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William Thomas Ellis.

Billy Sunday, the man and his message, with his own words which have won thousands for Christ online

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Online LibraryWilliam Thomas EllisBilly Sunday, the man and his message, with his own words which have won thousands for Christ → online text (page 7 of 33)
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Not by my vote. "They will steal anyway." Not by my
vote. You are the sovereign people, and what are you
going to do about it?

Let me assemble before your minds the bodies of the
drunken dead, who crawl away "into the jaws of death,
into the mouth of hell," and then out of the valley of the
shadow of the drink let me call the appertaining mother-
hood, and wifehood, and childhood, and let their tears rain
down upon their purple faces. Do you think that would
stop the curse of the liquor traffic? No! No!

In these days when the question of saloon or no saloon
is at the fore in almost every community, one hears a good
deal about what is called "personal liberty." These are
fine, large, mouth-filling words, and they certainly do sound
first rate; but when you get right down and analyze them
in the light of common old horse-sense, you will discover
that hi their application to the present controversy they
mean just about this : "Personal liberty " is for the man who,
if he has the inclination and the price, can stand up at a bar
and fill his hide so full of red liquor that he is transformed
for the time being into an irresponsible, dangerous, evil-
smelling brute. But "personal liberty" is not for his
patient, long-suffering wife, who has to endure with what
fortitude she may his blows and curses; nor is it for his
children, who, if they escape his insane rage, are yet robbed
of every known joy and privilege of childhood, and too often
grow up neglected, uncared for and vicious as the result
of their surroundings and the example before them. "Per-
sonal liberty" is not for the sober, industrious citizen who



BATTLING WITH "BOOZE" 91

from the proceeds of honest toil and orderly living, has to
pay, willingly or not, the tax bills which pile up as a direct
result of drunkenness, disorder and poverty, the items
of which are written in the records of every police court and
poor-house in the land; nor is "personal liberty" for the good
woman who goes abroad in the town only at the risk of being
shot down by some drink-crazed creature. This rant about
"personal liberty" as an argument has no leg to stand
upon.

The Economic Side

Now, in 1913 the corn crop was 2,373,000,000 bushels,
and it was valued at $1,660,000,000. Secretary Wilson says
that the breweries use less than two per cent; I will say that
they use two per cent. That would make 47,000,000
bushels, and at seventy cents a bushel that would be about ^
$33,000,000. How many people are there in the United'
States? Ninety millions. Very well, then, that is thirty-
six cents per capita. Then we sold out to the whisky
business for thirty-six cents apiece the price of a dozen
eggs or a pound of butter. We are the cheapest gang this
side of hell if we will do that kind of business.

Now listen! Last year the income of the United States
government, and the cities and towns and counties, from the
whisky business was $350,000,000. That is putting it
liberally. You say that's a lot of money. Well, last year
the workingmen spent $2,000,000,000 for drink, and it cost
$1,200,000,000 to care for the judicial machinery. In other
words, the whisky business cost us last year $3,400,000,000.
I will subtract from that the dirty $350,000,000 which we
got, and it leaves $3,050,000,000 in favor of knocking the
whisky business out on purely a money basis. And listen!
We spend $6,000,000,000 a year for our paupers and criminals
insane, orphans, feeble-minded, etc., and eighty-two per
cent of our criminals are whisky-made, and seventy-five
per cent of the paupers are whisky-made. The average
factory hand earns $450 a year, and it costs us $1,200 a year



92 BATTLING WITH "BOOZE"

to support each of our whisky criminals. There are 326,000
enrolled criminals in the United States and 80,000 in jails
and penitentiaries. Three-fourths were sent there because
of drink, and then they have the audacity to say the saloon
is needed for money revenue. Never was there a baser lie.
"But," says the whisky fellow, "we would lose trade;
the farmer would not come to town to trade." You lie.
I am a farmer. I was born and raised on a farm and I have
the malodors of the barnyard on me today. Yes, sir. And
when you say that you insult the best class of men on God's
dirt. Say, when you put up the howl that if you don't
have the saloons the farmer won't trade say, Mr. Whisky
Man, why do you dump money into politics and back the
legislatures into the corner and fight to the last ditch to
prevent the enactment of county local option? You know
if the farmers were given a chance they would knock the
whisky business into hell the first throw out of the box.
You are afraid. You have cold feet on the proposition.
You are afraid to give the farmer a chance. They are scared
to death of you farmers.

