On This Date In Twin Cities History - March 9, 1848

First Baptist Church - St. Paul circa 1870 (MHS)

On this date in 1848, school teacher Harriet E. Bishop forms Minnesota’s first temperance society.

The ‘Sons of Temperance Society’ was a social movement that promoted abstinence from the consumption of alcoholic beverages. The group was founded in 1842 in New York City. It began spreading rapidly during the 1840’s throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Bishop started the first public school in the Minnesota Territory and is widely known as the first school teacher in Minnesota. She encouraged her students to pledge abstinence from alcohol.  In 1877, she became the first organizer of the Minnesota Women’s Christian Temperance Union, working to help form chapters all over the state.

Bishop, who was actively involved in a number of social concerns, is also recognized as one of the founders of the Minnesota women’s suffrage movement and also played a central role in establishing the First Baptist Church of Saint Paul.

Image: First Baptist Church – St. Paul circa 1870 (MNHS)