“An unholy interest in reforming others” 1897–1900

Melba Porter Hay

in Madeline McDowell Breckinridge and the Battle for a New South

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125329
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135236 | DOI:
“An unholy interest in reforming others” 1897–1900

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This chapter discusses the wide range of activities that Madeline launched into. It notes that in 1897 she joined John Fox Jr. in an effort to assist Robert Burns Wilson by raising a subscription to publish a collection of his works. The McDowell–Breckinridge wedding took place at noon at Ashland on November 17 and newspaper accounts gushed about the “distinguished family connections on both sides, the brilliant personal endowments of the bride and groom and their universal popularity.” Madeline had formulated definite goals and mastered techniques of publicity and organization and began to create for herself a career in public reform during the early years of the Progressive reform movement. During the first two years after her marriage, she could record some important achievements: the beginning of social settlement work by the Gleaners, and the formation of Associated Charities and the Lexington Civic League.

Keywords: John Fox Jr.; Robert Burns Wilson; McDowell–Breckinridge wedding; Ashland; public reform; Progressive reform; Gleaners; Associated Charities; Lexington

Chapter.  9847 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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