[Thursday] Morning Session
THIS convention met at 10 o'clock Thursday morning, [September 1] at Metropolitan Hall, about 1,000 persons being present, representing different sections of the United States, Canada and England. During the morning, there were constant accessions by the arrival of delegates.
Rev. T. W. HIGGINSON, of Massachusetts, moved the temporary organization of the Convention, and asked that nominations for a Chairman be made. Mr. L. P. NOBLE, President of the State Temperance Alliance, was nominated as temporary Chairman. This nomination was unanimously accepted, but, it being ascertained that Mr. NOBLE was not yet present, Dr. ELEAZAR PARMLY was unanimously elected in his stead.
Miss SUSAN B. ANTHONY, of Rochester, was unanimously elected temporary Secretary of the Convention.
The President announced the appointment of the following Committee, to report the names of individuals for a permanent organization.
Joseph Dugdale, of Pennsylvania; E. L. Snow, of New York; Sydney Pearce, of Pennsylvania; Mrs. M. A. Johnson, of New York; Paulina W. Davis, of Rhode Island; and Caleb Clark, of Connecticut. The name of C. C. Shoals, Esq., of Wisconsin, was added to the list.
This Committee retired to deliberate.
The PRESIDENT announced that during the absence of the Committee Mr. CHARLES C. BURLEIGH, of Philadelphia, would address the Convention.
Mr. Burleigh took the stand and speak as follows:--
I hardly know, my friends, how to begin to address a Convention like this, upon such a short notice as has been given me, to come before you as the first speaker on this occasion; for, three minutes ago, I had no more expectation of any such call, than I had of a call to go on a mission to the Celestial Empire. Still those who are engaged in this cause, I suppose, are bound to be minute-men.
When the world meets in Convention in behalf of a cause which is so doubly interesting to all the world's inhabitants, it meets to advocate an enterprise in the advocacy and earnest prosecution and complete success of which, the world has an eminent and manifest need. Nowhere can we turn, without seeing abundant proof of the truth of this proposition, and indeed, of the abundant need of the prosecution of this enterprise. We have only to look about us in this great city, to observe the traces of the deadly influence of intemperance. Everywhere, we face crime, disease and death, all testify to the necessity of the prosecution of the cause, of steadfast and unwavering effort and prompt action to lead to complete success.
This is an enterprise that recognizes no distinction of cast, sect, or nation; it is one that exhibits devotion to the great family of man. We need all the help of those who are willing to help, whatever be the sex or station of the individual, to engage in the work in which universal humanity is interested; a work which seeks the welfare of universal man.
Our enemies never stop to discriminate--why should we? They are quite as ready to deal with one cast, one sex and one race as with another--they are just as ready to sow the seeds of poison--of moral and physical pestilence and death in one station as another, and we must meet them everywhere--we must leave no avenue undefended; no point accessible to their attack.
In whatever parts we are assailed, we must be ready to oppose them with whatever is in the range of rightful action, and our means are ample. We must show, from the observation and experience of the world, the evils which have arisen from the vice of intemperance, and contrast them with the blessings proceeding from Temperance. These blessings we must scatter broad-cast over the land, till there shall not be on the broad earth a single victim to the deadly vice, or a single wailing mourner over its sad consequences. [Applause.] We are to prosecute this enterprise, moreover, upon the most stringent principles of reform--no compromise with the adversary--we take our ground upon this stand--that the use and preparation of intoxicating beverages is a moral wrong, and therefore the whole business of the manufacture, the sale, and the use ought to be assaulted with exterminating warfare. "No quarter," is our motto--we ask one. We ask none, because we stand upon truth as our stronghold. Our fortress is impregnable, our panoply is irresistible. The sword which we wield is like that which the archangel swayed; it is so tempered that nothing is so solid as to resist its edge. We have no occasion to ask for quarter; therefore we claim no credit for heroism. We desire to put an
[p. 11]end to this traffic; we recognize that alcoholic drinks are not fit articles for commerce, and are not fit to be found anywhere in domestic use. Anything short of this full recognition opposes our operations. The moment we begin to compromise with Temperance, to go down to any lower ground, to adopt any half way measures, at that instant we give up any power which we possess of ensuring our ultimate success. We have seen this policy pursued in former days. We have seen the time when a moderate use of intoxicating drinks has been recommended, and have sometimes seen the very preacher of the doctrine become the living witness of the fallacy of his own preaching.
So long as man tampers with intoxicating drinks, so long does he justify the manufacture and the sale in large and small quantities, and so long as it is sold must the use of it be abused, and use is the accompaniment of temptation.--We have had our eyes upon facts for twenty years, and we can see the operation of the sale of intoxicating drinks upon the people of our country, whose mental, moral and physical constitutions--perhaps inherited constitutions--are such that they cannot face the intoxicating bowl with safety. The young men who take their first glass, being fascinated by its powers of intoxication, continue its practice. But they never meant to become the complete slaves of appetite. They are just as sure that they are at the right point as the veteran moderate drinkers, who have been for fifteen and twenty years steeped in alcohol, till they imagine themselves proof against its influence. Yet we know, that multitudes of this class have fallen, and we know that multitudes are falling, and therefore we know that the temptation set before the young men ought not to be placed there. A regard for principle demands its removal, and the common sense and intelligence of the community have prepared the public mind to assert the necessity for carrying the principle out.
If respectable individuals who drink liquor stand upon their character and long-tried reputation, if they may indulge, it is certainly right that others may supply them; for the rightfulness of a demand proves the rightfulness of supply. How is the manufacturer to know that the wholesale dealer sells to those who can safely use? and how is the wholesale dealer to determine whether the retailer will use wisdom in the selection of persons to whom he sells? And again, how is the retailer to know whether the consumer will make a judicious use of the beverage purchased? It will be seen, therefore that no other principle is practicable for effectually assailing the source--the cause of all the multiplied evils of intemperance. We must cause the rum-seller to be regarded with the same feelings as is now the pickpocket and highwayman--as invaders of the rights and welfare of mankind.
