WORLD'S TEMPERANCE CONVENTION
Grand Meeting at Metropolitan Hall.
A Female Delegate Admitted
The World's Temperance Convention held its first session in Metropolitan Hall yesterday morning. The body of the Hall was filled nearly to its full capacity but there were only a few persons scattered through the galleries. On the platform we observed NEAL DOW, Judge O'NEIL, JOHN CASSELLS, of England, Rev. JOHN PIERPONT, General CAREY, Rev. Mr. PATTEN, Miss ANTOINNITE BROWNE, and several others of the most prominent advocates of the cause of Temperance
Shortly after 10 o'clock the meeting was organized On the motion of Mr. HALSTEAD, General CAREY, of Ohio was called to the Chair, and the Rev. Dr. PATTEN, with GEORGE DUFFIELD of Pennsylvania, were appointed Secretaries. The following thirteen gentlemen were then appointed to act as a Committee of Organization:
E. W Jackson, Pennsylvania; John M. Oliver, New-York; John Cassells, England; John H. Cacke [?], Virginia; E. C. Barstow, Rhode Island; Moses Miller, Massachusetts; E N Harris, New-Brunswick; Isaac Litton, S. W. Hileard, New-Jersey; J. B. Smith, Wisconsin; Mr. Campbell, South Carolina; T. Hill, Maine; E. F. Cunningham, District Columbia.
The following five gentlemen were then appointed to act as a Committee on Credentials John Marsh, C. C Leigh, Mr. Campbell Thomas Watson, S. Halstead.
The proceedings of the meeting then opened by a prayer from Brother CHAMBERS, of Philadelphia. After which, Mr. WHITNEY, of Concord, Mass offered a resolution to the above Committee of Thirteen on the ground that many Delegates were not present. After some discussion on this question, the resolution was lost.
Dr. SNODGRASS, of Maryland, proposed a resolution to the effect that it might be legitimate to enlarge the above Committee, by adding one member from every State, Country or Territory represented.
Mr. DURE, of Ohio, objected. The Committee was sufficiently large already. Permission to increase it would only prolong their business. There was no necessity for so doing, and their was no propriety in the delay. This proposition was finaly lost, after considerable discussion.
Mr. WILLIAMS, of Alabama proposed the following resolutions:
1. That each Delegate report himself, and that each are invited to participate in the organization of this Temperance convention.
2. That in such organization of this Convention, and until regular rules are adopted, each State represented in this Convention shall call the number of votes corresponding with the number of the Electoral College of that State, when a division on any question is called for or a vote by the States
These resolutions elicited a long discrission, in which many members took part, and were finally laid on the table
Rev. Dr. PATTON then requested that, as they had a few moments which would not be occupied by business, they would be favored by a few remarks from Gen. CAREY.
Gen CAREY then came forward and said that he was always ready to bear testimony in favor of that great Reform which had called them together. It was a subject of vast importance, inasmuch as it embraced all the interests of society. And in the prosecution of the cause, they should be actuated by one voice and one mind They had one grand object in view, which was to devise some ways and means by which they could arrest the desolating, parching, burning flames of intemperance, which were spreading destruction throughout the world. It was their business to inquire whether they could not adopt some measures for preventing an army of liquor makers and liquor sellers waging a war upon the world--a war that spared neither sex nor age, nor condition. Shall these men be stopped? Shall this tide of desolation which threatens to overthrow the world be arrested? Shall we be told that the moral progress of the human race shall not advance equally with that of their physical and intellectual? Shall we be told this, too, in an age when all the elements are combined by man for the purpose of exalting his condition and bringing about all those stupendous results which we witness around us? Why, more advancement has been made within the past thirty or forty years than in the 6,000 proceding ones. Vast improvements have been made in all the departments of human industry within the last thirty years. This is an age of steam; it is an age of machinery; it is an age, the tendency of which is to contribute to human happiness; and surely we are not to suppose that a corresponding improvement cannot be made in the moral world. Yet, strange to say, many persons were striving to hold the world back. The conduct of these people reminded him of an