Copyright
G. H Stockham.

Temperance and prohibition online

. (page 6 of 8)
Online LibraryG. H StockhamTemperance and prohibition → online text (page 6 of 8)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


better without it, and would also have been spared the
curse of having acquired a craving for intoxicants that
often results in his ruin.

Grief, despondency, loss of fortune or friend, nope-
less love, unhappy marital relations, stimulating foods
and condiments, excessive use of animal food, pastry,
strong tea and coffee, particularly in persons of seden-
tary habits, all have a tendency to depress vitality
and create a desire for alcoholic stimulants; any de-
jection of spirits, either from physical or mental causes,
that induces a hopeless, pessimistic view of life, is apt
to be followed by an intense lounging for something
that will give temporary relief. A .man thus af-
flicted, naturally resorts to whisky, or some other al-
coholic liquor, to drown his sensations, and enable him
to forget himself for the time being. Derangement of
the liver is often responsible for a large surplus of
trouble in this world. A healthy stomach does not
crave stimulants. A man with a good digestion is
naturally cheerful. The state of the mind is an al-
most infallible guide as to the condition of the digest-
ive organs. Our insane asylums are peopled by
victims of dyspepsia, and thousands of unfortunates
commit suicide every year from the same cause.

The exoteric causes of intemperance are better
known to the majority of people, and are those



CAUSES OF INTEMPERANCE. 93

combatted by advocates of total abstinence. Of
these various causes, social customs are probably
the most prolific source of immoderate drinking.
Most men regard the common practice of treating to
drinks a necessity to the proper greeting of a friend
or acquaintance. The contiguity of the ubiquitous
saloon furnishes the opportunity. This custom seems
to be peculiar to Ireland and our country. In Ger-
many a man pays for what he drinks, which is as it
should be. A high-spirited man should esteem it an
impertinence for another to propose to pay for his
liquor. To entertain a friend in one's own house and
to volunteer to pay for his entertainment in a saloon
are very different things. The customs of society are
tyrannical, and too often follow us through life, to our
own detriment.

The love of conviviality so deeply implanted in
most of us, is another great incentive to drinking
habits. In the present condition of society it is an
almost universal belief that one cannot show good-
fellowship to one's friends without the offering of spir-
ituous liquors. A man who is secretly opposed to
this practice will often follow it rather than to subject
himself to the suspicion of being niggardly or inhospi-
table.

It i frequently urged as a plea in favor of the use
of alcohol by our public speakers, that their brilliancy
and eloquence are enhanced by, and largely dependent
upon, the glass of spirits taken before ascending the
rostrum. This habit of Daniel Webster is a common
illustration of the theory.



94 TEMPERANCE AND PROHIBITION.

There is no doubt that so powerful a stimulant does
away for the time being with all nervousness and
trepidation, substituting a feeling of self-satisfaction
and confidence. It is done, however, at the ultimate
sacrifice of the integrity of the nervous system, and
when the habit is confirmed, a man is pitiably depend-
ent on it. How much better and braver it would be
to live down the first natural timidity by the aid
of the higher stimulant of a determined will to
" speak right on " that which we know will be of
benefit to our hearers. A man who is " drunk with
conviction," as Emerson says, will not fail to be more
eloquent in his earnestness than he who is drunk on
whisky. Better to follow such examples as Henry
Grattan, the illustrious Irish barrister and statesman,
and the renowned Disraeli, both of whom made fail-
ures of their maiden speeches, than voluntarily to be
placed under the dominion of that insatiable despot,
Alcohol.

The principal incentive to drunkenness is the saloons,
and in their suppression we are heart and soul with
the prohibitionists. They are a crying evil in the land,
and harm both those who keep them and the luck-
less beings who enter their accursed doors. They are
dens of infamy, hot-beds of cruelty, prostitution and
every order of crime known to unhappy humanity.

It is well known that saloons are often the rendez-
vous of the worst characters, who meet to devise plans
to prey on the community ; that a majority of the
homicides and assaults are committed in these places ;
that they are schools of depravity and nurseries of



CAUSES OF INTEMPERANCE. 95

licentiousness, where, under the influence of spirituous
liquors, all the baser passions are excited. They are
the natural home of the striker, and the repeater at
elections, and frauds against the sanctity of the ballot
are too often concocted within their doors.

