Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of L. Alfreda Brewster Wallace, 1869-1925
By Anna Assogba, Research Librarian, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
President of the Maine Woman Suffrage Association; co-vice-president of the New England Woman Suffrage Association
L. Alfreda Brewster Wallace (also known as Linnie Brewster) was born in December 1869, in Portland, Maine. Her parents were Charles E. and Louisa Mugford Brewster, and she had a younger brother, Clarence. She originally intended to be a college teacher, but frequent ill health interrupted her plans and she ended up becoming a minister instead, or as she described herself, "an evangelist." She started preaching at the Advent Christian Church in Friendship, Maine, in 1893 and received her license as a minister in 1894. She also most likely met her husband, Wilson J. Wallace, during her time of ministry in Friendship, as he was born and grew up there. On October 7, 1909, they were married at the Advent Christian Church, in Portland, Maine.
As part of Alfreda's evangelistic work, she traveled around both Maine and New England, preaching and giving addresses. Often she spoke on behalf of the Maine Christian Endeavor Union, for which she served as a Missionary Superintendent. She was praised as "an evangelist of great tact and skill" who was able to hold "the close attention of her hearers by her original and forceful manner."
Alfreda was involved in women's suffrage in several ways. She led the devotional portion of Maine Woman Suffrage Day on multiple occasions. In February 1909, along with other representatives from the Maine Woman Suffrage Association, she spoke before the Maine House of Representatives Judiciary Committee as part of a special hearing to ask for the right of women to vote. She also gave an address to the Equal Suffrage Club of Portland, Maine, in 1910. She served as the president of the Maine Woman Suffrage Association from 1911-1912 after the previous president, Fannie J. Fernald, moved away. She also attended the annual convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1911, held in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1912, she was voted a co-vice president of the New England Woman Suffrage Association.
Alfreda was also a member of the Maine Woman's Christian Temperance Union and served as their State Organizer for several years, appointed in 1905.
Alfreda passed away on March 22, 1925, in Middleboro, Massachusetts. Her husband died four years later.
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