old man who for many years before the age of steam, obtained a living by floating a barge on the Ohio. He heard another man one day offering up a prayer for the destruction of all modern inventions, and he joyfully responded amen; for, said he, if these inventions were all destroyed, the steamboats should stop. He also recollected another story of an old Scotch woman, who was mighty indignant at her neighbor using a fanning machine. She thought that a blanket or a sheet was quite good enough, and that he should wait for the Lord to send him a good breeze for the purpose. People of this stamp are all for waiting for Divine interpretation. But all history and all revelation tell us that the world is to be improved and refined through the agency of human institutions. We must endeavor to remove the causes of all the evils we complain of. And this truly was a work based on Apostlic principles. Clear away those distilleries from the face of the land, and then but not till then will the songs of the Angels, which were sung at Bethlehem, given before the Lord, exalting his glory and invoking peace and goodwill among men. As long as those distilleries and grog shops remain among us so long shall we be a land of death. He was glad to see both men and women coming forward and demanding the extermination of those establishments, and although he was entirely opposed to pants, he was glad to see that the ladies in his State were prepared to enforce a prohibitory law. They exhibited great spirit and determination in Ashland, when they proceeded to vindicate their right of protecting their children against the deadly effects of intemperance, and that too, after that right had been repudiated by the legislature and the Town council. But notwithstanding the opposition they were meeting from many quarters, their cause was progressing [?] an age in progress. We are progressing in other things as [?] and [?]. Old gray-headed fathers, and those, too, who had not gray heads, could recollect the time when the production of liquor was a necessary element of hospitality.
Here the charming address was interrupted by the announcement that the Committee of Delegates required that delegate send the name of the Society from which he came. The roll of delegates was then partly read - it was necessarily imperfect, containing only the names of those received up to yesterday noon.
Mr. CLARKE of Rochester, then proposed the following resolution:
Whereas The cause of Temperance is world-wide in its divine mission, the highest good of the whole human race therefore,
Resolved That this Convention cordially invite all the friends of humanity, without respect to age, sex, color or condition to participate in its deliberations and in its glorious work.
This resolution called up an animated and violent discussion, in which very many members took part. Some were for preventing the resolution being put to the meeting, and even against Mr. CLARKE being allowed to assign his reasons for making such a resolution. The Chairman was appealed to and decided that Mr. CLARKE had a right to briefly explain the reasons
Mr. WILLIAMS from Alabama, appealed from the decision of the Chair.
CHAIRMAN--Shall I be sustained by the meeting?
Here a scene of great confusion followed, in which many members attempted to address the Chair. The Chairman was finally sustained, and Mr. CLARKE was told to state his reasons shortly.
Mr. LANE, from Virginia, protested against this line of proceeding; the South were, of course, included in the resolution, and such a resolution was an insult to it.
JOHN C. SYMS, of Pennsylvania, moved an ajournment to Philadelphia; in that city the proceedings of the Convention could be carried on duly, not here. (Cries of "No. No!")
Dr. PATTEN requested of Mr. CLARKE to withdraw his resolution, if for no other reason, for, at all events, the sake of generosity.
Mr. CLARKE would not yield; he would persist in exercising the privilege he enjoyed. It was his wish to enlarge the platform whthout regard to sex, age, color or condition. All true friends of the cause, whether brothers or sisters, should be allowed to share in the proceedings. They owe much to the influence of their sisters. Women should be welcome here, whether black or white. (Loud hisses) Here the speaker was interrupted, and much confusion followed, mingled with cries of "Order, order" Mr. CLARKE proceeded to say that all who were friendly disposed to the proceeding, should be embraced, and that none who have any interest in the reform should be excluded.
The chairman having put the question to the meeting, the resolution was laid on the table.