We do not deny but there are many marvelous standards of respectability among the rumsellers and rum makers, but there is a vast deal of inconsistency in the details of this subject, and probably will be for some time to come. We must, therefore, adopt some other standard whereby to try actions and customs than the respectability of those who perform those actions, and we ask, therefore, not that the individuals engaged in the business are respectable, but whether the business itself is respectable, or in other words, can the business
[p. 12]of a man who begins the work of the destruction of body and soul by all the skill and ingenuity in the power of man be made to occupy a position of respectability. The individual occupying this position may point to the low groggeries as the cause of evil, but he is avoiding the true issue. The facts are that the low groggeries would not be patronized were it not that the patrons see that the higher grogshop patrons set the example. The young man who first commences the downward path, sees at the outset of his journey little beside flowers and roses. Gradually thorns beset him, and at last he finds himself so beset with brambles that to retrace his steps he finds it to be perhaps impossible, even if he have the manliness, courage and nerve to attempt it.
We must compromise nothing. Total abstinence from the manufacture, sale and use we must war for, and hope by our admonitions, precepts, and examples to save mankind from impending peril.
Mr. Burleigh was frequently interrupted by applause during the course of his remarks.
The Committee appointed to designate officers for the meeting, returned at this point of the proceedings, and reported the following:--
THOMAS W. HIGGINSON, Mass.
• John Pierpont, Massachusetts.
• C. J. H. Nichols, Vermont.
• P. T. Barnum, Connecticut.
• Horace Greeley, New York.
• Asa Fairbanks, Rhode Island.
• Lucretia Mott, Pennsylvania.
• C. M. Severance, Ohio.
• H. W. Wolcott, New Jersey.
• John. O. Waters, Indiana.
• Edward Webb, Delaware.
• Richard B. Glazier, Michigan.
• Frances B. Gage, Missouri.
• S. M. Booth, Wisconsin.
• H. S. Tilton, Mississippi.
• O. C. Wheeler, California.
• W. G. Hubbard, Illinois.
• T. Goldsmith, Canada.
• W. H. Ashurst, England.
• Susan B. Anthony, New York.
• C. B. Le Baron, New York.
• C. M. Burleigh, Pennsylvania.
• D. W. Vaughan, Rhode Island.
• Mary Jackson, England.
Rev. T W. Higginson, the Chairman, was received with applause. He said:
I need hardly way I deem it a high honor to preside over a Convention like this, whether I consider the circumstances under which it was first called, or the great audience I now see before me. It is unusual, on the first morning's
[p. 13]session of a convention which is to last two days, to see so many earnest faces in attendance as there are now present. I have no doubt but that I shall have little occasion to enforce the customary rules of order; you are all disposed, I am sure, to keep order yourselves. I have heard, since I came into this Hall, some expressions from those who do not understand us or our purpose, upon which I will say one word. Let it be understood, once for all, what this Convention is; this is not a Woman's Rights Convention--it is simply a Convention in which Woman is not wronged--and that is enough. [Applause.] It is what it aims to be, in spirit, if not in numbers--a whole World's Convention; it claims to be so, and it rightly claims it, because its spirit is what ought to be the spirit of the whole world in carrying on a Temperance movement; a spirit which knows no limitation of sect or sex--a spirit knows no limitation of station or color--which knows no limitation except that between those who earnestly desire to prosecute the Temperance movement and that of those who would stand in its way, perhaps because "they know not what they do." In this sense it is a World's Convention, because it is world-wide in its spirit; and in no other aspect do I regard it when I stand here. I am glad to see that it is a Convention composed of a due and satisfactory proportion of women as well as men; and that for a plain reason--because it is to be a Temperance Convention, and we must have women here to take part in our deliberations. It was said by some, after we came out from the preliminary meeting which led to the call for this World's Convention, "How could you, who love the Temperance cause, risk it by coming out from that meeting, one-sided though it be?" Our answer is--because we did not desire to risk the Temperance cause by staying in [applause]; because we knew that staying in was to risk it, by cutting off one-half the human race, whose energies and whose feelings, hearts, heads, and hands, must co-operate in this great movement. We thought that an attempt to carry on the Temperance movement, without a full and equal co-operation of women, would be like the boy who tried to row himself in a boat with but one oar. He reasoned that if one side went forward, the other would also; so the consequence was he kept rowing round and about in the East River, for a whole day, without making any progress. [Laughter.]
Previous to Neal Dow making any movement in the direction of his celebrated law, the initiative had been taken by a woman of Portland, who entered a groggery and emptied the rum jugs from which her husband had been drawing his daily poison. So Maine affords some information of the assistance rendered to the furtherance of the cause by our sisters. We know at least the claims of woman; we know that if man is the father of the Temperance movement, woman is its bounteous and beautiful mother, and without her it would be motherless, and consequently unborn to this day. We know, then, where we stand--our being here--our action--our equal recognition of the rights of woman to speak, settle that question. Now let us leave it behind; let the dead past bury its dead; let us say nothing of those from whom we differ in this movement--let it be an honest difference--let us go on and do our work. Our work to day is to help the movement on--to remember those in bonds, bound in
[p. 14]chains stronger and more galling than iron, and than human laws can put around them, because they are the chains of their own degraded passions and ruined natures. Let us aid those fallen ones if they can yet be aided. No statistics can touch their condition. We know a few dry facts--but what of it? We know that every day in some part of this wide world there has been a murder, the result of intemperance, because we know from statistics that the number of murders annually from that cause, is as great as the number of days in the year. And hence the probability that a murder will be committed in some part of the country, to day, from intemperance. The statistics of suicides exhibit the same state of things; and so we may imagine that some wretched inebriate has taken his life under the influence of alcoholic poison, this very day. We know, too, that there are at least 50,000 women in the United States, the victims of intemperance, and for them we need to work. But what are all those statistics but the merest and dryest skeleton of the living and terrible fact? These are the units--the tens--the hundreds--the mere dry figures. To find the extent of the evil with which we have to contend, you must multiply every individual case into hundreds and thousands, and that into centuries, and that into all the relations of father, mother, brother and sister; and when you have conceived all this, the long catalogue of wretchedness is only begun. It is not in my power to find language to exhibit the awful evils of intemperance: I will not try it. It is in our power, however, to do something to help along a movement so benevolent as this, assisting not a class, but every one in the community. It helps the citizen by diminishing his taxation--it helps the parent by diminishing their temptation of his son--and it helps the man and the woman by diminishing their temptations. I call on you to act and speak while here, in such a manner, in such a spirit of noble earnestness, with such an energy of will, and tenderness of heart, that the poorest wretch who lingers by night in some dark polluted corner of those Five Points, may feel blest and a little uplifted towards purity again, by the action which takes place in this Convention. I call on you to act in such a manner that all the noble spirits of the earth will act with you, whether they realized the co-operation. I call upon you to act in such a manner, that all the wretched of the earth shall, in some degree, rejoice as though they came within the wide range of your charities and the gentle influence of your heroic zeal. This is what I have asked of you, and in this spirit I have accepted the office you have imposed upon me and in that spirit I will endeavor to discharge the duties appertaining to it. [Applause.]
