Document 8A: "TEMPERANCE. Whole World's Temperance Convention," New York Daily Tribune, Sept. 2, 1853, pp. 4-5.


   Unlike the other editors, Horace Greeley usually avoided dramatic headlines and sub-headers that summarized stories with editorial flourishes. This difference aside, his paper's accounts of the Whole World's Temperance Convention differed little from those of his competitors. Such differences as do emerge are largely matters of tone. The Tribune avoided snide comments about the speakers, one of the trademarks of James Gordon Bennett's Herald. It did pay compliments to those same speakers.

   The Tribune account of the convention's first day filled almost five full columns that reproduced, virtually word for word, every speech. It also described the enthusiasm with which speakers were greeted.

   The paper's coverage of the second and last day of the convention was equally complete. And it contains the useful fact that, after the resolutions passed unanimously, the delegates voted to thank the reporters for their accurate and fair accounts.

[p. 4]

Yesterday's Morning Session.

   This Convention met at 10 o'clock yesterday morning, 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 rivals 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. T. 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 present, Mr. Eleazer Parmly was unanimously elected in his stead.

   Mrs. 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 Degdalu, of Pennsylvania; E. L. Snow, of New-York; Sydney Pearce, of Pennsylvania; Mrs. M. A. Johnson, Pauline 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 spoke 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 there 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 of the world's inhabitants, it meets to advance and enterprise in the advocacy and earnest prosecution and complete success. In which, the world has an eminent, and manifest need. No where 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 in the great City to observe the traces of the deadly influence of intemperance. Every where we face crime, disease and death, all testify to the necessity of the prosecution of the cause, of the abundant and unwavering effort prompt action to lead by example and success.

   This is an enterprise that recognizes as no distinction of caste, sect, or nation. It is one that exhibits devotion to the great family of Men. 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 caste, 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 status as another, and we must leave no avenue undefended; no point accessible to their attack.

   In whatever parts we are assailed, we must be ready to appease 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 that therefore the whole business of the manufacture, the sale, and the use ought to be assailed with exterminating warfare. "No quarter," is our motto—-we ask none. 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 angel 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 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 adept 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 sometime 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 fist 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 imagined 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 man 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 of 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 practical 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 rum sellers 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 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 in do 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 at the outset of his journey little beside flowers and roses. Gradually thorns beset him, and at last he finds himself to beset with brambles that to retrace his stops 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 se 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:

President Vice Presidents Secretaries:
Thomas W. Higginson, Mass.

John Pierpont, Massachusetts
Edward Webb, Delaware C. J. H. Nichols, Vermont
Leonard H. Glazier, Michigan
P. T. Barnum, Connecticut
Frances D. Gage, Missouri
Horace Greeley, New York
S. M. Loomis, Wisconsin
Asa Fairbanks, Rhode Island
H. S. Tilton, Mississippi
Lucretia Mott, Pennsylvania
G. C. Waxslee [?], California
C. L. Severance, Ohio
T. Goldsmith, Canada
H. W. Wolcott, New Jersey
W. H. Athurst, England
John O. Waters, Indiana
W. G. Howard, Illinois
Susan B. Anthony, New York
C. M. Burleigh, Pennsylvania
C. B. Le Beaux, New York
D. N. Vaughn, Rhode Island
Mary Jackson, England

   Rev. T. W. Higginson, the Chairman, was received with applause:

   He said: Whether I consider the circumstances under which the Convention has been called, or the unusually large audience which now greets my eyes—-unusual for a morning meeting. I can but feel great encouragement, that this meeting is a proof of the earnestness of those engaged in this cause. If I find it difficult to do my duty, I shall gather strength from your faces, because I see you are here, not to be kept in order because you will keep yourselves in order. That you are here not to be restrained, for you will need no restraints. You will wish to show no feeling hat is wrong, and in showing ardor and enthusiasm in he Temperance cause. If you desire to be restrained, I am not the man to restrain you. [Applause] I see I have work before me, and shall try to do it as best I may. I am glad that we are not here to-day. I am glad of the purpose that brings us here to-day. Let us understand our purpose distinctly on the onset.