I heard my friend ex-Governor Hanly, of Indiana, use
the following illustrations :

"Oh, but," they say, "Governor, there is another danger
to the local option, because it means a loss of market to the
farmer. We are consumers of large quantities of grain in
the manufacture of our products. If you drive us out of
business you strike down that market and it will create a
money panic in this country, such as you have never seen,
if you do that." I might answer it by saying that less than
two per cent of the grain produced hi this country is used for
that purpose, but I pass that by. I want to debate the merit
of the statement itself, and I think I can demonstrate in
ten minutes to any thoughtful man, to any farmer, that the
brewer who furnishes him a market for a bushel of corn is
not his benefactor, or the benefactor of any man, from an
economic standpoint. Let us see. A farmer brings to the
brewer a bushel of corn. He finds a market for it. He



93

gets fifty cents and goes his way, with the statement of the
brewer ringing in his ears, that the brewer is the benefactor.
But you haven't got all the factors in the problem, Mr.
Brewer, and you cannot get a correct solution of a problem
without all the factors in the problem. You take the
farmer's bushel of corn, brewer or distiller, and you brew
and distill from it four and one-half gallons of spirits. I
don't know how much he dilutes them before he puts them
on the market. Only the brewer, the distiller and God
know. The man who drinks it doesn't, but if he doesn't
dilute it at all, he puts on the market four and a half gallons
of intoxicating liquor, thirty-six pints. I am not going
to trace the thirty-six pints. It will take too long. But
I want to trace three of them and I will give you no
imaginary stories plucked from the brain of an excited
orator. I will take instances from the judicial pages of the
Supreme Court and the Circuit Court judges' reports in
Indiana and in Illinois to make my case.

Tragedies Born of Drink

Several years ago in the city of Chicago a young man
of good parents, good character, one Sunday crossed the
street and entered a saloon, open against the law. He found
there boon companions. There were laughter, song and
jest and much drinking. After awhile, drunk, insanely
drunk, his money gone, he was kicked into the street. He
found his way across to his mother's home. He importuned
her for money to buy more drink. She refused him. He
seized from the sideboard a revolver and ran out into the
street and with the expressed determination of entering the
saloon and getting more drink, money or no money. His
fond mother followed him into the street. She put her hand
upon him in a loving restraint. He struck it from him in
anger, and then his sister came and added her entreaty in
vain. And then a neighbor, whom he knew, trusted and
respected, came and put his hand on him in gentleness and
friendly kindness, but in an insanity of drunken rage he



94 BATTLING WITH "BOOZE"

raised the revolver and shot his friend dead in his blood
upon the street. There was a trial; he was found guilty
of murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and
when the little mother heard the verdict a frail little bit
of a woman she threw up her hands and fell in a swoon.
In three hours she was dead.

In the streets of Freeport, Illinois, a young man of good
family became involved in a controversy with a lewd
woman of the town. He went in a drunken frenzy to his
father's home, armed himself with a deadly weapon and set
out for the city in search of the woman with whom he had
quarreled. The first person he met upon the public square
hi the city, hi the daylight, hi a place where she had a right
to be, was one of the most refined and cultured women of
Freeport. She carried in her arms her babe motherhood
and babyhood, upon the streets of Freeport in the day tune,
where they had a right to be but this young man in his
drunken insanity mistook her for the woman he sought and
shot her dead upon the streets with her babe in her arms.
He was tried and Judge Ferand, in sentencing him to life
imprisonment said: "You are the seventh man in two years
to be sentenced for murder while intoxicated."

In the city of Anderson, you remember the tragedy in
the Blake home. A young man came home intoxicated,
demanding money of his mother. She refused it. He
seized from the wood box a hatchet and killed his mother
and then robbed her. You remember he fled. The officer
of the law pursued him and brought him back. An indict-
ment was read to him charging him with the murder of the
mother who had given him his birth, of her who had gone
down into the valley of the shadow of death to give him life,
of her who had looked down into his blue eyes and thanked
God for his life. And he said, "I am guilty; I did it all."
And Judge McClure sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Now I have followed probably three of the thirty-six
pints of the farmer's product of a bushel of corn and the
three of them have struck down seven lives, the three boys



BATTLING WITH "BOOZE" 95

who committed the murders, the three persons who were
killed and the little mother who died of a broken heart.
And now, I want to know, my farmer friend, if this has been
a good commercial transaction for you? You sold a bushel
of corn; you found a market; you got fifty cents; but a
fraction of this product struck down seven lives, all of whom
would have been consumers of your products for their life
expectancy. And do you mean to say that is a good eco-
nomic transaction to you? That disposes of the market
question until it is answered; let no man argue further.

