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BEAUCHAMP, JENNY BLAND

BEAUCHAMP, JENNY BLAND (1833–1914). Jenny Bland Beauchamp, temperance reformer and writer, was the second president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Texas and the first to undertake vigorous guidance. She was a resident of Denton and the wife of Rev. Sylvester Allen Beauchamp, a Baptist minister; they had six children. Mrs. Beauchamp had no previous leadership experience when she took over as president of the WCTU in 1883. During the four years that she held office she organized local unions in more than twenty counties, despite the meagerness of funds to defray travel expenses. Her attempt to defend families against the destructive effects of alcohol led her to a parallel concern for child welfare and social conditions affecting children. Under WCTU auspices she organized a rescue home in Fort Worth for girls; a similar one for bootblacks later became the Tarrant County Orphans Home. Jenny Beauchamp initiated the WCTU tradition of petitioning the state legislature for specific social reforms, and under her administration the organization lobbied successfully for a state orphanage at Corsicana. A year after she visited Rusk Penitentiary and launched a petition drive to have juvenile inmates separated from adult criminals, the legislature authorized the Gatesville State School for Boys.

During the final year of her presidency, Mrs. Beauchamp traveled more than 5,000 miles lecturing and organizing for temperance; by the close of her administration Texas had 1,600 WCTU members, organized into about 100 local unions. Jenny Beauchamp was elected to a fifth presidential term in 1888 but declined to serve because of ill health. Like her husband, she was also an active worker in the state prohibition movement in the 1880s. She was a member of the platform committee at the 1886 state convention and the following year served as a delegate to the national convention in Chicago. She also wrote one of the first articles on woman suffrage published in Texas. She contributed material on the legal status of women in Texas to The History of Woman Suffrage (1887) and published poems and prose. She wrote Maplehurst; or Campbellism not Christianity (1867) and Our Coming King (1895). She died on February 20, 1914, in Columbia, Missouri.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

May Baines, A Story of Texas White Ribboners (1935?). Jenny Beauchamp, "The Ballot as Educator," Texas Journal of Education, December 1881. Dallas Morning News, February 21, 1914. Sam Houston Dixon, The Poets and Poetry of Texas (Austin: Dixon, 1885). H. A. Ivy, Rum on the Run in Texas: A Brief History of Prohibition in the Lone Star State (Dallas: 1910). A. Elizabeth Taylor, "The Woman Suffrage Movement in Texas," Journal of Southern History 17 (May 1951; rpt., in Citizens at Last: The Woman Suffrage Movement in Texas, ed. Ruthe Winegarten and Judith N. McArthur, Austin, 1987).

Judith N. McArthur

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Judith N. McArthur, "BEAUCHAMP, JENNY BLAND," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbeaj), accessed November 27, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.