The granting of licenses to these way-stations on
the road to poverty and a drunkard's grave, is a
wrong against every man, woman and child in the
community. It is an act not guided by wisdom or a
proper regard for the morals and well-being of the
people. A Government should do all in its power to
promote morality and further that which is of vital
import to the nation ; and in this licensing of saloons
our laws have but opened the way to every kind ol
immorality and crime.

It is also the duty of a Government to protect the
weak and remove as far as possible all temptations
from the people which could encourage intemperance
or any other injurious custom. For this reason, if for
no other, it is wrong to grant licenses to persons whose
pecuniary interest is to pander to habits which lead
to drunkenness. And to legislate the wretched vic-
tim of such a system into jails along with criminals
and law-breakers for what the Supreme Court of the
State of New York has decided is not a crime, is the
very crown of this wrong to humanity.

The present system of granting licenses is also an
evidence of legalized inconsistency. It cannot reform
the drunkard. It makes the selling of liquor lawful,
while rendering both the tempter and the tempted cul-
prits in the eyes of the law. Looking at the question



96 TEMPERANCE AND PROHIBITION.

even from a business standpoint we fail to see wherein
saloons are of practical benefit to the people. The
amount of money paid into the treasury for their
licenses cannot compensate them for the immense
sums spent in the prosecution of crimes that had their
origin in these places. Therefore on no ground what-
soever are local authorities justified in granting saloon
licenses for the sale of spirituous liquors.

In advocating the suppression of saloons we wish
it distinctly understood that this does not include the
prohibition of the manufacture and sale of spirituous
beverages of any kind. These industries should be
free^under proper governmental regulations. Our ob-
ject is to prevent the sale of spirituous liquors and
fortified wines to be drunk on the premises where
they are sold.



CHAPTER XVII.



REMEDIES SUGGESTED FOR INTEMPERANCE.

IN proposing remedies for the esoteric causes of in-
temperance we direct special attention to the fact that
breeders of horses and other animals take an infinite
amount of pains to observe and carry out the law of
heredity. It is lamentable that equal judgment and
foresight are not used in propagating the human
species, which is certainly a matter of far graver conse-
quence to mankind. A man may be excused for being
indifferent to the quality of colts and lambs that he
raises, but it is not so easy to overlook a thoughtless-
ness as to the kind of children he brings into the
world.

A practical application of this law on behalf of
human beings would be an immense factor in the
ultimate progress of the race. Its effect would be
evident in a single generation, and its persistence
through succeeding ones would be productive of in-
calculable improvement to man. His instincts would
become simpler and purer, and his appetites be subor-
dinate to his spiritual perception. So many excellent
works are devoted to the elucidation of this subject
that it is not necessary to do more in these pages than
to impress upon the reader the importance of making
a thorough research into hereditary influences.
7 (97)



98 TEMPERANCE AND PROHIBITION.

" The man is ignorant of law who gives
Being to offspring, cursed, before their birth,
With passions that destroy their future peace,
And make the stately fabric of the soul
A dungeon of impure depravities."

A man or woman who is addicted to habits of
inebriety is unfitted to become a parent, and if off-
spring be born of such they are almost inevitably af-
flicted with an insatiate longing for some kind of stim-
ulant. Sad indeed is the case where a father or
mother is responsible for a life-long misery to a child !
It is not in human nature for the latter to regard with
perfect filial love and respect the author of a heredi-
tary vice in himself, and his seeming ingratitude is
based on a just appreciation of what he realizes has
been defrauded him by birth.

There is probably no more effective cure for intem-
perance than the adoption of a strictly vegetarian diet.
It is a natural law that the human system craves most
that which it feeds upon. The man \vho lives prin-
cipally on animal flesh is not equally satisfied with
other kinds of food, because the tissues of his body
are composed of that material; while to the vegetarian
such a diet would be distasteful or positively obnoxious.

