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abstinence from intoxicants was made a canon of
morality, the clergy found it easy to secure a body of
workers among their flocks. There were temperance
societies in the towns in each county, in and for the
state, and soon a newspaper devoted to the advocacy
of the temperance doctrines. When I was living in
the western part of Washington County as a practic-
ing lawyer, in 1842-43, I attended a convention of
the West Washington Temperance Society in the
town of Steuben.

Between 1826 and 1835, when I entered college,
boys came to the Academy from all parts of the
country. I should say that their notions and their
practices about liquor-drinking were just the same as
my own. I suppose the majority of them, like myself,
had never imbibed a wineglassful of any kind of dis-
tilled spirits. The only boys I can now think of as
having the bad reputation of intemperance were three
of a. family coming from St. Stephen's, on the English
side of the St. Croix.

I was in Brunswick as a collegian during the years
1836-37 and, besides the association of one hundred
and fifty fellow-students, knew and visited one or two
families resident of the town. My ideas and habits
about the use of liquors I did not find peculiar or
eccentric. They were those of the great body of the
students, of the whole faculty and of all the reputable
town folks that I knew. 1 spent the summer of 1840
as a law student in Augusta. The reform had reached
there. Sobriety, temperance, abstinence seemed to be
the standard there of decent morality, the sine qua non


of social consideration. I lived one year, attempting
to practice law, in the town of Skowhegan on the Ken-
nebec, then having about the same number of inhabi-
tants as my native town, and like it in many respects
as a community where lumbering was the principal
business. The people among whom 1 lived talked and
lived temperance exactly as the people did where I
was born. The whole Maine atmosphere, as I had
breathed it, was everywhere sane and wholesome on
the drink question.

After a careful and somewhat prolonged considera-
tion, I have arrived at the opinion, that in the state
of Maine — outside of that I am too little furnished
with data for a correct judgment — the climax of tem-
perance achievement was reached between the years
1826 and 1840, perhaps between 1826 and 1830.

Understanding, that the objects these excellent and
zealous men proposed to themselves were these : (1)
The rescue of as many persons as possible from the
degradation, social misery and vice of drunkenness
by persuading them to a pledge of total abstinence,
and encouraging them to be faithful to it. (2)
Beliving that prevention was far more efficacious
than cure, to anticipate the formation of the fatal
drink habit by persuading men, who were not drunk-
ards, and perhaps never would become so, to adopt
the principle and practice of total abstinence from
intoxicants, to insure their own safety and as a salu-
tary example for their children and for other persons.
(3) By thus greatly lessening the demand for alco-
holic liquors to restrict within as narrow limits as pos-


sible their sale, and the great waste thereby of the
general wealth.

All these objects came nearer their complete accom-
plishment in the epoch I have designated than they
had ever been before or have been since. As to the
prevalence of drunkenness, since the last named
year, according to the testimony of ardent supporters
of prohibitory legislation, it has greatly increased.
If the comparison were instituted even between
the present state of things and that before the
first temperance reform, I am not sure that a
careful w^eighing of the evidence would not show
a degeneration. I see forty drunks fell under
the cognizance of the courts the very last week in this
city. Perhaps it would appear that drunkenness had
subsided in the country and had increased in the
cities. But the inebriety of our time seems more dan-
gerous and fatal than when pure liquors were cheap,
and the temptation to adulteration slight. Various
forms of mental aberration and a more rapid physical
derangement seem to follow the use of these con-
centrated alcohols, which the secresy of the trade pro-
vides in as small bulk as possible to escape seizure.
It can but be that Jamaica ginger, essence of pepper-
mint, and other commercial drugs, preserved in spirits,
and, as I have heard, even stove polish, poured into
the stomach in quantities to produce intoxication,
must work disastrous effects upon the human system
far beyond the natural operation of the alcoholic

As to temperate drinking it seems to me that there


can be no question of its increase, since 1840. I ven-
ture to say that if prior to that time, there had been a
gathering of business men of the well-to-do class, say
to promote a railway, to open a political campaign or
for a pleasure excursion or picnic, and some liberal
gentleman had made a provision of whiskey, and with-
out too much ostentation had offered drinks to the
company, the number accepting the treat would have
been a small fraction of the assembly, and the sober
majority would have expressed their disapprobation
of so indecorous a proceeding in a way that would
have prevented its speedy repetition. I have been
present at similar gatherings of the same class, within
the last few years, when the same supply was ordered
and where the fraction of the company that declined
the hospitality was very much smaller — and that too
when the company was made up almost wholly of
temperate men, giving to the prohibitory laws the sup-
port of their influence and their votes.