More Economics

And say, my friends, New York City's annual drink bill
is $365,000,000 a year, $1,000,000 a day. Listen a minute.
That is four times the annual output of gold, and six times
the value of all the silver mined in the United States. And
in New York there is one saloon for every thirty families.
The money spent in New York by the working people for
drink in ten years would buy every working man in New
York a beautiful home, allowing $3,500 for house and lot.
It would take fifty persons one year to count the money in
$1 bills, and they would cover 10,000 acres of ground. That
is what the people in New York dump into the whisky hole
in one year. And then you wonder why there is poverty
and crime, and that the country is not more prosperous.

The whisky gang is circulating a circular about Kansas
City, Kansas. I defy you to prove a statement in it. Kansas
City is a town of 100,000 population, and temperance went
into effect July 1, 1905. Then they had 250 saloons,
200 gambling hells and 60 houses of ill fame. The popula-
tion was largely foreign, and inquiries have come from
Germany, Sweden and Norway, asking the influence of
the enforcement of the prohibitory law.

At the end of one year the president of one of the largest
banks in that city, a man who protested against the enforce-
ment of the prohibitory law on the ground that it would
hurt business, found that his bank deposits had increased



96 BATTLING WITH " BOOZE"

$1,700,000, and seventy-two per cent of the deposits were
from men who had never saved a cent before, and forty-two
per cent came from men who never had a dollar in the bank,
but because the saloons were driven out they had a chance
to save, and the people who objected on the grounds that
it would injure business found an increase of 209 per cent
in building operations; and, furthermore, there were three
times as many more people seeking investment, and court
expenses decreased $25,000 in one year.

Who pays to feed and keep the gang you have in jail?
Why, you go down in your sock and pay for what the saloon
has dumped hi there. They don't do it. Mr. Whisky Man,
why don't you go down and take a picture of wrecked and
blighted homes, and of insane asylums, with gibbering
idiots. Why don't you take a picture of that?

At Kansas City, Kansas, before the saloons were closed,
they were getting ready to build an addition to the jail.
Now the doors swing idly on the hinges and there is nobody
to lock in the jails. And the commissioner of the Poor
Farm says there is a wonderful falling off of old men and
women coming to the Poor House, because their sons and
daughters are saving their money and have quit spending
it for drink. And they had to employ eighteen new school
teachers for 600 boys and girls, between the ages of twelve
and eighteen, that had never gone to school before because
they had to help a drunken father support the family.
And they have just set aside $200,000 to build a new school
house, and the bonded indebtedness was reduced $245,000
in one year without the saloon revenue. And don't you
know another thing: In 1906, when they had the saloon,
the population, according to the directory, was 89,655.
According to the census of 1907 the population was 100,835, or
an increase of twelve per cent in one year, without the grog-
shop. In two years the bank deposits increased $3,930,000.

You say, drive out the saloon and you kill business
Ha! ha! "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord."

I tell you, gentlemen, the American home is the dearest



BATTLING WITH "BOOZE" 97

heritage of the people, for the people, and by the people,
and when a man can go from home in the morning with the
kisses of wife and children on his lips, and come back at
night with an empty dinner bucket to a happy home, that
man is a better man, whether white or black. Whatever
takes away the comforts of home whatever degrades that
man or woman whatever invades the sanctity of the home,
is the deadliest foe to the home, to church, to state and school,
and the saloon is the deadliest foe to the home, the church
and the state, on top of God Almighty's dirt. And if all
the combined forces of hell should assemble hi conclave,
and with them all the men on earth that hate and despise
God, and purity, and virtue if all the scum of the earth
could mingle with the denizens of hell to try to think of the
deadliest institution to home, to church and state, I tell you,
sir, the combined hellish intelligence could not conceive of
or bring an institution that could touch the hem of the
garment of the open licensed saloon to damn the home and
manhood, and womanhood, and business and every other
good thing on God's earth.