[p. 5]

I have heard since I came into this hall some expressions from those who did not understand us or our purpose, which show me that it is needful to say one word as to our object. Let it be understood, once for all, what it is 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 [Loud applause.] It is what it aims to be, in spirit if not in number, a Whole World's Temperance Convention. It claims to be so, and rightly claims it, because its spirit is what should be the spirit of the whole world is carrying on the Temperance movement—-a spirit which knows no limitations of sect or sex--which knows no limitations of station or color-- which knows no limitation except that between those who earnestly desire to propagate the Temperance movement against those who would stand in its way, who perhaps know not what they do. It is in this sense that this is a World's Convention; it is world-wide in its spirit, and it is on this account that I stand here. I am glad to see it is a Convention blessed in its due share, in a due and sufficient proportion with women as well as with men, because if it is to be a successful Temperance Convention, we must have women, or they must take part in our deliberations; otherwise it would be such as would lead me to say nothing. Once for all, I will make allusion to the original circumstances which called forth this Convention, and I hope it will be the only allusion that will be made during our deliberations. Let me say that we who came out from the preliminary meeting that first projected the World's convention, we who came out then, were reproached for coming out, when they said to us how could you, who loved the Temperance cause so well, forsake it by coming out from that meeting! How could you dare to risk the Temperance cause by starting out on that occasion. We say it was because we knew that by staying in we were risking the Temperance cause by excluding one half of the human race, whose hearts, whose heads, and whose hands must be kept in the Temperance movement, because they cannot be spared. [Loud applause.] And we thought that men who tried to carry out the Temperance movement without the cooperation of women, were like the boy who tried to row his boat with only one oar. He continued rowing round and round in the East River the whole day, but got no further—-made no progress, and we thought the temperance men who wanted to row with one oar would be in a similar predicament, and as we wished to make progress in this Temperance movement, we made a strike at one for two oars, and we have got them here. [Loud applause]

   Rev. Miss ANTOINETTTE L. BROWN was enthusiastically received.

   She said: The Whole World's Temperance Convention—-rests on its broad platform for everybody. "Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadods, in Pontus and Asia, Pharygia, and Pamphyllia, 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 speak in 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 breath–-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 afterward. 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 beverage used at large banquets but anyone 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? We have not heard a word either about Woman's right to vote even in favor of the Maine Law. Although the world does disfranchise one half of its inhabitants, and although women are not recognized as belonging to the people, and although the other half have contrived to have a license to exist in almost the entire world, except a few portions of the black heathondom and a few of the Yankee States, still there is not a word to be said here about of the Woman to proper remuneration for her own services. Not a word about the right of woman to prevent an intemperate husband from taking her earnings and spending them for his grog bills, and his legal right to do this. Do let it be told that the great nations of the earth sanctify such a system of things as this. Do let it be known that in this country a drunken father could take his own children away from his mother to the rumseller as security for his own grog bill. That he could at this death, in his last will and testament, give them over to the tender mercies of the rum seller for a whole term of years, till they obtain their majority. Not a word about all this. Why these belong to the Woman's Rights. What can all this have to do with Temperance cause? It is possible it may be a proper distinction. Next week, however, the Woman's petition is to be discussed, and we can, therefore, well afford to leave the subject here, even with all the degradation connected the rum traffic. The world will feel much for drunken men it is for the Convention to consider what was to be done with regard to Maine Law. I hardly know what the other Convention may say with regard to this matter, and yet as it is best to let the dead bury the dead, I shall leave this question by simply saying that if the other Convention should have nothing to say in regard to this matter, yet may their thoughts disturb them, and then there burning consciences might continue to burn until the days of repentance. I would

That man could see themselves
As women see them.