As to liquor selling, when to the illicit selling,
which thrives after the suppression of imprisonment
and fines, that sometimes pays all the county expenses,
is added the enormous sales of the city agencies, of
the hotels and apothecaries, when it is considered how
many persons pay for licenses to sell spirituous liquors
under the United States laws, and the busy trade of
express companies by steamboat and railway trains to
make available to Maine consumers the still open
markets of Boston, it seems to me that there can be
no question that the sale of intoxicants has enor-
mously increased since the period whose history I
have told.

Vol. VI. 26


I do not intend, nor is this the proper occasion to
press the argumentative side of the premises laid down,
but as one of the few whose memory runs back to this
picture of society as it was more than sixty years ago,
to give its history and leave the lessons to be learned
by such minds as are not shut up by prepossessions
and pride of opinion.

Moral suasion was the power those real pioneers of
temperance belived in and put in requisition. Those
eminent physicians, who have studied the problem of
hygiene as connected with the modern hypotheses
that most, if not all diseases are due to the prevalence
of infinitesimal living germs in active reproduction,
which swarm everywhere in the food we eat, the
water we drink, the air we breath, tell us there are
two ways of defending ourselves against these invisi-
ble but most formidable enemies. One mode is by
cleanliness, regimen and sanitary engineering to quar-
antine them absolutely out. The other mode is to let
them alone and so fortify the system by healthy living
and temperance that it can encounter them with
impunity. It is very much so in the sphere of the
public morals. There is a school of workers who
insist the weakest and puniest soul will be safe from
contamination if you can keep temptation away from
him. Let them have all praise for what good they
may have achieved by their method. There is
another school, which says " a fig for virtue that has
never been tried in the fire of temptation ! " the gen-
uine good man has overcome the wicked one, and this
seems more nearly to resemble the divine discipline.


But I tell the story, I cut short the moral. It may
be that purely moral treatment of a social evil
belonged to that time and cannot be effectually copied
or repeated in our time. It may be that it did all its
work and necessarily gave way at last before other
and different agencies. Everything has its season.
There was a time for the advent of Christianity, a
time for the reformation of the church, a time for the
establishment of popular governments, a time for the
abolition of slavery, and other reforms wait their
auspicious inauguration. The temperance sentiment
came in its time and took all the rare spirits to whom
a brave self-denial is sweeter than luxury and self-
indulgence, and could go no further, just as the anti-
slavery sentiment found congenial lodgment in all
sympathetic, just and generous hearts, and passed by
the sordid, the contemptuous and the unpitying.
What wonder that the reformers, weary of pressing a
noble asceticism on flabby and compromising con-
sciences, of moving as Shakespeare says.

Such a dish of skimmed milk to so honorable an action,

fell back upon what used to be called, ironically, legal
suasion, and, for the propaganda of the lecturer and
the pledge, substituted the persuasion of the constable
and the terrors of the courts, and a disciplinary treat-
ment applied to the seller rather than drinker of

It is true that two generations have passed since
1826, upon whom those primitive methods might
prove effectual novelties. But the world has changed


since then. Its religious ideas have shifted their
forms and the sanctions, once so potent over the con-
science, have lost their prestige to control conduct.
Then the millennium seemed just at hand ; and with
the new advent of civil liberty and the first stages of a
social equality, every abuse seemed remediable, every
grievance easy of overthrow, and the kingdom of
heaven open to the violence of the first attack. Now,
when the inveterate defects of human nature show
through all the veneering of our new construction
and patching, when it is found that reformations do
not always reform, a somber pessimism takes the
place of the elasticity and push of our earlier hope.