A bouquet merchant--an elderly, pleasantish Quaker, well known to all Broadway promenaders and opera-goers--here made his appearance, with smiling countenance, proffering tempting baskets of his commodities. He ascended the stage without warning of his intention, solemnly deposited two baskets of handsomely arranged flowers, and jumping nervously up, ejaculated; "I am dead set agin rumselling! He added
[p. 15]that he was in the of disposing of his flowers at the hotels and in public places, and he wanted to make a votive offering on the shrine of Temperance,--thereupon depositing his baskets-full.
The President thanked him and the house laughed.
The President deemed it proper to call upon Rev. Thomas Goldsmith, of Canada, to open the meeting with prayer.
The prayer was offered.
Mr. Horace Greely moved the appointment of a Business Committee of five.
The Committee was appointed as follows; Horace Greely, of New York; C. C. Sholes, of Wisconsin; Lucy Stone, of Massachusetts; C. C. Burleigh, of Connecticut; Harriet K. Hunt, of Massachusetts.
The Committee retired to the room on the right of the stage, to deliberate.
Mr. Whitney, of Massachusetts, moved the appointment of a Committee on Credentials.
The Chairman said that, according to the terms of the Call of the Convention, he must rule that credentials were unnecessary. All persons sympathizing with the object of the meeting, were entitled to take part in its deliberations. However, a list of members was desirable, and he thought the idea of a Committee a very good one.
The following Committee on Credentials, was appointed:
D. S. Whitney, Mass.; C. B. LeBaron, New York; C. M. Burleigh, Conn.; D. C. Bloomer, New York; Edward Webb, Delaware:; Mrs. L. N. Fowler, New York; E. W. Capron, Mass.; Dr. Wellington, New York; J. P. Hutchins, Conn.; H. M. Rhodes, New Jersey; W. G. Hubbard, Illinois; Mrs. Vaughan, Ohio.
The Chairman said the Business Committee would be out for a few minutes, and in the meantime, he had a suggestion to make, and he proposed to tell a story first. It was to the effect that a young lady somewhere Down-East had conceived the idea that the Maine Law had something to do with music. The reason was this. Her father, a distiller, had promised her a present of a new piano unless the Maine Law passed, and the piano had never come. She though it must have something to do with music, and that was all she knew about it.
As music was, therefore, eminently appropriate for Temperance demonstrations, the "Amphion Glee Club" should be invited to exercise their vocal talent.
The spokesman of the "Amphions" made a small preliminary speech.
It was well known that the world-renowned Hutchinsons sang "The Good Time Coming." By your permission we will sing you the "Dawn of the Good Time Coming". Upon which, there was great applause, and the song was duly given. It was hopeful lay. It spoke of the best of times to come.
"Truth and error now are fighting,
Truth, soon will win the field."
And added this:
"We can work, as well as others,
And there's work enough to do."
The President then introduced Rev. Miss Antoinette L. Brown, the Pastor of an Orthodox Congregational Church at South Butler, N. Y., who was enthusiastically received. She said:
The Whole World's Temperance Convention,--room on its broad platform for everybody! "Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers about Rome, Jews and Proselytes, Cretes and Arabians"--every man who may come here speaks his own tongue wherein he was born, about one of the most needed reforms ever launched on the ocean of events. Here is Woman invited to speak into the great ear-trumpet of the world, that all may hear. No wonder that the Woman's Rights Convention should be called directly hereafter. It follows immediately on upon the present occasion. But I am reminded that in this Temperance gathering teetotalism is to be discussed in its length and breadth--nothing else and nothing more; not a word about Woman and her rights. This may be well, but there's a good time coming, friends; wait a little longer. The sun may be everywhere seen, though it is not yet up in the meridian. Milk for babes, but strong meat afterwards. Temperance and Woman's Rights, chopped up together, would be a potato and meal amalgamation, quite nauseous to many modern reformers, even by those who like either when served up by itself. Hash is an old fashioned dish used at large banquets. But any one has a right to speak of Temperance to the world, even though this right has been disputed and virtually voted away. Who does not see this to have been in bad taste--and not a word here about any woman's right to vote, even in favor of a Maine Law, although the world disfranchises one-half of its inhabitants: although they are not recognized as belonging to its inhabitants, and although the other part are licensed to sell and to use what bring them desolation and ruin, with the exception of those who live in the darkness of heathenism, in a few Yankee States and a few
[p. 17]imitators of Yankee States; not a word about all this. Say nothing about this, and not a breath either about a woman's owing service or labor to her intemperate husband, and his right to take her earnings. Are we not told that the great nation of the earth are sanctifying such a system of things? Do not let it be known that the father has the whole custody of the children, although a drunkard, and that he may take them away from the mother and apprentice them as a security for his own grog-bill; and that he may, in his last will and testament, give them over to the rum-seller for the whole term of their minority. Not a word about all this. Why, this belongs to Woman's Rights, and what has it to do with the temperance cause? It may be that this is after all a distinction without a difference; for we always find the degradation of women connected with the rum-traffic. The world will tell us that the drunken man may be expected to blend together his thoughts, and take up various subjects at the same time, while the wine he has drunk makes his brain to boil like a red hot hasty-pudding, or a boiling hodge-podge till you may no more expect an idea from his expressions, than you could pick out all