   It would save them from many a blunder. Is there none to bequeath a new physical organization? Is there no balm in Gilead for the parching drunkard's blood? Is there no physician to allay the imperative craving for stimulants? Alas, that the struggle against temptation should have been warped. It is a conflict which must be ceaseless until the end. 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, not withstanding all that baby innocence. Yet you see a shadow over that face, reflecting the past and prophetic of the future. Poor child, with that warm 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 through her face, and the angels will weep over her own tears and will pluck out the smiles, while she is yet told that the wine cup will wipe out those tears better than the shame that caused them. They will lie down in an early grave; the earth will not be moistened by a single tear; no flowers will grow up over it; weeds and thistles will grow there, and the old sexton will throw them down with his spade, as he passes on. 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, 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 bay their soul-destroying drink, and then talk of a good moral character of themselves? Rumsellers good moral characters? The thief, the murder, the libertine, can lay as good a claim to a good moral character as the patentees and patronizers of alcohol,--that genuine oil 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 paint invisible pictures so that when placed in the sunlight or before a fire, and as if by a magic wand tint after tint it appears till the whole landscape stands before us in all its beauty and heightened coloring. So it is as soon the tires of alcohol approach the soul, they bring out in legible tracing the sin which might else have remained in that narrow fold forever. 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 rewards of his calling 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 darkened character, giving it hope of a better and brighter future. We should have no hope for the world without a well sustained Maine Law. Light is gathering strength in the world; the voice of God is whispering over and around as to take courage and be strong, for the course of our 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. The talent and power displayed by the lady can be but imperfectly represented in our report, as the effect of her speech was greatly increased by a true womanly bearing, to far preferable to the attempted masculine display of some female orators who seem to forget that their greatest power consists in the exercise of their best feminine characteristics.

   Horace Greeley was received with much applause. He said as one of the Convention appointed to revise the resolutions of the Convention, he would now present their report. They had intended to cover as nearly as possible the whole ground of the Temperance principle. He did not know but that some of them might be supposed to cover a little more than that ground: yet he trusted they would commend themselves to the understandings and consciences of men.


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 is especially behooves 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 Temperance 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 trade.

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 hence forth 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 or subjects-—that it should ever revere and confirm 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 the Alcohol is a prison of itself suffices 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 clinical laboratory, where alone it should be sold, either pure and undiluted or in such combinations as do not disguise its 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 is in an age when the resources of chemistry are so abundant as in 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 to virtue, self-respect usefulness and happiness the unfortunate victims of Intemperance should receive our ready and ardent cooperation, 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 are 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, The 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 thy neighbor as thyself," and "Do unto others as ye would that 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, 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 these 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 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 evildoers and a mortal blow to the Liquor Traffic.

11. Resolved, That the cry, "The Maine Law is ineffectual," is raised entirely by those who never 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 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 other fellow-citizens friendly to the Temperance Cause, in voting for law-makers, to subordinate all partisan or other considerations 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 Temperance Cause imperatively demand the immediate and rapid multiplication of Temperance Tracts, more elaborate Essays, and Charts illustrating the effects of Alcoholism 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 by every means within our power.

14. Resolved, That in the prosecution of the Temperance Reform we are determined to know no distinction of Creed, Cast of Sex—-of section, party or condition-—but to fraternize thoroughly and set 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 or perfecting organizations calculated to ensure efficiency to their efforts and triumph to their cause.

   He merely wished to make remarks relative to the ninth resolution, which referred to the position which law and government ought to take with regard to such crimes and causes of evils as the liquor traffic. He frequently heard men say in this rum-soaked City that you should not enact the Maine Law because you cannot enforce the Maine Law. Now he considered that was the strongest reason why they should enact it. Suppose for instance they were accustomed to practice infanticide in this City, and they knew that form of crime was very prevalent in the present day in the world, but was that any reason for having no law against infanticide? Not any. But rather a very good reason why such a law should be enacted. [Hear, Hear.] There were about 6,000 licensed grog shops in this City, and probably from 1,000 to 1,500 unlicensed ones. The police probably knew better than he did about the real number. How could he go and have any influence with those miserable unlicensed places while there remained so many authorized by laws to sell the liquor? Give them the Maine Law and they would see what 500 temperance men would be able to do in carrying it out. They would at least have all those glaring sign-boards taken down; and they would have bottles of colored liquors taken from the windows where they were placed to tempt in the poor victims of Intemperance. They would at least drive all the drinking to the back cellars, and, by doing so, many a subject of temptation would be saved from falling. He did not consider that the public will or inclination was always the proper basis for a law. A law should be based upon essential righteousness, and then it should challenge public sentiment to conformity thereto. If we had laws formed in righteousness, there would be, in the existence of such laws, such a powerful moral influence constantly exerted in bringing public sentiment and public action in conformity therewith. He proceeded to show the practicability of the Maine Law, and concluded by advising a determined effort to secure a majority in its favor at the next election.