In the Island of Jamaica the rats increased so that they
destroyed the crops, and they introduced a mongoose, which
is a species of the coon. They have three breeding seasons
a year and there are twelve to fifteen in each brood, and they
are deadly enemies of the rats. The result was that the rats
disappeared and there was nothing more for the mongoose
to feed upon, so they attacked the snakes, and the frogs,
and the lizards that fed upon the insects, with the result
that the insects increased and they stripped the gardens,
eating up the onions and the lettuce and then the mongoose
attacked the sheep and the cats, and the puppies, and the
calves and the geese. Now Jamaica is spending hundreds
of thousands of dollars to get rid of the mongoose.

The American Mongoose

The American mongoose is the open licensed saloon.
It eats the carpets off the floor and the clothes from off'






98 BATTLING WITH "BOOZE"

your back, your money out of the bank, and it eats up
character, and it goes on until at last it leaves a stranded
wreck hi the home, a skeleton of what was once brightness
and happiness.

There were some men playing cards on a railroad tram,
and one fellow pulled out a whisky flask and passed it about,
and when it came to the drummer he said, "No." "What,"
they said, "have you got on the water wagon?" and they all
laughed at him. He said, "You can laugh if you want to,
but I was born with an appetite for drink, and for years I
have taken from five to ten glasses per day, but I was at
home in Chicago not long ago and I have a friend who has
a pawn shop there. I was in there when hi came a young
fellow with ashen cheeks and a wild look on his face. He
came up trembling, threw down a little package and said,
'Give me ten cents.' And what do you think was in that
package? It was a pair of baby shoes.

"My friend said, 'No, I cannot take them.'
" ' But/ he said, ' give me a dime. I must have a drink/
" 'No, take them back home, your baby will need them.'
"And the poor fellow said, 'My baby is dead, and I want
a drink.' "

Boys, I don't blame you for the lump that comes up in
your throat. There is no law, divine or human, that the
saloon respects. Lincoln said, "If slavery is not wrong,
nothing is wrong." I say, it the saloon, with its tram of
diseases, crime and misery, is not wrong, then nothing on
earth is wrong. If the fight is to be won we need men
men that will fight the Church, Catholic and Protestant,
must fight it or run away, and thank God she will not run
away, but fight to the last ditch.

Who works the hardest for his money, the saloon, man
or you?

Who has the most money Sunday morning, the saloon
man or you?

The saloon comes as near being a rat hole for a wage-
earner to dump his wages hi as anything you can find.



BATTLING WITH "BOOZE" 99

The only interest it pays is red eyes and foul breath, and the
loss of health. You can go in with money and you come out
with empty pockets. You go in with character and you
come out ruined. You go in with a good position and you
lose it. You lose your position m the bank, or hi the cab
of the locomotive. And it pays nothing back but disease
and damnation and gives an extra dividend in delirium
tremens and a free pass to hell. And then it will let your
wife be buried in the potter's field, and your children go to
the asylum, and yet you walk out and say the saloon is a
good institution, when it is the dirtiest thing on earth. It
hasn't one leg to stand on and has nothing to commend it to
a decent man, not one thing.

"But," you say, "we will regulate it by high license."
Regulate what by high license? You might as well try and
regulate a powder mill in hell. Do you want to pay taxes
hi boys, or dirty money? A man that will sell out to that
dirty business I have no use for. See how absurd their argu-
ments are. If you drink Bourbon in a saloon that pays
$1,000 a year license, will it eat your stomach less than if
you drink it hi a saloon that pays $500 license? Is it going
to have any different effect on you, whether the gang pays
$500 or $1,000 license? No. It will make no difference
whether you drink it over a mahogany counter or a pine
counter it will have the same effect on you; it will damn
you. So there is no use talking about it.

In some insane asylums, do you know what they do?
When they want to test some patient to see whether he has
recovered his reason, they have a room with a faucet in it,
and a cement floor, and they give the patient a mop and tell
him to mop up the floor. And if he has sense enough to
turn off the faucet and mop up the floor they will parole him,
but should he let the faucet run, they know that he is crazy.