Animal foods, particularly those which are called
red meats, such as beef, mutton and pork, are very
stimulating, whereas cereals, fruits and vegetables are
not at all so. There is an intimate relationship be-
tween both solid and fluid stimulants. Persons ad-
dicted to the use of ardent spirits are almost invariably
lovers of rich foods, and the ranks of the inebriate are



REMEDIES FOR INTEMPERANCE. 99

generally supplied from high livers. J*L vegetarian is
seldom, if ever, given to intoxicants.

If a vegetable diet be adopted for a sufficient
length of time, the old tissue of the body will be
eliminated, and new tissue will be evolved from the
non-stimulating foods to take its place ; the desire for
liquor will gradually decrease with this change of
tissue.

Physicians should teach people that the effect of a
stimulant is always evanescent and usually leaves an
increased longing for its repetition ; that the continu-
ance of such use must terminate in a lessening of vital
power, in a deadening of the finer attributes of our
nature, and a general tendency to grossness, with a
slow but positive overthrow of spiritual insight and
power.

A man is always cleaner, purer, manlier and more
self-possessed when absolutely uninfluenced by spiritu-
ous beverages. They unfit him for the society of
ladies, and are a common bar to domestic felicity, for,
as a rule, women prefer the caresses of a man whose
breath is untainted by liquor.

The various discussions on temperance in communi-
ties have had the excellent result of putting drinking
habits in disfavor among the educated classes. It is
no longer a joking matter to see a man under the in-
fluence of liquor, for people have grown to regard
such a sight as most unpleasant and pitiable. No one
now need fear being thought singular or unsocial if
he refuses to drink with a friend, and a man is uni-
versally held in respect who has the manhood to de-
clare his principles and live up to them.



100 TEMPERANCE AND PROHIBITION.

We now come to the consideration of a remedy for
the most formidable 'of all the sources of intemperance
the saloons. With regard to the power of States
to prevent by legal enactments the establishing and
keeping of such places of resort, we submit the follow-
ing decisions of the Supreme Court of the United
States.

Justice Taney says : " If any State deems the retail
and internal traffic in ardent spirits injurious to its
citizens, and calculated to produce idleness, vice or
debauchery, I see nothing in the Constitution of the
United States to prevent it from regulating, restrain-
ing, or prohibiting altogether, if it thinks proper."

Justice Catron further asserts: "If the State has
the power of restraint by license to any extent, she
has the discriminating power to judge of its limits,
and may go the length of prohibiting altogether."
And other justices concur in the opinion of Justice
Grier, when he positively declares : " It is not neces-
sary to array the appalling statistics of misery, pau-
perism and crime which have their origin in the abuse
of ardent spirits ; and to correct these great evils, all
measures of restraint or prohibition necessary to effect
that purpose are legitimately within the power of the
State Government."

The question now arises, Would it be a wise proced-
ure to suddenly close these establishments? It is true
that a majority of them are disreputable, but there
are some that are frequented by a thoroughly respect-
able class of citizens who meet there for friendly asso-
ciation, and a peremptory shutting off of this privilege



REMEDIES FOR INTEMPERANCE. 101

would evoke loud complaints on their part. The cus-
toms of a people cannot be abruptly changed. Time,
growth and education are important factors in a per-
manent reformation.

At the same time it would be the height of folly to
expect men to improve in their drinking habits while
saloons are licensed to sell that which produces
drunkenness. A great step in the right direction
would be to alter the character of these saloon licenses,
so that they prohibit the sale of spirituous liquors and
fortified wines, and allowing only pure wines, beer and
cider to be sold by them. Although preferring the
total prohibition of saloons if it could be effected with-
out such positive objections on the part of the masses,
we think the next best thing would be this change in
the general system of liquor licenses. Massachusetts
has five distinct classes ; the second, fourth and fifth
read as follows :

" To grant licenses to sell malt liquors, cider and
light wines to be drunk on the premises.

" To grant licenses for the sale of alcoholic liquors
of all kinds not to be drunk on the premises.

" To grant licenses to sell malt liquors, cider and
light wines not to be drunk on the premises."

