Truth-Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells

Willard and Somerset Respond

"An Unwise Advocate"

A few weeks after Fraternity magazine republished the New York Voice interview alongside Wells's comments, Frances Willard and Lady Henry Somerset responded.

The below piece, billed as an "interview" of Willard by Somerset, first appeared in the London paper the Westminster Gazette. The WCTU newspaper, the Union Signal, reprinted it not long thereafter (that version appears below). In the Signal, it would have been read by thousands of American WCTU members.

Willard addressed the 1890 interview directly. For the most part, she reaffirmed her original comments, including her support for restrictions on voting. As she had done originally, she said that white Southerners had told her what things were like in the region, and she implied that they were the group whose account was most trustworthy.

Wells immediately wrote a letter to the editor, which the Gazette reprinted the following day.
*Add pull quote from Wells's response the next day in a letter to the editor of the Gazette.*

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