Document 13D: "World's Temperance Convention. Close of the Proceedings," New York Times, Sept. 10, 1853, p. 6.

[p. 6]


Close of the Proceedings.


Speeches of Dr. Lees, Judge O'Neall, Rev. Mr.
Scott, and others.

A Barrel of Flour at Auction

    The sessions of the World's Temperance Convention were concluded yesterday morning, at Metropolitan Hall. The proceedings were orderly, the causes of difficulty having been finally adjusted to the satisfaction of the Delegates.

    The proceedings of the evening session of Thursday were quite interesting. Our report was omitted from yesterday's paper.


    The Convention reassembled on Thursday evening at the hour appointed. The audience was numerous. A barrel of flour occupied a prominent position on the platform. The exercises were commenced by Mr. OTIS singing the air:

"Behold the air of promise come."

    Judge O'NEALL, of South Carolina, was then introduced to the meeting, and said: Ladies and gentlemen: I can say, with all sincerity and truth, that I wish some other person had addressed you this evening. It is more than likely that you, Mr. President, and myself have served out our time in this great and glorious warfare, and that others younger than me ought to be now engaged in fighting the battle which we have fought. A friend of mine told me not to be afraid to come here and address you this evening, but I tell you that I am not afraid of those scenes of rowdyism that have been acted here for the last few days. [Applause and hisses.] I stand here as a Temperance man, to assert its truth and benefits before this audience. To carry out the work of Temperance, it is necessary to prohibit absolutely the sale of intoxicating drinks. In 1852, the people were ripe for the change, and I hope that it will not be long before the Maine Law is inscribed upon the statute books of the glorious State of South Carolina. [Applause] Every crime is traceable to intemperance, and why should it exist! It has done immense injury, and even the vendor of liquor generally dies in poverty and affliction. Many a dram-seller in New-York is his own best customer, and goes down to a grave of poverty, misery, and shame. I hope that all of you will go home to-night determined to set your seal upon this iniquitous traffic at the ballot box. Stand at your polls at the next election, and show that you are determined to preserve unsullied the freedom which your forefathers gave to you. [Applause] Ladies, --I look upon you to-night as I looked upon the audience in Charleston, and I have always found that the ladies will go head and heart with us. I do not stand here to advocate Women's Rights [Loud applause and hisses.] I look for your influence as the dew from Heaven. Let your influence pervade the family circle. Educate your children to be temperate people, and they will honor your gray hairs, and prove patriots to your country. [Applause]

    A VOICE--Time's up.

    ORATOR--Thank you for your hint, and when it suits me I will give up. I am a South Carolinian, and have served my country. I was born a Quaker, and I stand here to-night to advocate the greatest reform that has ever been agitated in ancient or modern times. [Loud applause]

    Rev. JOHN PIERPOINT then came forward, and amid much applause and laughter, recited a poem, entitled the "Original Maine Law Poem," (which was not delivered at the "Temperance Soiree.")

    During this recital, a portion of the woodwork in the gallery took fire, much to the alarm of some of the audience. It was, however, immediately extinguished. At the moment of alarm, the Chairman requested the janitor (as he called him) to extinguish the lights in the gallery, but he mistook the request, and turned off the entire light, leaving the Hall in total darkness. In about ten minutes the gas was relighted, when the President came forward and complimented the audience, particularly the ladies, upon the coolness which they had exhibited during the alarm.

    Rev. Mr. PIERPOINT, observing he did not think that his poem contained so much fire, concluded his recital of it.


    The barrel of flour to which we alluded in the opening of the session, was then put up at auction, to realize funds for the purpose of circulating teetotal tracts in the State of Wisconsin.

    Rev. Mr. CRAMPTON explained the matter as follows: Once upon a time, the hopes of the World, so far as civil and religious liberty were concerned, were on board of a frail bark on the broad Atlantic. In this cask (pointing to the barrel) are the hopes not of the world exactly, but here are locked up, for I have got the key, the hopes of one of the States of our country. The groans and the tears, and sighs and the sorrows of women and children, and widows and orphans, are here to be dispelled by the contents of this cask. What is it? It is not rum, not gin, not brandy. It is not that which will curse, but that which will bless. [Applause] Here is a diploma showing that this cask received the first premium at a State Fair in Wisconsin, as the best cask of flour exhibited upon that occasion. [Applause] The Temperance men of Milwaukee have sent this cask to this World's Convention, and have desired that it should be exposed for sale, and sold to the highest bidder. The money will be expended for Maine Liquor Law tracts, to be circulated in the State of Wisconsin.

    Rev. Mr. HUNT, of Pa., have come forward, and performed the part of auctioneer, much to the amusement of the audience.

    The following scene took place.

    AUCTIONEER--I never sold anything in my life. [Cries of louder]

    AUCTIONEER--Won't you wait till I get started. These are the rules: After the first bid is made, every man who bids shall pay the amount that he bids. Suppose, for example, a man bids $5 and another bids 25 cents over that amount, that 25 cents is to be handed up here and forfeited, for his not bidding enough. Now, then, who will start a sum. [No response] Won't anybody?

    A VOICE--$10.

    AUCTIONEER--Good, very good. $10--$10--$10

    Various bids were here made, up to $100; each bidder coming forward and depositing the excess of his bid with the Secretary; and ultimately, the flour was knocked down to Messrs. BOWER & McNAMEE for the above amount.

    Rev. Mr. HATFIELD then came forward and said: It is against my inclination and judgment, that I am placed before you at this time. I want to say a word or two, inasmuch as I am compelled to speak, with regard to the essential justice of this cause, and the interests which we have assembled to promote this evening. I need not tell you that the prominent idea before this Convention has been the suppression of the liquor traffic, by legal enactments. We have come to that position in the Temperance reform, where our best and wisest men are unanimously of opinion that this is the next step that we must take; and that nothing considerable can be done until this principle is incorporated upon the statute books of the several States. [Applause] I want to make a few remarks in reference to the justice of the idea. If I am not right, much as I love Temperance reform and the Maine law, and its authors, and the noble State from which it emanated, I would not raise that hand in favor of that law, or for its enactments, if I believed that it trenched upon the rights of one of God's creatures, even the meanest or poorest, in all the country. [Loud applause] I hate the abominable doctrine, that we ought to do evil that good may come: and if there is a man in the whole country, who could make good the assertion, that this law would interfere with the just and legitimate rights of rum-sellers and rum drinkers, then, Sir, palsied be my arm, and let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, before I would utter another word in its vindication; and it is just because in my soul that I feel it essential that I feel interested in the passage of this law, [Applause] What does the Maine Law propose to do? According to my understanding it proposes to do what every good law should do viz: to hold up a strong shield between the wrong doer and the victim. If we all make fools of ourselves--if these gray-headed fathers now present, forget what they have learned fifty years ago--it is not in our or their power to ruin this cause. [Applause] Mr. President, I am glad that you are watching over this cause with jealousy, and I thank God at the same time, that I can throw off all apprehensions, and say that this cause is based upon a rock, against which the gates of hell cannot prevail. We are bound to have this law, and to sweep the rum traffic with the besom of destruction from off this continent. [Laud applause] Be of good cheer. Be humble in this matter, learn to labor, and to wait with patience, knowing that God is with you, that truth is with you, and the rights and interests of humanity are with you, and with such assistance and support, you cannot fail. [Loud applause]

    Rev. Mr. JACKSON begged to remind the audience, that the Committee of Arrangements had been put to considerable expense in the management of this Convention, and hoped that every person in the hall would contribute $1 towards meeting such outlay.

    A collection was them made, a song sung, and after a few remarks from General CAREY, the Convention adjourned until Friday morning.


    Soon after 8 o'clock yesterday morning, the Convention was called to order by Hon. Mr. CAREY, of Ohio--the President being absent. There was a thin attendance of delegates, and very few strangers in the gallery.

    Rev. Mr. JACOX, of Mich., offered up prayer, after which the minutes of Thursday's proceedings were read by the Secretary and approved.

    Reports of Committees were heard.

    Judge O'NEALL took the Chair, while Hon. Mr. CAREY stated that the Committee on Ballot-box requested to be discharged from consideration of that subject, as already exhausted by previous reports.

    Dr. PATTEN, of N. Y., read the report of the Committee on Permanent Organization, concluding with the following resolutions:

   Resolved, That a National Committee of nine be appointed by this Convention, a majority of whom shall reside in Philadelphia, who shall superintend the general movement in favor of the prohibition of the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage; who shall employ such agents and issue such publications as may be required; who shall correspond with the Central Committees of the several States and foreign countries, and report at such National Conventions as shall be held.

   Resolved. That we recommend each State to organize by the appointment of a State Central Committee, whose duties shall be to superintend the affairs of such State, and appoint corresponding committees in the several counties, townships, and wards, to have charge of the business necessary for carrying on a vigorous campaign against the liquor traffic.

   Resolved, That the National Committee be authorized to call National Conventions at such times and places as they may deem proper, not less frequently than once in two years.

   Resolved, That we recommend to all countries the adoption of similar organizations, through which we can correspond with them and they with us.

   Resolved, That we now proceed to raise the sum of $10,000, to be used under the direction of the National Committee, in promoting the objects of this Convention.

   Resolved, That at each National Convention, a new election shall be held for a National Committee.

   Resolved, That the National Committee shall make an annual report through some Temperance periodical, of the receipt and disbursement of funds.

    Mr. STAINSBY, of New-Jersey, rose to a question of privilege. He had been reported in the Tribune as a clergymen. He was a mechanic, and did not wish to steal the "honors" of the cloth. It had been also stated he was a "Woman's Rights Man." He begged to state he never had been other than an advocate of Temperance [Several voices: "Take the platform"] The report stated that a National Convention should meet every two years. It struck him that it would read better in unison with their present proceedings to call it a "World's Convention." The gentleman made an objection to holding this Convention in Philadelphia, in preference to New-York or Boston.

    Mr. CARR, of New Jersey, suggested Washington as the place for holding the Convention.

    THE PRESIDENT--It seems there is a misapprehension. The report does not fix where the session shall be held; it only states the location of the Committee.

    The resolutions were read separately.

    Mr. RANSOM, of New Jersey, moved the amendment suggested by his colleague, to strike out the word "National", and insert the word "World's Committee."

    Rev. Mr. SMITH, of Connecticut, and Mr. STRAIT, objected to the amendment. The amendment was withdrawn.

    Rev. Mr. DUFFIELD, of Philadelphia, moved to strike out the word Philadelphia, and leave it blank.

    Permission was given to the Committee to amend by striking out the word Philadelphia.

    Mr. HAVERS, of New-York, moved to amend by substituting thirteen for nine members of Committee.

    Mr. STAINSBY, of New-Jersey, objected to the resolution in its present form, as giving a majority in one place. He was satisfied that putting so much power in the hands of a majority, from one place, would lead to disastrous results. He moved to amend, by making a Committee of one from each State, District and Territory in the Union.

    Three members rose together. The Chair decided that Dr. SNODGRASS, as the farthest off, had a right to the floor. Dr. S. seconded the amendment of Mr. STAINSBY.

    Mr. KEENER, of Md., hoped they would not overlook the practical part of the question, in carrying out their own particular notions. It would be impossible to get together a member from every State in the Union. He hoped the number would be confined to thirteen.

    Mr. HAVENS, of N.Y., said he would withdraw his amendment for a Committee of Thirteen, in favor of one appointing a general committee of one from each State and Territory, with power to appoint a local executive committee, to act under their direction.

    Mr. WARREN, of New-York, thought they had better settle in their own minds, whether such an organization as that proposed would be feasible, before discussing the number of the Committee. He believed that the plan proposed by the Committee would not work.

    After some observations from M. JACOX and Mr. JOHN LONG, from Virginia,

    Mr. STAINSBY rose to make an explanation, refuting any unworthy motives attributed to him. Humble an individual as he was, he did not want his motives to be misconstrued.

    A long whistle of admiration from a delegate on the left.

    Mr. STAINSBY [excited]--I ask the Chair if it is orderly for a member to whistle?

    Mr. JACKSON went into a long explanation of the course adopted by the Committee.

    A gentleman rose in the body of the hall. [Cries of "Name"]

    The GENTLEMAN--"HAFF, of Maryland." [Laughter]

    Mr. BAFF [sic] suggested that the Committee be formed of three from each State.

    Mr. BROWNSELL and Mr. CHASE, of New-York, opposed any amendment to the original resolution.

    Judge O'NEALL took the Chair, while Hon. Mr. CAREY made some observations. The words of a brother from New-York, whether there was a necessity for such an organization at all, had weight with him; but he now rose, not to inquire into that question, but to speak to the motion before them. They wanted an organization the most simple. The Committee was not to be a legislative, but an executive body, and, therefore, to be efficient, it must consist of a few.

    Rev. Mr. CROSS, of Maryland, moved an amendment, which amounted to a substitution, naming a Committee of nine, with power simply to call a National Convention.

    The PRESIDENT--A motion has been made to lay the amendments on the table.

    Mr. HAVENS and others--I rise to a point of order. Is it in order to lay the amendments on the table, without the original resolutions?

    PRESIDENT--Certainly it is.

    SEVERAL DELEGATES--I move to lay the whole subject on the table

    The vote was counted, and the whole subject laid on the table, by a vote of 100 to 83.

    Judge O'NEALL, on behalf of the Business Committee, to whom was referred yesterday a resolution by Dr. SNODGRASS, on revenue laws, reported adversely to the proposition contained in that resolution.

    A DELEGATE moved concurrence in the report.

    Dr. SNODGRASS offered the resolution again, as an amendment to the report.

    The PRESIDENT ruled Dr. S. out of order, and the report was adopted.

    Regular business was then surrendered, to have reports from the Delegates on the progress of Temperance in other countries.

    Dr. LEES, of England, was introduced. He said: I hope everyone present will feel the truth of the ancient saying, that "whatever concerns man, concerns me;" and, if you do, I am sure you will not think I trespass on your time in devoting five or ten minutes in telling you the position of the Temperance cause in Great Britain, of some of the Societies which I have the honor to represent, and in showing you what we are doing and intending to do. Without enumerating the vast number of Societies, I may say that it has been our plan to divide be country into great Associations, the oldest of which, started by the men of Preston twenty years ago, is entitled "The British Temperance Association". That Association has devoted its energies during that space of time to propagating and defending the principles of Total Abstinence, in the North of England and the Midland counties. It has done this by means of a band of agents, thorough going teetotalers, long pledged Temperance men, and most of them now advocates of the Maine Law. In connection with that agency, we have a widely circulated journal, the British Advocate, which is pledged to the dissemination of Temperance truths. An organization embracing peers, members of Parliament, sheriffs, &c, &c, has been recently set on foot for the express object of suppressing the liquor traffic. We have the countenance of such men as BRIGHT, COBDEN and others of that stamp, and assurances of their support of the measure in Parliament: Lord JOHN RUSSELL, Hon. M. VILLIERS, the well-known anti-Corn Law Leaguer, and the late Secretary of State are in favor of the movement. There is one great obstacle, however, to our progress, and it is this: the descendants of the Puritans, there called "Voluntaryists," object to National Education, and therefore, on the ground of consistency, they are opposed to Parliament interfering with this traffic. So you see the friends of Temperance in England are to some extent divided among themselves. But, nevertheless, we are sanguine as to the result; we suppose that by good and judicious management of our cause, we will attain our object in some eight or ten years. Not very long since, a law was enacted bearing upon the traffic in Scotland; by it the sale of liquor in groceries, confectionaries and other such places, has been positively prohibited. That speaks significantly as to the state of public opinion in that country. We trust that by thus once having got the wedge in, we will, by moral action, be enabled to drive that wedge home. But we have come here more especially to learn from you the effects of this great law, and to receive from you a stimulus to further exertion, with the hope that by our action and reaction, we may before long join in one grand triumph over the liquor traffic. [Applause]

    Rev. Mr. SCOTT, of Montreal, said: I have great pleasure, sir, in rising to say a few words to this Convention. Indeed, when the Convention was first called, it afforded me great gratification, because of the conviction I entertained of its utility and necessity at this particular crisis in our Temperance operations. I am glad that Canada has been represented here, and that some of her delegates have already addressed you. It is some time since the Temperance movement first took hold of the Canadian mind; indeed, the first Temperance Society was formed by an American gentleman, named CRISTMAN, and it exerted a most beneficial influence on all the public opinion of that country. Now, nearly every town or village in United Canada has its Temperance organization. At first we used to have a short pledge, but now every Temperance organization is based upon the Total Abstinence principle and on no other. [Applause] The most useful and energetic organizations among us, for the last few years, have been the Divisions of the Sons of Temperance; they have almost superseded all other organizations. Our principles are identical with those of the total abstainers of England. The United States and Canada are one on this question; we have fully committed ourselves to the Maine Law principle, and determined that nothing but the entire suppression of the traffic in intoxicating drinks will satisfy our demands. A bill prohibiting the traffic was introduced into our Parliament by Hon. MALCOM CAMERON, the Postmaster General of Canada, and was lost by a vote of 34 to 38 only a majority of four: he succeeded, however, in effecting the passage of a bill prohibiting the sale of liquor within three miles of the public works. That is so far as it goes, an installment of the good that will result from the movement. We, in Canada, intend to make a political question of it, if necessary. [Applause] I shrink not from the observation that I am not authorized by those whom I represent here to say so; but we feel that it already has been made a political question of by our opponents, [applause] and we cannot help ourselves, if we intend to obtain the law. It has largely entered into our politics, as in the election of members to our Legislature. We have determined that not only will we select men who will stand by the law, but in all our minor Governments--in all our Municipal elections, we intend to bring the question there. Canada means to go ahead or fall. Our organizations are scattered far and wide throughout the land. Our end and aim are good, sound and Scriptural, and we have no doubt but that the law will be obtained, and man improved and elevated, and God glorified thereby. [Applause]

    Mr. CASSELL, of England, next took the floor, and spoke for some time upon the prospects of the cause in his country, and the benefit which resulted from the circulation of Temperance publications.

    Rev. Mr. COX, from Georgetown, D. C., offered the following resolution, with a few remarks tributary to the memory of the late Rev. JUSTIN EDWARDS, D. D.;

   Resolved, That this Convention hereby expresses the high and grateful appreciation of the distinguished services rendered the cause of Temperance by the late Rev. JUSTIN EDWARDS, D. D.; and that while we bow with resignation to the appointment of that unerring Will which has removed him from the field of earthly usefulness and toll, we cannot but deeply mourn the loss from our ranks of so efficient and faithful a laborer.

   Resolved That this resolution be published in the minutes of the Convention, and a copy conveyed so the family of the deceased, with an expression of our sincere sympathy with them in their bereavement.

    Mr. KEENER, of Md. seconded the resolution, and was followed by Rev. Dr. KENNEDY, of N. Y.

    The resolutions were carried unanimously by a rising vote.

    A letter was read from E. C. DELAVAN, enclosing resolutions condemnatory of the liquor traffic.

    Rev. Mr. DUFFIELD moved the following as a Committee, with power to call a World's Convention at least once in two years: Hon. Neal Dow, E. C. Delevan, Gen. Carey, Hon. J. B. O'Neall. Rev. C. Keener, and Hon Malcolm Cameron. Carried.

    Mr. OLIVER, of N. Y., moved that the funds remaining in the hands of the Committee after paying all bills, be appropriated to printing and distributing a report of the proceedings of this Convention. Carried.

    Dr. POWELL, of Ala., moved a resolution of thanks to Hon. NEAL DOW, for his able and dignified conduct in the Chair, which was carried.

    Dr. B. BROWN WILLIAMS, the Mesmeric Physiologist, introduced a series of resolutions on medical theories, with resounding with gasses, elements, Maine Liquor Law, the atmosphere, &c. The resolutions were referred to the Business Committee, amid peals of laughter.

    After some resolutions of thanks to the Finance Committee and others, prayer was offered by Rev. D. PARKER, of New-York, and the Convention adjourned sine die.

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