the particles of the apple or cabbage from the homogeneous mass of a heterogenous stew. Wine dulls the brain, of course; but cold-water men and women ever should keep closely to the point. There are certain different sanative processes, for both moral and physical ills. Our friends here may belong to those who follow the old process. They may be those who are accustomed to giving us good old fashioned measure pressed down and running over. There may be perhaps no hydropathists here dealing in cold water for the cure of eve intemperance. But they may be accustomed to give us medicines steaming hot. There may be those here leaning regretfully towards old, regular, orthodox allopathy. All this is well, and yet, since the regular old orthodox physicians have not succeeded in curing the evils of intemperance, I think we should turn to the innovator, who goes to work another way to cure these evils. I feel here, this morning, in attempting to speak, like John the Baptist; for I am only preparing the way for those who are "to come after me, the latchets of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose." I appear here to speak at the request of our committee, who for a while have gone from us. Still there is enough to be said. But those who will come after me will take up the temperance question in its length and breadth, and will deal with it as it deserves. Words gushing from the heart will be spoken by them, and all those who are here must be convinced; for these speakers will know how to stir up the hearths of all the world to the great subject of the Maine Law. I hardly know how to leave out saying something about the other Convention; but yet since the dead are to bury the dead, I will leave the matter, simply saying that if the other Convention have nothing to say on the matter, yet may their thoughts be troubled and their consciences burdened until the day of repentance.
"Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us,
To see ourselves as women see us;
It wad fra many a blunder free us;
And foolish notion."
[Loud laughter and applause.]
A few words in regard to Temperance. The rattlesnake is the father of rattlesnakes,--the crocodile begets crocodiles; and so the drunkard is the parent of drunkards. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?" Then, can the child of the drunkard, that caricature of humanity--half madman and half brute--go untamed? There is One who can give him a new heart, and a high and holy purpose of soul. But is there any one to give him a new physical organization?--is there any balm in Gilead to soothe his heavy pulses, full of the drunkard's blood, that courses with scorching labor through his entire system? Who is there to caution him against plucking the forbidden fruits of self-indulgence? God help thee poor child of the drunkard! temptation lying at every point along this road of life, Alas! then, how great the struggle that awaits thee, lying in the presence of inebriated humanity--almost strangled by the serpents that are come to devour thee while thou art yet in thy cradle! But, perform the labor of Hercules--overcome the serpents--and thou may'st be saved, yet, only so as by fire, else thy heart will congeal some time with the thought that no heart is beating responsively with thine own and thy blood will boil with remorse when temptation is calling upon thee. Oh, falter not! Nature will lull thee into peace, the voice of the birds will soothe and interest thee, and the storm-cloud will no more gain power over thy impatient nature. Take heed to thy steps, and God will send His Guardian Angel to guard thy foot against the stone! But, alas! that this struggle should have been awarded thee! Men who have hearts, let your legal sophistry sleep for a while, and let your compassion be aroused for the children, of whom Christ said, "of such is the kingdom of Heaven." Look at their degradation, when they are cursed with drunken parents. Look now in this dear little face. It would be fair enough, if there were only a soul-life to flash over it. But it is an almost blank vacuity. You read there impressions of a gross nature, notwithstanding all that baby innocence. Yet you see a shadow over that face, reflecting the past and prophetic of the future. Poor child, with that worn little face smothered with dirt and filth. Fit emblem of your life is the little mole that lives under ground. There is sunshine in the sky, but you will never look upward. You may well bow your head, for your one talent is rolled up in the napkin of parental sin. God of justice, must there be every year thousands of such children born in our land? Here is another child, with baby smiles and baby tears crossing each other down its face, gushing up from its little heart-fountain, struggling each for the mastery. If God would only take her to Heaven now, she would become one of the happiest of angel cherubs; but the fevered effect of the wine-cup delirium descends though her face, and the angels will weep over her, and remorse will pluck out the smiles, while she is yet a child. Her bright young head will grow grey in early womanhood, they will lay it down in an early grave--the earth will not be moistened by a single tear--no flowers will grow over her; or if they do, the old sexton will cut them down, muttering as he passes by. We should grow weary in reading the destinies of children such as these--types of human depravity and human sin. They are the children of intemperance,
[p. 19]but they are heirs of the same inheritance, and so, as surely as the cup of temptation is not taken from them, will they thus miserably perish. Has the law nothing to answer for in all this? May good men be allowed to sign their names to sanction a traffic which produces results like these? Must they continue to sanctify intemperance and make the world buy their soul-destroying drink, and then talk of a good moral character of themselves? Rumsellers good moral characters? The thief, the murderer, the libertine, can lay as good claim to a good moral character as the patentees and patronizers of alcohol,--that genuine oil of licentiousness. They ought to be weighed in the balance together, to see which will be found wanting.