All this change in personal conduct in the settled
social habits of our entire people had been brought
about without the agency of law and without calling
in the police power of the government to restrict or
punish what was confessed to be a prevalent abuse.

No man can look over the acts of parliament or read
extensively the earlier English literature without com-
ing to the conclusion that the masterful and conquer-
ing English race, along with their sturdy love of
liberty and the deeply religious feeling that discloses
itself in their history, were a people of coarse and
brutal instincts, capable of ferocious excitements, and
little disposed to put bounds of moderation to their
natural appetites and passions. Drunkenness, that
has only scathed the cheerful and artistic races of the
South, has burnt deep and fatally into the very core
of this somber people, grumbling and swearing under
the dim sunlight and brooding fogs of their Northern


From very early times parliament and the local
magistrate begun to deal with the drink habit by all
kinds of legal restrictions and penalties. The Eng-
lish who established the colonial government at
Plymouth seemed to have made the first revision of
their laws in 1636, sixteen years after the first settle-
ment. The statutes they then enacted to regulate
the retailing of " wine, cyder, beere and strong drinks"
were minute, inquisitorial and sumptuary to the last
degree ; for while arrogating the rights of private
judgment and the liberty of conscience, it was only in
the sphere of speculative dogma, in faith, and the
interpretation of Scripture, that this judgment and
liberty were to be exercised. They had no idea of sur-
rendering the much more important domain of personal
conduct to any license of private judgment, and held
everybody up to the standard of Mrs. Grundy, who
was then a member of the church in good and regular
standing-, and whose ideas the minister was authorized
to interpret. They had very little idea of personal
liberty, and there was then no Supreme Court to
intervene and declare void an act which trenched upon
the orig-inal rio;hts of the citizen.

They rigorously confined the retail of wines,
beer and spirits to inn-holders and retailers licensed
by the Court of Sessions on the recommendation of the
selectmen of each town. These persons were care-
fully restricted in the range of their custom. They
were not to sell to minors, or servants, to habitual
drunkards, to Indians or to negroes. Their places of
business were not to be kept open on Sunday, nor


Fast Day, nor during any public religious meeting,
nor after nine o'clock in the evening. They even
fixed the price at which drink should be sold. " Win-
chester beer " was not to be sold for more than two
pence per quart, nor any liquors but English liquors
to be sold for more than six shillings per gallon — a
fine piece of primitive tariff legislation designed to
protect the English against the cheap foreign drinks.
No person was allowed to bring into the colony in any
one year more than six gallons of liquor unless he
was a licensed retailer or a " person of quality." If a
man was in high social position he might require
more than six gallons for his decorous hospitalities.
There was this curious preamble of an old Plymouth
Colony ordinance : —

Because it is difficult to order and keep the houses of public
entertainment in conformity to the whok'some laws established
for preventing drunkenness, excessive drinking, vain spending of
money and the abuse of the good creatures of God.

So it seems this entity which in the old Machias
Temperance Society we used to call the " Demon Alco-
hol," and to think that he brought with him blasts from
hell not airs from heaven, whom Shakespeare
invokes : —

If we had no other name by which to call thee, we would call
thee, Devil !

was by Brother Winslow and his fellow church-
members respectfully spoken of as " a good creature
of God " whom it was a shame to abuse.

The laws of Massachusetts Bay Colony were sub-
stantially the same, and with unimportant modifica-


tions they became a part of the codified laws of the
state of Massachusetts, and passed over to Maine
under the terms of the Separation. In the winter of
1821 the Maine legislature went over the whole field
of legislation and enacted a code similar to that
under which it had lived as a province. Many of the
minute and impracticable provisions of the old
colonial laws had either been repealed or omitted in
successive revisions, but the general feature remained
of restricting the retail sale of strong liquors, wines,
cider and beer to licensed persons ; only the licensing
board in the new state was the selectmen, clerk and
treasurer of each town, instead of the Court of Ses-

In 1847 the first absolutely prohibitory clause
appeared in the liquor legislation for the first time,
which developed in 1851 into the first complete pro-
hibitory law with its search and seizure clauses and
its provision for town and city agencies, where spirit-
uous liquors might be sold for mechanical, medicinal
and sacramental uses. A reaction growing out of a
riot and a homicide that accompanied an attempt to
enforce the law in Portland carried to the legislature
a majority, which in 1856 repealed the law, but it
was reenacted in 1858 and with a multitude of amend-
ments generally enhancing its severity, and buttressed
by a constitutional amendment it has remained since
then the law of the state.

