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baths, etc., that are the natural outcome of an aes-
thetic and prosperous people. Schiller believed that
man would be regenerated through the influence of
the beautiful.

Under the principles of this great republic the
masses will rise with this wave of fortune, and Cali"


fornia will enjoy an era far more brilliant and sub-
stantial than the famous golden one of forty-nine.

To effect such grand results the most stringent laws
should be enforced to prevent the decoction of poison-
ous liquors to be sold as wine. Then whisky will
no longer be the national drink. Its slaves will
cease to exist, for this now mighty monarch will be
forever dethroned by the joyous god of pure wine.
All internal revenue tax should be removed from the
latter and every facility given for its cheap manufact-
ure and sale.

In a letter from the Mayor of Jerez de la Frontera,
the capital of the sherry district, to the American
Consul at Cadiz, the following pertinent statement is
made :

" The condition of the wine market is deplorable.
Purchases of real sherry are now very seldom made.
The conditions of the industry have wholly changed,
and the vineyards which represent so much capital,
have now little value. More wine is exported as
sherry than the whole district produces, while the
legitimate product has no sale. The importation of
German alcohol into Cadiz for the production of this
spurious sherry is increasing steadily. Distilled
chiefly from the beet and potato, it is inferior to
Spanish alcohol, and has driven the latter and all
other alcohols out of the Spanish market."

It is known that similar adulterations to those in
Spain are carried on in all other wine countries in
Europe, and it is not to be wondered at that intem-
perance is more prevalent among these people than


formerly. No action would be more effective in de-
stroying this culpable business than the production of
pure wines brought within the means of the masses by
the removal of all burdens of taxation from its manu-
facture. A healthful article could be made here and
sold at lower rates than it would be possible to pro-
cure adulterated compounds from Europe with the
cost of transportation added.

Arpad Haraszthy, President of the State Board of
Viticultural Commissioners, read a paper entitled,
" How to Drink Wine." " Wine," he said, "should never
be drunk except at table, and then only in moderate
quantities. The character of the food should also
harmonize with the wine used. Then, again, personal
disposition should be studied in the matter. A person
of a phlegmatic disposition should drink white wines,
which promote both physical and mental activity.
People of nervous and excitable temperaments should
confine themselves to clarets and red wines, which are
slow to affect the nervous system, and tend to soothe
both body and mind. People with a superabundance
of blood should carefully avoid red and fortified

The San Francisco Chronicle of April 18, 1887,
says : " Charles Kohler, the pioneer of viticulture in
California, who died suddenly of apoplexy yesterday,
was a strong advocate of temperance. He pointed
with pride to the fact that drunkenness is a crime al-
most unknown in wine-growing countries, and he
looked forward with confidence to the moral and so-
cial advantages which would follow when California's


pure wines shall have performed their mission of
crowding out strong, spirituous liquors in general."

Although it is commonly admitted that "the drink-
ing of beer, porter, etc., has not the same refining in-
fluence as is accredited to wine, yet they are far less
injurious than spirituous mixtures. Pure malt liquors,
from the small amount of alcohol they contain, can
hardly be esteemed inimical to sobriety. If unadul-
terated, they should be placed in the same category as
pure wines, and be subject to like regulations. An
English journal says: "Were the brewing trade com-
pletely free, that is, every vestige of the licensing sys-
tem abolished, there would be the same keen compe-
tition in this business that there is in other depart-
ments of industry ; and it would be quite as impossi-
ble for the brewers to maintain their prices at a forced
elevation as it is for the bakers and butchers to arti-
ficially enhance the price of bread and beef." And
Mr. Cobden, the promoter of the abolition of the corn
laws in England in 1864, declares that the case of the
British agriculturalist, who, " after raising a bushel of
barley, is compelled to pay a tax of sixty per cent be-
fore he is permitted to convert it into a beverage for
his own consumption, is an injustice that would never
be tolerated by cultivators of olives and grapes in
France and Italy."