It is against our principles to call hard names, but surely he who places the temptation in the way is worse than the one led astray. There were certain artists who knew how to print invisible pictures so that when placed in the sunlight or before a fire, and as by a magic wand, tint after tint appears till the whole landscape stands before us in all its beauty and heightened coloring. So it is as soon as the fires of alcohol approach the soul, they bring out in legible tracing the sin which might else have remained in that narrow fold for ever. Men have created this crime-producing forge, and are blowing it by the legal bellows, and then they point the finger of scorn at their victims, and terribly punish them. The human heart, corrupted by this vile fire, soon fans it into a blaze which leads to every crime, while its legal abettors point the finger of scorn at their own victims and allow the cold hand of punishment to pursue them. There is no excuse for the drunkard, and there is much less for the tempter of Drunkenness. He has taken the trade of Satan into his own hands, and he shall receive the reward from his Father with usury. The sun throws its golden border around the cloud which is struggling to secure its beams, and so the moral sunshine throws its glorious tints around the souls of those who have suffered, giving them hope of a better and brighter future. Were it not for this we should have no hope at some future day of a world-sustained Maine Law. Hope is an anchor to the soul--it drops its line into the future and it holds us steadily and trustingly upon the troubled waters of the present. Shall the heart trust in the nobility of humanity--in the God-like in human nature? Shall its trust in all this be a mocking delusion? We will not believe it. There have been bad laws; bad statutes before this. They have been coined out of human selfishness, out of fiendish malignity, and yet penitent human tears have washed them away, and human love has substituted better in their stead. There is thick darkness yet, but light is gathering strength in the world; and the voice of God is whispering over and around us, "Take courage and be strong, for the career of your race is upward and onward."
Loud and long-continued applause followed the delivery of this address, which was listened to throughout with the deepest interest.
Horace Greeley, the Chairman of the Business Committee, then came forward and said: The Committee have instructed me to report a series of resolutions, which we intend to cover, as nearly as possible, the ground of Temperance, faith and action. I do not know but that some of them may be supposed to cover a little more than the ground, yet I trust they will commend themselves, in the main, to your understandings and consciences. The Report and Resolutions are as follows:
• 1. Resolved, That the cause of Total Abstinence from all that may intoxicate-whether considered with regard to the magnitude and virulence of the evils it combats, to the good it has already achieved, to the work which it has still to do, or to the power of the selfish interests and depraved appetites which it combats and must vanquish--deserves the warmest sympathy, and the most active, devoted support, of every servant of God--every lover of humanity.
• 2. Resolved, That it especially behoves the Christian Church, in all its divisions and denominations, as also every other religious organization, to cooperate with all its might in the great work of Temperature Reform, by the diffusion of light and truth with regard to the nature and effects of alcoholic liquors, by the enforcement of total abstinence as a part of its imperative discipline, and by the restraining of all whom it may influence, all who recognize its authority, from any participation in the guilty gains of the Liquor Traffic.
• 3. Resolved, That the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, in view of the moral certainty that they will be used, nine times in ten, to the injury, if not the ruin, of their consumers, is an immoral and destructive business, in which no one, who recognizes the obligation of Love to God and Man, can henceforth engage without guilt; and we do most earnestly entreat those involved in it to ponder well their steps, and ask themselves this question: "Is the business of a distiller, a brewer, a rumseller, one wherein I ought to be willing to live and content to die?"
• 4. Resolved, That the State should be everywhere, and to the extent of its ability, a guardian of the weak, a protector of the assailed, an admonisher of the beguiled and tempted, among its citizens and subjects; that it should ever revere and conform to the divinely-prescribed supplication, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;" and that there is no position toward the Liquor traffic which it can consistently and worthily maintain but that of declared and uncompromising hostility.
• 5. Resolved, That the fundamental, undeniable, scientifically demonstrated fact that Alcohol is a poison, of itself to prove that it ought not to be presented in such forms and combinations as will tend to disguise its character and blind the uninformed to its baleful potency; but should always be sent forth from the drug-store and the chemical laboratory, where alone it should be sold, either pure and undiluted, or in such combinations as do not disguise its
[p. 21]deadly properties, and do not tempt a depraved appetite or a reckless desire for novel sensations; for, since Satan is only perilous to the peace and happiness of Eden when disguised, it is a crime to assist him in disguising himself.
• 6. Resolved, That we impeach the use of fermented or alcoholic wine in the solemn celebration of the Eucharist as a profane and impious desecration; since that which poisons and destroys men can be no true symbol of that which purifies, restores and saves; and we challenge the current assumption that wine devoid of alcohol is unattainable, in a country where the grape grows so profusely, and in an age when the resources of chemistry are so abundant as on ours, as founded in the grossest ignorance, the most indolent heedlessness, or the most flagrant dishonesty.
• 7. Resolved, That while all well-directed efforts to reclaim the unfortunate victims of Intemperance, to virtue, self-respect, usefulness and happiness, should receive our ready and ardent co-operation, it is, nevertheless a truth not to be concealed that Drunkenness is a Crime--that no father, husband, or son--no mother, wife, or daughter--has any moral right to be a drunkard; and that they who are such deserving of sympathy only in common with the libertine, harlot, gambler, thief, burglar, robber and assassin.
• 8. Resolved, That ample experience has demonstrated what the prescience of sages and philanthropists long ago affirmed, that all wise effort for the removal of evils should begin at the root and deal with causes rather than effects; and that to attempt the eradication of Intemperance without objecting to the License system or opposing the legal protection of the Rum Traffic, would be as shallow and absurd as to attempt the destruction of a living tree by pruning off some of its outermost branches.
• 9. Resolved, That Human Laws should in all things be based upon and conform to the sovereign Law of God, as summed up in those Divine injunctions, "Love God with all thy heart, and they neighbor as thyself," and "Do unto others as ye would than others should do unto you;" and therefore the licensing of men to sell intoxicating beverages is irreconcilably at war with any just idea of the nature, functions, and ends of Government, as well as with that Higher Law which bids us "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
• 10. Resolved, That The Maine Law, so called, is superior to all preceding enactments respecting the Liquor Traffic, in that it consistently and explicitly forbids all traffic in intoxicating beverages as such, makes the rumseller's liquor and implements of trade conclusive evidence of a guilty intent to sell, instead of requiring specific proof of a particular, positive act of sale, confiscates and destroys those implements, like those of the gambler and counterfeiter, authorizes prompt and efficient searches of suspected premises on oath or information that the Liquor Traffic is probably prosecuted there, and places generally in the hands of Temperance men the means of thoroughly breaking up and suppressing the work of death wherever they faithfully and fearlessly do their duty; and we most earnestly entreat our brethren in every State and country to spare
[p. 22]no effort to procure the general enactment of this law, so modified and improved, according to the dictates of experience, as to render it a most efficient terror to evil-doers, and a mortal blow to the Liquor Traffic.
