Open main menu

COLMAN, Miss Julia, temperance educator and worker, born in the valley of the Sacandaga, Fulton county, N. Y. She is of Puritan and Huguenot ancestry. In 1840 the family removed to Wisconsin, her father, Rev. Henry R. Colman being sent as missionary to the Oneida Indians near Green Bay. In 1849 she entered the preparatory department of the Lawrence University, in Appleton, Wis. She was graduated in the collegiate course in Cazenovia, N. Y., in 1853, her specialties being natural history and languages. After teaching for a time, she entered the Sunday-school union and tract department of the Methodist Publishing House, in New York City, where she became known as "Aunt Julia" of "The Sunday-school Advocate," and by other literary work. While there, she started anti-tobacco leagues for boys, numbering over one-hundred in various parts of the country. In pursuing medical and hygienic studies she first learned the leading facts about the character of alcohol, and especially that it could be dispensed with in medicine. Always an abstainer, she then saw how she could work for total abstinence successfully, and she began in 1868 to write and lecture on the subject. She took partial courses in different medical colleges, that she might learn their teachings about alcohol and obtain a sound physiological basis for further studies. She spoke before local temperance societies, teachers' institutes and Methodist conferences, delivering upward of one-hundred lectures previous to the crusade. Other engagements prevented her from Liking an active part in the uprising, but in 1875 she entered the local work and originated the first "temperance school." JULIA COLMAN.jpgJULIA COLMAN, That marked a new departure in the temperance work among the children, in that it was largely intellectual, the scholars being arranged in classes, reciting to teachers and reviewed by a superintendent, aided throughout by the systematized use of text-books, tracts, charts and experiments. Those educational methods commended themselves to the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and Miss Colman was elected editor of one page of the national organ for one year, to push that elementary work, which soon became the prevailing model throughout the woman's work and in other temperance organizations. In 1875 Miss Colin. in was appointed superintendent of literature in the Woman's National Christian Temperance Union, which position she held for fifteen years. During that time she wrote or edited and published upward of five-hundred books, tracts, pamphlets and lesson leaves. Among the books and pamphlets from her pen are: "The Catechisms on Alcohol and Tobacco" (1872), which has reached a circulation of 300,000; "The Juvenile Temperance Manual for Teachers"; "The Primary Temperance Catechism"; "The Catechism on Beer"; "The Sunday School Temperance Catechism;" "The Temperance School"; "Alcohol and Hygiene"; "The Temperance Hand-Book for Speakers and Workers"; "An Evening with Robinson Crusoe," and smaller pamphlets, tracts and leaflets for juveniles and adults. She edited during that time "The Young People's Comrade" and "The Temperance Teacher." She has issued many chromo cards with temperance mottoes for birthday, holiday, Easter. Valentine and everyday use. An effective testing apparatus, capable of showing a variety of helpful chemical experiments, has been put together by her, and with its aid she has delivered courses of illustrated lectures in Silver Springs, Ocean Grove, Toronto and other places, her main object being to simplify scientific teachings and make them attractive to persons of all ages. Her specialty in literary work for adults is the system of tract distribution by topics suited to the educational needs of communities, especially in the total abstinence line, laying a solid foundation for other wise and effective temperance work. She prepared a series of sketches of the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union presidents, published in "Demorest's Magazine." She has written much on health topics and the wholesome preparation of food for "Moore's Rural New Yorker," for the "Ladies' Repository." the "Phrenological Journal," "Good Health" and other periodicals. She is now superintendent of the health department of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, with her office in the Bible House, New York City, where it has been for years. From girlhood she has been a devout evangelical Christian, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and her main object in all her philanthropic work is to aid others in attaining a physical development which shall enable them better to serve God, themselves and their fellow men.