A list of permanent officers to act as a Committee of Organization, was then read. The following are the names:
Vice Presidents--John Cassels, of England; Jos. Carpenter R I; Lyman Beecher, Mass; Reuben H. Walworth, N Y; Edward S. James, N Y.; Thos. Watson, Pa; Samuel F. Carey, Ohio; Christian Kenner, Md; Geo. Savage, D. C. John H Cooke, Va.; John N. Simons, S. C.; D. C. Jacobs, Mich.; Samuel D. Hastings, Wis.; John Donald, Canada; Edw. N. Harris, N. B.; Geo. Jeoffries, Scotland; R. H. Powell, Ala.; C. C. Lathrop, La.; N. Pulson, Del; L. H. Barry, Ind.
Secretaries--Rev. W. Patten, D. D., New-York; Isaac J. Oliver, New-York; R. M. Frost, Pennsylvania; Geo. Duffield, Pennsylvania; Clement Webster, Rhode Island; D. [?] , England; John J. Beckett, Canada.
Treasurer--Schummer Halstead, New Jersey.
Business Committee--J. Betton O'Neall, South Carolina John Marsh, New-York; Ulysses Ford, District of Colombia; E. W. Jackson, Pennsylvania; R. C. Barton, Rhode Island; L. Beecher, Mississippi; Isaac Bitter, Mr. Wadsworth, Ohio; Mr. Williams, Alabama.
Mr. NEAL DOW then came forward and spoke briefly as follows. He said that great responsibility had been placed upon him by that , and he felt much reluctance in accepting the position they had placed hin in. Yet, he would endeavor to discharge his duty as faithfully and efficiently as he could. They had assembled to take on the great question of Temperance, and it was the duty of all to lend a helping hand and further the cause as much as possible. He regretted to say that many men were still opposed to them. But their conduct was hardly to be wondered at. The history of the world showed that every great question which had for its object the melioration of our race, was destined to meet with obstacles and to be bitterly opposed. That fact was forcibly impressed on his mind that day while passing through the Park. There he saw the statue of one of their greatest men, who, when he proposed to join the waters of the great Lakes and the Atlantic met with nothing but scorn and opposition. The project was laughed at, and seemed impracticable and useless. And yet they had all lived to see that mighty work contribute more than any thing else to the power and wealth of the State. So it was with all those schemes which had been put forward by the benefactors of the human race. The cause of Temperance was no exception. They had gone on steadily and surely, and they had arrived at almost the last step which was to crown their labors. And the time would soon arrive when we could put off this armor we have worm so long, and lay aside those arms which have done such signal service in the cause of Temperance. He concluded by saying that they were to understand this was a business meeting, in which matters relative to the delegates were to be transacted.
Considerable discussion next ensued as to the organization of the Business Committee. Various suggestions were made as to the persons who ought to be nominated, but the matter who finally settled be appointing the above named persons. Miss ANTOINETTE BROWN next presented herself. She expressed much interest in the cause of Temperance She came there as a delegate from two societies and she wished to speak in behalf of a subject which lay in the very depth of her soul. She had a right --(Hissess and cheers)
Here there was another scene of confusion, which brought up the question whether Miss BROWN ought to be received as a delegate.
The question was declared in the affirmative, and Miss BROWN resumed her seat on the platform
Mr. JACKSON, of Pennsylvania, next proposed the following resolution:
Resolved. That a committtee of one from each State or Nation represented be appointed by the chairman to report a plan of uniform and general organization. Carried.
Mr. BLACKBURN, of New-York, proposed a resolution to the effect that a committee of three be appointed to gather statistics showing the progress of Temperance in those countries represented to this Convention. Carried.
Mr. TAYLOR, of New-Jersey, next proposed that in future the body of the Hall should be used by delgates, and the platform by officers of the Convention, alone. This proposition met with considerable disapprobation from a part of the audience. After sundry observations for and against the motion, a division was called for. The point was finally settled by the announcement that the platform was in future to be occupied by the officers and such other persons as the presiding officer should choose.
Gen. CAREY then proposed the following resolution, which was carried:
Resolved. That though we fully appreciate the value of the cooperation of our wives mothers, and sisters, we are of the opinion that the platform is not the appropriate sphere of woman.
