Booth, Maud Ballington (1865–1948)

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Booth, Maud Ballington (1865–1948)

American reformer and welfare leader who founded Volunteers of America. Name variations: Mrs. Ballington Booth (upon her marriage to Ballington Booth, she adopted both his names); Maud Charlesworth Booth. Born Maud Elizabeth Charlesworth at Limpsfield, Surrey, England, on September 13, 1865; died in Great Neck, Long Island, on August 26, 1948; daughter of Reverend Samuel Charlesworth and a welfare worker mother; niece ofMaria Charlesworth (1819–1880, a children's author); sister ofFlorence Louisa Barclay (1862–1921); married Ballington Booth (d. 1940, son of William Booth and leader of the Salvation Army in Australia and U.S.), in September 1886; daughter-in-law of Catherine Booth; sister-in-law ofEvangeline Booth ; became a naturalized American citizen, 1895.

Daughter of a cleric, Maud Ballington Booth became interested in the work of the Salvation Army when young and, at age 17, left home and

became a companion of Catherine Booth in organizing a branch of the Salvation Army in Paris. Maud remained there two years, then accompanied a party of Salvationists to Switzerland where, after experiencing setbacks and even imprisonment, she succeeded in establishing a Salvation Army corps. In 1886, she married Ballington Booth (1859–1940), the second son of Catherine and General William Booth, the English religious leaders and founders of the Salvation Army. When she and her husband withdrew from the Salvation Army in 1896, Maud and Ballington founded the Volunteers of America, of which she became president in 1940. She devoted her attention mainly to the Prison League of this organization, doing evangelical work in state and federal prisons, including Sing Sing. Maud was also one of the founders of the Parent-Teachers Association. Her writings include: Branded (1897), After Prison, What? (1903), and Relentless Current (1912), as well as Twilight Fairy Tales (1906) and other books for children.