5.
- Augusta H. Leypoldt (1895), List of books for girls and women and their clubs, Boston: Library Bureau
- Jayne Morris-Crowther, The Political Activities of Detroit Clubwomen in the 1920s: A Challenge and a Promise. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 2013.
- Lifting as We Climb: African American Women's Clubs in Progressive Era Chicago
- GFWC (official site)
- For Our Mutual Benefit: The Athens Woman's Club and Social Reform, 1899-1920 in the Digital Library of Georgia
- Finding Aids, Research Center, Special Collections, Washington State Historical Society
- Women's Clubs Collection, 1812-1995 Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College
- Margaret Fuller Club Collection, McLean County Museum of History