After some further business in relation to the appointment of sub-committees, and reading the rules of the Convention two of which were--that the morning session should commence at 9 o'clock and end at 1 P. M., and that each speaker should be limited to 10 minutes, the meeting adjourned until 7½ o'clock in the evening.
The President of the Convention (Mr. NEAL DOW) called the assembling to order at 7½ P. M.
The exercises opened with a prayer from Rev. Mr. HUNT of Pennsylvania
Rev. RUFUS CLARK, of East Boston, Mass., was the first speaker of the evening. He said, the cause they were engaged in was world-wide, and it never, he believed, had a stronger hold on the public mind than it had at present. In a short time, he believed, the great vitality of this, the metropolis of the country, would be engaged in turning the wheels of the ship freighted with this great burden--Temperance.
All the previous exertions of the Temperance people were in fact but so many voices in the wilderness, in advance of a grand consummation yet to be realized. Many said they ought to confine the sphere of their exertions to mere moral suasion. Men did not endeavor to dissuade the thief, the incendiary or the murderer from the commital of moral wrong: no, they prohibited the volition towards crime, and punished the offence. Why should not a similar legislation apply to those who robbed and killed both physically and morally?
The revered gentleman then went into a general laudation of the Anglo Saxon race, in terms at once plagiaristic as well as extrodinarily dull. The speaker's observations were not by any means well received, he being hissed several times during the course of his remarks.
A Mr. COLBURN was their introduced, and delivered, in very good accompaniment, of lines of an entirely temperate character, though sung to the inspiring strains of "Scots, wha' hae wi' Wallace bled"
Mr. CAREY (commonly called General CAREY) then got on his feet, and inquired if any one present would stand up and say that they had not suffered, directly or indirectly, from the use of alcohol by some relation or connection. Men might say that alcohol is a an inoffensive thing--was it? Would any of his hearers place a rattlesnake with his children as a plaything and say, as in excuse, that God made it? A man was not an honest man who would not join in pouring out the rum on the bosom of the mother earth--the only mother that would not reel from it. [Applause] Moral suasion, upon which so much had been said, was all moonshine. There was not a single man engaged in the traffic who did not know that he was employed in a most despicable occupation. He thought the time has come when the public desired that a little more Temperance should enter into politics. It was well enough for rumsellers and their friends to talk about an infringement of personal liberty but he would ask that the laws which were applicable to butchers, [?], &c. be extended to all those engaged in the liquor traffic. Mr. CAREY went on in a very vehement manner to state that in Ohio, if a man did not cut down his thistles before a certain day in August, he would be fined--so much for the objection that the law ought not interfere with the individual will of the citizen. Mr. CAREY went on to say that he execution of a law similar to the Maine Law should be carried out, no matter at what cost of blood and life, because rum was at present decimating just as many. They were in the midst of a great moral revolution, so let them buckle on their armor and go into the conflict undaunted, and they might rest assured that a grateful posterity could ever bless their memory [Applause.]
Mr. COLBURN then sang a very pleasing ode to the air of "The Star Spangled Banner"
Rev. L. Patton then came forward and induced the audience to come forward liberally. Mr. P., is an old hand at passing round the hat. In truth we should imagine that his exertions last evening, in the case of moral reform, were not allowed to go unrewarded.
Mr. OLIVER stated that several donations of $100 had been received. He was willing to be one of twenty-five to raise $2500, for the promoting of the cause.