With this change of program, this disposition to
hold the seller and not the drinker of intoxicating
liquors responsible for the evils of intemperance, the


original and effective methods of prosecuting the tem-
perance reform were gradually and wholly changed.
The temperance societies did not keep up their meet-
ings, nor their succession of officers, but their organi-
zation; and as I have told you, that earliest one, whose
records would now be so honorable to it, has not
cared to preserve it, has been lost. I do not know
whether or not we have a State Temperance Society.
There is no journal in the state devoted to advocating
the interests of temperance ; unless newspapers, the
organs of the political party of Prohibitionists, are to
be so considered. The whole conduct of the temper-
ance reformation has been handed over to the sheriff
and the courts, save that the Women's Christian Tem-
perance Union forlornly keeps up the agitation in
much the old method, and in the old spirit, and a zeal-
ous reformed drunkard, like Mr. Murphy, here and
there brings about a local enthusiasm by reciting his
pathetic history. But the old-fashioned temperance
revival seems as much of an anachorism in our day, as
would a Whittlesey or Whitefield revival of religion.





Read before the Maine Historical Society, May 10, 1895.

Eakly in the spring of 1729, Col. David Dunbar
came from England to Peraaquid with a royal commis-


sion, appointing him governor of the territory of
Sagadahock and authorizing him to rebuild the fort at
Pemaquid, The fort was probably completed the next
year and to it was given the name Fort Frederick,
in honor of the young Prince of Wales. When the
fort was completed Col. Dunbar, aided by a surveyor
from Nova Scotia by the name of Mitchell, ^ pro-
ceeded to lay out between the Muscongus and Sheep-
scot Rivers three townships which he named Town-
send, Harrington and Walpole, after three well-known
English noblemen. In the king's name, also, he issued
a proclamation inviting settlers to locate on the land
in these townships, and offering easy terms. He also
laid out a city in the vicinity of Fort Frederick, and
those who took town lots were to have also a city lot.
Williamson says, concerning this enterprise of Dun-
bar : " The assurances of title he Q-ave the settlers
were leasehold indentures, with the antiquated reser-
vation of a peppercorn if demanded."

In this allotment Col. Dunbar disregarded the
rights of settlers holding lands from the great pro-
prietors, whether under royal grants or Indian deeds,
and opposition on the part of these earlier occupants
of the soil was soon manifested. As personal appeals
to Col. Dunbar were of no avail, they sent petitions
and remonstrances to the General Court at Boston ;
and the provincial government, maintaining its charter
rights, promptly broup;ht the matter to the attention
of the British government. Shem Drowne, of Boston,
as agent for the proprietors of the Pemaquid patent,

' Johnston's History of Bristol, Bremen and Pemaquid, p. 267.


asked for Col. Dunbar's removal, as also did Samuel
Waldo, agent for the claimants under the Muscongus
patent. The British government was thus compelled
at length to order an investigation, and the matter
was referred to the Lords Commissioner for Trade and
Plantations, at whose request the provincial agent,
Francis Wilkes, made a statement of the case in con-
troversy, and it was referred to the attorney-general
and the solicitor-general of the realm for their opinion.