   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 rend. The first, from NEAL DOW, Esq., was follows:

PORTLAND, August 26, 1853

   Dear Sir your note of the 24th 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 and 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 cooperation I earnestly desire. Truly, yours, Neal Dow

   The second letter introduced was from Hon S.P. CHASE

STEUBENVILLE, O. Aug. 23, 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 has so kindly tendered me, and which I deem a very high honor. The 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, and 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 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. Should do so at once were I were 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 Truly, Horace Mann

   Rev. T. W. Higginson

   The fourth letter was from JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL. It read as follows:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., 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 sympathizers. * * * * * 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.) so capably 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 Total Abstinence Society, the oldest in England.

   Mrs. Jackson stated that she felt gratified to be able to meet in the Convention the cordial sympathies which exist between persons engaged in a great and good cause. She had crossed the ocean more than anything else to tell them simply that she was one of them. The principles of true sobriety, embodied in that of entire abstinence from intoxicating drinks, was one that she dearly loved, and it stood in her estimation second to none save that which is necessary to renew the soul and fit the sinner for Heaven. Something had been said in the remarks of the President relative to the labors of her sex in behalf of the cause in England. She did not wish the Convention to gather the idea that all was straight forward and pleasant work, for speaking from experience, she could dispute the inference. When she had first entered the field she had encountered an amount of opposition from certain quarters. She recollected well the efforts of a peevish Tory Editor in the neighborhood where she resided to hold her up to ridicule before the public. He had even gone so far to fix a handle to her name, by calling her Reverend Mary. He seemed to have forgotten the true sphere of usefulness in which Woman could engage, inasmuch as he attempted to draw a line stating her work. For herself, he had prescribed as her individual sphere to be at home and mend her husband stockings. But it had not affected her feelings in the least, though she had regretted that any should desire to limit her usefulness to that of mending stockings. She felt that the gentleman must have forgotten that at the Creation it was stated woman was presented to man that she should be in helpmate to him. She supposed that the meaning of a helpmate was simply a mate in accordance with the dignity of man as a social and intellectual being. If that be the correct definition she thought that the greater and the more noble the cause in which Woman is engaged, the better she answered the end of her creation. The opposition she had met with, however, had never troubled her, inasmuch as if one party refused to hear her, another party was always ready.

   With reference to the law which has been spoken of in the resolutions she had not much to say, but its suggestion had reminded her of a Scotch anecdote which she had heard often before. A silly minded man had once taken it into his head to station himself in the pulpit of the Church one Sunday morning. The Minister came in subsequently and looking up into the pulpit was surprised to see it occupied, but expected to see the individual come down. He was still more surprised, however, when he addressed him, saying, "Come up, come up, it will take both of us to manage them, for they are a stiff necked generation." So it was in the present case, the speaker thought, as she believed that all the efforts which could be brought to bear in moving their cause along would be required, as the people "were a stiff necked generation."

   The principle of Temperance was one she conceded that was heaven-born, for she could [not] believe that the Almighty could look down on earth with indifference upon the ravage of old Prince Alcohol. She believed the greater gifts could not have been given us except it were the design that we should possess the lesser gifts also. The simplicity of truth had also impressed, and indeed the greatest truths that had ever been developed, were characterized by their simplicity, while these ideas which have to call to their aid the artificial flowers of eloquence never contain depth sufficient to enable them to live long. The lovely principle of Temperance had gone forth on its delightful errand scattering blessings upon the right and upon the left, among the rich and the poor, upon male and female.

   The speaker next adverted to the fact of insignificant and small objects, indicating the truth and turn of thought of the public mind, and illustrated the point by an anecdote, showing the keen appreciation of children of the causes of misery in the families whose members were addicted to habits of Intemperance. She was warmly applauded in the different points in the delivery of her remarks.

   RICHARD D. GLAZIER of Michigan, next occupied the attention of the Convention. He adverted to the successful termination of the issue in Michigan, as to whether the law should proscribe the rum-power or not, and in the course of his remarks spoke also of another bright feature in the statutes of that State, in the establishment of capital punishment. His remarks were listened to with much interest.