The price of beer is thus greatly increased, not only
by the duties, but also by the vexatious and endless
restrictions laid on its preparation and sale. This en-
hanced price leads to the consumption of gin and other
spirituous liquors, that are much worse in their conse-


The German Government, knowing that malt liquors
were the habitual beverage used by the people, nurt-
ured the growth and the manufacture of beer. The re-
sult is, that the Germans as a nation are temperate,
industrious and contented, and in no other country is
drunkenness less prevalent. Public sentiment there
is intolerant of this vice.

The brewing interests in America have attained a
magnitude and power equally dangerous with those of
distilled liquors. Take away the internal revenue tax
on both, and you virtually annihilate the liquor rings.
There could not possibly be trusts or monopolies under
free brewing and distilling.

Governments cannot more effectually discharge
their duties than by a careful investigation of this sub-
ject, for on the proper regulation of liquor laws the
success of the cause of temperance largely depends.



WHEN we consider the vast number of substances
disseminated throughout every clime from which al-
cohol can be subtracted, the conclusion is inevitable
that the Creator intended it for wise and useful pur-
poses in the progress and elevation of man. Every-
thing in nature is adapted to his use, whether in its
natural state or in the various commodities manufact-
ured under his intelligent supervision. All the laws
of the universe, when properly understood, are seen to
be beneficently ministering to the physical, intellect-
ual and spiritual g rr> wt*l of food's chief handiwork^
man. Alcohol cannot be an exception, for it is of im-
mense advantage to the human race, though esteemed
a curse by many who have not a proper conception of
its utility.

It is a matter of interest and profit to study the
multitudinous uses to which this spirit is applied, and
learn its absolute necessity in the material advance-
ment of the arts, sciences and industries of a civilized
people. In the laboratory of the chemist, alcohol is
one of the most essential articles. Asa heat-producer,
a re-agent and a solvent of numerous substances, it is
indispensable in his experiments.

With the pharmaceutist it is a necessary and ex-
pensive ingredient in his preparations of medicinal
8 (113)


tinctures and compounds ; and the physician finds it
impossible without alcohol to preserve morbid speci-
mens taken from the living or the deceased body. In
the manufacture of a majority of patent medicines it is
the most costly material employed, some establish-
ments demanding as high as 50,000 gallons of alcohol
yearly in making a single article.

Painters use thousands of gallons annually in their
work, especially in the production of varnish, as it is
a ready solvent of the resinous substances of which
this finish is composed. Alcohol is a necessity in pre-
paring certain favorite dyes, and hat manufacturers
require large quantities for the dissolving of the gums
by which the bodies of silk hats are stiffened for the
outside covering. It is in great demand in the manu-
facture of perfumeries, and in the preparation of anaes-
thetics such as chloroform and various ethers, in which
it is the principal ingredient. For domestic purposes
it has been found a convenient generator of heat. In
fact, so general is the utility of this spirit that its use
can hardly be overestimated.

In the distillation of alcohol what is called proof
spirit is a mixture of fifty per cent of alcohol with an
equal proportion of water by weight. This is the
spirit from which whisky is manufactured, and on
which a tax of ninety cents a gallon is paid. The
cost to the manufacturer is about twenty cents a gal-
lon and the tax added brings it up to $1.10. It takes
nearly two gallons of proof spirit to make one of com-
mercial alcohol, which contains nearly ninety per cent
of alcohol and ten per cent of water, and therefore has


a tax nearly double that put upon proof spirit. This
would bring the cost of alcohol to the distiller to about
$2.20 a gallon, whereas the price less the tax would
actually be about forty cents.

The income derived by the United States Govern-
ment from this tax of ninety cents a gallon averages
annually about $60,000,000. It is estimated that
only about half of this proof spirit is made into whisky,
the other half being converted into commercial alco-
hol, which is consumed in the arts, sciences and va-
rious industries above stated. Thus $30,000,000 is
paid to the Government every year by the people for
the privilege of drinking whisky, and $30,000,000 ad-
ditional tax is paid by them in articles they purchase,
which require alcohol in their composition or manu-

It must be that this matter has never been, properly
presented to the people ; that they do not comprehend
its direct import, or such a monstrous injustice could
not have existed so long.