• 11. Resolved, That the cry, "The Main Law is ineffectual," is raised entirely by those who ever desired, or at least never tried, to have it otherwise; while we have abundant evidence, in the hostility and alarm of our adversaries, as well as in the direct testimony of our friends, that the Law does work a gratifying diminution of the Liquor Traffic, even where public sentiment and public officers prove unfaithful to the duty of giving the law full force, and thus stopping the desolating traffic altogether.
• 12. Resolved, That we do most earnestly entreat our fellow citizens, friendly to the Temperance cause, in voting for law-makers, to subordinate all partizan or other consideration, to the securing of Legislatures that will enact, uphold, and from time to time improve Laws of Prohibition,--regarding that as of infinitely greater consequence than anything else likely to be affected by the manner in which their votes are this year cast.
• 13. Resolved, That the present exigencies of the Temperature cause imperatively demand the immediate and rapid multiplication of Temperance Tracts, more elaborate Essays, and Charts illustrating the effects of Alcohol on the Human system; and we therefore call upon our Publishers, Booksellers, and Periodical Agents to issue or purchase such tracts, essays and charts in infinite variety and limitless abundance, pledging ourselves to promote their circulation be every means within our power.
• 14. Resolved, That in the prosecution of the Temperature Reform we are determined to know no distinction of Creed, Caste or Sex--of section party or condition--but to fraternize thoroughly, and act cordially with all who in heart and life, by word and deed, prove themselves worthy and earnest champions of Total Abstinence.
• 15. Resolved, That we respectfully and affectionately exhort all who receive as truth the sentiments expressed in these Resolves, to live and labor in consistency therewith, and to lose no time in forming and perfecting organizations calculated to insure efficiency to their efforts and triumph to their cause.
Mr. Greeley said,
I propose, Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, friends of Temperance, with your permission, to make some remarks, mainly directed to the ninth resolution. I hear men say almost every day, in this rum-sodden City, that you should not enact the Maine Law, because you cannot enforce such law. Now suppose that were true--suppose that we, in this rum-sodden City, would not be able to enforce the Maine Liquor Law, would that be a fair reason for not enacting it? Suppose we were accustomed to practice infanticide, would that be a sound reason for enacting no law against it? I do not, therefore, admit that if it were true that the rum traffic could not be modified by the Maine Law, that
[p. 23]it would be a valid reason for not enacting the Maine Law. I do not ask what laws are in accordance with public sentiment, and what laws people choose to obey; but the stand-point upon which laws should be placed, is that of eternal and intrinsic right. Is the act right that it should be lawful--then it is lawful in the eye of God; and should be in the eye of the State. Is the act wrong, destructive, corrupting and demoralizing, then it is in the eye of God and in the eye of the State, to be considered as an unlawful act, and the State should so declare it. Now, then, if the rum traffic is a corrupting and debasing traffic--as who doubts, or who disputes, that is reason enough why the State should condemn it. Here we have in this town 6,000 licensed grog-shops--how many unlicensed I cannot tell, but the police may probably inform me upon that subject. [Laughter] But I think from the duty, if it be a duty of picking out the unlicensed rum-shops, when I am not allowed to do anything with the 6,000 licensed rum-holes, where murders, theft, drunkenness, and burglary, constantly take place under the license of the law [Applause.] Why should I go ferreting them out, for there is no possible distinction between the licensed and unlicensed? Why should I go ferreting out and hunting down some poor widow who keeps an unlicensed grog-shop, and cannot raise 810 to pay for a license? Why should I ferret out some foreigner who cannot procure a license, because he has not lived here sufficiently long to be naturalized? On what moral ground can I hunt up these poor wretches, and make them stop selling, when I know that, by so doing, I am simply putting more money into the pockets of the 6,000 licensed sellers, better off, more thrifty, and more comfortable--rum-sellers who have a license in their pockets and who thrust license in my face, and defy all efforts for suppression? [Loud applause.] Give us the Maine Law, and I pledge you that we will organize, and do what we can to put down the liquor traffic here. [Applause.] We will get the sign-boards off the grog-shop doors--we will take the labelled bottles with their colored poisons from the windows, if we cannot get the liquor out of the back dens of the grog-shops. [Applause.] We will keep liquor from tempting and alluring the poor wretch, who finds it so convenient is his path, and who is kept drunk simply because the State lays the temptation everywhere in his way, and he is too frail and too weak not o stumble over it. [Applause.] We will labor for temperance here--we will labor to put down the rum traffic, and if the friends of Temperance in this portion of the State will influence the members of the legislature who will be elected this Fall, we may do something; but we can do very little here in a community, where one-fourth of the voters are this day making money, of hope to make money, by the rum-traffic. We can do very little here where the great commercial interest which controls public opinion by controlling the press, is everywhere linked in chains of guilty amity, and guilty connection with the liquor-traffic. We can do very little here towards electing members, though we will do what we can, who will vote to put down the rum-traffic; but give us law upon our side, and you will see fewer drunkards in our streets and fewer shops on all our corners. So much we will do, if we cannot do every thing. I propose rather to speak to the
[p. 24]abstract than the practical question. What is the fact with regard to the proper relation between law and public sentiment?