Well, that is what you are trying to do. You are trying
to mop it up with taxes and insane asylums and jails and
Keeley cures, and reformatories. The only thing to do is
to shut off the source of supply.

A man was delivering a temperance address at a



100



BATTLING WITH "BOOZE



fair grounds and a fellow came up to him and said: "Are
you the fellow that gave a talk on temperance?"
"Yes."

"Well, I think that the managers did a dirty piece of
business to let you give a lecture on temperance. You have
hurt my business and my business is a legal one."

"You are right there," said the lecturer, "they did do a
mean trick; I would complain to the officers." And he
took up a premium list and said: "By the way, I see there

is a premium of so
much offered for the
best horse and cow
and butter. What
business are you in?"
"I'm in the liquor
business."

"Well, I don't see
that they offer any pre-
mium for your busi-
ness. You ought to
go down and compel
them to offer a pre-
mium for your busi-
ness and they ought to
offer on the list $25
for the best wrecked home, $15 for the best bloated bum
that you can show, and $10 for the finest specimen of
broken-hearted wife, and they ought to give $25 for the finest
specimens of thieves and gamblers you can trot out. You
can bring out the finest looking criminals. If you have
something that is good trot it out. You ought to come hi
competition with the farmer, with his stock, and the fancy
work, and the canned fruit."

The Saloon a Coward

As Dr. Howard said: "I tell you that the saloon is a
coward. It hides itself behind stained-glass doors and







"SHOULD HE LET THE FAUCET RUN, THEY
KNOW THAT HE is CRAZY "



BATTLING WITH "BOOZE" 101

opaque windows, and sneaks its customers in at a blind door,
and it keeps a sentinel to guard the door from the officers of
the law, and it marks its wares with false bills-of-lading,
and offers to ship green goods to you and marks them with
the name of wholesome articles of food so people won't
know what is being sent to you. And so vile did that busi-
ness get that the legislature of Indiana passed a law forbid-
ding a saloon to ship goods without being properly labeled.
And the United States Congress passed a law forbidding
them to send whisky through the mails.

I tell you it strikes in the night. It fights under cover
of darkness and assassinates the characters that it cannot
damn, and it lies about you. It attacks defenseless woman-
hood and childhood. The saloon is a coward. It is a thief; /
it is not an ordinary court offender that steals your money,
but it robs you of manhood and leaves you in rags and takes
away your friends, and it robs your family. It impoverishes
your children and it brings insanity and suicide. It will
take the shirt off your back and it will steal the coffin from
a dead child and yank the last crust of bread out of the hand
of the starving child; it will take the last bucket of coal out
of your cellar, and the last cent out of your pocket, and will
send you home bleary-eyed and staggering to your wife
and children. It will steal the milk from the breast of the
mother and leave her with nothing with which to feed her
infant. It will take the virtue from your daughter. It is
the dirtiest, most low-down, damnable business that ever
crawled out of the pit of hell. It is a sneak, and a thief and
a coward.

It is an infidel. It has no faith hi God; has no religion.
It would close every church in the land. It would hang its
beer signs on the abandoned altars. It would close every
public school. It respects the thief and it esteems the
blasphemer; it fills the prisons and the penitentiaries. It
despises heaven, hates love, scorns virtue. It tempts the
passions. Its music is the song of a siren. Its sermons
are a collection of lewd, vile stories. It wraps a mantle



102 BATTLING WITH "BOOZE"

about the hope of this world and that to come. Its tables
are full of the vilest literature. It is the moral clearing house
for rot, and damnation, and poverty, and insanity, and it
wrecks homes and blights lives today.

God's Worst Enemy

The saloon is a liar. It promises good cheer and
sends sorrow. It promises health and causes disease. It
promises prosperity and sends adversity. It promises hap-
piness and sends misery. Yes, it sends the husband home
with a lie on his lips to his wife; and the boy home with
a lie on his lips to his mother; and it causes the employee
to lie to his employer. It degrades. It is God's worst
enemy and the devil's best friend. It spares neither youth
nor old age. It is waiting with a dirty blanket for the
baby to crawl into the world. It lies in wait for the unborn.

It cocks the highwayman's pistol. It puts the rope



Online LibraryWilliam Thomas EllisBilly Sunday, the man and his message, with his own words which have won thousands for Christ → online text (page 7 of 33)