These licenses, if honestly enforced, would result in
a diminution of drunkenness in a very short space of
time. This course could not elicit serious opposition
from either the advocates of total abstinence, or of
those who practice moderate indulgence. The latter,
by not being compelled to forego his glass, would lend
a more willing adherence to the support of any law



102 TEMPERANCE AND PROHIBITION.

that would mitigate the curse of intemperance, the
evil effects of which both admit.

The adoption of such a system of licensing would
go far to disarm the antagonism of the saloon-keepers
and their supporters, and would aid in undermining
the powerful organizations of th.e liquor dealers. The
strength of the latter is developed in proportion to the
opposition they receive. The people generally would
not be aroused to violent resistance because they
would be permitted to procure liquor when they
wished it, just so they drank it off the premises where
they are sold.

The past thirty years' experience with our present
licensing system, proves its inefficiency to render
much assistance to the cause of temperance. It would
hardly seem wise, therefore, to persist in a course so
unproductive of permanent benefit. The universality
of alcoholic drinking among all peoples makes any
sudden change by repressive laws, an impossibility.
We must depend upon the slower but surer processes
of wise legislation that will restrict and control, rather
than coerce.

A man can only attain his highest development by
leaving his actions perfectly untrammeled. Liberty
of choice should always be open to him. He cannot
progress under duress. This is in harmony with the
divine plan. His wrong-doing is an experience by
which he learns wisdom ; the events of another's life
can never be his guide to knowledge. Therefore,
great as is the evil of excessive indulgence in alcoholic
liquors, they must not be arbitrarily withheld from
him.



REMEDIES FOR INTEMPERANCE. 103

The eliminating of whisky and other spirituous
mixtures from the saloon-keeper's list of supplies,
would be like extracting the poisonous fangs from the
adder.

Various regulations could be adopted that would
assist in educating the people to pay less attention to
the mere act of drinking, and more to the opportunity
for social converse. The ordinary American method,
of taking a drink standing before the bar of a saloon
has not the redeeming social features of the German
" Bier Garten " or French " Cafe." In these attract-
ive places you invite your friend to a table where
lunch, or tobacco with pipes, is the customary
concomitant of the liquor served, and all are but
recognized additions to the pleasure of mutual com-
panionship. It is certainly a far less objectionable
and more dignified manner of drinking than what we
daily witness in .this country.

The keepers of saloons must be deterred from un-
derhand practices to defraud the law, by the strict
enforcement of exemplary penalties for its violation-

The strongest opposition to any change in the
licensing system would come from large cities and
towns; but the population throughout the country
and villages would outvote the cities.

The subject of local option which we have previ-
ously considered under the operation of coercive laws,
would now be just and equitable under the principle of
regulation. Communities have the right to protect
the morals of the people, and are justified in prohibit
ng any business which they believe encourages disso-



104 TEMPERANCE AND PROHIBITION.

lute habits, just as they would abate a public nui-
sance. No one's personal liberty is abridged thereby,
for a man is not debarred from purchasing whatsoever
liquor he wishes, as he would be under total prohibi-
tion.

In the new regime special regulations could be
made for hotels, restaurants, theaters and other places
of amusement and recreation. The first two should
not be deprived of the privilege of supplying their
guests with liquors,, to be sold in bottles and sent to
their own rooms, but bars should be prohibited.
What constitutes a hotel or a restaurant should be
clearly defined, so as not to include lodging-houses in
rights that would constantly lead to violation.

Theaters and other places of a similar character
where it is customary to furnish members of the audi-
ence with liquor during the performance on the stage
should not be prohibited from continuing the custom,
only confining the drinks to light wines, beer, etc.

Suburban parks, and other places of public resort,
where rifle-shooting and various amusements are en-
joyed, should have like regulations.

Club-houses ought to be regarded as having equal
rights with a private residence and so be exempt from
any interference with their rules. Public dinners
and social entertainments should not be debarred from
any privilege enjoyed by the individual.

Other exceptions to the general observance of liquor
regulations may arise, which will require special ordi-
nances as time develops them. Temperance coffee-
houses and places of amusement would be a great as-



REMEDIES FOR INTEMPERANCE. 105

sistance to the eradication of drinking habits. It is
impossible to specify the minutiae concerned in the
practical application of this proposed revision of the
license law. Our position here must be suggestive
rather than assertive. We would, however, emphasize
the necessity of utterly excluding the element of coer-
cion from this or any other reformation.