Ought law to conform to public sentiment, or ought law to be based upon essential righteousness, and then challenge public sentiment to act in conformity therewith? I hold that the uses of law are not simply restrictions in a physical sense, but a higher, a nobler, a more universal, and a better use of law is that of perpetual admonition. The sword set before the gate of the garden, to turn this way and that way, did not do its duty by directly cutting and hacking the flesh of those who came there, but as a mark that a higher power than theirs had forbidden people to pass. So now, then, if we had laws in every that conformed to righteousness, we should have a moral influence constantly exerted to bring public sentiment and public action in conformity therewith. Take, for instance, the rum-traffic. There are 1,000 men every year entering into that traffic, in this City, and taking the place of those who have gone away forever. Still, the men who are coming up to take their places do not care. The men who have chances before them to get a living a little easier by selling rum, than by planing boards, are every day called upon to make choice. "Shall I buy up this rum hole?" say they. "Can I not get my living easier by selling rum than by making bread?" But there is no man so stupid, so blind, so brutalized by rum that he would not rather get his living by a respectable vocation--one which the law honors, and the State protects--than by one which is under the ban of the law, and which makes him an outlaw, and an outcast in society. Then I say, if the law were enacted to day, although it should never come into existence here, the fact of such a law being in existence, would be one of moral influence, tending to dissuade men from the liquor traffic, and good men, moral men, and ignorant men, a little corrupted, would be warned and admonished by the fact, that the law forbade that traffic. We would then have fewer rumsellers, and they would more generally be that class who alone ought to sell rum: that is, the men who have no moral principle, and no qualms of conscience whatever: and there then would be an admonition upon the victims of the traffic, for liquor would not be sold so openly and conspicuously as it is now. It would be an admonition to the tippler, to the man beginning to drink, taking his social glass now and then. That man would say, "I must look to my steps." He would be brought to a pause. He would see that the place where he had been in the habit of visiting was closed; that the grog-shop had given way to a respectable grocery, and he would be compelled to ask, "What is the meaning of all this?" "Why are the rum-shops, formerly blazing in the light of day, shut up?" And the answer would be, because the law condemns them. Then comes the question--Why does the law condemn them? Because they are to my injury, to corrupt and ruin me. Thus admonished, he would be warned and saved, and tens of thousands would be admonished, warned, and saved. To day, there are thousands of men learning to be drunkards from fatuity--from want of employment--from an overplus of time, and from the necessity of finding rest as they walk our streets--those stony sultry streets--seeking employment, from one street to another, and compelled to sit down and
[p. 25]rest. Where shall they sit down? Why, there is no welcome but the grog-shop, and no man so glad to see them as the rum-seller. Hence there is no class so intemperate in New York as the idle class; and one of the great evils of a strike for labor among us is, that it tends to render those who strike more likely to be intemperate than they were before. If we were to have the Maine Law here, those corner grocery-stores must go down,--and that would save thousands, who now find them the most convenient, the most accessible, and the most inviting places of resort, whey they must sit down somewhere.
The President announced that several letters had been received from different persons invited to participate in the deliberations of the Convention, which he would at this stage of the proceedings read. The first, from Neal Dow, Esq., was as follows:
Portland, Friday, Aug. 26, 1853.
Dear Sir: Your note of the 24th is just received, on my return from the East, where I have been on a Temperance tour.
I wish I felt myself entirely at liberty to comply with your invitation; but as it is, I do not see any way clear to do so. Having been absent from my family private affairs so much, and being engaged to go to Pennsylvania soon, I wish to remain at home for a few weeks at least.* * * *
I see neither the wisdom or expediency of excluding women from Temperance Conventions; their earnest, equal and powerful co operation I earnestly desire.
Truly yours, NEAL DOW.
The second letter introduced was from Hon. S. P. Chase:
Steubenville, O., Sunday, Aug. 28, 1853.
Gentlemen: Your note, inviting me, in behalf of the Committee of Arrangements of the Whole World's Temperance Convention, to be present at that Convention, has been forwarded to me from Cincinnati. My absence from home, and the constant engagements of my journey through the State, must be my excuse for delaying my reply.
I regret that it is impossible for me to accept the invitation which you have so kindly tendered me, and which I deem a very high honor. The great cause which the Convention assembles to promote has all my sympathies; and certainly, in the advancement of that cause, I would admit no distinction which would exclude from active participation, in labors and counsels for its promotion, any of those whom God has gifted with intelligence, humanity, and disposition, to share them, and who are, perhaps above others, interested in their results.
In great haste, yours truly, S. P. CHASE.
R. T. Trall, Esq., Chairman; C. B. Le Baron, Secretary, &c., &c.
The following, from Hon. Horace Mann, was next read to the Convention:
West Newton, Saturday, May 21, 1853.
Dear Sir: I have read the full debate, as reported, of your meeting, and I assure you, my sympathies are with you.
* * * * I have a strong impulse to accept your invitation, and should do so at once, were I sure I could command the requisite time. But I have said a good deal of my say, in letters which have been published, and in my lectures on Intemperance, and I am necessarily to have a very laborious summer. I do not, therefore, dare to do anything more than promise conditionally--that is, in such a way that I shall not be held accountable for any breach of engagement if I should fail to come. I have already spoken two evenings in New-York on Temperance. Yours, very truly, Rev. T. W. Higginson. HORACE MANN.
The fourth letter was from James Russell Lowell. It read as follows:
Cambridge, (Mass.) Wednesday, Aug. 31, 1853.
My Dear Sir--It will be out of my power to attend the World's Convention. I can only declare that I sympathize heartily with any movement that shall promote Temperance, or shall elevate man or woman, socially or morally. The How must be left to the care of individual experience.
Yours, truly, J. R. LOWELL.
The following extract from a letter received from James Haughton, of Dublin, was read to the Convention:
"In regard to the Temperance Convention, I find myself in entire agreement with you, and I wish I could send you over a body of Irish sympathize. * * * * There is one well-known female advocate of Teetotalism in Ireland, Mrs. Carlisle, now an aged lady of over 70 years, I should say. She has labored long and well, and I never heard that she was considered out of her sphere when addressing public assemblies. I have heard her frequently; but she is known better in England than Ireland. Several years ago, in London. I heard two women, (soldiers' wives, I think,) acceptably address a large public meeting on Temperance.