   The Chairman gave the following as the list of persons nominated as the Roll Committee to register the names of all the Delegates and others present at the Convention:

D.S. Whitney Mass.
Edw. Webb, Del.
J.P. Hutchins, Ct
C.B. Lebarron, N.Y.
L.N. Fowler, N.Y.
H.M. Rhodes, N.J.
C.M. Burleigh, Ct.
E.W. Capron, Mass.
W.G. Hubbard, Ill.
D.C. Bloomer, N.Y.
Dr. Wellington, N.Y.

   After a song by the "Amphions" the Convention adjourned to 7 ½ o'clock.

Evening Session

   At 7 ½ o' clock proceedings of the Evening Session commenced. The audience numbered over 3,000. The Amphions opened the exercises by one of their simple and pleasing Temperance Songs. As the morning's organization was deemed satisfactory, it was not changed.

   Rev. Thomas Goldsmith, of Canada, next occupied the attention of the Convention in an able address. It was listened to with profound interest.

   The PRESIDENT then introduced P. T. Barnum, who said Ladies and Gentleman; I met a friend as I was coming here this evening, and he told me he thought I should find many issues here. Well, I think there are some. This is a whole world's Temperance Convention. If there are any here who do not belong to the world, why, let them leave. If there ay here who have never suffered from the effects of intemperance, let them get up, and see if we don't soon turn them out. But I don't believe there are any persons here who have not so suffered. Then all who are here are justified in being here, and in taking part in these exercises. He then made some facetious remarks, in which he hit off himself in a happy manner, and set his audience in excellent humor. He then proceeded to analyze the vice of intemperance. He would look at the matter in a dollar and cent light. We find that one hundred and fifty millions of dollars are spent annually in run. This sum, if put to interest for thirty years, the principal and interest of it would purchase the whole of the United States. Thus the whole of the United States is drank up every thirty years. [Cheers] The folly of drinking was then hit off in the most happy manner. Following up the materialistic reasons for the disuse of intoxicating drinks, he pointed out the folly of first making criminals by sanctioning the sale of Rum. After making them, we then tax ourselves for buildings to hold them, jailors to watch them, gallows to hang them, ad whole armies of policemen to watch them. What folly. Such is the consistency of the public. He then touched on the use of such stimulants as green tea, and its popular effects on ladies, after they got down about six cups of tea, if a person went into the room where they were sitting, he would imagine from the speed of their tongues, that the ship which brought them the tea, brought them the Chinese language along with it. [Laughter] If ladies drank that beverage to the same extent as men do rum, it would have very similar effect on them. [Cheers and laughter] He then exhibited the glaring anomaly of a community ridden down with taxes, their morals ruined, and smiling plenty turned into filthy, groveling poverty, and yet we succor the men who work all this ruinous desolation. Now, ladies and gentlemen, we should see if we cannot find some remedy. We have remedy; we must take this hydra-headed monster by the neck, and with that powerful weapon, the Maine Law, crush its hideous life out. [Cheers] He also told many very humorous and exceedingly pointed stories, the drift of which were all to the enforcement of the principles of the Maine Law. The audience listened to him with the most rapt attention: and although the whole of his similes were drawn from the simplest sources from his mouth. They told with the audience in the most forcible manner. His panacea for the extinction of Rum and its evils was the Main Law. He attributed the non-passage of that Law to a young lady named Polly Ticks. There is not an unfledged Blackstone in any village in this country who would not set down that Law as unconstitutional; it was only unconstitutional with their interests. [Cheers]

   He concluded with an earnest appeal to the people, the voters, to support the Temperance ticket. Elect Maine Law men, and in a year we shall have a Maine Law passed in this State. [Cheers]

   The CHAIRMAN said they had heard the drunkard described as a comedy in a most amusing manner by the last speaker, but there was another side in the history of the drunkard, which was the tragedy, and in which there was nothing of the comedy. To depict the misery of the drunkard's wife and daughters he would call upon Miss LUCY STONE to address the Convention.

