Woman of the Century/Mary Clement Leavitt

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

LEAVITT, Mrs. Mary Clement, missionary temperance organizer, born in Boston, Mass. She comes from an old New England family prominent in the early days of the Colonies. She was educated MARY CLEMENT LEAVITT A woman of the century (page 465 crop).jpgMARY CLEMENT LEAVITT. in Boston and, after completing her studies, conducted a successful private school in that city, continuing the work until her children were grown up. She nad been prominent in temperance work for years, and was elected president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Boston and national organizer of the society. In 1883 she accepted from the president of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Miss Willard, a roving commission as a pioneer for the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union, which was organized in that year. Since then Mrs. Leaviit's work has been without a parallel in the records of labor in foreign missions. She commenced with a canvass of the Pacific-coast States, and, when volunteers were asked for, she was the first one to answer the call to go abroad in the interests of the new organization. The association offered to pay her expenses, and $1,000 had been subscribed to- wards the funds, but she decided not to accept it. She said: "I'm going on God's mission, and He will carry me through." She bought her ocean ticket with her own money, and in 1883 sailed from California for the Sandwich Islands. In Honolulu the Christians and white-ribboners aided her in every way. and after organizing the Sandwich Islands she went on to Australia, where she established the new order firmly. In 1884 the local unions raised $2,613 for her, but she would receive money only in emergencies, and the amount forwarded to her was only $1,670. Leaving Australia, she visited other countries. During the eight years of her remarkable missionary tour she visited the following countries: Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Tasmania, Japan, China, Siam, Straits Settlements, Singapore and Malay Peninsula, Burmah, Hindoostan, Ceylon, Mauritius, Madagascar, Natal, Orange Free State, Cape Colony, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Congo Free State, Old Calabar, Sierra Lione, Madeira, Spain, France, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. She organized eighty-six Woman's Christian Temperance Unions, twenty-four men's temperance societies, mostly in Japan, India and Madagascar, and twenty-three branches of the White Cross, held over one-thousand-six-hundred meetings, traveled nearly one-hundred-thousand miles, and had the services of two-hundred-twenty-nine interpreters in forty-seven languages. Her expenses were paid with money donated to her in the places she visited. She returned to the United States in 1891. Since her return she has published a pamphlet, "The Liquor Traffic in Western Africa. " Her next missionary tour was made in Mexico. Central America and South America. She is corresponding secretary of the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union. During her great tour of the world she never in seven vears saw a face she knew, and only occasional fetters from her enabled the home workers to know where she was laboring.