During the war, and for some years afterwards, it
is easy to understand that there was a necessity for
such taxation, but at the present time, with an over-
flowing treasury, steps should be taken for its imme-
diate removal. It is a very suggestive fact that dis-
tillers do not desire the removal of this tax; they well
know that it would destroy the monopoly which they
now have in the liquor traffic. Thus it is that every
man, woman and child in the United States is taxed
for what? Mainly to increase the cost of liquors, in
the vain hope of preventing a few miserable drunk-


ards from overindulgence. Is such an impost just to
the people, or is it statesmanlike in our lawgivers to
continue it on our statute books ?

It is a recognized law of trade that the cheapening of
an article increases its sale. Generally speaking this is'
true, and it is a common argument that the abolition
of the tax would reduce the price of liquor to the ex-
tent of encouraging drunkenness. Whisky, however,
seems to be an exception to this law, for the reason
that inordinate desire on the part of the individual
forces him to obtain it, no matter what it costs. As
an elucidation of this fact we quote from an article
published some months ago in the San Francisco
Chronicle, which had the following excerpt from a re-
port made to Congress about the year 1869, by the
well-known statistician, David A. Wells, on the pro-
priety of reducing the tax on distilled spirits :

" Everyone knows that the appetite for alcoholic
drinks is not restrained by the question of their cost,
and that consequently cheap whisky would be no
more hostile to prohibition than dear whisky;
whereas expensive alcohol must necessarily restrict in
a great degree those products of which it is an essen-
tial element. We are a great deal more apt to econ-
omize in our necessities than in our luxuries ; it is
human nature to do without the things we need in
order that we may have the things we want. For
this reason, prohibition cuts no figure in this sort of

In the same article we find the following relevant
opinion of Charles Heber dark :


" Total extinction of the whisky tax," he argues,
u would not reduce the price of whisky at retail and
would not make one more drunkard. Doubling the
whisky tax would not increase the retail price and
would not keep a single tippler sober. The English
Government taxes liquors so heavily that it depends
upon them for one-fourth of its entire revenue, and it
is admitted by intelligent observers that there is more
drunkenness in England than in any other civilized
country on the globe. The whisky distillers of this
country, who surely have no motive for desiring de-
creased consumption, are unanimous in opposition to
the removal of the tax. The tax upon distilled spirits
is not a special tax upon whisky-drinkers and saloon-
keepers; but it is a direct tax upon the entire popula-
tion of the country, drunk or sober. The fact is kept
in the background that alcohol made from distilled
spirits is an essential and important branch of Ameri-
can industry.

" The people pay this tax when they buy the prod-
ucts of a number of industries. They pay it when
they use perfumery, when they take chloroform, and
when they consume drugs. The suffering poor man
pays it when he goes to the apothecary to cure him-
self of the cold caught by his exclusion from the privi-
lege of enfolding himself in a British blanket. He
pays it when he puts bay-rum on his hair, when he
buys cologne for his wife's handkerchief, and when he
lays in paregoric for his baby. It covers his head
when he puts on an American hat. He sits on it when
he drops into an American varnished chair. The


tax is on honest and decent industry, and that is a
good reason why it should be taken off. The at-
tempt to use the sentiment for temperance in an effort
to help the distillers to have the tax retained is an
affront to public intelligence."

The cost of commercial alcohol to the consumer at
the present time is about $2.50 a gallon ; subtract the
tax, and it could be sold at from sixty to seventy-five
cents a gallon. Now, supposing this tax removed,
what would be the result ? It would have the general
effect of cheapening every article whose production
depends upon this spirit. To the professor of chem-
istry this reduction would be a great boon, enabling
him to experiment more freely in the interest of science
than he could possibly do with alcohol at its present
figure. It would be a considerable aid also to the
poor student in his efforts to master this wonderful
science, and the benefit that would accrue to the phar-
maceutist in his preparations of tinctures, etc., and doc-
tor's prescriptions, can hardly be appreciated.