   Miss STONE took the platform amid the most enthusiastic applause. She spoke as follows: It is so very difficult to make a sudden transition of feeling from the gay to the grave or from the grave to the gay, that I fear after the treat we have had from our friend that you may not find it tasteful to listen to the soberer topics of which I should prefer to speak, but after all, there is a sad side to the picture. I could not help thinking, when my friend Barnum was speaking, the drunkard, with his heartily uttered word, and his miserable ruin of himself, that while we would laugh at the picture made before our eyes, yet should the man have been our brother, our father, or our son, mumbling his words from the influence of the intoxicating cup, that we should feel the deepest pity and grief, and in which God and angels would join, and would drop tests of commiseration.

   We are met here as a Whole World's Temperance Convention, having a great mission to fulfill—-to see if we can forward this cause, which surely needs so many helpers for it is true that idiocy, lunacy, murder and crime of whatsoever character is spread over this broad Republic-—and to blot out this curse becomes us more than all this in Convention. It becomes us to blend our words, our thoughts, and our feelings together, to join hands with each other in making ourselves sufficiently strong, if possible, to root out from our land all vestiges of the use of the intoxicating cup. Our country has been laboring under this evil for a long time. I remember back many years, and have known earnest men and women who have been from time to time engaged in the work. There were little talkings at first, little plans devised, but the devil would not come out by such kind effort. In vain were their efforts made, for the mark of the beast was seen, and men and women impelled by the danger rose up together and in a general effort to rid the community of the curse of intoxicating drinks. They tried to legislate it out of use. The fifteen gallon law, and the twenty eight gallon law, and one and another similar efforts of legislative action failed; men, women, and children went to work to cope with the destroyer. They went still further. The mother, seated by her fireside, took the little boy and taught him Temperance songs. She put banners into his hand, and marched him, with others, up and down the streets. Women and young men formed Total Abstinence Societies. Young women pledged themselves to marry no man who partook of intoxicating beverages, and young men came to a similar determination. Old men and women were cheered by the encouragement which they received from the progress of the cause, and the middle-aged joined heartily in the glorious rejoicing, till finally it was a stigma upon the character of an individual to indulge in intoxicating liquor, and those who did drink labeled the jug with some other name, and it became a common expression that those who drank did it behind the doors, and disguised their breath by sugar-plains or peppermints that nobody should detect them. With success the efforts of the people relaxed, and men resumed their caper then came the new effort-—the Maine Liquor Law-—and in it we have a sign of a healthy public sentiment, and there is a falling off in the use of intoxicating drinks. We are all glad of it.

   I will now ask to leave of this Convention, [whether it will please them or not I do not know], but I only desire to propose some thoughts in which I can hope for the corporation of the sons and daughters of Temperance, old and young, that we may hedge in still more closely the bounds which lend to the drunkard's grave and to which so many of our noblest young men are madly rushing. We scarcely pass over a railroad, in a steamboat, or over the high way on a stage-coach but that we detect their ruinous habits by their breath. And the habit is not confined to men, for by a statement made by the President this morning, I learned that there are fifty thousand women in this fair country who drink. To remedy the evil of domestic suffering arising out of intemperance, I propose that we shall create a public sentiment which shall make it possible to prevent any man, woman, child from sustaining a marriage or parental relation when it is necessary.

   God has planted deep in the human soul to those social ties that bind us to life. We are richer and better for the ties between parent and child, brother and sister, husband and wife. I would say to the man who goes to the wine cupper places himself where temptation would be in his way-—and I believe that all women and children would coincide with me-—that he should not sustain the relation of husband and father; that others should have their prospects in life blighted by the acts of the drunkard. To the drunkard woman or the women who placed herself in the way of temptation, I would say the same. Public statement should say that the wife, the husband, or the child, whose nearest interests were affected by the intemperance of either, should be allowed to separate from the one who caused the misery. Is it possible that a woman who in her early years gave her heart with all its wealth and her young love to one whom she deemed a worthy object of it-—it is possible. I say, hat her love will cling to the ruined wreck with the elements of character which had excited her love all destroyed? It is wicked that she should be compelled to live with the father of a drunkard a children, and remain that loneliest of all beings, a drunkard's wife. Why should a man or woman he false to him or herself? A law or usage which shall make the ruin of either on this account is false to humanity. If a drunkard seats himself by the fireside of an injured wife, and she is forced thereby to hear her children evil him father, I say it is due to her that she shall not be compelled to bear the curse.