Mr. JOHN CASSEL, a member of the English Delegation and ppossessing to a considerable degree the euphonious dialect of Lancashire, then came forward and was received with enthusiastic applause. He said:
Mr. PRESIDENT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: When I crossed the Atlantic, I did not expect meeting with such a warm reception as I have experienced, first as regards the weather and secondly as regards the speech of my friend Dr. PATTEN, (Laughter and applause.) I feel this evening placed in somewhat a strange position and I am sure, by the spirit that you have manifested I have only to throw myself upon your kindness and that you will bear with me. Dr. PATTEN has said that he has heard me talk in Yorkshire but he is mistaken. I am not Yorkshire: I am a resident of London, but I am a native of Lancashire, and the people of Lancashire speak what they term the Lancashire dialect. Now, a great portion of my life was spent in Lancashire among the operative classes, and therefore my speech or dialect is tainted with what is called a little of the Lancashire twang. I will andeavor to make myself understood, and speak as plain as I possibly can. I rejoice exceedingly that I am present to witness this demonstration. It is worth crossing the Atlantic only to be present, and to look upon this meeting and the zeal which you manifest. (Loud Applause) I scarcely know what course to pursue in addressing you, for the circumstances in which we are placed in England in relation to the drinking custom, are very different to the circumstances in which you are placed: and besides, I know that almost every argument which could be adduced in support of the principles of Temperance, have already been bought forward by some of the most able advocates of this cause. Nevertheless, I feel that I am not here this evening and that it will not be expected of me, to deliver a speech developing, as it were, the principles and objects of the Total Abstinence Society, or treat upon some abstract doctrines or principles. I can, however, talk to you and tell you of the great and glorious which have already been in England, by our own great and glorious triumphs which have already been achieved by our great and glorious principles. I myself, though I am, as you may see, apparently a young man, have been a teetotaller for upwards of 18 years. [Applause] When I first united myself with this Society, our principles were confined to my native country, Lancashire. Teetolalism was taken up by a few working men--sawyers, blacksmiths and shoemakers. They had a great deal of opposition to contend against. We had not only the brewers and the spirit merchants against us, but we had the clergy of the Christian Church against us, but we are determined to persevere amid good end evil report. We have had all manner of objections brought against us, and were but simple young men to discuss this question with doctors of divinity and with learned medical men; nevertheless, the men of Lancashire went forth and beat down all opposition. And now I can say that there is scarcely town or village in the United Kingdom in which there is not a total abstinence society formed (Loud applause.) We have many thousands of teetotallers in Great Britain: nevertheless we are not up to that state in which you are in America. We have still arrayed against us the clergy, for we have very few ministers of the Gospel in favor of our principles. For this reason: the drinking usages of Great Britain appear to be almost an insurmountable obstacle, and not only so, but the principal man in connection with our Bible circles, our missionary societies, our benevolent and philanthropic movements, are the followers and vendors of the drunkard's dram. [Applause.] And you go to church and to chapel and your ministers will all bless the Bible Society, and the Tract Society, and the benevolent movement but they will be afraid to offer up a prayer in favor of total abstinence, for fear of offending some brewer, or wine merchant, or distiller. As to praying for total abstinence, it is out of the question. (Hear, hear.) Just to give you an illustration of how we stood I would mention that at one time, when we grappled with their arguments, they flung Scripture in our faces, as "Take a little wine for thy stomach's sake," and the marriage at Cana of Galilee. No, we could not get them to come up upon the platform and discuss the question with us. We were in this predicament: They said, "Oh dear, yes; drunkenness is a great evil, and you teetotallers are doing a great deal of good" but still we could not bring them up to the point. "Your cause," said they, "is a very good cause; go on and do all the good you can" "Why not join us," said we. "Oh, no," said they, "it is a very good cause, a very good cause indeed, but the only difficulty is, you see, that we cannot see our way quite clear." They could not see their way quite clear, my friends. [Applause and laughter.] I dare say in America that you are placed in a similar position in regard to the Maine law. There are gentlemen here who, no doubt, will say that you are endeavoring to carry out a great and good reform and that they quite agree with you; but that when you ask them to join you the excuse which they allege is that they cannot see their way quite clear. [Laughter and applause] If you look into the motives of these gentlemen who cannot see their way quite clear, you will find that there are various reasons for it. You cannot, friends, expect a man to see his way clear through