The abolition of this tax would reduce the cost of
patent medicines to a minimum; and when we con-
sider the enormous consumption of these compounds
in America alone, we can form some conception of the
immense saving this cheapening would be to the peo-
ple. Then, again, such a step would be a direct in-
centive to the universal progress of the arts, so less-
ening the price of their products as to place them
within easy reach of many more purchasers. Painters
are large consumers of alcohol, and in the manufact-
ure of varnish alone, the saving in the cost of this


article would enable them to work profitably at greatly
reduced rates, thus insuring an increased patronage.

The employment of anaesthetics in which alcohol
is the principal ingredient, has become so extensive
that a reduction of their price would be a saving to
both physician and patient.

In the making of perfumery, especially cologne,
the cheapening of alcohol will put these delightful
compounds in the possession of a much larger propor-
tion of our population than can possibly afford them
at their present cost. Their extensive use would be no
insignificant factor in the cultivation of more esthetic
tastes and habits.

Lessening the price of an article not only increases
its consumption, but as a consequence its manufacture
must also be stimulated ; thus thousands of working
men and women would be given employment and
thereby insured the comforts of life.

The extra amount of money put in circulation by
this activity in certain industries would greatly en-
courage both local and general trade. Not only this,
but indirectly all business interests would feel the im-
petus, for trades of every kind are so cemented that
each is affected more or less by activity or depression
in any prominent one.

Then again the increased production of alcohol to
meet the demand would necessitate more grain for
its manufacture, which would be a direct advantage
to the farmer. As a consequence it would bring into
cultivation thousands of acres of land that are now
unvexed by the plow, with a probable enhancement of


the price of grain ; thus, in divers ways, augmenting
the prosperity of "the people, and surrounding them
with all the corollaries that wealth can supply.

In addition to the reasons before stated for abolish-
ing the revenue tax such a step would do away with
illicit distillation and thus eliminate from the commu-
nity a large number of law-breakers that are a con-
stant annoyance to the people surrounding the stills.
It would also undermine whisky rings, as before
said, which are an unmitigated disgrace *to the coun-



THE liquor problem and the temperance question
have engaged the attention of statesmen for centuries
past, but more especially have they been agitated in
the last fifty years. Every plan of specific licensing
and prohibition that human intellect could formulate,
has been successively tried to regulate the traffic and
stem the torrent of intemperance. The failure of
each in turn proves some inherent defect to exist in
these various methods. A law based on justice and
equity is far more apt to meet the approval of the peo-
ple than one which wholly or partially ignores these
principles ; and that the present licensing system and
prohibitory laws are not ftfunded on justice and equity,
we trust we have made plain in preceding chapters.

To establish a right conception of our subject, and
to remove erroneous impressions, we have devoted a
portion of this work to the history of fermented and
spirituous liquors, their physiological, therapeutic and
,toxicological action on the human system, their use
and abuse, the many purposes for which alcohol is
a necessity, the universality of alcoholic beverages,
and the fact that intemperance in all nations is coeval
with their manufacture.

It is a matter of importance that should be noted
by prohibitionists that intemperance has become a



national curse in great Britain and America, where
the most strenuous efforts have been made to prevent
it, whereas in European countries there are no li-
cense or prohibitory laws; and yet there is compara-
tively little drunkenness among the people.

Repressive laws have now been in operation in this
country for over thirty years, without appreciably
abating the great evil. In summing up their practi-
cal results we find that they have aroused the bitterest
antagonism among individuals and parties, been the
direct cause of innumerable evasions and deceptions,
created law-breakers, and generally educated the
masses in habits of thought inimical to the consti-
tuted authorities. No law which creates such disturb-
ance in the mental atmosphere of a people, can be
productive of good.

