resenting to him the terrible consequences of intemperance, 6 I have no doubt, said he, but that all you say is true, but you might as well sing psalms to a dead horse as to talk to me." Yet let us not forget that these unfortunate victims of their own weakness and imprudence are still men ; and claim our sympathy and commisseration for their want of discretion. And if warnings and entreaties will not prevail, let us resort to more efficacious means for their relief, as well as for the protection of the common interest against the effects of their conduct. Reproachful denunciations, however, are not only useless, but injurious and uncharitable. "We all enquire what can be done? We cannot take away personalliberty."&c. What is liberty? Does it permit one individual to deprive another, directly or indirectly of the fruits of his toil and prudence? What is the difference, except in a criminal point of view, whether my neighbor picks my pocket or places his weeping starving wife and children in such a situation, that I must either empty my pocket myself to relieve them, or see them perish? It is lamentable, as well as astonishing that so sew of our citizens have granted this subject its lawful weight either io the scales of policy, morality, physics or religion. Is there an individual who is not now affected, more or less, in some shape or other, from the immense deficit in the national wealth, occasivued by the appropriation of 20,000,000 dollars annually du. ring the last twenty years, to a threefold worse th pose than annihilation ? Twice we have bravely resisted and spurned political despotism , and at length we have pros trated our necks under the sceptre of king ALCOHOL:With an incredible infatuation we have sacrificed the golden presents of Ceres on the hissing copper allars of crazy Bacchus. Were I allowed the privilege of obliterating the two greatest scourges of mankind, I would select the art of distilling food, and the art of war. I am not disposed to attach any degree of moral turpitude, to manufacturers or sellers of ardent spirits ; but it does seem to me that if they would revolve and scrutinize the snbject in its real genuine character, they would not hesitate to renounce an employment which involves in its developement, the propagation of so much human misery and wretchedness.* But the nation must take this matter in hand, or nothing essential can be done.

* A merchant of Virginia by the name of Scholfield, listened to The safety of the nation is at stake! Let the questioa be fairly stated :-it is, whether Reason or Alcokol shall predominate? Or,

Reason, Virtuc, the Lives,
Health, Wealth,
Morals and Happiness
of our citisens !!


Alcohol, Intemperance,
Vice, Poverty and
Misery, Crimes and Infamy,

Disease and Death !! Let the tribunal consist of the inhabitants of the Uni. ted States, male and female, old and young, of whatever condition, as jurors : and their legislators as judges.Let every one that can speak say yea' or nay, and record it with his or her name or mark. We know women and children are not allowed a voice in making laws, but in this case particularly, their fate is seriously concerned, and their voices ought to be listened to, and duly regarded. Let the public will be called forth by meetings and memorials. Let it be ascertained whether the ma. jority prefer self-preservation or self-destruction. Dr. Rush says,

" let good men of every class unite and be. siege the general and state governments with petitions to limit the number of taverns; to impose heavy duties upon ardent spirits, &c."

Another writer who has given a lively picture of the devastations of distilled liquors, says,

men who wish well to their country, unite in petitions to govern.. ment, to impose still heavier duties upon imported spir. its, and our own distillers; and to regulate taveras and retailers of spirits ; and to secure the property of habitual drunkards, for the benefit of their families.”

There has been “much speaking," much writing, much printing, and much preaching, on this subject, and but little benefit geems to result from the whole. It is time

so let

his conscience, and burnt all his distilled liquors publicly on the summit of a mountain. Another in Delaware, beat in the heads of his casks. A respectable French gentleman having purchased an estate at Buffalse (N. Y.) on which was a distilling establishment, demolished it immediately on taking possession, saying he "s had done one good deed."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to try a little doing. This will accomplish much more than talking. " Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.”—[JEšus.] Let our “good men," of whom the number is undoubledly great, adopt the beautiful maxim of the late Cotton Mather, author of " Etsays to do good,"

**s that a power and an apportunity to do good, not only gives a right to the doing of it, but makes the doing of it a duty.” The inducement for doing good, ought to be further strengthened by the circumstance that it carries with it its own reward; or as I once heard a public speaker of the Friends' Society elegantly express the sentiment,“ that while you are plucking thorns from your neighbor's breast, you are strewing your own path with flowers." It is in the power of men of affluence to be the most active in effecting a reformation of the public morals, and in point of interest they are also most concerned.

I have prepared the following forms of memorials, which it is my intention to offer for signature as widely as it may be in my power; and I do most ardently hope they may be transcribed and presented in every house occupied by hunan inhabitants, in the United States. Preachers, School-masters, Post masters, and others to whom it may be convenient and agreeable,are respectful. Jy invited to cooperate in this exceedingly necessary work. Let us not shriok from the task, on account of its magnitude, and the fear of its impracticability. And if we even fail to accomplish all that we would, there is still a self satisfaction, and must be some utility, in doing all that we can.