vats, wine-barrels, mash-tubs, and various other impediments of of that kind. [Laughter] Perhaps you have heard of ROBERT HALL, a gentleman connected with the Baptist Congregational Church, who withdrew from that and joined the Established Church of Great Britain: and the reason was that he married a wife belonging to that persuasion, whose friends earnestly desired him to become a Churchman This ROBERT HALL once got a young man into his study and began to converse with him upon the subject of Temperance; but the young man could not see through his arguments. Said the doctor, "I know how it is", and taking a scrap of paper he wrote on it the Greek for God. "Do you understand what that is ?" said the doctor "Oh, yes,"said the young man. The doctor took a guinea from his pocket, placed it over the word, and asked him if he could see it. "No" replied he, "Why not?" said the doctor. "Because," returned the young man "You have placed a guinea in the way." "Yes" said who Doctor," and the reason why you cannot understand my arguments is that there is a guinea in the way. And, gentlemen, you will find in reference to this Maine Law that people cannot see their way clear to go with you, because either directly or indirectly, there is a guinea in the way. [Laughter and applause.] We have not only had interested parties to contend with, but we have had a working population. Now in regards to myself, I know what my feelings and prejudices were in reference to the Temperance movement, and bear in mind that I myself stand before you in some degree in [sic] trophy in connection with the Temperance movement. I myself have been an operative, although at the present time I am not an operative, but an employer of a very large number it them, and I think I own one of the larger establishments in the metropolis of London, which is exercising a great influence on the public mind in Great Britain, with the circulation of works for the promotion of education and art; but I was once a carpenter, and, like many others in London born of humble parents, worked hard for my living. We have men in England of great promise [?], but still we have a great deal to contend against, and we do ask for your encouragement and sympathy in the great and good work, and we trust that by your aid--that is by your sympathies and by your publications that we shall yet arouse the Christian Church of Great Britain that they shall be allied in favor of the great noble and glorious cause (Loud applause.) They tell us in England that this system is a very good thing for the drunkard; and in all directions where we go we are met with that from the Christian Church. And I dare say it is the same with you in America, for I thought in coming over here that I should find almost every man in favor of total abstinence. But when I came in the Atlantic, I was sadly disappointed; for on that ship there was a great deal of drinking toasts, and all the other practices which we consider tend to keep up the drinking system; and I found even that ministers were giving their sanction to this gigantic evil. But we in England have been able to sweep every objection on one side, and now we have upon our side working men of various employments, and even ministers, who have been induced to come and join us, and who declare that they can study better, preach better, and pray better, and do their arduous labors better, without intoxicating liquors than ever they could with them. Then, I ask you, seeing that this drunkenness produces great evil, and that abstinence produces great good--I ask you, then, Americans, whether we shall go forward and do all in our power in stop the drinking system! (Loud applause.) You have an idea what intemperance is doing in America and in England. We have greater evils in connection with the drinking system than you have, for in England intemperance not only strikes men but women. The number of women taken up by the police in London to amounted 11,812, who were found drunk in the streets. We have in Great Britain alone upwards of 100,000 individuals engaged in making and vending the drunkards' drink and we see what effect this liquor is producing in striking down men, in impairing their physical powers, in dethroning the judgment and crushing the intellect, and we ask, shall this go on to decimate the population and to make wives widowless [sic, widows?] and children fatherless? Shall drunkards go down, down, down to eternal death and cry out with the anguish of horror: "No man cares for our soul!" No, we total abstainers have responded to the appeal of the poor drunkard. We see what drinking is doing, and we are determined to do our utmost to dry up the fountain of iniquity, and to prevent people from selling drink which beggars and slaughters our people. The people of England are watching with anxiety the progress you are making in this great reform [Applause.] Our newspapers teem with the reports of your proceedings in connection with the Maine Law, and although the English journals look upon it as fanaticism, we are endeavoring to follow your footsteps, and the time, I trust, is not far distant, when the Maine Liquor Law will prevail throughout the entire [sic] of the United States and Great Britain. (Loud applause.)
Mr. COLBURN was called on for a song, after which, the Convention adjourned until to-morrow morning at 9 o'clock
The following amounts were subscribed during the evening session
|Isaac J. Oliver
|J. H. Cornell
|Lewis B. Loder
|Phe[l]ps Dodge & Co.
|Samuel B. Spelman
|J. W. Oliver
| Collection of