Youmans, Letitia

Letitia Youmans, née Creighton, temperance worker (b in Hamilton Twp, UC 3 Jan 1827; d at Toronto 18 July 1896), founder of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Canada. Educated at the Burlington Ladies' Academy, she graduated in 1847 and taught there for 2 years. She then went to the Picton Ladies' Academy and became its preceptress in the spring of 1850, marrying later that year. In 1868 she became increasingly involved in Sunday school and Temperance work. As a result of both these interests, she attended the Chautauqua Assembly in 1874 where she met leaders of the American women's temperance crusade. She returned to Canada and formed the second Canadian woman's temperance group, at Picton in Dec 1874. (A similar organization had formed in Owen Sound just previous to this.) Through her efforts, WCTUs spread across the country and in 1885 a national WCTU was formed with Youmans as first president. She continued in this position until 1889 when she resigned owing to ill health. An invalid, she remained honorary president until her death. Her autobiography, Campaign Echoes, appeared in 1893.