I am not able to send you any expression of feeling on this subject from Temperance Societies in this country, partly because the subject has not come before them, and partly because we have few organized associations. The wealthy classes in society take little part in the movement, so that our operations consist chiefly in addressing small bodies, who are associated in what we call "Benefit and Mortality Societies," composed of workingmen. Many of these Societies consist of Teetotalers.
Yours, truly, JAMES HAUGHTON.
The President next introduced Mrs. Mary Jackson, of Wakefield, England, a speaker in the Temperance meetings in England for over twenty years, and delegated by five Temperance Societies to attend the Convention, among them the Preston Total Abstinence Society, the oldest in England.
Dear Friends: I feel very glad to find myself among you. I would observe, however, previous to making any observation upon the great question for which you are convened, that I feel at present rather in the position of a learner than a teacher. I have come over all the way across the Atlantic, almost simply to tell you that I am one of you. [Applause.] The principles of true sobriety embodied in that entire absence of every description of intoxicating drink, is one which I dearly love. In my estimation it stands second to none, save and except that one which is calculated in its application to renew the soul and fit the sinner for Heaven. [Applause.] I have been a teetotaler for some twenty years. Something has already been said in reference to female labor in the old country, and from what was said, it led me to think that it would convey an impression that it was straight-forward work, and that there was nothing that might be deemed opposition. This is not exactly so, dear friends. When I first entered the field, I had to encounter an amount of opposition from certain quarters. I remember well, that a peevish old Tory Editor used to avail himself of every opportunity of holding up your humble servant to ridicule, in his newspaper, and by way of ridicule he affixed a handle to my name, and called me the "Rev. Mrs. Jackson." [Laughter.] He seemed to have forgotten all about the end of the creation of woman, inasmuch as he attempted to draw a line and set out her work. And what do you think he told me was my work? Why, he very wittily told me stop at home and mend my husband's stockings. [Loud laughter.] I felt highly amused, and my reply was, "With all the pleasure imaginable, for I mend my husband's stockings, and knit him new ones." I thought this idea a very strange one, especially from the editor of a newspaper. He must have forgotten the end of woman's creation, God presented woman to man and said: "She shall be a helpmate to thee." I suppose you all know the definition of the term "helpmate." It means a "proper help"--a help in accordance with the dignity of a man as a human being--as a social, intellectual being. By-the-bye, if that definition be true, then it strikes us that the more noble the cause woman proves herself capable of assisting man in carrying out, the better she answers the end of her creation, and the greater glory she brings to that God who created her. [Loud applause.] The opposition that I had to encounter never gave me five minutes' uneasiness: and why? I always used to think of the Saviour, when he said: If they refuse you admittance into one city, turn away and visit another. When I heard of this movement her, I wanted to come and see and hear for myself, and, in the order of Providence, here I am among you as I have already said, happy to find myself in this position. In reference to men
[p. 28]and women co-operating in this matter to benefit society, an anecdote occurs to me, which I think applicable. It refers to an individual in Scotland, who was, as they term it, "daft,"--that is, rather short in intellect, you know. [Laughter.] This person took a whim into his head to enter the pulpit of a minister previous to the time of his coming to preach. When the clergyman entered and saw his pulpit thus occupied, he stood amazed, and looked up, expecting that the crazy man would come down. Instead, however, of doing so, he addressed him in the following manner: "Come awa', Sir--come awa'; it will take us both to manage them, for they are a stiff-necked generation." [Loud laughter and applause.] Now, thus I thought in reference to the Maine Law--for it will take all our combined efforts to succeed, for they are a "stiff-necked generation." I love the Temperance principle. When I think of its vast import--when it strikes my mind, I believe it had its origin in Heaven. I cannot believe that my and your Heavenly Father, who made this beautiful planet upon which you and I dwell, and who gave the best gift of Heaven, could afford to redeem the inhabitants of this planet, and look on with indifference throughout the length and breadth of the world, view the ravages that Intemperance has committed, and stand an idle spectator. [Applause.] My mind has been impressed that He, seeing this state of things, has taken the matter under his cognizance, and has devised means to set it in operation. The very simplicity of the means adds to its grandeur. When we look and see what our principles have accomplished, it cheers us in reference to the future; and I cannot entertain a shadow of a doubt as to our ultimate success. [Loud applause.]
Friend Richard B. Grazier, from Michigan, then presented himself and said:
Brothers and Sisters: Temperance men and women: It is not my expectation to detain you but a very short time. The cause for which we have met is a great and good one, and I hope we shall all make our mark. I have labored in the heat of the day, and have borne some burden, but from age shall to bear it long. My heart's desire is, to promote the cause of Temperance in all things. [Applause.] Temperance and moderation should guide us in all we take in hand to do. I come from a Western State, and probably most of you know how things have turned there, and, so far as they have turned out in the State of Michigan, have given a handsome majority to the Temperance cause; and we expect when the day and the hour shall arrive for it to take effect that it will take effect. We hope this will be done without any trouble; nevertheless, we are expecting to put the law into practice. While I stand upon my feet, I will allude to the past. I was once a citizen of this great City; but for the last nineteenth years, however, I have been separated from you so that I am a stranger among strangers. But I have never regretted removing from this City, for I have labored not only in the cause of Temperance, but set a sober and honest example to my neighbors in these things. But, friends, there is one
[p. 29]thing which Michigan has not done, which no other State can boast of; and that is, we have never strangled a man between the heavens and the earth. [Loud applause.] The Statute Book of the State of Michigan is unstained and without spot. [Applause.] I mention this, because it is more or less connected with intemperance. The speaker went on to narrate his experiences. He had been at one time of his life a dram-drinker; but he thanked God that he had seen the error of his ways; and he wished to impress upon the audience --more particularly the younger portion--that if they in the least regarded their temporal or spiritual welfare, they must totally abstain from all intoxicating drinks.
The Amphions having favored the audience with a song, the meeting on motion adjourned till 7½ o'clock P. M.