   If such a sentiment as this can be created in the minds of the people the prospect for having bonds separated, as the result of intemperance would be a check against the argument of such habits. If a person determines to become a drinker, that it be under food that the indulgence in the wine cup is the justification for annulling the ties between husband and wife, this would tend to make both men and women beware in choosing his moral path. I urge this not only for the sake of the drunkard's children, for I tell you that drunken parents become the parents of drunkards. The child of the drunkard goes along in the world marking the way in his hateful train, and when he arrives at sufficient age, the same appetites that were common with the parent become the appetites of the child.

   I know I touch upon delicate grounds, but my only excuse must be the imperative necessity. Suppose it were possible that by some means of sorcery, or possible to vaccinate him with drunkenness, you would see him rushing along, crying for rum, rum, ruin, going from one place to another where the poison is sold, and to procure that which will make a wreck of his intellect and of his morals; and as you see him reel along, with his tottering step and bleared eye, who would not say that the individual who implanted this thirst in his organization was guilty of a crime that would blacken by the side of murder itself? If it were your son, the hope of your future years, you would look upon the man as a messenger from the Prince of Devils. Is this not the act of the drunken parent who implants the appetite of the drunkard in his children?

   Perhaps the victim may be a sister, who, gradually growing up and gratifying a taste for the fascinating draught, sinks lower and lower, till she becomes a maniac, and sinks into returnless degradation. Norwalk tragedies, railroad disasters, are trifling occurrences compared with this; and I would thank God that he should save a sister from horrors far greater than could ever accompany a railroad disaster. Let it constitute a crime as the part of any man or any woman, who shall assume the relation of a parent, who, by his or her habits of intemperance, would be likely to entail upon posterity this curse of dramatic life. If it cannot be constituted by law, then let public opinion do that which law will not. Every child has a right to a healthful organization-—has a right to come into the world with a fair heritage, that it may go back to its God without blemish, as pure as it was born. The husband and or should have a right to a divorce from a drunken partner. I know that texts and statutes will be quoted against us, but truth is stronger than either of them. It only needs to be spoken and uttered, and it will ever shine brighter in the world. If my position is true, I do not care who is against it or who is for it; for God's own life is in it-—that life which never sleeps, but will in one day come like heaven in the lamp, will come without parchment, and will not come in characters that can be blotted out. [Loud applause.] I appeal to fathers and mothers; If you do not, I wish your sons and your daughters, when they go from your household, themselves and their daughters may be guarded against the miseries of intemperance. I know that such is the earnest desire and wish of every one within the sound of my voice.

   The speaker concluded her remarks by illustrating the fact of the little redress afforded by the Courts of this country for abuses received at the hands of a degraded and drunken husband by cases which came under her immediate observation, and at the close of her remarks she was warmly applauded.

   It was moved and seconded that a meeting be held in the Hall this afternoon. Carried.

   The PRESIDENT explained that this meeting was absolutely necessary for the proper transaction of the necessary business. There will be no charge for admission in the morning or afternoon, but a small admission fee will be necessary in the evening, to meet the expenses of the Hall.

   Mr. GREELEY having been loudly called for, now came forward. He made a few remarks pertinent to the address by Miss Stone. He begged to differ in some measure from that eloquent woman on the subject of divorce. The side advocated by her was broad and apparent; but be conceived there is another side to the question that has its foundations no less deep, although perhaps not so obvious, and would, if as explicitly stated, appeal with equal force to the reason of the audience. [Cheers.] Mr. Greeley then passed to the more immediate objects of the Convention. He wanted to see men carrying their temperance to the ballot box. He then briefly explained the objects of the Convention. There are several very eloquent men here from whom I hope we shall hear some time tomorrow [to-day.] Mr. Carson, the originator of the Carson League, by whose influence Intemperance was totally exterminated in several Districts, is here, and I hope he will give us some information of the origin and practical working of his system. [Cheers.] There are numerous others here, from whom some good ideas may be expected. He concluded by hoping that something of practical utility would result from the efforts of the Convention.

   The Amphions then gave a "Temperance War Song," which was very generally applauded.

   The Convention then adjourned to meet at the same place, at 10 o'clock this morning.

back to top