We leave to wiser heads than ours the formulating
of suitable plans under the new dispensation for the
gradual changing of intemperate customs and habits
among the people, only stipulating that no member
of the commonwealth be deprived of a single personal
right or privilege.

In conclusion, we urge the importance of cultivating
all the amenities of life which will directly or indi-
rectly encourage an abhorrence of intoxicants. No
opportunitv should be lost of impressing upon the
tender minds of the young the utter beastliness of
drunkenness. A child should be taught to regard
with horror anything that could even for a moment
rob him of his self-control.




CHAPTER XVIII.



THE ADVANTAGES OF AN INCREASED PRODUC-
TION OF WINE AND BEER.

IN previous chapters in this work we have shown
that in all European countries where wine is the
common drink of the masses, intoxication was of in-
frequent occurrence until the wine crop fell short and
adulterations were resorted to by the manufacturers.
These spurious compounds were principally made
from corn and potato spirits, which, from their poison-
ous properties, created an unnatural craving for stimu-
lants in those persons who drank them. Drunken-
ness now became common, and from these facts we
must reason that if pure wines were again placed
on the market, and adulteration were made a crime
punishable by law in every country, the people
would be led to use more wine, which means less
whisky and brandy, and consequently less intoxica-
tion.

No valid objection can be raised against the mod-
erate drinking of pure wine any more than the eat-
ing of stimulating foods, like roast beef, eggs, etc.
It is the excess of such use that should be avoided as
being both gluttonous and harmful.

The enormous production of wine in European
countries demonstrates its extensive use among the
nations of the earth, and its vast importance as an
(106)



INCREASED PRODUCTION OF WINE. 107

industry. The vineyards in some districts extend
over immense areas of land, giving employment to
thousands of men, women, and children. Millions
of capital are invested in the wine manufacture, thus
furnishing work for thousands more. In compre-
hending the extent of the almost limitless interests at
stake in the carrying on of the various branches of
labor connected with grape culture, wine-making, and
wine traffic in general, we can see how useless would
be the attempt to exterminate it. Coercive laws
could not crush these interests nor do much to change
the habits of the millions of people who drink wine.
The wisest course would be to give them pure wine
instead of the poisonous adulterations now sold for
such.

The climate of California is peculiarly adapted to
the cultivation of the grape. In 1862 there was
considerable excitement about the vineyard possibili-
ties of this State, and many varieties of grapes were
planted, but were uprooted some ten years later and
fruit trees substituted. Seven years ago there was a
revival of grape culture in California, which was
carefully fostered by the new State Board of Viti-
culture. At that time there were only thirty-five
thousand acres of vines in the entire State, eighty
per cent of which were of poor quality. To-day
there are one hundred and fifty thousand acres,
ninety per cent of which are foreign varieties of wine,
table and raisin grapes, making an investment of
over $65,000,000.

It is not an exaggeration, therefore, to assert that



108 TEMPERANCE AND PROHIBITION.

not many years will elapse before California's vine
interests will outrank those of any other country on
the globe, and her people will be given a permanent
and remunerative source of employment. The ear-
lier ripening of the grape on this coast opens an al-
most unlimited market for this fruit in the Eastern
States. The remaining quantities not used by home
consumption, or the making of raisins, will be turned
into our wine presses, thus furnishing vast revenues
to our people.

In the cultivation of the vines and the gathering of
the grapes, men, women and children would be given
light and healthful employment. Machinists, coop-
ers, bottle-makers, in fact all the employes in branches
of labor connected with this industry, would receive
an impetus that would give new life to trade, com-
merce and civilization.

Instead of thousands of acres being devoted to vine-
yards, hundreds of thousands will be thus utilized in
the near future, bringing comparative wealth to num-
berless homes throughout our hills and valleys. This
ease from delving toil will be followed by an inevit-
able increase of wealth, intellectual culture, refine-
ment of tastes and manners, more elegant private
structures, art galleries, museums, churches, theaters,


1 2 3 4 6 8

Online LibraryG. H StockhamTemperance and prohibition → online text (page 6 of 8)