Advocates of prohibition not only attempt to sup-
press intemperance by coercive laws, but also to com-
pel temperate drinkers to become total abstainers by
prohibiting the manufacture and sale of all liquors.
This general inclusion is unavoidable because the law
can make no individual distinction, but its effect is
unfortunately adverse to the intention of its founders.

The man who occasionally takes a glass of liquor
is forced into a position of antagonism to the believer*
in total abstinence, whereas they are in reality friends,
and would work in harmony were it not for the coer-
cive measures above stated. It is not wise to alienate
one's friends in any of the relations of life. A combi-
nation of the forces of these two opposers of drunken-
ness, would result in a rapid advance of temperance


habits among the people. In removing the cause of
their difference, you at once command the support of
the majority of voters in every State in the Union, for
most of these men are addicted to the use of liquor of
some kind.

To the reconciliation of these two great*enemies of
intemperance, every philanthropic mind should direct
its keenest energies.

Is it not time, therefore, that some other plan be
adopted which will better harmonize with the love of
justice and freedom, deep-rooted in the hearts of a
civilized nation ? A bad law makes rebellious citi-
zens. No law at all is better than one which inter-
feres with the sacredness of personal liberty by com-
pelling a man not to do what cannot be regarded as
a wrong in itself. Such legislation must always fall
short of its object.

The prohibition party is acknowledged to be a dis-
integrating element in our politics of to-day, and in
the coming campaign much that is relative to this
question depends on the course taken by them. In
no small degree they hold the balance of power be-
tween the two great political parties that rule the
destinies of the country. Their responsibility at this
immediate time, is the gravest and most potential.

To stop the drinking habits of people is not the
only question which should engage their attention, to
the exclusion of every other. It is not a matter of
more importance in a community to legislate for the
drunkard than for the sober man. In our zeal to re-
form the drunkard, we must not lose sight of the le-


gitirnate interests of tli temperate man. The business
success of the latter often requires large quantities of
alcohol, and any increase in its price is of vital mo-
ment to him. The products of his manufactory sup-
ply a definite want in the community, or they would
not meet so ready a sale. The revenue necessary for
the support of the Government should be collected
from those things which are articles of luxury, as
much as possible avoiding the taxation of essential
products. Where an article is used in both capacities
its general character must be determined before decid-
ing whether it should be taxed or not. As, for in-
stance, the use of opium as a luxury far outbalances
its employment medicinally, and consequently its tax-
ation is in accordance with its principal demand.

Distilled spirits, in the state in which it leaves the
still, cannot possibly be esteemed an article of luxury.
No one ever drinks pure alcohol, and yet before it
can undergo the various processes essential to make it
into whisky it is taxed ninety cents on a gallon. Pro-
hibitionists are too apt to assume that the greatest use
to which alcohol is put, is that of a stealer of men's,
brains, whereas the truth of the matter is that not one-
half of the spirits made are employed in beverages at
all, the remainder being of necessity used in the arts,
manufactures, etc. Some estimate may be had of the
amount of this taxation from the fact that the chemist
pays about $96 for a forty-six-gallon barrel of alcohol,
which, without the tax, would cost him $20, or there-

The removal of this tax on distillations would lift


an enormous burden from many manufactures and
cheapen the price to the consumer of numerous arti-
cles of utility, while it is safe to say that it would not
decrease the retail price of liquor to any appreciable
extent. Under our present system we are taxing the
producer of articles of necessity for the benefit of the
dispenser of an article of luxury. Our prohibition
friends would do well to remember this and also the
fact that a high revenue tax bears lightly on the sa-
loon-keeper and heavily on the scientist and artisan,
who must employ alcohol in their business.

Then again, if it were possible to close up all the
distilleries in the United States, whisky would still
be manufactured. Illicit distillation would be secretly
carried on in the hills, mountains and obscure places

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Online LibraryG. H StockhamTemperance and prohibition → online text (page 7 of 8)