The attorney-general at that time was Philip Yorke,
son of Philip Yorke, a merchant. He was born at
Dover, England, December 1, 1690, was educated at
Bethnal Green, and became a barrister of the Middle
Temple, May 6, 1715. He was a member of parlia-
ment for Lewes, in 1719 ; was made solicitor-general,
March 23, 1720, and attorney-general, March 31,
1724. He became Lord Chief Justice of Great
Britain in 1733 ; Baron Hardwicke, November 23,
1733; Lord High Chancellor in 1737; Viscount Roys-
ton and Earl of Hardwicke, April 12, 1750. June 15,
1753 he received the deyrree of LL. D. from the Uni-
versity of Cambridge. He died in London, March 6,
1764, and is remembered as one of England's greatest

The solicitor-general was Charles Talbot, a son of
the bishop of Durham. He was born in 1684, and
was educated at Eton and Oriel College, Oxford. For
a while he was a fellow of All Soul's College, and in
1711 he became a barrister of the Inner Temple.
April 22, 1724, he was made solicitor-general; Lord
High Chancellor of Great Britain, November 29, 1733 ;


Baron Tcalbot of Hensol, December 5, 1733, and D. C.
L., Oxford, August 29, 1735. He died February 14,

After patiently listening to arguments of counsel on
both sides, these officers of the Crown made the report
which follows. ^

To The Rt. Hon : The Lords Comni'rs for Trade <Sb Planta-
May it please Your Lordships,

In obedience to youi" Lordship's Commands, signified to us by
Mr. Popple, referring to us the State of a Case hereunto an-
nexed, concerniDg the Right to a tract of Land lying between
the Rivers Kennebec & St. Croix, & directing us to bear both
Parties, & to report our opinion in point of Law thereupon to
your Lordships ; also in obedience to your Lordships Commands
signified to us by Mr. Popple, referring to us the sevei'al annexed
Petitions of Sir Bibye Lake Bart & others, & of Sam'l Widdoe,
Merchant, on behalf of Elisha Cook, Esq. & others ; & directing
us to report our dpinions up'»n the same to your Lordships ; We
have considered the said State of a Case & Petitions, & find that
the said State of a Case sets forth, that by the Massachusetts
Charter, it is ordained, that the territories & Colonies, commonly
called & known by the name of the Colony of the Massachusetts
Bay & Colony of New Plymouth, the Province of Main, the
Territory called Accadia or Nova Scotia, & all that tract of Land
lying between the said territories of N. Scotia & the said Prov-
ince of Main be erected, united, &> incorporated, &, that they are
thereby erected, united, & incorporated, into one real Province,
by the name of the Province of tlie Massachusetts Bay, in New

And that their Majsties do thereby grant unto the Inhabi-
tants of the said province or territory of the Massachusetts Bay

1 This report is one of the ilocuments which with other important papers,
formerly in the possession of Hon. Ward Chipman, of St. John, N. B., came
into possession of the Society recently, the gift of Williiam H. Kilby, Esq., of East-
port, Maine.


& their successors, all that part of N. England, in America, lying
within the Boundaries in the said charter particularly men-
tioned; & also the lands & hereditaments lying & being in the
Country or territory commonly called Accadia or N. Scotia ; &
all the Lands & hereditaments lying & extending between the
said country or territory of N. Scotia, & the river of Sagadahoc
or Kennebec, or any part thereof, & all Lands, grounds, places,
soils, woods, & wood grounds, havens, ports, rivers, waters &
other hereditaments & premises whatsoever, lying within the
bounds & limits aforesaid, & every part & parcel thereof & also
all Islands & Islets lying within 10 leagues directly opposite to
the main land, within the said bounds, & all mines, & minerals
as well royal mines of gold & silver, as other mines and minerals
whatsoever, in the said lands & premises, or any part thereof, to
have, & to hold the same, with their & every of their Appur-
tenances to the said Inhabitants of the Massachusetts Bay, &
their Successors, to their only proper use & behoof forevermore,
to be holden of Their Mies., as of their Manor of East Green-
wich, & yielding therefore yearly one-fifth part of all gold &
silver Ore &c.

That in the Clause in the said Charter directing the choice of
the counsellors or Assistants of the said Province, who are to be
28 in number, it is ordered that 18 of them at least shall be
Inhabitants or Proprietors of Lands within the Territory formerly

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