Memorial of Sundry inhabitants of the United States of America, to the President, Senate, and House of Representatives;praying that laws may be enacted for the suppression of the unnecessary use of spirituo:is liquors, and for the general diffusion of knowledge.

Whereas we the subscribers view with deep concern,the alarming and increasing extent of the moral, political and physical calamities produced by the vast consumption of spirituous liquors in our country. The reality of the evil is soconspicuous and palpable, that it would be a waste of ink and paper to delineate its specific features. The ah. stract principles of liberty, and the relative rights of man, authorise and demand legislative interposition. The citizen who wantonly destroys his property ; his health;

C 22

his mental faculties ; by drinking spirituous liquors; and thereby thrusts himself or a helpless family upon the pub. lic bounty, commits a trespass on the rights of the conmunity. We consider it the duty of government to adopt measures for preventing such aggressions no less than for the security and recovery of ordinary debts.

And whereas we are fully convinced that the early instruction of the rising generation in the moral duties of life, would contribute materially lo avert the evils under consideration. We therefore implore and request the government of these United States, to provide for the education of every youth, whose education is not otherwise provided for, within the jurisdiction thereof.--For this purpose, as well as to discourage intempéiance, we earnestly recommend that a duty of fifty cents per gallon be imposed upon all spirituous liquors manufactured within the United States;-and one dollar per gallon upon all wines and spirituous liquors, shich shall be imported : the monies accruing from the duties on domestic liquors, to be appropriated to the establishment of free Lancas. trian and common schools, and free circulating libraries, in the respective districts in which the taxes shall be levied and collected :-and the duties on imported liquors to be applied to the same purpose, in such manner and place as the wisdom of Congress shall suggest.

Memorial of the inhabitants of the State orto the Governor, and Legislature thereof, praying that effectual laws may be enacted for the suppression of the unnecessary use of spirituous liquors, &c.

Whereas the subscribers behold with fearful concern, the alarming ravages of spirituous liquors on the health, lives, property, naorals and domestic happiness of the people of this state. Self-defence, and the equal rights of man authorise legislative interposition.

The citizen who destroys the products of his labor, his health, his mental faculties, by drinking spirituous liquors, and thereby thrusts himself or a helpless family upon the public bounty, commits 'a trespass on the rights of the community. We consider it the duty of gov. ernment to adopt measures for preventing such aggres. sions, no less than for the security and recovery of ordinary

debts. We therefore implore and request the legis. lature of this state to enact lawfor placing the property of habitual drunkards, in the care of trustees, for the bencfit of their families; to be restored again whenever such mentally diseased persons shall have recovered their reason, and discretion::- To restrict the licences for selling distilled spirits by drams, solely to such lans as shall be considered requisite for the entertain. ment of travellers :- -To impose a tax of one cent upon every half gill of distilled spirits vended by lonkeepers; and 12 1.2 cents per quart upon all distilled spirits, lay whomsoever sold, in quantities exceeding one gill, and less than ten gallons ? And to appropriate the monies thence accruing, to the establishment of free Lancastrian and common schools, free circulating libraries ; Alms houses, Asylums and Infirmaries for the benefit of indi. gent victims of intemperance ; houses of employment; and to such other purposes as may be found expedient.

may be

It is the more indispensable to obtain the sentiments of the people at large, on this momentous national ques. tion, in the manner here proposed, on account of a prejudice indulged by many, (legislators in particular, with whom I have frequently discussed the subject,) that legislative restrictions upon the distribution and use of spirituous liquors, would excite disaffection and rebellion. Such is my confidence in a contrary result, even with respect to the captives of Intemperance themselves ; and such my impressions of the imperious pecessity and duty of combatting the progress of that unmerciful tyrant and murderer; that I feel willing to devote a large proportion of the subsequent time that my life preserved, to the purpose of ascertaining the fact. i ain not a fanatic ; but I confess my solieitude and zeal on this subject, approach neari; to enthusiasm.

The case surely demanus the coucurrent enthusiasm and perseverance of all who possess the least sympathy for the suffer. ings and woes of their fellow-men. And the very sufferers are not so inditferent as has been generally supposed. Many have addressed their supreme Parent, with supplications to rescue and protect then from the fascinating charm, and twining gripe with which that cunning serpent Alcohol inveigles its prey. And they are not wholly averse to coercieve means of relief. Several have sought their emancipation, in oaths of abstinence for a given term. Some bave offered premiums for a remedy to the habit of drinking ;-and one individual of this description, declared to the writer of these essays, that he “ wished government would impose a lar upon whiskey of

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »