Document 21E: "Temperance and its Friends," New York Times, Sept. 10, 1853, p. 4.

[p. 4]

Temperance and its Friends.

From the Tribune

    The World's Temperance Convention has completed the third of its four business sessions. The results may be summed up as follows:

   First Day--Crowding a woman off the platform;

   Second Day--Gagging her;

   Third Day--Voting that she shall stay gagged.

    Having thus disposed of the main question, we presume the incidentals will be finished up this morning.

    This is a graphic, and unfortunately in the main a true, report of the doings of the Temperance Convention. And it comes from a quarter which public sentiment will hold responsible for having thrust into the Convention elements of disturbance, and for having thus caused that imbecility of results over which it now tauntingly rejoices.

    The Tribune professes to be friendly to the Temperance cause, and to all movements designed to aid its progress. Yet it has done everything in its power to disorganize the large and respectable Convention of Temperance delegates, and by that means to bring disgrace upon the cause it was designed to serve. Its measures have been taken with more formality than those of Captain RYNDERS and his gang, and it has employed different instrumentalities;--but its object and temper have been essentially the same, and it has achieved the same result.

    The Convention had scarcely met before the scheme of the disorganizers was made apparent. One of the tribe, a Mr. CLARKE, of Rochester, offered a resolution inviting everybody who should choose, "without respect to age, sex, color, or condition," to take part in its proceedings. This was promptly and distinctly voted down. "A Woman" then pushed her way to the platform, and renewed the question by making a personal issue upon it. The clamors of the Abolitionists, Socialists, Radicals, women in pantaloons, and others, who constituted her backers, rendered it absolutely necessary that she should be "crowded off the platform" and "gagged," if the business for which the Convention met was to be transacted. And after two days had been consumed in this unseemly but necessary work, her determination not to "stay gagged," rendered equally imperative the thorough completion of the job. And considering its difficulty, as well as its necessity, we consider this about the best three days' work performed by any Convention in our City for some time past.

    Nor is there the shadow of an excuse for this violent intrusion upon the Convention. These Amazons and their backers had just held a Temperance Convention of their own, expressly because they knew that this Convention was not designed for them and that they had no business to meddle with it.

    When it was found that the Temperance feature of the Convention could not be made to give place to the Woman's Rights crusade, an attempt was made to supersede it by the Abolition and infidel element. WENDELL PHILLIPS, one of the great champions of rampant radicalism in Boston, was imported hither to aid in the work;--a sham society was created, he was formally chosen its delegate, and armed with sham credentials, he claimed a seat in the Convention. The thimble-rigging operation was speedily detected, and, in spite of his false pretenses, Mr. PHILLIPS was respectfully, but rather unceremoniously, ejected. Thus collapsed the second part of the grand experiment.

    A third remained. Dr. J. MCCUNE SMITH, a worthy and respectable pastor of a Colored Church in this City, claimed admission as a delegate,--for the purpose confessedly of introducing an African element into its deliberations. His application was refused. And having thus exhausted the patience of the disorganizers, repelled all their attempts to convert the meeting into something else than a Temperance convention, and succeeded in obtaining control of their own organization, the Convention proceeded to dispose of what the Tribune styles the "incidentals" of the business;--namely: adopting measures to advance the cause of Temperance.

    The Tribune, in a roundabout way, exults over these proceedings, as having

    "accomplished a very different thing from what they [the Delegates] now suppose. For if it had been their earnest desire to strengthen the cause of Woman's Rights, they could not have done the work half so effectually. Nothing is so good for a weak and unpopular movement as this sort of opposition."

    This may be true. But it only proves that the Tribune's zeal for Woman's Rights is a good deal stronger than its desire to aid in advancing the Temperance cause.

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